The Complete Guide to ACCA Foundation in Accountancy in Malaysia

cg-acca-fia-featureFancy yourself a future in accountancy?

An accountant plays an important role in any good business. As such, good accounting education is crucial. If you’re thinking of applying for the prestigious ACCA qualification (and why shouldn’t you?), then the ACCA Foundation in Accountancy award is a great place to start.

In this guide, you will gain detailed knowledge about what the ACCA Foundation in Accountancy is all about. This includes what it entails, your education pathway as well as the ACCA exemptions you will be qualified for with this programme.

So read on more to learn about the ACCA Foundation in Accountancy.

#1. What is ACCA Foundation in Accountancy?

cg-acca-fia-what-is-acca-fiaACCA Foundation in Accountancy (FIA) is a foundation-level award offered by ACCA. The ACCA FIA award allows for a quick and direct transition into the ACCA programme from SPM.

A replacement to the CAT programme as a direct route to ACCA, ACCA FIA will introduce you to basic accounting modules meant to prepare you for ACCA. Completing the programme will grant you the opportunity to directly pursue ACCA, a prestigious professional accounting qualification.

Because it is a foundation-level award, you cannot use it to apply for a job. However, you can continue on to take 2 specialist papers under the revised CAT programme, allowing you to be an accounting technician.

CAT vs ACCA FIA: What’s the Difference?

The ACCA FIA is meant to serve as a replacement for CAT. The difference between the two programmes boil down to two important points:

  • The reduction of mandatory exam papers from 9 papers in the CAT programme to the 7 papers in the ACCA FIA programme.
  • No requirement to complete MQA-mandated Mata Pelajaran Umum (MPU) allowing you to finish the programme faster.

Taylor's College

ACCA Foundation in Accountancy (FIA)

Gold-status Approved Learning Partner of ACCA



#2. Entry Requirements for ACCA FIA

a) Subjects required

To pursue the ACCA FIA, you need a minimum of 5 credits in SPM including a credit in Math and English.

There is no requirement for you to have studied SPM Accounting in order to qualify for this programme. However, a background in SPM Accounting (with a grade of A+/A/A-) will allow you to claim exemptions for one of the papers, i.e. FA1 Recording Financial Transactions.

b) ACCA FIA entry requirements

To qualify for the ACCA FIA programme, the minimum academic requirement is:

  • SPM (or equivalent): Minimum 5Cs including Mathematics and English

c) ACCA FIA paper exemptions

There are a number of exemptions available in the FIA programme depending on your background.

  • SPM Accounting (grade of A+/A/A-): Exemption for FA1 paper
  • LCCI Level 3: Up to 5 exemptions
  • STPM and A Levels equivalent: Up to 4 exemptions

#3. Studying the ACCA FIA

a) What subjects will you study in the ACCA FIA?

The ACCA FIA course will prepare you to sit for 7 papers, a reduction over the 9 mandatory papers in CAT.

Here is the full list of all the papers you will have to take:

ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (RQF Level 2)FA1 Recording Financial Transactions
MA1 Management Information
ACCA Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting (RQF Level 3)FA2 Maintaining Financial Records
MA2 Managing Costs and Finance
ACCA Diploma in Accounting and Business (RQF Level 4)FAB Accountant in Business
FFA Financial Accounting
FMA Management Accounting

Completing each set of papers will allow you to gain awards from ACCA. To earn these awards, you must complete the Foundations in Professionalism module. However, this is not a requirement and you do not need this to progress into ACCA.

b) How long is the ACCA FIA course?

The ACCA FIA course will generally take you 1 year to finish.

c) How much does it cost to study the ACCA FIA in Malaysia?

The fees for the ACCA FIA range from RM10,000 to RM15,000 for tuition fees, depending on the institution you study at. Regardless of which learning partner you choose, you will need to pay ACCA a registration fee and exam fees for each exam paper, amounting to approximately RM4,000.

Taylor's College

ACCA Foundation in Accountancy (FIA)

Gold-status Approved Learning Partner of ACCA



#4. Your Education Pathway for ACCA FIA

a) ACCA Foundation in Accountancy → ACCA

cg-acca-fia-pathway-fia-accaUpon completion of your SPM / O-Level, you can immediately start to pursue an ACCA qualification through the ACCA FIA programme.

Step 1: ACCA FIA (7 papers)
Step 2: ACCA Applied Skills (6 papers)
Step 3: Ethics and Professional Skills module (EPSM) (15 hours)
Step 4: ACCA Strategic Professional (4 papers)
Step 5: Practical Experience Requirement (PER) (3 years)
Step 6: Gain the Chartered Certified Accountant status

b) ACCA Foundation in Accountancy → CAT

cg-acca-fia-pathway-fia-catThe ACCA FIA is a foundation-level award. As such, you cannot use it to apply for work. However, if you want to enter the workplace early after finishing your ACCA FIA, you can consider taking the reintroduced CAT qualification as a terminating qualification which allows you to be certified as an accounting technician.

Step 1: FIA (7 papers)
Step 2: CAT Specialist Papers (2 papers)
Step 3: Foundations in Professionalism module (online)
Step 4: Complete the CAT Foundations Practical Experience Requirement (FPER; 1 year)
Step 5: Gain the Certified Accounting Technician status

#5. Should You Study ACCA FIA?

a) Is ACCA FIA the right programme for you?

cg-acca-fia-is-it-right-for-youThe ACCA FIA programme can be an effective and convenient way to prepare you for the rigorous ACCA qualification. If you’re wondering whether you should pursue FIA, here are some questions to think about:

  • Are you planning for a future in accounting?
  • Do you want a quick pathway into the ACCA qualification?
  • Are you comfortable with numbers and basic mathematics?
  • Do you like solving problems and puzzles?
  • Do you enjoy rules and structure?
  • Do you like to organise and file things properly?
  • Are you meticulous and detail-oriented?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, ACCA FIA may be right for you!

b) Skills required to pursue ACCA FIA

Here are some key skills you will need to succeed in ACCA FIA:

  • Meticulous and detail-oriented
  • Good command of the English language
  • Competence and confidence in mathematics
  • Good IT skills (Microsoft Excel)

#6. Best Institutions for ACCA FIA in Malaysia

If ACCA FIA is right up your alley, then check out some of the best ACCA approved learning partners in Malaysia.


Taylor’s College

ACCA Foundation in Accountancy (FIA)

Quick Facts

Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Apr & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM15,050 (tuition fees) + RM4,856 (ACCA exam fees)

Key Highlights

Gold-status Approved Learning Partner of ACCA
Experienced and qualified ACCA lecturers with vast experience and connections in both academia and the industry
Exceptional e-learning tools to prepare you with skills required for the 21st century
Grow with the support of Taylor’sphere, a well-balanced learning ecosystem and community that nurtures your intellect, craft and practical wisdom

View other colleges


UOW Malaysia KDU College

Foundation in Accountancy (FIA)

Quick Facts

Campus: Shah Alam, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, Mar & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM13,900 (tuition fees) + GPB 800 (ACCA exam fees)

Key Highlights

Flexible learning hours, weekend classes are available
Employability Enhancement Program (EEP) embedded for soft skill enhancement
Free SQL Accounting Software Training
Corporate sponsorship and job placement by reputable accounting firms


Methodist College Kuala Lumpur (MCKL)

ACCA Foundation in Accountancy (FIA)

Quick Facts

Campus: Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Jan, Apr & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM14,858 (tuition fees) + RM4,575 (ACCA exam fees)

Key Highlights

One of the Top 3 Institutions in Kuala Lumpur with the Platinum Status Approved Learning Partner of ACCA
In-depth understanding in accountancy through continuous demonstration, practices and assessments to support candidates for the actual examinations
Develop skills and knowledge of accountancy with technology driven learning environment
Exposure to real-life case studies and community-based projects such as Service Learning and Character Formation


Imperium International College

ACCA Foundation in Accountancy

Quick Facts

Campus: Kuala Lumpur
Intakes:Apr & Jul
Estimated Fees: RM9,720 (tuition fees) + RM4,300 (ACCA exam fees)

Key Highlights

Highly qualified lecturers with experience in the corporate field
Professional development programmes including comprehensive IT knowledge and skills
Bursary offered for exams

#7. More Resources About ACCA FIA

Want to learn more about studying accounting and being an accountant? Here are some useful articles that you may like: