Foundations in Accountancy (FIA) 

Foundations in Accountancy (FIA) is the perfect starting point for a career in accounting and finance. If you're a school-leaver, have no accounting experience, or would like to start the ACCA qualification but don't have the minimum academic qualifications, this is the place to begin.

This suite of awards from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) covers a range of core skills and looks at the wider role of the accountant in business. With each qualification you complete, you'll be better prepared to take your career to the next level.

BPP Professional Education prepares you for exams that are assessed and awarded by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). This is not a BPP University course.

Our 2015 programmes see the launch of BPP Momentum – an exciting approach to learning that recognises that everyone, and the way they learn, is different. BPP Momentum puts you at the centre, giving you more flexibility, more personalisation, more support, more value and more confidence. At the heart of BPP Momentum is competency-based learning; it means you will learn by doing. By progressively gaining knowledge, practising what you have learnt and testing as you go, you will build your competence gradually and be in the best position to pass your exams. The more you attempt, the more you will be able to identify your weaker areas and with the range of support offered by BPP Momentum you will understand how to improve. Together we will ensure you succeed. Regardless of how you choose to study and whatever level you are at, BPP Momentum enhances every element of your learning experience, and our range of structured study schedules offers you the flexibility to control your own progression.

Key details:  Dates and prices  |  Ways to study

Key Information

  • Apprenticeship funding available, provided you meet the apprenticeship criteria
  • Completion of the Diploma allows entry on to the ACCA qualification
  • Expert tuition: tuition takes place in ACCA Platinum-approved centres from expert tutors with many years of teaching experience
  • Flexible options allow you to study how, when and where you want
  • Dedicated tutor support (In Centre Classroom and online classroom courses)

Take your first steps with FIA

The FIA comprises four awards:

  • Introductory Certificate
  • Intermediate Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Certified Accounting Technician

Flexibility, support and success

The BPP Professional Education FIA offering is flexible. with a range of study options available. This means you can tailor your mode of study to suit your personal needs and circumstances.

You'll also be provided with ongoing support and guidance. Our expert tutors will be on hand to give you advice when you need it by email, on the phone or in the classroom.

It's all part of our student-centric approach to professional study – an approach that gives you the best chance of success in your FIA exams.

Diploma in Accounting and Business

Equivalent to an HND or first year degree level, this Diploma is suitable for those already working or aspiring to work in accounting administration, bookkeeping or as an accounts clerk in practice, commercial organisations or the public sector.

The Diploma is awarded on completion of three exams and a free ACCA online module ‘Foundations in Professionalism’ which only needs to be completed once during your FIA studies.

The three exams are:

  • FAB – Accountant in Business
  • FMA – Management Accounting
  • FFA – Financial Accounting

You can study with an In Centre Classroom, Online Classroom Live and Online Classroom course

The Diploma qualification papers are equivalent to the main ACCA qualification Knowledge module (Papers F1-F3). Completion of the Diploma will provide you with exemptions and allow you to start the main ACCA qualification at F4.

Syllabus overview

FAB - Accountant in Business

To understand business in the context of its environment, including economic, legal, and regulatory influences on such aspects as governance, employment, health and safety, data protection and security.

Additionally, to introduce certain aspects of the regulatory framework as they affect auditing and governance, examining the roles of internal and external auditors and introducing the importance of internal control. The syllabus also introduces key management and people issues such as individual and team behaviour, leadership, motivation, personal effectiveness and professional ethics in accounting and business.

FMA - Management Accounting

To develop the knowledge and ability to apply appropriate management accounting concepts and foundations in accountancy techniques for decision making, planning and control including forecasting techniques, the preparation of budgets and standard costs and performance measurement.

FFA - Financial Accounting

To develop knowledge and understanding of the underlying principles and concepts relating to financial accounting and to demonstrate technical proficiency in the use of double entry techniques, including the preparation and interpretation of basic financial statements for sole traders, companies and simple groups of companies.

Dates and prices

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Online Courses

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Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification

The Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification is for those who want to qualify to technician level. To gain this qualification you will need to:

  • Complete the two Certificate levels or have relevant work experience to be exempt from these levels, plus complete the Diploma
  • Complete two of three optional exams below
  • Show evidence of 12 months’ practical accounting experience

The optional exams are:

  • FTX – Foundations in Tax
  • FFM – Foundations in Financial Management 
  • FAU – Foundations in Audit 

Syllabus overview

FTX - Foundations in Taxation

To develop the core knowledge of the underlying principles and the major technical areas of taxation, as they affect the activities of individuals and businesses, at a level appropriate for someone working at technician level.

Having covered the core areas of the basic taxes, candidates should be able to compute tax liabilities, explain the basis of their calculations, complete the tax returns and identify the compliance issues for each major tax through a variety of business and personal scenarios and situations.

FFM - Foundations in Financial Management

To examine all aspects of cash and working capital management, and to develop an understanding of the sources of short and long-term finance. To develop the knowledge and understanding of the way organisations finance their operations and plan, allocate and control resources to optimise returns.

FAU - Foundations in Audit

To develop knowledge and understanding of external audit and the techniques used in the conduct of external audits. Additionally to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of internal control systems.

The ACCA FIA Apprenticeship is an ideal stepping stone into ACCA for prospective Accountants working for an accountancy firm or in a finance division. Providing learners with a solid introduction to Financial and Management Accounting, completion of the Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeship allows progression to the Level 4 FIA Diploma in Accounting and Business.

BPP work collaboratively with employers to create tailored apprenticeship programmes to meet the needs of individual businesses, and with our FREE Recruitment Service we can help you secure a role in a company that is looking to grow talent from within, while paying you salary and supporting your development.

Ways to study

However you choose to study the FIA awards we’ll keep you focused on what you need to know to pass the exam.

You can study the Certificates:


You can study the Diploma:


All study options are supported by exam-focused learning materials and study tools.

In Centre Classroom

In Centre Classroom is ideal for studying at a steady pace with specific study times at a particular location. Our expert tutors bring passion, enthusiasm and industry experience to the classroom making sessions highly engaging and motivational. You will be supported by your tutor in the classroom and you can contact them outside of the classroom for advice, plus you will also have access to a library of online content with a comprehensive suite of pre-recorded lectures.

Online Classroom Live

Our award-winning Online Classroom Live lets you study wherever you have internet access, and is ideal if you like the discipline and motivation of a structured and time-tabled course and can commit to scheduled sessions. The live and engaging, interactive webinars delivered by one of our expert tutors are all recorded, so you can watch any you miss. There’s also a library of online content which includes a comprehensive suite of pre-recorded lectures

Online Classroom

Online Classroom gives you the flexibility of studying whenever and wherever you want, combined with the support of a dedicated tutor. All programmes have a start date and study guidance to provide structure, but you set the pace, with access to the library of online content including a comprehensive suite of lectures recorded by BPP experts so you have access to explanations whenever you need them, plus forums so you can interact with your tutor and fellow students.

Entry requirements

The Foundations in Accountancy (FIA) course is an entry-level series of awards and has no formal academic entry requirements. This means you can register to sit exams for any FIA award at any level.

If you're aiming to progress to the main ACCA qualification and already have the minimum entry requirements for ACCA (two 'A' Levels and three GCSEs) you're advised to start with ACCA. However, if you haven't studied for some time you may opt to study for any or all of the FIA awards first.

Study locations

Our awards are available to study In Centre and online.

You can study for your FIA Diploma award In Centre Classroom at any one of the following study centres. Each centre offers state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable, high-quality classroom environments.

FIA study centres are located in: