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.

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 (classroom and online classroom courses)
  • Learning materials: our ACCA Full-Time programme uses materials provided by BPP Learning Media, an ACCA-approved provider for content

Take your first steps with FIA

FIA Large Promo

The FIA comprises four awards:

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

Why study FIA with BPP University?

Your tuition takes place in ACCA Platinum-approved centres – the highest accreditation possible – from expert tutors with practical experience

For our students, this guarantees the highest levels of tuition and top-quality learning materials. It also demonstrates that BPP exceeds the rigorous Platinum performance targets set by ACCA.

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 a face-to-face or online classroom course or with a BPP Basics distance learning package.

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 (FMA)

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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CAT Qualification

To gain the CAT Qualification you’ll need to:

  • complete the two Certificate levels or have relevant work experience to exempt the those 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.


An apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity to gain a professional qualifications whilst getting practical workplace experience at the same time.

For school or college leavers it’s a great way to kick-start a career and is a real alternative to University. For others it’s an opportunity to gain qualifications that complement workplace skills, knowledge and experience, or to re-train in a new career.

BPP has been awarded funding to provide apprenticeships for the FIA qualification. We deliver these courses through a combination of workplace and classroom-based learning, and you can choose from a range of flexible study options.

Key benefits:

  • Develop practical communication and numeracy skills
  • Gain official recognition that can help improve your salary and career prospects
  • Government-funding means you could qualify with no student debt.
Learn more about BPP Apprenticeships.

Flexible study options

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:

You can study all FIA levels by distance learning with our Basics packages. 

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


An engaging and supportive classroom experience, available for the FIA Diploma level either full- or part-time. 

An interactive and motivational study experience with expert tutors who bring passion and enthusiasm to the classroom. 

  • Dynamic and engaging learning environment
  • Syllabus learning reinforced with revision and practice 
  • Stimulating and supportive community
  • Tuition takes place in ACCA Platinum-approved centres from expert tutors with many years of teaching experience
  • Continuous tutor guidance that keeps you on track
  • Improved Free Pass Assurance

For part-time students classes a run on weekdays, evenings and weekends, and you can to mix and match your sessions, subject to availability.

This is an ideal solution if you: 

  • want to study at a steady pace
  • can commit to specific study times 
  • enjoy the dynamics of a classroom
  • want the best chance of success.

Online Classroom

All the flexibility of distance learning, with the structure and support of the classroom.

You can study the FIA Introductory Certificate, FIA Intermediate Certificate and FIA Diploma with BPP Online Classroom. This part-time only option is ideal if you’re unable to attend a BPP study centre at fixed times. Learn more about BPP Online Classroom.  

Distance learning

Our Basics packages reflect BPP’s uncompromising quality and expertise whilst offering you very cost-effective ways to study. You can start whenever you want and work at your own pace. Read more about our distance learning options.

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 already (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

All awards are available to study via online and distance learning options.

You can study for your FIA Diploma award face-to-face at any one of the following ACCA Platinum Approved study centres. Each centre offers state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable, high-quality classroom environments.

FIA study centres are located in:

Book FIA Online

For Diploma Level call us on:
03331 224 045
For Certificate Level call on:
44 (1481) 266 176

Dates and prices Ways to study Request information for professional qualifications, undergraduate and postgraduate study Buy Learning Materials Find out more about open days, events and webinars

+44 (1481) 266176

ACCA Approved Learning Provider: study materials, tuition