Beware false promises

July 2021

There’s no doubt that preparing for exams is hard work and sometimes difficult. And, at those times, it may be tempting to believe that there could be a shortcut to success as a chartered certified accountant.

Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in online adverts promising to provide students with genuine ACCA exam questions or to provide fake certificates for exemptions.

We know that most students understand that these claims are unfounded and that they are almost certainly a waste of money. But if any students are considering using them then it’s important that you understand what the consequences might be for you and your career. Students who are suspected of misconduct or other malpractice may be referred to our Professional Conduct team for investigation. And, most importantly, risk losing the opportunity to complete their ACCA qualification.

ACCA offers a rigorous qualification – integrity is at the heart of everything we do. We provide our members with a strong basis upon which to build their careers because of our reputation for integrity and high quality.

As a student, it is important to consider your own motivation. You are following a career path towards becoming an accountant or finance professional committed to upholding the highest ethical standards. It’s why employers around the world respect the ACCA qualification and why ACCA members are sought after by employers globally.

I see the ACCA qualification as a ‘badge of honour’ and I know it is a big achievement that takes dedication. I was delighted to accept my current role. And I am proud of the work that my Professional Conduct team do because I see it as protecting the quality, integrity and reputation of our qualification.

Our remotely invigilated exams have strict rules and regulations in place. Students are supervised by live invigilators in addition to using sophisticated artificial intelligence checks to monitor any suspicious activity. Although we have exam sittings at different times of the day, we also have rules to make sure that students sitting exams at different times cannot gain any advantage.

ACCA has protocols in place to protect the integrity of our exams. We don’t sell or publish our question banks, which are controlled by strict security. ACCA investigates those that claim to do so.

Anyone selling ACCA content could only have obtained it illegitimately. If anyone sees or is offered ACCA content please send details to us using our new email address: Then we suggest that you do the same as you would do with any junk mail – delete it and don’t click on unsecure links. By deleting and stopping the further spread of such messages you are helping us to uphold the value and integrity of the qualification.

It is important to remember that ACCA wants you to succeed, and to succeed fairly and with integrity, so that we can continue to support you through what we hope will be a long and prosperous career as an ethical and professional ACCA member.

My advice to students would be to think about your actions, behave with integrity and do not be tempted to try to take short cuts to membership. Doing so may put your ability to qualify and place your longer-term career prospects at risk.

ACCA has a wealth of resources to support students in their studies and our learning partners also offer online study support materials to help. Behaving with integrity and working hard at your studies are the best ways to achieve success.

• Joe Johnson is director of professional conduct at ACCA