What's It All About? Throughput Accounting and ACCA F5 Exams

Published: 09th August 2010
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For some, throughput accounting might sound like a fairly meaningless term; one which obfuscates more than it clarifies. However, the term actually describes one of the most important approaches used by accountants, and was first conceived by Eliyahu M. Goldratt who wanted to develop a methodology that would provide managers with the information they need to optimise enterprise. A relatively new approach, throughput accounting is an alternative to traditional cost accounting.

Practical concepts like this and others, such as backflush accounting, a costing short cut for companies which operate a "just in time" business model, are taught in paper F5, performance management accounting, part of the internationally recognised, ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) management accounting qualification.

The ACCA is a global body for professional accountants and has been around for over 100 years. Its principal aim is to provide business relevant, qualifications and professional development, which because they are based on international accounting standards but incorporate local tax and legal elements, are recognised in 170 countries. In addition, the body seeks to promote the highest professional and ethical governance standards, advance public interest and be a global leader in the accountancy profession. Its monthly magazine "Accounting and Business" was recently shortlisted for Monthly Business Magazine of the Year. The organisation has a network of 83 offices worldwide, 140,000 members plus 404,000 students of which 210,000 registered for exams online in the last twelve months. 72% of all members and students are based outside of the UK and 60% of members work in the corporate sector.

Businesses of every persuasion need people who can understand and manage the finances and the demand for such professionals is growing internationally. The ACCA gives all the learning, skills and values needed to succeed in this field. It is accessible not only to graduates but to non-graduates and mature students alike and can be undertaken via a range of study options. The qualification is comprised of fourteen exams, some practical experience and a Professional Ethics module. The exams are made up of nine, mandatory "Fundamental" papers (three knowledge based and six skills based) plus five professional papers of which three are compulsory and two are chosen from four optional topics.

Paper F5, performance management accounting is one of the skills based Fundamental papers. Whilst the ACCA website is bursting with industry news, as well as general and qualification specific information together with career advice and even recruitment services, all tailored for students, members and employers, Paper F5 has its own dedicated microsite.

The paper specific site gives students a "one stop shop" for everything needed to get the very most out of this important subject and attain exam success. Ranging from a general overview of the topic and each of the five syllabus areas, including to detailed explanations of quantitative budgeting methodology to self-test activities, examiner reports and interviews and technical articles on exam technique, the microsite is totally comprehensive.

Professional management accountants are in demand in all sectors, by all types of business, throughout the world. An ACCA qualification delivers not only the essential knowledge and skills for a career in this field but also provides a truly global passport to opportunities in management accounting.

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