ACCA variant papers are exams set to reflect national law and tax. As of September 2014, the ACCA has the following variant papers:
- Botswana (BWA)
- China (CHN)
- Cyprus (CYP)
- English (ENG)
- Global (GLO) *(available for F4)
- Hong Kong (HKG)
- International (INT) *(available for F7, F8, P2 & P7)
- Irish (IRL)
- Malaysia (MYS)
- Malta (MLA)
- Russia (RUS)
- Scotland (SCT)
- South Africa (ZAF)
- Singapore (SGP)
- United Kingdom (UK)
- Vietnam (VNM)
- Zimbabwe (ZWE)
These variant papers are available for corporate & Business Law (F4), Taxation papers (F6, & P6), Audit & Assurance papers (F8 & P7) and the Financial Reporting papers (F7 & P2).
For students residing in countries where variant papers are available for law and tax, the choice is pretty much straight forward. In deciding on which variant option to go for, students living in countries without dedicated variant papers, they might want to consider: where they plan on working in the future (this may be an easy decision for international students), and perhaps, choosing a tax variant similar to their that of their resident country.
Speaking with ACCA on the best tax variant for a student currently living in UAE, their official response was that each student has to individually make a decision on the most appropriate tax and law variant – ACCA cannot give a recommendation.
I am of the opinion that considering one’s future career should factor greatly, in deciding on a tax/law variant. A great example of this is the Finance Director of a Gazprom subsidiary in Nigeria (West Africa) – Evgeny Buben – for an interview in Accounting and Business International (July-August issue) , talked about choosing the UK tax variant because it is similar to the Nigerian tax system.
In conclusion, in deciding on a tax or law variant, choosing the ‘easiest’ should not be a consideration. Rather, consider current and future career goals.
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