IFA Level 4 Award for SME Financial Accounting (International Standards)

Key facts

  • Suitable for: if you want to develop your financial accounting knowledge and how to apply it to SMEs or a small-and medium size practice (SMP). This award covers the nature and purpose of financial accounting, what financial reporting and the regulatory framework requires and how to prepare and analyse financial statements
  • Level: Level 4
  • Mode of study: self-study using bespoke e-book, recommended reading and past exam papers.
  • Length of study: approximately six months of study or 150 hours of learning.


The IFA Level 4 Award for SME financial accounting (international standards) is for you if you either aspire to or already support finance managers in a small- or medium sized enterprise (SME). 

It is also suitable for you if you work in an accounting practice that supports SME clients. For bookkeepers or those with experience this Award offers an ideal access route onto the Level 4 Diploma for financial accountants

Course content

The Level 4 Award for SME financial accounting (international standards) is a single unit qualification.

On successful completion of this Award you will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of financial accounting.
  • Identify and rectify errors made before and during the preparation of financial statements.
  • Understand the effect that the ownership of an organisation has on the nature of the financial statements that are produced.
  • Be able to prepare financial statements for different types of organisation.
  • Be able to analyse and interpret financial statements.

View the full details of the unit


The unit is assessed by a three hour written exam. The exam includes short and long answer questions with practical application. Exam sittings are in June and December each year.  

Entry requirements

To study the IFA Level 4 Award for SME financial accounting (international standards) you need to have:

  • 2 A levels and 3 GCSEs in five separate subjects including maths and English – these are standard entry requirements for UK university study with 2 years’ work experience in a bookkeeping or accounting role.
  • Where you do not meet the minimum entry requirements, please contact the education team.


  • The overall cost of the programme will depend on the mode of study you choose.  However, you will need to pay student fees to IFA.
  • You also need to arrange and pay to sit your exams at a suitable centre. See exam information.


When you successfully complete the IFA Level 4 Award for SME financial accounting (international standards), you may progress to one of the following IFA qualifications depending on your qualifications and accounting and finance experience.

IFA Level 4 Award for SME Tax Advisers

IFA Level 4 Diploma for SME Financial Accountants – this unit provides you with credit towards one of the units required for this qualification.

Further information

For more information contact us.