IFA Level 4 Diploma for SME Financial Accountants

Key facts

  • Suitable for: you if you are already supporting accountants or finance managers or if you wish to work in the accounting and finance field
  • Level: Level 4
  • Mode of study: self-study using study materials and past exam papers. 
  • Length of study: approximately 12-18 months of study or 600 hours or learning.


The IFA Level 4 Diploma for SME financial accountants is for you if you aspire to or who already support accountants or finance managers in an SME.  It is also for you if you work in an accounting practice that supports SME clients. It provides a first step to qualifying as a professional financial accountant.

Course content

This is a highly vocational first-step qualification for financial accountants and managers.  Its focus is on developing the essential understanding and skills you need, and provides awareness of the accountancy and tax regulatory environment, the operational requirements for the accounting and finance function and what is expected of a professional accountant at work.

The Level 4 Diploma includes four mandatory examined units:


The four units are assessed by exam. Each exam is three hours long and is made up of short and long answer questions. Exam questions include computations, preparation and interpretation of financial information also organisational and people aspects of working in accounting and finance. The exams sittings are in June and December.  

Entry requirements

To study the IFA Level 4 Diploma for financial accountants you need to have:

  • Two A levels and three GCSEs in five separate subjects including maths and English – these are standard entry requirements for UK university study with two years ‘work experience in a bookkeeping or accountancy role.


  • Level 3 Bookkeeping or Accountancy qualification.

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 for more information.


When you successfully complete the IFA Level 4 Diploma for financial accountants, you may progress to the IFA Level 5 Diploma IFA level 5 Diploma for SME financial managers.

Further information

For more information contact us.