Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

Read below for answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Where can I find advice about getting started with accountancy training?

For advice on how to get started with your accountancy training, please see our Getting started guide and our Guide to qualification pathways. If you have any further questions about getting started please get in touch with our friendly customer services team.

Where can I find course dates and prices for my local study centre or online centre?

To find course dates & prices, first select your study centre then scroll down to ‘course dates & prices’ which is on the left on your study centre’s page. From here you can view the dates & prices PDF document for your qualification and exam sitting. Alternatively, you can use the filters on the Book Now page to view all available courses for your study centre.

Does my course include the exam fee?

AAT, ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW (Professional and Advanced level) courses do not include exam fees. You have the flexibility of booking and paying for your exam at a centre that is conveniently located to you. For ICAEW Certificate exam fees please check with your local study centre. To book an exam at an FI study centre, please visit our CBE booking page.

Can I purchase just the hardcopy materials for self study?

First Intuition can provide AAT self study materials (course notes and question bank) via the self study option on the Book Now page. For all other qualifications you can choose to study via FI Online, FI Online Live or classroom courses, all of which include hardcopy and digital versions of the course notes and question bank. We do not sell our course notes or question banks separately for ACCA, CIMA or ICAEW courses.

What is the difference between a chartered accountant and a management accountant?

Management accountants manage the accounting of finance in a company, whereas chartered accountants give financial reports on a company. The fundamental difference is, a chartered accountant works externally (is a freelancer, or contractor, for example) whereas a management accountant is based within an organisation.

Booking a course or exam

Read below for frequently asked questions related to booking a course or exam.

How do I book a course?

Courses can be booked online or you can download a booking form from your local study centre page to be returned via email. You can also contact your local study centre during open hours to book over the phone.

What if my employer is paying?

If you are a new client you can either book online and pay with a company card, or download a booking form and return it to us via email. Please visit our employer payments page for information on how to book a course if your employer is sponsoring your studies.

How do I book a computer based exam?

To view availability or book an exam with one of our study centres, please visit our CBE booking page.


Here we have put together of list of the most frequently asked question on CIMA and CIMA courses.

What are the four levels of CIMA?

There are four levels to the CIMA qualification: Certificate, Operational, Management and Strategic.

Where are CIMA qualifications recognised?

CIMA is globally recognised. CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants and has a network of over 696,000 finance professionals.

How long is a CIMA course?

Most students will complete the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) qualification within four years.

How do I apply for exemptions?

You may be exempt from certain exams in the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting and CIMA Professional Qualification if you hold a relevant degree or qualification. To find out more, please visit the CIMA website for full information.

What qualifications do I need to study CIMA?

Will you be new to business or accounting studies? If so, you’ll initially need to work towards the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. At this point, you can progress on to the CIMA professional qualification. If you happen to have already studied business or accounting, you may be entitled to exemptions, or there may be an alternative route to entry for you. Get in touch to find out more.

Which is better, CIMA or ACCA?

This is subjective and depends on your desired career path. CIMA is for Management Accountants, whereas ACCA is for Chartered Accounts. Learn more about the difference between ACCA and CIMA. If you are unsure as to which career path is right for you, please enquire directly with the awarding bodies before proceeding.

What is CIMA Unlimited?

CIMA Unlimited is a study package that includes all learning materials, online resources and Online Live course access for your chosen CIMA level, at unbeatable value. Find out more about CIMA Unlimited.

What is the difference in pay between CIMA and ACCA professionals?

This is subjective and depends greatly on location, experience and employer.


We’ve put together of list of the most frequently asked questions about CIMA FLP.

What is CIMA’s CGMA FLP?

The Finance Leadership Programme (FLP) is a digital-first pathway to completing CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification. CGMA FLP includes: 

  • The learning you need to complete the qualification, both competency building and exam preparation, all in one place. 
  • The programme uses an alternative learning and continual assessment model, meaning students will only have the Case Study exams to complete.  The work you do on the platform will gain you “exemptions” from the Objective Test modules at Operational, Management and Strategic level. 
  • All learning, assessments and Case Study exam preparation takes place within the online FLP platform. It follows the same syllabus as CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification. 

Who is CGMA FLP for?

At FI, we think the CGMA FLP programme is best suited to: 

  • Experienced learners – those at mid/high senior levels who have a proven track record of delivering in the workplace, but who would benefit from gaining the qualification and who would not be eligible for an apprenticeship. 
  • Learners who are unable to access the traditional exam route – due to location, technology or personal circumstances. 
  • Learners seeking the flexibility of ongoing assessment and learning, along with excellent Case Study support from a reputable provider.

What’s included in FI’s CGMA FLP subscription?

  • Access to any online CIMA course from FI for 12 months – regardless of what level you’re starting from. 
  • CIMA Membership for the duration of the subscription. 
  • No exam or exemption fees for E, F or P modules. 
  • Access to the CGMA FLP platform to complete the learning for your core modules. 
  • Access to FI’s learning platform (FI Learn), containing around 15 hours of tutor-recorded content per module. (You can sample an FI Online CIMA course with a FREE 14-day demo here). 
  • A kick-off call with an expert tutor to create a CGMA FLP study plan that works for you. 
  • Choose from our Online or Online Live courses for your Case Study and attend a course a second or third time at no extra cost if you need extra help or support. 

Am I eligible for FLP?

Eligibility for CGMA FLP is open to anyone with the relevant academic qualifications to exempt them from Certificate level. Also, all current or lapsed CIMA students at Operational level or above are eligible to transition to CGMA FLP. There is no re-registration fee that needs to be paid to CIMA, as all fees are covered in the bundled CGMA FLP purchase price.  

I'm an apprentice, can I study CGMA FLP with FI?

If you’re on the apprenticeship route, you cannot move over to FLP. 

When are the best times to register for CGMA FLP?

Registration for CGMA FLP can happen any time of the year. 

How will my learning differ from studying via the traditional Exam Only route?

A key difference between the two programmes is how you learn. In the Exam Only study route, you have the flexibility to study with FI and work around your needs, timelines and preferred learning format. In the CGMA FLP, the learning is part of the all-inclusive subscription package and is delivered online in a self-paced e-learning environment. 

Are the Case Study exams the same?

Regardless of which programme you choose (CGMA FLP or the Exam Only route), you’ll take the same Case Study exams, under the exam conditions and to the same standards. All Case Study exams are offered four times per year, administered worldwide via Pearson VUE either in testing centres or online. 

Will I earn the same Awards in the Finance Leadership Programme?

Yes, Awards are the same for both routes. Upon completion of CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification, you will be awarded CIMA membership at either the ACMA or FCMA level. You will also be awarded the CGMA designation. For completing the Operational level or Management level you will earn CIMA’s CGMA Diploma. In addition, Digital Skills Certificates are awarded upon completion of modules in the CGMA FLP. All CIMA students will get the same Diplomas sent via mail when they pass the Operational Case Study Exam or Management Case Study exams. 

How long will my CGMA FLP subscription last?

Your subscription will last for 12 months, from CGMA FLP activation. 

Do FI include hard copy materials and delivery within the price of the FLP subscription?

For CIMA Case Study, you will receive hard copy materials. For CGMA FLP, you won’t need any hard copy materials as you’ll be studying via the CGMA FLP platform, and therefore the studying will be done solely online. 

Can I purchase hard copy materials for FLP?

Unfortunately, we don’t sell books separately for any courses. 

Will the CGMA FLP subscription be included for Pass Guarantee?

The CGMA FLP route is a 12-month subscription and the only exam you would take as a student is the Case Study exam at each level. If you attend the Case Study course and fail the exam, and the next sitting is already within your subscription anyway so you will be able to resit. If you sit your Case Study exam and then fail, and the subscription has ended, you will need to renew your subscription to gain access to the next Case Study course (or purchase the course individually if it’s the final exam you have). 

Who do I get in touch with when I'd like to book CGMA FLP/I have a specific question about CGMA FLP?

Contact the team: 

How much does the CGMA FLP subscription cost?

The CGMA FLP subscription course costs £2,750 + VAT for a 12-month subscription. You’ll pay one price, whatever level you’re studying at. 

Is there a cooling off period?

No, there is no cooling off period for the CGMA FLP subscription. 

I’d like to cancel my CGMA FLP subscription early. Am I eligible for a refund?

We are unable to offer a refund once you’ve purchased your CGMA FLP subscription. 

Am I able to pay in instalments?

We are not initially offering a payment plan. 

Why are FI’s fees lower than CIMA’s fees?

The CGMA FLP product includes the Case Study exam fee, and ours doesn’t. 


We get asked a number of questions about ACCA courses and qualifications. Here is the list of most frequently asked:

What are the minimum entry requirements for ACCA?

To start the ACCA Applied Knowledge Level with First Intuition you must have at least 3 GCSEs (including English and Maths) and 2 A Levels. Find out more about the entry requirements for the ACCA qualification on the ACCA website.

Is an ACCA qualification equivalent to a degree?

Broadly, the first 9 modules of the qualification are the equivalent of a degree. The Professional level is the equivalent of a Masters degree.

How does ACCA differ to CIMA?

ACCA students study to become chartered accountants, whereas CIMA students study to become management accountants. Learn more about the difference between a chartered accountant and a management accountant in our article ACCA or CIMA: Which is better?

What ACCA professional paper is best to take first?

The best module to take can be quite subjective, depending on an individual’s plans for their optional modules. Generally, we recommend starting with Strategic Business Reporting (SBR) before completing your optional modules, then finishing with Strategic Business Leader.

Where are ACCA qualifications recognised?

ACCA is recognised internationally. When you study ACCA, you will have the option to take your career in any direction, in some of the most sought after roles across the world. Find out more about ACCA.

Where can I study ACCA?

ACCA can be studied across the UK in one of FI’s tutor led classrooms, via flexible learning with FI Online or in a virtual classroom environment with Online Live.

Are ACCA exams on demand?

Applied Knowledge modules, and Corporate and Business Law from the Applied Skills level, can be assessed via an on-demand exam. All other exams can be scheduled once per quarter directly with ACCA. Find out more about ACCA exams.

Are ACCA students chartered accountants?

Yes, ACCA stands for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Are ACCA exams open book?

No, ACCA exams are not open book. At First Intuition, we give you the opportunity to take part in revision sessions as well as to take mock exams to ensure you are completely prepared for success in your ACCA exams. Find out more about how to approach the ACCA qualification.

What is ACCA Unlimited?

ACCA Unlimited is a study package that gives you unlimited access to any and every ACCA Online Live and ACCA Online courses available at Knowledge, Applied Skills or Strategic Professional level at unbeatable value. Find out more about ACCA Unlimited.

When is best to start an ACCA course?

You can start studying the ACCA Applied Knowledge level modules at any time, as these exams are on demand. At Applied Skills level, most courses will start towards the beginning of January, April, July and October each year as these modules are set into exam sittings. There are four exam sittings per year: March, June, September and December. Please explore our ACCA programme page to discover start dates across our classroom centres, as well as online and online live courses.


Read below for frequently asked questions related to the AAT qualification.

What is the difference between the different ways of study?

Classroom Visit one of our friendly, modern study centres and attend a tutor led classroom course.

Distance LearningThere are 3 options for Distance Learning, here is a little more information about them all:

The Self-Study option is books only. You will only receive the books for this option. Inside the books you have a study planner, the course notes, task bank, questions bank and mock assessments for you to self-mark. There is no added support with this option.

If you would like more support, the FI Online option is very popular. With this option you will receive the books as above, but you will also have access to an online account. On here you will have pre-recorded lectures which take you through the books chapter by chapter. You can watch these in your own time at your own pace. There will also be extra mocks, course assignments and a tutor who you can contact by phone and email.

The FI Online Live option is the same as the above, but you will also get access to our Live lectures twice a week either in the day or evening via zoom. This course is more structured as you will have a start and end date for the lectures. This option is very similar to the classroom course, but you are learning from home. Let me know if you would like more information about this option and I can send over the timetable.

How much are the exams?

Exam fees vary depending on where you are regionally. Here is a link to find your closest assessment centre, their prices and contact details:

How do I know which level to start at?

Here is the link to our AAT Level Checker Quiz. Once submitted, one of our tutors will mark this and we will let you know which level is best to start at based on your knowledge:

What does AAT Level 2, 3 and 4 consist of?

How much does AAT membership cost and when must I sign up?

AAT fees on Qualifications 2022 (prices correct as of June 2023 but are subject to change)

  • Level 2 Bookkeeping £65
  • Level 3 Bookkeeping £90
  • Level 2 ACC £172
  • Level 3 ACC £225
  • Level 4 ACC £240

We ask that you apply for AAT membership within 4 weeks of signing up to a course with us. You must be an AAT member to sit an exam. Here is a link to the AAT website to book this:

How long does it take to complete a level?

The average student studies 8-10 hours a week and based on this:

  • Level 2 Bookkeeping 2-4 months
  • Level 3 Bookkeeping 6 months
  • Level 2 ACC 6 months
  • Level 3 ACC 9-12 months
  • Level 4 ACC 12-16 months

Do you accept the Advanced Learner Loan?

Unfortunately, we do not accept the Advanced Learner Loan. We do, however, offer our interest-free installments plan for our online courses. Please email if you would like more information about our installment plans.

Do you have an instalment plan?

We have installment plans available for Distance Learning courses, for our full online and online live levels:

We do not offer installment plans to Employers.


How do I set up the interest-free installments?

At your basket, instead of clicking ‘pay in full’ click over to ‘pay another amount’. The cost of the first installment will show up automatically. This will be taken out today and then you will receive an email to set up a direct debit for the remaining balance.


International Enquiries

International students will need to check that there is a local assessment centre where they can sit exams.

We would then need your postal address because there is an extra shipping charge to send books overseas.  Please email your postal address to requesting a quote.  We will email you a shipping quote for you to approve.

AAT optional units – how to decide which ones to study?

One of the most common questions asked to our team is – which AAT optional units should I choose for level 4? It is an important choice for all students on level 4 to make.

How to become a Bookkeeper?

In this article, AAT Tutor of the Year, Nick Craggs discusses the AAT Bookkeeping qualification and the potential job opportunities that an AAT Bookkeeping qualification can bring you.

Careers in Finance: How to become a bookkeeper?


Read below for frequently asked questions related to apprenticeships.

Does First Intuition offer apprenticeships?

First Intuition offers apprenticeship training across several accountancy, leadership and management and digital marketing qualifications. You can find more about our apprenticeship programmes here.

If you are a student looking for an apprenticeship we recommend that you have a look at the Government Apprenticeship Finder Website. Once you are employed in a role, we can speak to your employer about apprenticeship training.

Accessing FI learn

Check here for frequently asked questions related to getting access to your FI learn account.

How do I log into FI Learn?

To log into your FI Learn account and access your online course content, please click here.

My password is not working, who do I contact?

If your password is not working please check you have not picked up an additional space when copying from an email or other source. If that is not the case we recommend you reset your password.

How do I reset my password?

If you need to reset your password you can do so from the FI learn log in page.

Click on the forgotten password link and enter your email or username. You will receive an email with a link to reset you password.

Can I change my details on FI learn?

If you would like your details on FI learn changed please contact your local FI centre and they will be able to update your profile for you.

I have not received log in details to FI learn

If you have booked your first course with FI and have not received an email with a login to FI learn please contact your local FI centre who will be able to help you.

For subsequent course bookings, you will be sent joining instructions and the courses are automatically added to your FI learn account.

My FI learn content

Check here for frequently asked questions about your access to content in FI learn. This includes recommendations on IT compatibility.

My course has disappeared from my Dashboard, can I still access it?

Your course has not been lost! When you complete the course to 100% the course drops off your Dashboard so that your Dashboard stays current. You can still access your course by clicking on the ‘Course Library’ menu item at the top of your FI learn page.


How is the course completion % measured?

Each course will have certain activities within it that are tracked as part of the course completion. These are generally assessment activities such as Question Banks, Test Your Learning Quizzes and Mock exams. If you hover your mouse over the progress bar of a course it will tell you how many activities and what type make up the overall progress.

I am receiving an error when trying to access assessments in FI Learn. What do I do?

It is sometimes possible for your browser settings to interfere with access to assessments. You may be asked to login repeatedly, or may receive a ‘page cannot be found’ error.

The following fix can be tried when using Google Chrome (our recommended browser):

– Go into ‘Settings’

– Click on ‘Privacy and security’

– Click on ‘Cookies and other site data’

– Under ‘General settings’ ensure that ‘Block third-party cookies’ is un-ticked

– Log out of FI Learn, close the browser and log back into FI Learn

You will be able to follow a similar process to allow third-party cookies within other browsers.

How do I check my Online Course test/mock assessment results?

ACCA, CIMA, AAT and ICAEW Certificate Level online courses feature a ‘my results’ tile, which you can click to view your assessment results and feedback. ICAEW Professional and Advanced Level feedback can be viewed by clicking into the assignment itself.

Is my web browser supported?

Totara Learn is written in-line with industry web standards including XHTML, HTML5, and ECMAScript 5.1 (commonly referred to as JavaScript). Totara Learn should work correctly in any browser that supports these standards.

We test our Learning Platform against the following web browsers. Other browsers may likely work, but we cannot guarantee it.

Desktop browsers

  • Chrome: The latest stable release. This is our recommended browser
  • Firefox: The latest stable release.
  • Microsoft edge: The latest stable release.
  • Safari 10.


Mobile browsers

  • iOS Safari 9.
  • Android browser: The latest stable release.
  • Chrome for Android: The latest stable release.

Is my operating system supported?

We test our Learning Platform against the following operating systems. Other systems may likely work, but we cannot guarantee.

  • Windows – Windows, 7, 8 and 10 or later
  • Mac – OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later
  • Linux – 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04 or later, Debian 8 or later, openSUSE 13.1 or later and Fedora Linux 21 or later

I can’t access my video lectures/online content via my work computer

First Intuition uses various features for video, interactive and other learning content. This is designed to be on demand, across the world, 24/7.


In order to be able to access this, you may need to ask that your IT team unblock access for you/your learners.  We appreciate that this is not always straight forward, that it can take time for approval, or indeed might never be permitted due to security restrictions.  If this is the case – don’t worry – there are other options available to you, and we explore these below.

In the meantime, if you are able to, you should request that your IT team whitelist the following domains and all subdomains on your network:


Domain to be whitelisted Purpose
*. Analytics / Reporting




Streaming video delivery

Analytics / Reporting






Live class delivery and progress reviews


Please note we can use Teams or Zoom so only require one of these services to be available




Learning Platform – training delivery and course assessments





Partner services

What are my options if I am having issues accessing content?

If you are unable to access the platform/s, there are a few other options:

  1. Access the platform/s from a different device.
  2. Access the platform from a different server or network.  If the problem exists with your local network, you may be able to log-on in a location with fewer security restrictions on website access, for example, a government office with open access Wifi.
  3. Work from home.  Many of our learners take time out in the week to complete their learning at home.  If this is allowable – then please consider this option, as it is one that most people choose;
  4. First Intuition has learning centres around the country that may be able to offer you a space in which to complete your studies. Please contact a member of our team who can liaise with you to check availability at one of our centres.

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?

If you still have a question related to booking a course or studying with First Intuition, please contact our friendly customer services team.