Level 4 International Finance and Administration Qualifications

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Students who successfully complete the Level 4 International Finance and Administration Qualifications are eligible for free affiliateship. Continue to benefit from the knowledge and support of our governance and compliance community.

Summary

Our Level 4 International Finance and Administration suite of qualifications provide regulatory knowledge and skills of the offshore business environment and trust and company law. You also have the opportunity to specialise in subjects such as Accounting and Investment, enabling you to tailor your qualification to meet your career needs. Level 4 is set at the level of a first year undergraduate degree. Level 4 forms part of a suite of qualifications in international finance that ICSA offers. Scroll down to read more about course structures, costs and more.

Entry Requirements

No prior knowledge is required for new students signing on to any of our Level 4 IFA qualifications.

Course Structure

The Level 4 International Finance and Administration suite contains four qualifications to choose from:

  • Level 4 Award in International Finance and Administration
  • Level 4 Subsidiary Certificate in International Finance, Accounting and Administration
  • Level 4 Subsidiary Certificate in International Finance, Investment and Administration
  • Level 4 Certificate in International Finance and Administration

There are three subjects available to study within the qualifications:

  • Core Modules (compulsory) covering the offshore business environment and trust and company law
  • Accounting (optional specialist)
  • Investment (optional specialist)

You can top up with further optional specialist modules at any time to work towards a larger qualification.

See the content of each module in the Syllabus section.

Certificate


Successfully completing all modules available in the programme would give you a Level 4 Certificate in International Finance and Administration. Successful completion of the Certificate also allows you to use the post-nominals CertICSA after your name. This qualification is also the best value as you save £100 compared to taking each subject separately.

Core Modules Accounting Investment

Subsidiary Certificate


Successfully completing the following modules would give you a Level 4 Subsidiary Certificate in International Finance [Accounting or Investment] and Administration.

Core Modules Accounting or Investment

Award


Successfully completing the core modules only would give you a Level 4 Award in International Finance and Administration.

Core Modules

Syllabus

You can see the content covered by each module below. For full details please download the full course syllabus available here.

Core Modules

1. Introducing Offshore Finance Centres

Total study time 15 hours

This module introduces fundamental topics and issues in the offshore financial services industry, and the types of products and services offered by providers.

The following topics are covered:

  • The offshore financial environment
  • Uses and users of offshore centres
  • Trust and company products and services
  • Trust and company administration
  • Offshore insurance services
  • Offshore legal services
  • Offshore tax services
  • Investment business services

2. The Legal Environment in the Offshore Financial Services Sector

Total study time 30 hours

This module highlights the importance of English law in offshore jurisdictions, and the difference between common law and civil law jurisdictions. The module will also examine the elements required to form a binding contract, how to identify a breach of contract and the resulting consequences, followed by some of the potential remedies available when a breach of contract has been identified.

The following topics are covered:

  • Introducing English law
  • Trust law
  • Legislation
  • Trust and company administration
  • Case law
  • Contract law

3. Taxation in Offshore Finance Centres

Total study time 30 hours

This module examines the complexity of taxation and the need for expert tax advice by covering the main types of taxes that affect individuals and entities such as companies, trusts, partnerships and foundations.

The following topics are covered:

  • Introduction to taxation
  • Types of taxes
  • Taxation
  • Trust and company administration
  • Avoiding/evading paying tax

4. Banking in Offshore Finance Centres

Total study time 30 hours

This module covers the banking services provided from within offshore centres, the reasons for using offshore bank accounts, how to choose an offshore bank and the drawbacks of banking offshore.

The following topics are covered:

  • Bank accounts
  • Payment methods
  • Payment systems
  • Offshore banking services
  • The offshore banking sector

5. Regulation and Supervision of Offshore Finance Centres

Total study time 45 hours

This module covers the regulation of financial services and the role of the regulator in both the UK and offshore centres. It looks at data protection issues, criminal insider dealing legislation, market abuse, money laundering and anti-money laundering (AML) initiatives, and concludes with the principles of customer due diligence.

The following topics are covered:

  • Regulation in the financial services sector
  • Data protection
  • Insider dealing
  • Market abuse
  • Raising standards and the regulation of offshore financial services
  • Money laundering
  • Anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) initiatives
  • AML and CFT frameworks in offshore centres

6. Creating a Valid Trust

Total study time 50 hours

This module examines the significance of English law and how the main trust law in offshore centres is based on this. This is followed by how to create and administer a valid trust and the parties involved in this process.

The following topics are covered:

  • Trust law
  • Creating a trust
  • The parties to a trust
  • Features of different types of trusts

7. Companies and Company Law

Total study time 75 hours

This module covers what a company is, its main features and how it can be financed.

The following topics are covered:

  • Features of a company
  • Members, directors, secretary and auditor
  • Company incorporation
  • Shares and share capital
  • Company meetings and resolutions
  • Winding up companies

8. Other Vehicles and Trust and Company Administration

Total study time 25 hours

This module covers the key terms used within the trust company business sector and trust company business services provided by offshore service providers.

The following topics are covered:

  • The range of entities available in offshore centres
  • Trust and company administration
  • The role of the trust and company administrator
  • Shares and share capital

Optional Group A specialist modules – Accounting

9. The Accounting Environment

Total study time 40 hours

This module introduces the concept and purpose of accounting and how the production of accounting information assists decision making. It looks at how businesses identify, collect, measure, record, summarise and communicate the financial aspects of their activities.

The following topics are covered:

  • Accounting principles
  • Financial statements
  • The accounting regulatory framework
  • Accounting concepts

10. Recording Financial Information

Total study time 40 hours

How do accountants record the financial position of a business? This module looks at the accounting equation that underpins the process and structure of accounting and financial statements, followed by the outputs from business transactions.

The following topics are covered:

  • The accounting equation
  • Classifying capital, assets and liabilities
  • Financial statements
  • Reporting business transactions
  • Double-entry bookkeeping

11. Accounting Controls

Total study time 40 hours

How do accountants record the financial position of a business? This module looks at the accounting equation that underpins the process and structure of accounting and financial statements, followed by the outputs from business transactions.

The following topics are covered:

  • Adjustments made to ledger account balances before preparing financial statements
  • Accounting for fixed (non-current) assets
  • Internal controls within the doubleentry bookkeeping system
  • Reporting business transactions

12. Reporting and Analysing Financial Information

Total study time 40 hours

This module covers the content and purpose of financial statements for sole traders, limited companies and not-for-profit organisations. It looks at how to use accounting ratios to interpret the information in financial statements and to communicate financial information to end users in a meaningful way.

The following topics are covered:

  • Adjustments made to ledger account balances before preparing financial statements
  • Accounting for fixed (non-current) assets
  • Internal controls within the double-entry bookkeeping system
  • Reporting business transactions

Optional Group B specialist modules – Investment

13. The Investment Scene

Total study time 40 hours

Save or invest? This module looks at the differences between savings and investment products and examines the investment market in light of the 2007–08 credit crisis and the resulting global recession

The following topics are covered:

  • Save or invest?
  • Savings and investment products
  • Managing savings and investments
  • Economic statistics relevant to investment
  • The business cycle
  • Supply and demand
  • The perfect market theory

14. Company Formation and Value

Total study time 40 hours

This module covers the different company types and how companies finance their overall operations and growth by using different sources of funds and different strategies, such as mergers and acquisitions.

The following topics are covered:

  • UK company structures
  • Capital structure
  • Securities markets
  • Sources of information available to assess the value of share prices

15. Markets, Foreign Exchange and Derivative Products

Total study time 40 hours

This module begins by looking at the role, operation and regulation of stock markets and trading platforms, the procedures around dealing and settlement requirements, and the importance of counterparties.

The following topics are covered:

  • Dealing on a regulated market
  • Dealing platforms
  • Settlement
  • Derivatives
  • Money markets
  • Foreign exchanges

16. Bonds and Investments

Total study time 40 hours

This module covers fixed-interest securities (also known as fixed-income securities) such as bonds, corporate bonds and Eurobonds.

The following topics are covered:

  • Principles of bonds
  • Government bonds (gilts)
  • Corporate bonds
  • Eurobonds
  • Risks involved in investing in bonds
  • Collective investment schemes

The eight Core Modules are assessed via one, three hour examination. Each group of optional specialist modules is assessed via one 90 minute examination. There are a total of three examinations available in the Level 4 suite of IFA qualifications.

Assessment

The IFA Level 4 suite of qualifications contains the following examination requirements.

  • Level 4 Award – one examination 
  • Level 4 Subsidiary Certificate – two examinations 
  • Level 4 Certificate – three examinations 

Exams are held at our regional centres and take place in June and November each year.

Sample exam papers and suggested answers are available for each module below:

Timetable

The next available exam sessions are Tuesday 28 November to Friday 1 December 2017 and Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 June 2018.

Core modules 3 hours writing time – Specialist modules (Accounting and Investment) 1.5 hours writing time

Timetable
Local timeTuesdayWednesday
Morning session 9.15 start Accounting Core modules
Afternoon session 13.30 start Investment

Regulator Recognition

The Jersey Financial Services Commission recognises these programmes as Table 5 qualifications.

The Isle of Man’s Financial Services Authority has included the new qualifications in its Training and Competence Framework to acknowledge that the qualifications can be relevant, to the demonstration of competence, for individuals being appointed to key person roles.

Support and Study Options

As an ICSA student you will receive:

  • E-text books covering all modules you choose to study
  • Access to sample examination papers, past papers, mark schemes and other study materials via MyICSA, the secure area of our website for ICSA students and members
  • A comprehensive study skills book
  • Free study skills and exam techniques webinars.

Many students also choose to make use of extra tuition through one of our registered tuition providers. Our registered tuition providers offer different options to suit your situation and your budget, including distance learning, face-to-face classes and blended learning.

Meet our registered tuition providers.

Cost

The fee for an ICSA Level 4 International Finance and Administration qualification starts at £1,000.

This covers:

  • Registration and certification fees
  • Exam entry (this is time-limited)
  • ICSA student membership throughout your course
  • Syllabus and sample assessment materials
  • All required study texts
  • Free study skills and exam techniques webinars
  • ICSA affiliateship for one year upon successful completion of your qualification.
Fees summary
IFA Level 4 Certificate (best value)
All modules (3 exams) £1,500
IFA Level 4 Subsidiary Certificate
Core Modules + Accounting Modules (2 exams) £1,250
Core Modules + Investment Modules (2 exams) £1,250
IFA Level 4 Award
Core Modules only (1 exam) £1,000
Qualification top up fees
Add Accounting (4 modules - 1 exam) £300
Add Investment (4 modules - 1 exam) £300
Add Accounting AND Investment (8 modules - 2 exams) £500
Other fees
Postponement fee £75
Resit fee £150
Late exam entry (up to five days after closing date) £100
Extra late exam entry (more than five days after closing date) £200
Exam script report £80

Free affiliateship

Students who successfully complete the Level 4 International Finance and Administration are eligible for free affiliateship to the level of the qualification.

  • Certificate in International Finance and Administration - one year
  • Subsidiary Certificate in International Finance, Investment and Administration - six months
  • Subsidiary Certificate in International Finance, Accounting and Administration - six months
  • Award in International Finance and Administration - six months

Continue to benefit from the knowledge and support of our governance and compliance community.

Next Steps and Contact

If you have any questions about ICSA qualifications please contact our Student Support team, call +44 (0)20 7580 4741 or contact us

Register

To register for an ICSA Level 4 qualification in International Finance and Administration, simply read our Rules and Regulations, then apply online below and pay by credit or debit card. You will need to attach scanned copies any relevant qualification certificates as part of your application. 

IFA Award registration form

IFA Certificate registration form

IFA Subcertificate Accounting registration form

IFA Subcertificate Investment registration form

IFA 4 exam resit form

IFA 4 qualifications top up form

Register now 

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