The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is the UK’s leading professional body offering globally recognised skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications.
If you’re looking to build a career in accountancy or finance, an AAT qualification can help you achieve your goals. AAT qualifications are widely recognised and respected by employers, making them an excellent choice for those looking to start or advance their career.
AAT offers a wide range of qualifications designed to suit the needs of different learners, whether you’re just starting or looking to develop your existing skills.
The qualifications range from level 2 to level 4, providing a flexible and accessible way for individuals to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their chosen field.
With the option to study entirely online, getting AAT qualified and gaining the skills you need to excel in your career is even easier. Online study provides the flexibility to study at your own pace and on your schedule, making it an ideal option for those busy with work or other commitments.
With AAT, you can shape your studies to fit your life and take the first step towards a successful career in accountancy or finance.
Overview Of AAT Courses
AAT offers a number of accounting and bookkeeping courses across three levels: Level 2, Level 3, and Level 4. Each level provides a different level of knowledge and skills, and which course you study will depend entirely on your current accountancy skills and knowledge and your ultimate career plans.
AAT Level 2 is a foundational level, introducing you to accounting practices and essential knowledge such as the principles of bookkeeping controls, how costing works, and the general business environment that accounting sits within.
This level is ideal for those with no accounting or finance experience looking to get their first role in the industry. AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting typically consists of 4 units with four computer-based exams that are sat at an approved AAT exam centre.
AAT Level 3, on the other hand, is designed for those who have completed the Level 2 Certificate or have significant practical experience in accountancy and a strong understanding of double-entry bookkeeping.
This course covers more complex accounting practices such as management accounting techniques, preparing financial statements, tax processes for business, and general business awareness.
Level 3 exams consist of 4 units with four in-person, computer-based assessments at an AAT exam centre. AAT Level 3 diploma in accounting is an excellent option for those already working in the field and looking to progress their career to the next stage.
AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting
The AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting is a beginner-level qualification that gives students a thorough introduction to accounting practices.
This includes essential knowledge such as the principles of bookkeeping controls, costing, and the general business environment that accounting sits within. It is ideal for those with no accounting or finance experience looking to get their first role in the industry.
The course covers four units and includes subjects such as double-entry bookkeeping, basic costing principles, and an introduction to financial statements. The course is assessed by four computer-based exams, which are sat at an approved AAT exam centre.
Obtaining an AAT level 2 certificate in accounting demonstrates that you have the basic knowledge and skills to understand the accounting function and to communicate with colleagues and customers in the accounting profession. It is a great entry point to further study in accounting, either with AAT or other professional bodies.
With the Level 2 certificate, you can apply for entry-level jobs, such as bookkeeping, accounting and finance administrative roles, and further develop your skill set.
AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting
The AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting is the next step after completing the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting.
This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of accounting practices and is best suited for those who have completed the Level 2 Certificate or have significant practical experience in accountancy and a strong understanding of double-entry bookkeeping.
The course covers four units and includes subjects such as advanced double-entry bookkeeping, management accounting techniques, preparing financial statements, and an understanding of business tax processes.
The course is assessed by four computer-based exams, which are sat at an approved AAT exam centre. The level 3 diploma provides the knowledge and skills to perform accounting roles such as credit control, preparing management accounts and tax computations, and communication with colleagues and customers in the accounting profession.
Obtaining the AAT level 3 diploma in accounting demonstrates that you have an advanced understanding of the accounting function and is an essential qualification for those who want to work in roles such as accounting technicians, senior bookkeepers, or finance officers.
The AAT level 3 diploma also provides exemptions with professional bodies like ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW, making it a great stepping stone for those who want to become Chartered Accountants.
AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting
AAT Level 4 is the highest level of AAT qualification. It is ideal for those who plan on taking on a senior accounting role, setting up their accountancy practice, or fast-tracking their qualification to become a Chartered Accountant.
This course is designed to provide advanced knowledge and skills and requires a strong foundation in accounting and finance; typically, the candidate must have completed both level 2 and level 3 before attempting level 4.
The course covers three core units, which include skills and knowledge such as drafting and interpreting financial statements and using applied management accounting and internal accounting systems and controls.
Additionally, you will choose two optional units from a selection: business tax, personal tax, audit and assurance, credit and debit management, and cash and financial management.
Passing level 4 diploma in professional accounting grants automatic membership to AAT, allowing you to further develop your career by applying for MAAT (Full AAT Member) or FMAAT (AAT Fellow) after gaining sufficient work experience.
This qualification can also be your first step to becoming a Chartered Accountant, as it has exemptions with professional bodies like ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW. All the exams of level 4 must be taken at an approved AAT exam centre.
When you complete an AAT course, you will automatically become an affiliate member of AAT. This membership allows you to use the letters AATQB (Associate of the Association of Accounting Technicians) after your name.
It also gives access to benefits such as exclusive events, discounted access to AAT courses and various career resources. As you gain more experience, you can apply to become a full AAT member (MAAT) or AAT Fellow (FMAAT), which further acknowledges your knowledge and expertise in accounting and finance.
AAT Bookkeeping Qualifications
AAT also offers shorter bookkeeping qualifications if you want to develop or master that particular skill. The two most popular bookkeeping qualifications are the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and the AAT Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping.
These qualifications are designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to perform bookkeeping tasks accurately and efficiently.
The AAT Level 2 certificate is an introduction to bookkeeping, providing students with the basic understanding of bookkeeping transactions and double-entry bookkeeping.
The AAT level 3 certificate in bookkeeping, on the other hand, covers advanced bookkeeping skills such as preparing final accounts and understanding the tax system and regulations.
Computer-based exams assess both courses, and as they focus on one specific area they can be completed quicker than the diploma courses, giving students the ability to focus on mastering one specific skill.
In conclusion, studying for an AAT qualification can be a great way to start or further develop a career in accounting and finance.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) offers globally recognised skills-based accountancy and finance qualifications suitable for students with a range of backgrounds and career goals.
Whether you are just starting or are looking to progress in your career, there is an AAT course that will suit your needs.
AAT qualifications offer a flexible study option, with courses available online, allowing students to fit their studies around their personal and professional lives.
The AAT syllabus is also updated regularly to ensure that the course material remains current and relevant to the accounting and finance industry.
In addition, AAT membership provides access to a range of benefits such as exclusive events, discounted access to courses, and career resources, and can be the stepping stone for students who wish to further develop their career in accounting and finance by obtaining exemptions with other professional bodies or becoming a Chartered Accountant.
All of this makes AAT an excellent choice for those looking to start or advance their career in accounting and finance.