Accounting Technicians work in
accounting and finance alongside chartered accountants, in a wide
range of jobs from accounts clerks to credit control officers
to financial managers.
Accounting Technicians work in all sectors of the economy, in
industry and commerce, accountancy practices and the public and
voluntary sectors. Some are self-employed, offering their services
to the general public.
The AAT is the professional body for Accounting Technicians, with
more than 100,000 Members and Students worldwide. Formed in 1980,
it is sponsored by four of the major accountancy bodies in the
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
These organisations provide non-financial support and are represented
on the AAT's Council. They offer fast-track entry or exemptions
into their qualifications to AAT-qualified Students.
Why choose an
is based on real-world knowledge, supported by in-depth expertise.
Its value is so widely known many companies actively seek AAT
qualified staff for their knowledge, skills, diligence and
you to choose how, when and where you study. Training is
flexible, practical and open to everyone - whether you’re
heading for your first job in accounting and finance, seeking a
change of scene, or already work in accounting.
The Education and Training Scheme
The AAT Accounting Qualification is divided into three levels,
each providing you with a new set of skills underpinned by
Each qualification level is made up of several learning and
assessment areas, and at the final level you’ll have the option to
tailor your training. Every level is a qualification in its own
right, and completing the final level leads to the full AAT
You don’t need previous qualifications or experience to study with
us, but if you have them you could begin at a higher level. AAT
Skillcheck is a short online test which evaluates your skills and
knowledge, and recommends a starting level which you can talk
through with your chosen training provider.
About AAT qualification levels
Level 1 of the AAT Accounting Qualification is AAT Access
–AAT Access covers the core areas in accounting and finance.
Successful completion of the qualification will help to develop
skills across four learning areas.
Level 2 Certificate in Accounting (Level 5 in Scotland)
At Level 2* you’ll get to know finance administration, including
double-entry bookkeeping, basic costing principles and purchase,
sales and general ledgers. Read the full learning agenda.
* Perfect if: You’re new to finance or looking to brush up your
foundation knowledge and skills
* Approximately equivalent to: GCSE grades A – C, Standard Grades
and Intermediate 2s
Level 3 Diploma in Accounting (Level 6 in Scotland)
At Level 3* you’ll encounter more complex financial processes,
including final accounts for sole traders and partnerships,
reports and returns and professional ethics. Read the full
* Perfect if: you’re looking to develop your intermediate
* Approximately equivalent to: A-Levels or Scottish Highers.
Level 4 Diploma in Accounting (Level 8 in Scotland)
Finally, Level 4* covers financial team leader skills, including
financial statements for limited companies, complex management
accounting tasks, management skills and specialist learning areas.
Read the full learning agenda.
* Perfect if: you’ve progressed through Levels 2 and 3, or you’re
at a more advanced stage in your career and you want a
qualification to give you the confidence and proof that you have
the skills to do the job.
* Approximately equivalent to: the first year of an honours
long it takes to qualify
learning to suit your lifestyle
One of the
great things about AAT qualifications is the flexibility. You
can study full-time, part-time, from home or online - so how
long you take to qualify is up to you.
in less than three years
three levels to the AAT Accounting Qualification, and you can
expect to spend around a year on each level - so if you start at
Level 2, it’ll take you three years to qualify. But if you have
previous experience, you could qualify in two years or less.
You can also
take a study break for up to three years - although for any
longer period, you may be required to retake parts of the
Build a study
plan for success
In terms of
how much time you need to devote to learning, you should plan to
spend three hours a week outside of class for each learning and
assessment area, increasing your study time in the run-up to
assessments when you’re revising. Don’t forget, you can also
draw on a wealth of study and membership support from AAT.
All you need
is an aspiration to achieve - AAT only ask that you’re confident
with numbers and that you can complete assessments and written
projects in English. If you do have any relevant school or
college qualifications - a degree or some accounting experience
- these will be helpful. If you can show competency in some
skills, you might even be able to start with AAT at a higher
Start your future in accounting
Are you ready to start studying
for an AAT qualification? Your next step to find an AAT approved
training provider that sounds right for you then contact them to
talk about your course options. To prepare for this, complete
online AAT Skillcheck questionnaire.
Take the AAT Skillcheck to find
out which starting level is best for you
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