How to get started with AAT

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Studying AAT is the perfect way to kickstart your accountancy career. Whether you’re new to accounting or you’re looking to take your skills to the next level, an AAT qualification can pave the way for a rewarding and successful career.

From school leavers to career changes, anyone can study AAT. Although you don’t need any previous experience or qualifications to begin studying, it can be difficult to know which course is best for you.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together this guide which covers everything you need to know about getting started with AAT.

What is AAT?

Before diving into the details about each level, here’s a quick overview of the AAT qualification.

AAT is the abbreviation for The Association of Accounting Technicians. It’s one of the most popular and desirable accounting qualifications available. AAT has three levels: Foundation, Advanced and Professional. There are also two AAT bookkeeping courses that you can take separately.

Setting up for AAT success

Signing up to study AAT is one of the best ways to launch your accountancy career. It’s a flexible qualification that accommodates various knowledge, experience and skill levels. So to reach your full potential it’s important that you start at the right place.

To get started let’s take a look at the requirements for each course.

AAT Foundation Certificate (Level 2)

The Foundation Certificate is ideal for those who have never studied accountancy before. The introductory course covers the foundations of accountancy. You’ll learn about topics such as double-entry bookkeeping, costing and financial statements.

You don’t need any prior accountancy experience to study the Foundation Certificate. You’ll only need basic maths, IT and English skills. As well as an eagerness to learn.

The qualification is graded through a combination of unit assessments and one synoptic exam. To pass the course you must score at least 70% in each unit and synoptic assessment.

On average it takes people around 6-12 months to finish the course. Once you’ve completed this level you could earn a salary of up to £23,000 per year*, and work in a range of finance roles including accounts payable clerk, payroll administration and finance assistant.

AAT Advanced Diploma (Level 3)

The Advanced Diploma takes your knowledge from Level 2 one step further. In this course, you’ll get to grips with sophisticated accounting techniques and disciplines including financial processes, advanced bookkeeping and ethical practices.

Ideally, you would study the Advanced Diploma after passing the Foundation Certificate. However, you can start at Level 3 if you meet the eligibility requirements. For example, you may be exempt from Level 2 if you’re already working in accounting or if you have relevant A Levels.

Once again the qualification is graded through a combination of unit assessments and a synoptic exam. To complete the course you must achieve at least 70% in each unit and the synoptic assessment.

Typically students finish the course within 6-12 months. Upon completion you can earn up to £25,000 per year** and secure a job as a finance office, advanced bookkeeper or assistant accountant.

AAT Professional Diploma (Level 4)

The Professional Diploma is the final level of the AAT qualification. To study the Professional Diploma you will need to have completed AAT Level 3.

During this course, you’ll take a closer look at complex topics such as management accounting, accounting systems and tax. Level 4 has 4 compulsory subjects/assessments. You can study two optional subjects

The Professional Diploma is also graded through unit assessments and one synoptic exam. To finish the course you must score at least 70% in each unit and the synoptic assessment.

In most cases, it takes 12-18 months to complete the course. Once you’re fully qualified you can earn up to £42,500 per year*** and start an exciting career as a forensic accountant, finance analyst or accountancy consultant.

Start your AAT journey today

At Eagle we’ve made it easier than ever for you to get started with AAT. From just £45 per month you can unlock all the tools, resources and support you need to enhance your accountancy career.

As a subscriber you’ll get instant access to all course levels, giving you the freedom to progress at your own pace. Study how, when and wherever you like to balance your learning with social, work and life commitments.

It’s quick, easy and free to get started. Study AAT free for 7 days to see if it’s for you.