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A profession that will always be needed

There is global demand for qualified Accounting Technicians as the accounting function is the cornerstone of all businesses. The profession gives you a wide choice of careers within the smallest local businesses to large multinationals, public sector organisations and charities. Once AAT qualified, many people opt to set up their own businesses providing bookkeeping and accountancy services.

Accounting work is varied, interesting, challenging and gives great job satisfaction. Becoming AAT qualified will give you a wide variety of transferrable knowledge and skills and will enable you to fast track to the top and earn an excellent salary. Accounting skills are also very useful for managers working in other professions, as they often have a degree of financial responsibility.

Organisations around the world will always require AAT accounting professionals.

In the current economic climate all job markets are competitive. The advantage of holding an AAT qualification is that you can provide evidence to potential employers and/or clients that you have completed an AAT course and have been tested on your skills and abilities. You can provide them with confidence that you can process transactions accurately and help them prepare final accounts and reports so they can make important business decisions. You’re maximising the opportunity of them investing in you because you’ve invested in yourself!

Michael Jones

I changed career and I now work in the finance department for a major travel company. Without the AAT qualification I wouldn’t have got that job, it was a necessity to get that role.

Michael Jones

What is a Bookkeeper?

A Bookkeeper usually has responsibility for managing most of the record keeping for smaller sized businesses. Bookkeeping is the term used to describe the process of recording day to day business transactions in an accounting system. The focus is mainly on financial accounting which is concerned with accurately recording business transactions to provide historic accounting records and reports for users of that information. They may use manual or computerised bookkeeping systems, or a combination of both. Bookkeepers may be employed or self-employed managing the bookkeeping records for multiple clients.

Bookkeepers also work in larger businesses. However, large volumes of transactions need to be processed by teams of people so bookkeeping duties are segregated.

The following job roles also carry out bookkeeping duties:

  • Sales or purchase ledger clerk
  • Accounts receivable or payable clerk
  • Credit control assistant
  • Payroll assistant
  • Accountants assistant
  • Finance assistant
  • Accounts administrator
  • Reconciliation assistant

Qualified bookkeepers are likely to work in the following areas:

  • Processing sales transactions
  • Processing purchase transactions
  • Banking
  • VAT
  • Reconciliations
  • Stock control
  • Credit control
  • Payroll processing
  • Presenting reports
  • Preparing financial accounts

How much you could earn

Many factors affect salary such as qualifications, experience, the size and type of business and geographical location. There are many recruitment websites and salary surveys online where you can view how much you could potentially earn.

In the following roles there is the potential to earn:

Processing roles £14,000 - £20,000
Supervisory roles £17,000 - £28,000
Managerial roles £25,000 - £38,000

Suitable qualifications

AAT Level 2 Courses AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting
AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping
AAT Level 2 Foundation Award in Accounting Software (Sage)
AAT Level 3 Courses AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting
AAT Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping

Having work experience will provide an additional advantage in the employment market. However all of the above qualifications will help you obtain entry level jobs into the accounting profession.

Elaine Humphreys

After redundancy Elaine decided a career change was needed. Her qualifications gave her the confidence to establish her own bookkeeping business.

I can’t describe how much of an achievement it feels to be able to pass exams and be on a new career path having been out of the education system for so long. All in all my learning experience with eagle was very positive, sometimes challenging but very rewarding.

Elaine Humphreys

Gain
professional
recognition

AATQB

Once AAT Level 3 qualified you can apply for professional recognition and use the letters AATQB after your name as well as become an AAT Licensed Bookkeeper.

What is an Accounting Technician?

Qualified Accounting Technicians have a much broader range of knowledge, skills and abilities. They are qualified to work in a wider range of job roles in both financial and management accounting functions.

Many AAT qualified people work in very well rewarded senior roles in global blue chip corporate giants, public sector institutions and not for profit organisations. For many the attraction of qualifying is becoming an entrepreneur and establishing their own business offering bookkeeping and accountancy services.

Financial accounting provides historical records to comply with legislation; management accounting is concerned with strategic planning and being involved with making sound business decisions that affect the organisation’s future. Past and present performance is continuously evaluated so that the organisation’s business operations can be carefully planned and controlled.

Qualified accounting technicians can work as bookkeepers but are also skilled in other areas:

Financial accounting

  • Bookkeeping duties
  • Financial accounts preparation
  • Taxation
  • Auditing
  • Reporting and communicating
  • Systems management

Management accounting

  • Budget setting
  • Cost control
  • Strategic planning
  • Performance evaluation
  • Investment appraisal
  • Systems management

How much you could earn

Many factors affect salary such as qualifications, experience, the size and type of business and geographical location. There are many recruitment websites and salary surveys online where you can view how much you could potentially earn.

In the following roles there is the potential to earn:

Processing roles/accounts assistant £14,000 - £20,000
Management accounting/audit/taxation type roles £20,000 - £30,000
Supervisory/managerial roles £25,000 - £38,000

Suitable qualifications

AAT Level 2 Course AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate in Accounting
AAT Level 3 Course AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting
AAT Level 4 Course AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting

Having work experience will provide an additional advantage in the employment market. However all of the above qualifications will help you obtain entry level jobs into the accounting profession.

Lee Webster, LBW Chartered Accountants

I left school at the age of 16 to study AAT as I wanted to be an accountant. I’m now a Chartered Certified Accountant running a successful accounting practice with large numbers of AAT qualified employees. I use the AAT qualification to recruit and train my employees as it adds significant value to my business.

Lee Webster, LBW Chartered Accountants

Gain
professional
recognition

MAAT

Once AAT Level 4 qualified you can apply for professional recognition and use the letters MAAT after your name as well as apply to be an AAT Licensed Accountant if offering accounting services on a self-employed basis.

Chartered Certified Accountants can work at the top

To work right at the top and maximise your earning potential you can qualify as a Chartered Certified Accountant or a Chartered Management Accountant. Accountants work in all fields of management, business and finance. Usually at professional level, people tend to specialise in either financial or management accounting.

The Association of Accounting Technicians’ qualification prepares you well for professional studies. Most awarding bodies provide accounting technicians with exemptions from the first stage of their qualifications.

How much you could earn

To secure a part-qualified Chartered Accountant job role relevant work experience is generally essential.

Vacancies are usually advertised in the £20,000 - £30,000 salary bracket.

`Part-qualified` usually refers to people who are progressing through a Chartered Accounting qualification. Qualified Chartered Accountants can earn £25,000 - £50,000 plus.

Suitable qualifications

Qualifications that prepare you to become a qualified Chartered Accountant:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

To become a qualified Chartered Accountant you will need around 3 years’ practical accounting experience in specific areas, as well as achieving successful exam results.

Sonya Ashbarry, FMAAT

Undertaking professional studies needs careful consideration. Ideally people should have work experience, a clear career plan and the support of an employer so that they are able to fulfil the work experience requirements for qualification. For many, just like me, it’s really not necessary to become a Chartered Accountant to enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career!

Sonya Ashbarry, FMAAT

Choosing the right path

You will stand out in a competitive employment market if you demonstrate to employers that you have a carefully thought out career plan. Obtaining the highest qualification as quickly as possible with limited work experience is unlikely to land a dream job! Indeed, it could result in employers considering people to be over qualified and under experienced for the positions that they’re applying for.

A career plan involves:

  • A self-assessment: carefully consider who you are, what’s important to you, what motivates and drives you, what skills and experience you have
  • Doing research: look at the characteristics of various job roles, consider whether that job role may suit you and your personal circumstances, what are the expectations of employers for that type of job?
  • Preparing an action plan: map out your journey, where are you now, where do you want to be, what do you need to do to get there?
  • Take action: it’s essential that you identify the relevant training course and qualification that will help you close the gap, as well as consider how you will obtain work experience to enable you to progress up the career ladder.
  • Review your progress: It’s helpful to consider your career as a journey which takes time and requires determination, patience and persistence. A career plan is not set in stone and should be reviewed continuously. Be flexible and be prepared to try new approaches and adjust your plan if necessary.
Businessman holding up paper covered with question marks

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It can feel quite daunting choosing a training course and qualification that’s right for you. We would be delighted to be able to assist you. Please complete the form below and one of our qualified mentors will call you to discuss options available to you.





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