If you’re looking to start a career in finance as a bookkeeper or accountant, or you simply want to get better with numbers, you’ve likely come across AAT courses.
Like many educational courses, they are designed to advance your skills. Depending on the courses you complete, they can even position you perfectly for an entirely new career.
Though, with multiple courses offered at various levels that aim to achieve different goals, it can be hard to know which AAT course is right for you. Especially if you already have experience in finance, or are naturally skilled with numbers and equations and aren’t sure where you should start.
To help, we’ve listed the AAT courses available for different purposes, as well as the levels you can complete.
What is an AAT Course?
Before choosing the AAT course that’s most suited to you, it’s helpful to understand exactly what an AAT course is and how it will help your career.
AAT courses are provided by The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the UK’s leading qualification and membership body for vocational accountants. Their courses are designed to provide you with essential skills for the industry, so you are ready to embrace real world financial processes once you qualify.
There are many reasons AAT courses are so popular, though their renowned quality is arguably the most important. With over 35 years of experience and more than 80,000 active learners studying with them every year, the AAT award 80% of all vocational accounting and finance qualifications in the UK.
Their reputation extends overseas, with their qualifications being internationally recognised. You can also achieve professional status through AAT qualifications, which allows you to use designatory letters after your name. So, not only can you learn desirable financial skills and become employed anywhere around the globe, you can align yourself with senior roles directly through the AAT.
What AAT Course Should I Do?
This completely depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re looking to become an accountant, the courses you should take differ from those you should take if you’re looking to upskill for your role or move towards a career as a bookkeeper.
Your options are:
AAT Accounting Courses
There are various courses you can take with the AAT to become an accountant. No matter if you have little to no experience, prior qualifications or you’re already on the path to accountancy, you can start at the level that suits your ability.
Ideal for you if you are brand new to accountancy. This foundation certificate is the first of many available qualifications and it gives you all the skills needed for junior and entry-level roles. It takes you through bookkeeping transactions and controls, the elements of costing and the use of accounting software.
Afterwards, you will be able to handle your own business finances or start managing client books in entry-level accounting roles.
Perfect for those with some experience in accountancy processes. This Level 3 Advanced Diploma will challenge you with more complex tasks and help you become proficient in advanced subjects. You will explore modules like accounting principles and concepts, advanced bookkeeping and final accounts.
With this knowledge and qualification level, you can take on more senior roles and be eligible for AAT Bookkeeper (AATQB) status.
The highest level of accounting qualification offered by the AAT. Through this Level 4 Professional Diploma, you can achieve full AAT membership and professional MAAT status. This is because you learn how to master complex accounting theory, complete advanced tasks like drafting financial statements for limited companies and recommend strategies around accounting systems.
You can also specialise in two subjects out of the below options:
- Business Tax
- Personal Tax
- Auditing and Assurance
- Cash and Financial Management
- Credit and Debt Management
After which, you can secure more advanced roles like an Assistant Financial Accountant, Commercial Analyst or Indirect Tax Manager, or you can go onto study as a Chartered Accountant.
AAT Bookkeeping Courses
Like the AAT accounting courses, there are different levels of bookkeeping courses on offer through the AAT. These can help you handle your own business finances better or help you kickstart a career in bookkeeping.
This course is for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of finances or start a new career as a bookkeeper. By exploring essential topics like double-entry bookkeeping, calculating sales invoices and credit notes, you will be far more familiar with the best way to manage business transactions.
You can then use this qualification to secure roles like a Clerical Assistant, Trainee Bookkeeper or Accounts Clerk.
This is the highest level of bookkeeping qualification offered by the AAT and is excellent preparation for positions like Senior Bookkeeper or Ledger Manager. Through this advanced certificate, you will confidently be able to carry out complex bookkeeping transactions. This is because you will overcome challenging subjects such as advanced bookkeeping, final accounts preparation, and indirect tax.
AAT CPD Courses
Also known as AAT Essentials courses, these short courses are perfect for anyone looking to give their career a boost by gaining new skills that will help them in their role. This could be as a finance professional, business owner or in a non-finance-related position that will benefit from this knowledge.
You could study:
Gain skills that allow you to effectively monitor performance and identify problem areas. You will learn how to prepare budgets, make informed budgeting decisions and appropriately communicate financial information to banks and business partners. With this qualification, you will be able to confidently produce cash flow forecasts and use budgets as a control mechanism through divisional performance.
Learn how to prepare a cash budget, manage cash flows and evaluate their performance. You will also know how to expand your cash assets using debtor management and will recognise the importance of cash flow management within a business.
There are many roles outside of finance that require you to have financial knowledge. That’s where this course comes in as it can help you gain the key financial skills required for a number of roles. You will learn how to understand and interpret financial statements, different ways to use data to measure a company’s performance, the differences between profit and cash and how to use budgets to manage business activity.
So, no matter your finance-related learning goal, there’s an AAT course to suit.
What’s the Best Place to do AAT Courses?
Another massive benefit to completing AAT courses, besides their renowned quality, is the many ways in which you can study them.
The AAT recognise that people who want to study their courses aren’t always in a position to go back into full-time classroom study. That’s why the AAT deliver their courses through a host of approved training providers across the globe.
This means it’s possible to study the AAT course you want in a way that suits you, because the best place to do AAT courses will differ depending on each person’s capacity to study. A stay-at-home parent will likely have to learn at a different time in the day to someone who works full-time, for instance.
So, if you need to study full or part-time, at home or in a classroom, or through a combination of both, there’s a course provider to suit.
Just make sure your course provider is AAT approved, like learndirect, and you can choose the best one for you.
Study AAT Courses Online with learndirect
If you’re ready to take the next step in your financial education and prefer the idea of fully flexible learning, study your AAT courses online with learndirect.
This gives you the most freedom to fit your course around your lifestyle as the materials are based completely online. That way, you can log on whenever you’re ready to study, whether that’s first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night.
Find out more about the AAT course that’s right for you by speaking with our Course Executives. They can run you through each of the options and help you determine the best place to start.