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What is AAT and what their levels are equivalent to?

What is AAT and what their levels are equivalent to?

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification is gaining significant popularity among students. This is mainly because it is an excellent way of progressing their existing careers or helping them start a new accounting role. AATwork opportunities require students to demonstrate their enthusiasm and grasp of the key elements of accounting to their employers. Read this article to get an insight into the various AAT levels and the job roles that you could take on after qualifying.

What is AAT?

AAT is the UK’s leading professional body that offers accountancy and finance qualifications. It provides students with the career-oriented skills they need to pursue a career in accountancy or work their way up to senior roles within the industry. The practical skills and knowledge provided by the AAT qualifications are recognised internationally and are in high demand among employers worldwide.

What are the AAT qualifications?

AAT qualifications are a great way of enhancing your existing knowledge in accountancy and building on the skills required for a successful career in accountancy and finance. AAT offers a number of courses in accounting which are divided into three levels:

  • AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting (Level 2);
  • AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3);
  • AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4).

What is an AAT qualification equivalent to?

  • Foundation Certificate in Accounting – The Level 2 qualification is equivalent to the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level of study and is perfect for those who have no experience in accountancy or finance. It equips students with essential skills in bookkeeping, costing and using accounting software, which can enable them to apply for entry-level roles such as accounts assistant.
  • Advanced Diploma in Accounting – The Level 3 qualification is equivalent to ‘A Level’ on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and is a more advanced course. It is perfect for those already working in the field of accountancy and have either completed the Foundation Certificate or those who have a strong understanding of double-entry bookkeeping. It will prepare you for mid-level roles such as payroll supervisor or assistant accountant, thereby helping you progress your career to the next stage. 
  • Professional Diploma in Accounting – The Level 4 qualification is equivalent to a HNC level qualification or the first year of a university degree on the QCF and enables you to become an AAT Fellow Member. It teaches students about complex accountancy practices such as drafting financial statements, managing budgets and evaluating financial performance. This course will prepare you for setting up your own firm, taking on a senior accounting role or becoming a chartered accountant.

What are the career opportunities with AAT?

AAT offers a fantastic first step on your journey towards becoming a qualified accountant. Once you have completed the Certificate Level, you will be qualified to apply for range of job opportunities such as:

  • AAT Level 2
    • Accounts payable clerk;
    • Accounts officer;
    • Payroll administrator.
  • AAT Level 3
    • Finance officer;
    • Assistant accountant;
    • Bookkeeper.
  • AAT Level 4
    • Accounts manager;
    • Commercial analyst;
    • Financial accountant.

What can you do after an AAT qualification?

Qualifying from an AAT accountancy course can allow you to choose from a range of accountancy roles in the financial sector. The Level of AAT membership you possess can have an impact on the type of firm that you will be hired by and your average salary.

The higher the standards of your AAT qualification, the greater your professional development and career progression will be. If you want to begin your journey to becoming a qualified accountant, then obtaining an AAT certificate can help you achieve this goal!


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