WHAT is AAT? - Getting an AAT qualification

"The AAT qualification is best pathway for being a Chartered Accountant.AAT level 4 Advanced Diploma in Accountancy will give you exemptions."

AAT is a designation that companies trust. Professionals love AAT qualifications as it proves you have the practical accounting skills a company need. In this article, a brief description of AAT and AAT qualification is given. AAT levels and career path is defined briefly. This helps to account-related professionals and students to learn about AAT qualifications and chose the best.

What is AAT qualification?

AAT Qualification

AAT stands for “Association of Accounting Technicians”. AAT qualification is one of the most standard accounting qualifications. AAT headquartered is in London, was established in the year 1980. It is a membership-based organization that offers accounting and finance qualifications worldwide. AAT professionals are armed with skills that can aid them secure senior positions in top organizations or run their firms. This membership supposes all its members to:

  • Comply with AAT rules and regulations
  • Keep skills and capability up-to-date
  • Establish AAT as crucial for people, businesses and organizations
  • Offer high standard qualifications
  • Promote the expertise of professionals and spread awareness about AAT
  • Offer training and proficient development to help professionals

AAT Levels:

AAT is one of the most approved accounting qualifications. It is made up of three levels: Foundation, Advanced, and Professional, each of which takes some time to complete. AAT Level 1 is the initial level and no exams required. You may start AAT Level 2 without appearing in AAT Level 1 given that you have necessary numeracy skills.

What Is AAT Qualification

AAT level 2:

The AAT Level 2 Certificate will deliver you with a complete introduction to the fundamental principles of accounting. You will acquire how to work with manual and computerized accounting systems such as Sage, Xero, and Payroll software.

AAT level 3:

The Advanced Diploma builds on your understanding added at Foundation Certificate in Accounting-level 2. AAT Level 3 Diploma is the advance level of the AAT Qualification; taking you one step closer to full Accounting Expert status. The qualification is suitable for those in a junior accountancy role.

AAT level 4:

The AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting is the most advanced level on the AAT qualification route. It covers a variety of professional accounting jobs from drafting financial reports to managing budgets. You will also be able to focus on areas such as tax, auditing, and credit control. Once you’ve accomplished the Professional Diploma, you will be a fully-qualified accounting specialist.

Level 2- Foundation certificate

Level 3- Advanced diploma

Level 4 – Professional diploma 

Ideal for beginners

Mid-level qualification

Highest level qualification

Route into employment

The way into a Higher salary

Way towards improvement

Salary : $24,000

Salary : $25,000

Salary : $28,000

Stepping into level 3

Stepping into level 4

Stepping into making and applying decisions

Learn essential skills

Advance skills

Get AAT membership


Take a look at the comparison AAT vs ACCA:



AAT is reflected to be the first step towards becoming an accountant

ACCA is an advanced qualification for professionals who at present are accountants

AAT is a practical level qualification

ACCA qualifications are at the professionally qualified level

AAT offers three accounting qualifications

  1. Foundation Certificate in Accounting (Level 2)
  2. Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3)
  3. Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4)

ACCA has 14 exams and a much bigger syllabus book.

Having work experience is non-compulsory in AAT qualifications; however, it is compulsory if you are chasing the level 4 course

ACCA wants a minimum of 36 months of relevant work experience

You should complete AAT first, and then earn your ACCA membership

ACCA is the next level of qualification

How to get an AAT qualification?

AAT Qualifications cover highly sought-after accounting and finance skills at the heart of every business. Practical qualifications to meet the demands of economics roles across all industries, at all levels.

AAT Accounting Qualifications

We offer four AAT qualifications; which have a specific duration between 6 and 18 months to complete. These AAT qualifications provide training for a wide range of accounting and finance roles and are respected by professionals worldwide.

  • Foundation Diploma in Accountancy and Business (Level 2)
  • Foundation Certificate in Accounting (Level 2)
  • Advanced Diploma in Accounting (Level 3)
  • Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4)

AAT Bookkeeping Qualifications

AAT bookkeeping qualifications, which each takes just 6 to 12 weeks to complete. These qualifications provide training for a wide range of bookkeeping roles and are respected by professionals worldwide.

  • Access Award in Bookkeeping (Level 1)
  • Access Award in Accounting Software (Level 1)
  • Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 2)
  • Foundation Award in Accounting Software (Level 2)
  • Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 3)

Business skills qualification

Certification in Business Skills qualification is aimed to give you the broader skills needed in every business. This is a basic-level qualification for people taking their first step into work.    

This qualification is perfect for fresher, and those are taking their first step on the career ladder. As well as covering the basic bookkeeping techniques and principles, you’ll gain a wider understanding of the business activities.

AAT Qualification equivalency

AAT Qualification is equivalent to accounting technical level qualification.

  • AAT Level 2 has Equivalency to GCSE
  • AAT Level 3 has Equivalency to two A Levels
  • AAT Level 4 has Equivalency to QCF Level 4 qualification

Career Pathway:

AAT accounting qualifications are internationally recognized and offer strong job forecasts in a range of industries. Once AAT qualified, you could earn up to £37,000 within a few years.

Careers follow AAT Level 2:

After completing AAT level 2, you can be:

  • Accounts Assistant
  • Accounts Administrator
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Trainee Accounting Technician

Careers follow AAT Level 3:

After successful completion of AAT level 3, you can be:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Finance Assistant
  • Audit Trainee
  • Credit Controller.

Careers follow AAT Level 4:

After successful completion of AAT level 4, you can be:

  • Payroll Manager
  • Tax Supervisor
  • Senior Finance Officer
  • Commercial Analyst

Benefits of Getting an AAT qualification

If you’re looking to work in the accounting field, AAT could be the perfect option. By learning the basics of accountancy with an industry-recognized qualification, you’ll have all the abilities you need to start your own bookkeeping business.

Additional benefits of studying AAT qualification include:

  • You’ll gain professional skills that are useful in every area
  • You could use your internationally recognized qualification to work worldwide
  • You could become a Chartered Accountant- CA with further study

You could become an expert in your respective field, whether it’s tax, audit, or credit management