The AAT Accounting Qualification


AAT is the UK’s leading qualification and professional membership body for accounting staff with over 125,000 members worldwide.

If you are looking for a career in finance then AAT could be for you. Maybe you’re already working in finance but without a qualification and want to build your skills, or thinking of changing careers or returning to work after a break.

AAT can help to progress your career with nearly two thirds of full members agreeing that the qualification has increased their earning potential.
A school leaver can also become a chartered accountant more quickly than someone who takes the university route as students are granted exemptions from chartered bodies including CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS. You don’t need prior formal qualifications to study AAT, but if you have relevant school qualifications, a degree or some accounting experience, you can potentially start at a higher level and progress through the qualification faster.
AAT courses are designed to be flexible and fit around your life and work commitments. You can study full/part-time or from home, work while you study and fast-track to chartered accountancy.
The course is delivered through more than 450 AAT approved training providers. To find one in your area and register as a student member visit
AAT also has an extensive branch network where members can access support and personal development opportunities, and meet other AAT members in their local area.

AAT qualifications

The AAT Accounting Qualification is universally respected and internationally recognised. Organisations such as Vodaphone, the NHS, the Metropolitan Police, KPMG and many more continue to hire AAT qualified members for their knowledge, skills, diligence and enthusiasm, because AAT represents the highest standards of professionalism.

The qualifications include:

* AAT Access – Level 1
* The AAT Accounting Qualification – Level 2, 3 and 4
* The AAT Level 2 Award in Bookkeeping (QCF)

Some other useful links:

AAT recruitment site
AAT members case studies

Case studies to highlight the alternative options to university

Rebecca Williams, 23, Liverpool
Trainee Business Adviser, PKF Accountants & Business Advisers

I joined the Royal Navy after completing my A-levels, but after 6 months I decided it wasn’t for me. I started looking into new career options and while researching the options I came across the AAT route. I was lucky enough to get a position at PKF’s Liverpool office with AAT. PKF is very supportive and I would definitely recommend this route to anyone looking for a career in accountancy. There is good career progression and lots of support. Because PKF is a mid-tier firm, there is also the benefit of exposure and support from many different service and sector lines.

Joshua Precious, 20, Hull
Trainee Accountant, Baker Tilly UK Audit LLP

I’m a Trainee Accountant at Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants. I feel I’ve gained so much more by training and working at the same time, getting invaluable experience of being part of the finance team and being in an office environment. Based on my experience, I’d encourage school leavers to explore the various opportunities into their chosen careers. Competition for jobs is so rife that if school leavers get the chance to work and train at the same time, they should jump at the chance.

Stephanie Collins, 22, Wales
Trainee Accountant, Mazuma Accountancy and Bookkeeping Services

As a teenager, I knew where I wanted to go in life and what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure how to get there. After years of classroom learning, university didn’t appeal to me and I was eager to start working. If there was a way to get a job straight away and still develop my skills and gain a qualification, I would take it.

I started my AAT studies at age 18 around the same time I started as a trainee accountant with Mazuma – an accountancy firm in Bridgend. I’ve been in the role for over three years and during that time, my responsibilities have increased dramatically.

I definitely don’t feel as though I have missed out because of my decision not to go to university. If anything, I feel I have gained more experience and knowledge from taking the vocational route and have avoided three years of large debt.

Free study materials on the site

The study material on this site has been specifically designed for OpenTuition to support AAT students studying for Units 30 and 31. does not provide telephone or email support.

To enter and sit AAT exams, you have to have enrolled with an AAT registered tuition provider