Can someone please provide advice on the AAT Accountancy Technician qualification?

peace800peace800 New MemberPosts: 8Registered
Hi

Due to the gloomy job situation I am thinking of studying to become an accountancy technician. I am good with maths, I have a good (none accountacy degree) as well as good a levels and gcses.

I have been looking into the AAT diploma route in order to qualify as an accounting technician. I dont fancy the CIMA route just now as it involves a lot of time and studying.

I am a bit confused with the AAT. Can one get a job once fully qualified and do these simulations that some course providers provide count as practical experience? is a 12 months practical experience needed once the AAT is passed in order to get work or become self employed? (I had heard that the 12 months is to get the matta membership or something which has nothing to do with practicing?).

What are the prospects/salary and which are the best distance learning providers and how much do they charge? are there good prospects for self employment?

sorry for so many questions but as some can imagine when one is worried about the current situation one does is a bit apprehensive.

thanks

Comments

  • LilyflowerLilyflower Feels At Home Posts: 54Registered
    If you choose to take the NVQ route you will definately be able to study without any work based evidence. The simulations satisfy the ''work based'' criteria for the qualification.

    I am unsure about the diploma pathway, as I think this requires you to be within an accountancy based environment? Others may know more about that.

    If you are within a finance role in your current job, you can get your employer to sponsor you. This will mean that an NVQ assessor will call to your place of work once a month, you will be asked to complete small 'projects' to contribute to your qualification such as Health & Safety, which are really really easy! Plus if they agree to sponsor you, you will be able to qualify for government assisstance with the Foundation and Intermediate sections of the tech qulification; meaning you will only pay for the exam fee and registration with AAT, so there will be no extra cost to you doing a evening course for example with a tuition provider. Mine is one night a week 5-8 or 6-9.

    I am biased toward Kaplan as a training provider!

    Good Luck
    Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • phunkyphantom22phunkyphantom22 Well-Known Posts: 166Registered
    I disagree - I followed the NVQ route (only one available when I started) and definitely had to produce work based evidence on several occasions to cover a few criteria which the skills test had not covered. The NVQ route will require you to sit central exams, skills tests, complete a project, provide a portfolio for each level which will include some work based evidence.

    The Diploma route was introduced a few years back to help those who wanted to study AAT but were not working in an accounting environment and would therefore struggle to provide work based evidence. With the Diploma, you do not complete a portfolio but you will sit more skills tests.

    The NVQ does not require you to have an assesor come to your workplace. Or at least, I never had this and neither did anyone else I know.

    If you opt for the distance learning route, you will need to ensure that you have a professional person who will be able to supervise your skills tests. My line manager supervised mine - ideally it should be someone like your manager, an accountant etc.

    You also need to be under a certain age to qualify for the government assistance scheme - I believe it is under 25 but I may be wrong.
  • JJ43JJ43 Feels At Home Posts: 50Registered
    Yes, I agree with `phunkyphantom22` - NVQ`s in whatever subject always require workbased evidence, testimonials and portfolios whereas the Diploma route of AAT is specifically designed for those who cannot or wish not to provide workbased evidence.
  • welshwizardwelshwizard Trusted Regular South WalesPosts: 465Registered
    Because some colleges offer the NVQ courses on a full time basis, they cannot have their students submitting work-based evidence as well. If you look at the Performance Criteria for the skills tests/simulations, they are assessed in the test and you should only have to submit further work (work based evidence or supplementary questionning) should you not have produced work to the required standard. I went through all 3 levels of the course and only ever had to answer one supplementary question and that was because the skills test flummoxed me a little bit by the wording.

    The so-called workbased evidence could be a sign that the tutors do not fully understand the nature of the skills tests. Remember, the skills test for each foundation unit is 4 and a half hours long, (units 1,2,3,4) but the examination for units 1,2 and 3 (although it only relates generally to unit 3 it covers all 3 units) is only 3 hours long. You tell me where the hard work is out..the exam or the skills test? The skills test is where your practical ability is really tested to the limit and I would say (without much contradiction) that the skills tests are always much harder than the exam and require much more work to satisfy all fo the Performance Criteria.
  • peace800peace800 New Member Posts: 8Registered
    Many thanks guys.

    Can I also ask what is the earning potential/salary for a fully qualified accounting technician realistically?
  • welshwizardwelshwizard Trusted Regular South WalesPosts: 465Registered
    in a few easy to understand words....... IT REALLY DEPENDS WHERE YOU LIVE NAD WHAT EXEPERIENCE YOU HAVE!
  • MattWMattW Feels At Home Posts: 37Registered
    I'm doing the diploma pathway and can confirm you don't need the workbased evidence to complete the qualification unlike the NVQ. However to become a full member and beable to use the letters after your name you do need at least a years accountancy experience.

    As for earning potential it really depends on your accountancy experience. Start off isn't great, but as you are a graduate you may be able to get more on grad scheme/being able to prove to an employer you are up to taking exams etc.

    As you get more accountancy experience the pay will go up. In London you're looking at £30k plus with the experience. £20K without, maybe less depending on sector. I started on 13K 4 and half years ago with no degree and just my part time school jobs for experience!, but have more than doubled since, so pay will go up as you take on more responsibility/move around.

    I also keep on an eye on the job market in Pembrokeshire- rural west wales and would expect 20-25K fully qualified & good experience.

    But you also have the option and flexibility to work for your self, where you could earn lots with hard work.
  • peace800peace800 New Member Posts: 8Registered
    Many thanks.

    Can you please recommend a good distance learning diploma aat provider at also one that is not too expensive?

    Can you register with a company and buy the study materials/books yourself so that you can save money?
  • amy_thompson_1989amy_thompson_1989 Just Joined Posts: 2Registered
    I know BPP do a distance learning program for AAT, I'm sure places like Kaplan probably do as well. I'm not sure what they charge but BPP prices normally include study materials etc
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor Posts: 814MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    So does the diploma pathway by distance learning have the mock and skills simulations too or not?

    thanks :001_smile:
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshirePosts: 1,325Registered
    Hi Peace800

    I'm distance learning with a fab bunch in Plymouth!

    Accountancy Plus Limited (A+) Tel: 01752 256610

    I have paid £587.50 (10 monthly instalments by standing order) for both Intermediate and Technician level.

    Their service/help/tutor network is brilliant. I only go to the centre for exams - but if you aren't local you can pay to do exams at your nearest centre. My simulations are sent out to a retired teacher I know and she either comes here (and looks after the baby whilst I do the sim) or I go to her house, which is brilliant and much more flexible than trying to go to a centre to do a sim. Plymouth is an hours drive from here, so a 4 1/2 hour simulation actually takes an entire day if I go there!


    Where are you based, it doesn't say beside your name?

    Annie:thumbup:
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • peace800peace800 New Member Posts: 8Registered
    I'm based in west yorkshire. I want to do the distance learning and Leeds is where I can travel.

    How much would a good company cost for exams and materials and where would one do the simulations etc?

    Sorry Plymouth is a bit too far
  • amy_thompson_1989amy_thompson_1989 Just Joined Posts: 2Registered
    http://www.kaplanfinancial.co.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=161

    That link is to Kaplan's website, they have an office in Leeds. Also have a look at...

    http://www.bpp.com/page.asp?w=15&Ref=2&usertyperef=2&exambodyref=31&pagetyperef=20&parentref=6&locpagetyperef=-1&locationref=-1&easyread=-1

    That's to BPP's website, they also have an office in Leeds.
  • LilyflowerLilyflower Feels At Home Posts: 54Registered
    I disagree - I followed the NVQ route (only one available when I started) and definitely had to produce work based evidence on several occasions to cover a few criteria which the skills test had not covered. .

    In my experience, we were askeds to complete a questionnaire in which it asked what we did at work relating to accountancy. We were to select very often, sometimes, never. My tutor explained to me that if we select 'never', the area would be covered in a skills test, so do not worry. Therefore it is possible to say 'never' to every requirement and have all your skills tested in the assessment rather than work based. This is what I do, because although I am in a Finance environment, my work would not show the appropriate skills to help me pass my qualification. So ALL my portfolio is from skills tests and Key Skills.
    The NVQ does not require you to have an assesor come to your workplace. Or at least, I never had this and neither did anyone else I know..

    No it doesn't, as you can sit the NVQ in college full time and not work, so that would be silly! I said this was required when your employer sponsors you in your study.
    You also need to be under a certain age to qualify for the government assistance scheme - I believe it is under 25 but I may be wrong.

    It was once the case that the government would sponsor under 25s only, however I am proof that this is NOT true now. I am government funded and I am 28! However the funding is only for Introduction and Intermediate, not the advanced level of the Technichian qualification.

    Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • peace800peace800 New Member Posts: 8Registered
    Lily I am also over 25. Is it possible to get a goverment assisted grant (not loan) to pay for the first two stages of the aat diploma? how would i go about it?
  • acc1077acc1077 Well-Known Posts: 138Registered
    I am 46 and have been told by my college that there is possibly funding available for NVQ Level 4.

    Haven't followed it up with them yet as not sure if doing level 4 due to work committments.
  • LilyflowerLilyflower Feels At Home Posts: 54Registered
    Take a look at the information provided on the Kaplan website...

    http://www.kaplanfinancial.co.uk/Default.aspx?tabid=144

    They should be able to give you further advice

    Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • phunkyphantom22phunkyphantom22 Well-Known Posts: 166Registered
    Lilyflower wrote: »
    In my experience, we were askeds to complete a questionnaire in which it asked what we did at work relating to accountancy. We were to select very often, sometimes, never. My tutor explained to me that if we select 'never', the area would be covered in a skills test, so do not worry. Therefore it is possible to say 'never' to every requirement and have all your skills tested in the assessment rather than work based. This is what I do, because although I am in a Finance environment, my work would not show the appropriate skills to help me pass my qualification. So ALL my portfolio is from skills tests and Key Skills.

    No it doesn't, as you can sit the NVQ in college full time and not work, so that would be silly! I said this was required when your employer sponsors you in your study.

    It was once the case that the government would sponsor under 25s only, however I am proof that this is NOT true now. I am government funded and I am 28! However the funding is only for Introduction and Intermediate, not the advanced level of the Technichian qualification.

    Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    I was with BPP and the skills tests they put together did not cover all requirements and therefore I had to provide work place evidence to cover some of the criteria. It sounds like your tuition provider tailored your skills tests to ensure they covered all of your criteria by those means. Different training providers/tutors may operate in different ways, but everyone I know on the NVQ route had to provide work based evidence at some point (most were with BPP, some Kaplan). I just wanted to point out that it was possible you will still need to do this on the NVQ route.

    I was not referring to those at college. As I mentioned, I was a distance learning student and therefore my work paid for my course - I never had an NVQ assesment at work and this is the first case I have ever heard of it. I'm not denying it may happen, I am merely pointing out that is does not happen with every distance learning student.

    As I said, I may be wrong - it has obviously changed. I qualified in the summer, so it has been a long time since I looked into options. It is good that they have removed the age limit.
  • karenvkarenv Well-Known Posts: 114Registered
    I was with BPP and the skills tests they put together did not cover all requirements and therefore I had to provide work place evidence to cover some of the criteria. It sounds like your tuition provider tailored your skills tests to ensure they covered all of your criteria by those means. Different training providers/tutors may operate in different ways, but everyone I know on the NVQ route had to provide work based evidence at some point (most were with BPP, some Kaplan). I just wanted to point out that it was possible you will still need to do this on the NVQ route.

    I was not referring to those at college. As I mentioned, I was a distance learning student and therefore my work paid for my course - I never had an NVQ assesment at work and this is the first case I have ever heard of it. I'm not denying it may happen, I am merely pointing out that is does not happen with every distance learning student.

    As I said, I may be wrong - it has obviously changed. I qualified in the summer, so it has been a long time since I looked into options. It is good that they have removed the age limit.
    I am in Leeds and doing home study with Bpp. Exams are taken at Kaplan in leeds ( near British Home Stores, in Leeds city centre)). You enter as an external student. I work in accounts so have done the NVQ route and yes you need work based eveidence sometimes.
    I believe the diploma route is more suitable for someone who isnt working in Accounts.
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