alanm Registered Posts: 5 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
I've just completed AAT Foundation and am enrolled for Intermediate next year. It is my intention to go for Technician the year after.

My "goal" is to seek an accounts position in a small/medium sized firm in my local town. Before getting my present job in Reprographics, all the "office" jobs advertised locally said "sage line 50 experience essential" which is the reason why I started studying for AAT qualification.

I'm now considering that becoming a technician may overqualify me for these posts! A medium size business may be willing to pay for the qualification but a small business that only really needs someone as (basically) a bookkeeper may not.

As an aside, I have no experience in the industry so I could be in the really naff position of being rejected as being overqualified and too inexperienced!

I am hoping that my 15 years experience in IT support within the Finance sector will be considered useful by an employer - analytical, methodical, cool headed under pressure, service focused, good problem solving skills. All very useful skills that I would be of value too any employer.




  • jow774
    jow774 Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    I know what you mean, I work for a small business doing bookkeeping and they do not need anyone more qualified then a basic book keeper so I have to pay for my course myself. Although I see Book Keeper vacancies at a lower rate than mine asking for AAT and then next to them a Financial Manager Position offering £30k asking for AAT. I find the whole idea of what AAT qualifys you for really confusing. The work you do does seem to be of a high level and yet some employers value it more than others???
  • jorja1986
    jorja1986 Registered Posts: 210 ? ? ?
    I HATE it when you get the "over qualified" rubbish - tell the truth you think we will be too expensive.

    I have found being honest is the best policy, you want to work for a local company in accounts and the AAT qualification gives a wide range of skills that can be transferred to other jobs as and when required.

    (Can you tell I have had a few interviews!) :blushing:
  • KVeevers
    KVeevers Registered Posts: 67 ? ? ?

    I think if you are doing the AAT (no experience) and you getting offered an accounts administration job or Bookkeepe.r I would take it, overqualified or no but in the time where we are now experience count aswell .

    First by taking on this job you will gain experience in accounting and start using sage line 50 what is really good and after 6 month you can say you got the experience and always can look for better paid jobs
  • Buff
    Buff Registered Posts: 275
    Hi Alan,

    I have noticed over the years of being a member on this forum that a similar topic shows up every now and then. To tell the truth, AAT Technician roles aren't really that greatly paid - this also depends where in the UK you are but typically, you'd need to be going through CIMA / ACCA to get the good money.

    There ARE firms out there though who will take you on as an assistant, this is the time to show what else you can offer, such as the skills you mentioned above. Having IT skills in the finance sector is a big bonus, I was in the same boat as you (almost).

    I had no accounts experience when I left college with 2 A-Levels in advanced computing, I stayed at the company for 3 years processing accounts and learning as I went. I'm not AAT qualified, I started it but never finished, but I moved companies and am still there now using my IT skills to great effect by adding to and improving the finance software in house and improving reporting for internal / external clients - IT skills I picked up from college and from on the job.

    If you went for Technician, what's to stop you from telling the interviewer that even though you are over qualified for the job that you still very much want it - that you originally went through foundation and intermediate in order to learn the relevant info to be able to do this job but you found yourself unable to stop learning and wanted to do more. To me that would show enthusiasm and dedication - however, if you qualified Technicial, you may then decide that the little business isn't enough for you in which case you have done the hard work by getting the qualifiaction and can pretty much choose what you want to do.

    The only way to see if they would assist in the course funds is by asking - even a small business might cover the outlay in order to acquire and retain a valuable asset (though in this climate, that's unlikely at my corp as it is at a smaller business).

    Regds and Best of Luck

    I say go for the Technician stage if you have the time :-)
  • alanm
    alanm Registered Posts: 5 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐

    Many thanks everyone.

    Given I have a degree and 15 years experience in IT, I was overqualified for the present reprographics job as well - but I made clear that it was a genuine job application and that I was applying for the job as it interested me AND fitted my requirements for a work/life balance. If I can do it once, I should be able to do it again.

    I have also been in my present job for 2.5 years and likely to be so for another 2 years if I continue to the end of my Technician level, so I have shown a lengthy committment to working for a lower wage.

    I do have the option of applying for an accounts job now - since I have every intention of funding my own training, an employer should be keen to employ me as they know I will continue training! The only rub with this is that I presently work for a college and the term time only contract is a boon with two small children at home. By the time I finish my training, youngest boy will be starting school - so ideal time to move on.

    Once again, many thanks.

  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    I wouldn't say that being a Technician necessarily makes you overqualified for book keeping rather that you (should) have the current knowledge and learned ability, if not the experience, to do it properly. I've seen several people calling themselves book keepers who lack even some basic knowledge and IMO are really little more than accounts clerks. You also get book keepers who do have the knowledge and experience but don't keep up to date with changing legislation and accounting principles. Being a Technician combined with an up to date CPD log should put you ahead of these - ahem - "charlatans" (!!) and prove to potential employers you are all round competent to offer these services.
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