Starting at Advanced Certificate

JaffasGirlJaffasGirl Trusted RegularPosts: 387Registered
Hi,

I appologise if this question has been asked before, any advice would be appreciated.

I am hoping to start studying the AAT diploma route, and i have been told by a friend doing the AAT nvq route to start at the Imtermediate level as i have done a bookkeeping course, which has taught me the basics.

However, I wondered if anyone on here has done just that, and whether any employers found it an issue that you didnt have the first year as a qualification? and also whether they found the second year to be harder because of the decision to not do the first.

Many Thanks

Comments

  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,453Registered
    I skipped the foundation level, because of my arrogance...

    No kidding, I had enough accounts background before I moved here, but my work of the passed years before moving, was mainly payroll. I can't really say if Intermediate is harder without foundation or not as I never did the foundation part, but there is some quick test where you can see if the AAT would recommend you to start on foundation or intermediate. I used that one in the end to decide where I started. I lost the link, but I'm quite sure googling it will provide some links.

    My main issue with Intermediate was that it was all in English and I was not familiar with all the terms in English.

    The only issue I ran into with skipping foundation, is that my work did not want to fund my study, because I skipped the foundation level, but they only told me that was the reason after I started the Technician level, so I am not sure how reliable that is. It most likely was a case of not wanting to pay and trying to find a reason for it.

    Also I am doing the NVQ route, so I don't know if it matters more or less for the diploma route.

    Once you have finished I cannot see any reason why an employer would tell you that the fact you skipped foundation is a reason not to hire you. It just means you already know what is in there and can skip it, rather than that you don't have the knowledge, so I would skip it if you can! Unless you got the feeling you need to brush up on the skills, in which case it might be a good base for the rest of your study.
  • mini_schnauzermini_schnauzer Trusted Regular Posts: 347Registered
    There is a skills test on the AAT website, which they encourage you to do to assess your current standard before you join as a student. I did it and got 100% so started straight in at Advance Certificate level. I was not allowed to start on the final year as I do not have a degree in Accounting.

    http://www.aatskillcheck.org/
  • sdvsdv Experienced Mentor Posts: 585Registered
    JaffasGirl wrote: »
    Hi,

    I am hoping to start studying the AAT diploma route, and i have been told by a friend doing the AAT nvq route to start at the Imtermediate level as i have done a bookkeeping course, which has taught me the basics.

    You can start at AAT Intermediate level but, you will a couple of issues to face!

    1 change to the new 2010 accounting standard as from 1st Jult 2010 - New syllabus and new way of course deliver and assessment. I think AAT Intermediate under the new standard in a much better qualification then under the old standard.

    This will cover the following subjects
    a) Financial Accounts - same as current NVQ/Diploma
    b) Cost accounting (new- including introduction to Variences)- same as current NVQ/Diploma
    c) VAT - more detailed then the current NVQ/Diploma - Better for being a good accountant
    d) Spread sheet - Not covered under current standards - BUT essential tool for an accountant.
    e) Professional ethics in accounting and finance

    Dropped - IT unit
    Dropped - H&S Unit

    2 - Start AAT Intermediate NOW under the current 2003 standards. - As from July 2010 majority of the training provider's tutor's may not want to support the old 2003 standards. They will need to prepare new teaching materials for the new standards and iron out any hiccups of introducing the new standards. It is a pain to teach same subject under two different standars. A tutor can ealisy teach worng stuff to wrong student and not realise, until it's too late. If you find your self in a chellenging stituation, it's may be an uphill struggle to catch up and be focused.

    Subjects covered:

    a) Financial Accounts - FRA Unit 5
    b) Cost accounting - ECR Unit 6
    c) Reports & Returns - Unit 7 - majority subject covered - VAT


    d) unit 21 - IT ( It is supposed to be covering computerised accounts. Most colleges use Sage Line 50 , but the Unit 21 spec does not say this) - Normally this unit is covered at AAT Foundation Sate

    e) Unit 23 - H&S - a staight forward assignment- can be done in less then a day. Again done at AAT Foundation Stage.

    JaffasGirl wrote: »
    Hi,

    ........ and also whether they found the second year to be harder because of the decision to not do the first.


    If you move on to AAT Intermediate with out completing AAT Foundation, please make sure that you have a full understanding of the day books. and how the totals are posted to the main and subsiduary ledgers.

    This understanding is tested in detail at AAT Intermediate stage. If you have knowledge gap of this understanding, you will find suspense account chellenging.
  • JaffasGirlJaffasGirl Trusted Regular Posts: 387Registered
    Thanks for all your help.

    You've certainly given me a few things to think about. I was considering getting the books and doing the unit 30 from the certificate level, without a learning provider as i have a friend that has done it and is willing to help me where i need it.

    Especially since there is some changes to the second level of the diploma, cause once i've done unit 30, from my knowledge ( and i will have to confirm this with the AAT) i can have on my CV that i have completed the Certificate stage, as the IT unit doesnt have to be done by then.

    But again, thank you very much for all your advice.
  • Dipak ThankiDipak Thanki Well-Known Posts: 135Registered
    Honestly level 2 is a joke, I started on Level 3 and I have to do Level 2 modules, it's easier than easy.
  • jewels.pjewels.p Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 1,774Registered
    Honestly level 2 is a joke, I started on Level 3 and I have to do Level 2 modules, it's easier than easy.

    I disagree with you here. No level of this qualification is a joke and you will upset people on here who started at this level and struggled with some parts. I have worked in Accounts in the Maufacturing Industry for a long time but decided to start at Level 2. I am now on Diploma Level and still use some of the stuff I learned in my first year. Most accounts are done on Computer nowadays so Level 2 helps people understand how to do it manually.
  • steveJsteveJ Experienced Mentor Posts: 694Registered
    jewels.p wrote: »
    I disagree with you here. No level of this qualification is a joke and you will upset people on here who started at this level and struggled with some parts. I have worked in Accounts in the Maufacturing Industry for a long time but decided to start at Level 2. I am now on Diploma Level and still use some of the stuff I learned in my first year. Most accounts are done on Computer nowadays so Level 2 helps people understand how to do it manually.

    Not working in any type of accounting related environment, starting at level 3 would have thrown me when it came to the exams. Level 2 was great as a starter to get the hang of double entry (which was a killer on its own!) and also to pick up sage experience. I have had to refer to alot of that knowledge through the intermediate so far so was definately worth doing.


    Plus, i think at least 70-80% of people on here found double entry hard to get the hang of, so foundation was key for them (and me).
  • sharonjsharonj Well-Known Posts: 166Registered
    steveJ wrote: »
    Not working in any type of accounting related environment, starting at level 3 would have thrown me when it came to the exams. Level 2 was great as a starter to get the hang of double entry (which was a killer on its own!) and also to pick up sage experience. I have had to refer to alot of that knowledge through the intermediate so far so was definately worth doing.


    Plus, i think at least 70-80% of people on here found double entry hard to get the hang of, so foundation was key for them (and me).

    I totally, totally agree. Level 2 gives you the basics that everything else is based on. Without an in depth knowledge of this level you will never fully understand everything that comes after.
  • JaffasGirlJaffasGirl Trusted Regular Posts: 387Registered
    The thing is,

    I've done a bookkeeping qualification, which is very much focused on double entry so i now have the hang of that (finally!) and also it teaches you about the different subsidiary books, the general ledger, purchase ledger, cash book, petty cash, VAT, trade discount etc.

    and from what i've read this is pretty much what is contained in unit 30. The only thing i dont have is experience with sage.

    Another thing i dont know about are control accounts, is this a major topic?

    Perhaps it would be worth getting the books and doing it without a provider?

    thanks
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,453Registered
    I would do the test on the website and if you score high enough, I would skip the intermediate/ advanced level. It sounds like you got enough knowledge to skip it and I'm sure the few little bits left, you will pick up when you start studying. If you use a provider, you can always ask your tutor about those things you get stuck on, or as here!

    To me it sounds like you might as well start at the next level, but a lot will depend on your confidence and the learning style you use. It might mean you got to do some research in how things are done, but I think you should be fine on intermediate.

    Cheers,
    Rinske
  • katie2008katie2008 Trusted Regular Posts: 294Registered
    Honestly level 2 is a joke, I started on Level 3 and I have to do Level 2 modules, it's easier than easy.


    I spent the academic year 2008-2009 on foundation, and I found it difficult to get to grips with to start with. And im sure a lot of the foundation students would agree!

    Im also dyslexic so sorry if I dont make sense! Im good with numbers though!
  • annefreemanannefreeman Settling In Nicely Posts: 21Registered
    I went straight into intermediate level with no experience in book keeping. I did a short test to look at my capabilities with my learning provider and it showed I was more geared to intermediate. I do work full time doing management type finance reports and monitoring and also run my own business where I do my own books etc, but not double entry book keeping.

    I've had to learn throughout unit 5 (taking my computer based exam tomorrow and dreading it, altho passed my skills test ok) and whilst learning unit 5, I've had to cram up on double entry book keeping. Most of this I've got to grips with now, but do struggle sometimes with the ledger control accounts.

    I wouldnt say to anybody that foundation level is easy, because I don't think it is when it's a new subject area to you. I think it's brilliant to learn to do book keeping manually rather than rely on computers etc. I was lucky to get in at intermediate level, but I did spend the first 2 months wondering if I'd done the right thing.

    We're working on unit 6 now on formulas and RPI's and we have VAT up next. I work with these things on my day job, so I'm more at ease with these, but would never say its easy. There's always so much to learn, I never take it for granted.

    If you do skip foundation, just make sure you're making the right choice.

    Oh and for info, I'm doing my AAT through a learning provider where I don't have to pay towards the intermediate level. They have Gov funding to pay for it. I've been really lucky with this.

    Still dreading the computer exam tomorrow though......its def laid out differently to the paper exams.
  • RowanBRowanB Well-Known Posts: 158Registered
    I started at Intermediate Level with no experience, and next to no accounting knowledge, and I didn't feel like I was particularly hampered by this. It just felt like starting a course.

    Then again, I'm sure doing Foundation Level greatly facilitates comprehension of Intermediate Level material, and whilst I can't comment with certainty, having bypassed Foundation Level, I doubt Foundation Level would have been as simple as people are suggesting, had I taken it, as embarking on a new academic subject is rarely easy.
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Posts: 6,970Registered
    RowanB wrote: »
    I started at Intermediate Level with no experience, and next to no accounting knowledge, and I didn't feel like I was particularly hampered by this. It just felt like starting a course.

    Then again, I'm sure doing Foundation Level greatly facilitates comprehension of Intermediate Level material, and whilst I can't comment with certainty, having bypassed Foundation Level, I doubt Foundation Level would have been as simple as people are suggesting, had I taken it, as embarking on a new academic subject is rarely easy.

    My gosh rowan its a first i totally agree "does a dance" lol sorry, i did foundation and found it a great basis for the rest
  • JaffasGirlJaffasGirl Trusted Regular Posts: 387Registered
    Thanks everyone!

    I am going to do the Foundation, there are some gaps in my knowledge and i would like to feel confidant with the basics. With any luck i should be able to complete it in time for september, so that if i manage to get a position as an AAT trainee i can start intermediate then, and also it may well look better to an employer that i have completed the first year, rather than about two units through the second..

    Thanks for all your advice though, I am very grateful!
  • steveJsteveJ Experienced Mentor Posts: 694Registered
    Nice one. Will be good to see your around here more often...Obviously hit the forums with any problems and im sure someone will be more than happy to help.

    GOOD LUCK
  • RowanBRowanB Well-Known Posts: 158Registered
    A-Vic wrote: »
    My gosh rowan its a first i totally agree "does a dance" lol sorry, i did foundation and found it a great basis for the rest

    lol. Have to agree on something. It's the law of averages. :)
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Posts: 6,970Registered
    RowanB wrote: »
    lol. Have to agree on something. It's the law of averages. :)

    Chances are your right however cant see it happening a lot, but was nice while it lasted
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