Home For AAT student members AQ 2013 AAT Level 4 (Level 8 in Scotland)
Current updates regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) and the precautions AAT are taking will be continually updated on the below page.

Please check this link for the latest updates:
We hope you are all safe and well and if you need us we will be here. 💚


stephleedzstephleedz Well-KnownRegistered Posts: 179
I am due to finish AAT shortly and concerned by the fact that I have NO experience whatsoever in the use of any accounting systems that I have been considering doing a course in SAGE at home online to gain experience in the main accounting system.

I know that a lot of prospective employers want someone who has used Sage/accounting systems and knows how to work with the basics eg: Sales Ledgers, purchase ledgers etc. Which at the minute as I have no experience in the basics means less job opportunities.

Any thoughts?


  • GemmaSGemmaS Well-Known Registered Posts: 178

    It may be an idea to do a short course. There is a course for £50 for Sage instant accounts, which gives you a Sage certificate. You get the Sage programme and 6 books to work through with an hour long exam at the end.

    Any short course like this is always good to have on your CV, regardless off if the company uses Sage, as it shows prospective employers that you are willing to put the time and effort into improving your knowledge and skill set.

    Hope this helps!!

  • coojeecoojee Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 794
    To be honest you probably won't learn anymore on a short Sage course than you did at Level 2 in your CMPA paper (assuming you used Sage for it)
  • SashaDellaSashaDella Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 362
    Yes the course that Gemma suggested is what I am doing now for CA level 2. Its really thorough! However I use an accounts system at work and its confusing knowing one way and learning a total different system.

    Every system is different! and company procedure will differ as well. I don't think its an essential skill as long as you are accurate with numbers, and know where things sit in the ledgers you will pick it up within a week!!

    You should know how the manual accounting system works... its the same principle expect its on screen... personally I wouldn't worry :D

    Good Luck for your final exams!

  • GemmaSGemmaS Well-Known Registered Posts: 178
    If you are just about to finish level 4 then I would hope you would know how to work the double entry system! :D

    I'm suggesting it more as something to go on the CV than anything else. Employers like to see you going out off your own back and progressing your knowledge and experience. Especially if it is a new career you are moving into and have never had experience in the accounting world. It shows you are willing to put the effort into becoming more of an asset to them and therefore more employable compared to everyone else out there applying for jobs. It almost doesn't matter if you will be using Sage if they offer you a job, the qualification is almost irrelevant as well. Its all about proving to them you are doing everything you can to show you WANT this career and you are willing to do everything you can to get ahead in the game and offer them the best overall package.
    I have been on both sides of that situation; as someone looking for employment when changing career and as a manager looking for new staff (albeit not in accounting world but in the equestrian world) In my opinion it is always good to do everything you can to improve your job prospects.

    As Sasha said, good luck!

  • stephleedzstephleedz Well-Known Registered Posts: 179
    Yes I am aware of how double entry works from studying AAT from July 2010, however as I have never worked on any accouting systems like Sage or SAP (I believe) which is what I think I need to learn in order to give me more of a chance when applying for that all important accounts position that I want so badly. I have never had the pleasure of working in an accounts team on accounts systems which is my goal for 2013.
  • JaffasGirlJaffasGirl Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 387
    Why have you not had any experience with Sage? Did you skip level 2?
  • readerreader Experienced Mentor MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,042
    I became a MAAT back in April 2012 after starting the AAT in August 2009. During 2010 and 2011 I completed three City and Guilds qualifications (levels 1, 2 and 3) in SAGE computerised accountancy. Before I started the three City and Guilds qualifications I remember thinking: is it going to be worth the time? Money? Will I learn anything? Will I enjoy it? Will it help me at work? Will I benefit from it? The answer to the previous 6 questions is a resounding YES!!! Those 3 qualifications gave me a really good understanding of how to apply what I had been learning during AAT to an actual computerised accountancy system, given me more knowledge than my colleagues who have not taken the qualifications, and given me a lot more confidence. I'm really glad I did those three C&Gs qualifications.
  • SashaDellaSashaDella Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 362
    Computer accounting system experience will really support your AAT if you haven't had any practical experience yet working in accounts. This would boost your confidence and give you an understanding of how the work environment works...
  • stephleedzstephleedz Well-Known Registered Posts: 179

    When I completed level 2 back in July 2010 (2 years ago) we did have a couple of lessons on sage and a short test but bearing in mind this was the first and only time I have used it I wouldnt have a clue what I was doing if someone asked me to do something on Sage. Too little and too long ago for me unfortunately.


    Thank you this is exactly what I needed to know and I am very pleased to hear you say it really was beneficial to you. Thank you very much for taking the time to write about your own experience.


    Thank you very much this is very useful to know.

    Having read the comments from Reader and SashaDella it really has confirmed that this would really benefit me. Thank you.
  • underwood301underwood301 Just Joined Registered Posts: 3

    I recently completed AAT level 4 and have been to two interviews, however on both occasions I was turned down due to a lack of actual experience of computerised accounting. It is so frustrating after having spent so much money and time completing all three levels of the AAT course. It seems that employers aren't interested in the qualification.

    I have today, just ordered the Sage Self Study Workbooks to try to further improve my chances of getting a job as an assistant accountant, at an additional cost of £310. Lets hope its not more money wasted. I have made/spent countless telephones calls, emails, letters trying to get my foot in the door, even offering voluntary work but to no avail.....
  • SashaDellaSashaDella Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 362
    The one I have been practising from is Sage Instant Accounts for £50 and you get a qualification from this as well. I would recommend this one as a cheaper alternative
  • stephleedzstephleedz Well-Known Registered Posts: 179
    Hi underwood 301,

    This is exactly what I was affraid off and like you I will also be booking the Sage 50 Accounts for level 1,2 and 3 direct from sage for £310 which gives you 3 qualifications in sage. I'm really sorry that you have been unfortunate in your interviews and I will have all my fingers and toes crossed for you once you begin Sage...keep me updated on your progress and good luck.

  • wbauk2002wbauk2002 Well-Known Registered Posts: 110
    I did a Learn direct sage course, and a e-careers course in sage, tho it looked good on my cv, it no way prepared me for actual work using sage, my first few days I spent panicking, but I have a good manager who was very patient with me and after a few days I got comfortable, , knowing your double entry helps a lot with sage
Sign In or Register to comment.