New- starting level 2

Arizona New MemberRegistered Posts: 7
Hi everyone. I've been reading over the forum for the last few days and I have decided to start AAT.

I have been working for a small company doing purchase ledger accounts since I was 17. I am almost 27 now and I'm still on a salary of 15k. I have realised that if I ever want to get a higher salary I need to get some sort of qualification.

I was thinking of doing distance learning but it is so expensive! After reading over the forums I have decided to self study level 2, skip the exams and then go with a training provider for levels 3 & 4.

I have managed to get a full set of Osborne books off ebay for £60. I hope I haven't overpaid!

Anyway I just thought I would say hi as I'll no doubt be asking plenty of questions over the next few months.

Any advice will be most welcome :)


  • wabisabi
    wabisabi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 130
    Hi Arizona

    I've just completed L2 studying in the evening at college. It's easily do-able by self study and the Osborne books are excellent.

    You do need to be aware however that the syllabus is changing, so these books will not be much use unless you sit an exam before September. If you manage to do this you then have until December 2014 to complete under the old syllabus.

    All the best
  • Arizona
    Arizona New Member Registered Posts: 7
    Oh thanks for the heads up. I had no idea about that. I hope I haven't just wasted £60 on books that will be no use. Do you think sitting an exam before September is doable?
  • wabisabi
    wabisabi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 130
    Definitely. I'd probably go for Working Effectively in Accounting & Finance. A lot of it is common sense if you've been in a professional environment for 10 years.

    Probably the best strategy would be to look through the books and see how easy you find them, have a go at a couple of online assessments (you would need to register with AAT to get an account), decide which one you think is doable, then book yourself in to an exam centre before 1 September.

    Might also be worth trawling through the forums for any other info that I might have missed or not been aware of regarding the changes.
  • Arizona
    Arizona New Member Registered Posts: 7
    I wasn't actually planning on sitting any exams for level 2. I was just going to study the books and then move straight on to level 3 after that. I probably won't be starting level 3 until after September so I'll be able to start the new syllabus then with a training provider. Would that be ok?
  • Jo Clark
    Jo Clark Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,525
    Yes, that would be ok. If you have purchased level 2 books but not sitting any of the exams that is fine.

    Level 3 from September I would start on the new syllabus. I highly recommend BPP text books, however I have heard good things about other training providers.

    Due to it being a new syllabus you are unlikely to find second hand/chepaer copies of the new syllabus books. You could try Foyles/Amazon/Blackwells etc. as sometimes you may get a small discount and it helps :o
    ~ An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest ~
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Arizona
    Arizona New Member Registered Posts: 7
    Thanks for the advice. I know it's early days but regarding employability after I've completed level 4 what sort of experiece are employers looking for? I've been working in an accounts office for 9 years and have done things like the bank rec, posting cash, entering items into the cash book, entering purchase invoices into the system, making bacs payments etc.
  • wabisabi
    wabisabi Feels At Home Registered Posts: 130
    I don't know specifically as I don't work in a purely financial role, but there are quite a few other threads asking similar questions e.g.

    You can only benefit from getting a qualification that backs up the years of experience you have gained, even if there is a financial cost. It will undoubtedly open doors for you.
  • James Patterson
    James Patterson Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 281
    Hi Arizona,

    Osbourne books are good, i have used them (although with a tutor).

    Jo is right with BPP books, i have used the odd one for level 3/4 and they make it easy to understand.

    The experience side is great, i've worked in Gen ledger for a year and another year in accounts payable. Experience is the best thing, with level 4 i'm sure you will stand well for most jobs.

    If you get the opportunity, look at jobs you think you would apply for, look at what the role involves and then see if you can 'have a go' at it in your role (if at all possible).

    Best of luck
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