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  • paul2880
    paul2880 New Member Registered Posts: 5
    Hi Im thinking of self-studying aat level 2 certificate in accounting. Ive bought the books and read through them and think I am able to complete the course without a training provider. If I do complete the course, I would do level 3 with a training provider. Is it possible to register as an aat student without a training provider? Because we would need this to be able to do the tests etc? Thanks
  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    Hi,

    Yes you can self study any of the levels. You just need to book your exams at a local exam provider (usually one of the distance learning providers). There is a module at level 4 (ICAS) which you will need a learning provider for, and I believe there is another project which will require one in the new syllabus (which starts in September).

    When you register with AAT (you need to register before you sit your first exam), you may get told that you NEED to have a learning provider. This is not true but occasionally new students are told this (there have been a couple of threads on here about it).

    Any more questions, just ask.
  • shylaja
    shylaja Just Joined Registered Posts: 3
    AAT Level 2

    Hi,

    I thought of studying AAT Certificate in Bookkeeping Fast Track.Is this AAT approved and is this equivalent to AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting. How about the job opportunities if I study AAT Certificate in Bookkeeping? Is it possible to join AAT Level 3 directly if i study this AAT Fast Track course.

    Thanks in advance,
    Shylaja.
  • DanWinterburn
    DanWinterburn Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    The Certificate in Bookkeeping is a qualification awarded by AAT.

    It is approved by the AAT, but is not equivalent as such, as it is simply two modules which are part of the full accountancy qualification.

    It consists of 2 computer-based assessments, and has a specific focus on bookkeeping skills.

    It tends to be conducted across a 12 week period, and has 98 guided learning hours.

    We work in partnership with a number of different training providers who offer a range of different study options including classroom-based and online study; it is up to you how you decide to study the course.

    There are two modules that comprise the Certificate in Bookkeeping:

    - Processing Bookkeeping transactions
    - Control accounts, journals and the banking systems

    These two modules make up two out of the five modules for the full Level 2 Certificate in Accounting.

    Having completed the Certificate in Bookkeeping, there is the option of continuing onto the full Level 2 Certificate in Accounting qualification and completing the remaining three modules.

    Should you require more detailed information about the full qualification, I would suggest taking a look at the following area on the website:

    https://www.aat.org.uk/qualifications/the-aat-accounting-qualification

    It may be possible to move straight onto the Level 3 Diploma in Accounting having completed the Certificate in Bookkeeping, however this is at the training provider's discretion.

    In terms of job opportunities, the following positions should be realistic:

    - Bookkeeper
    - Accounts Assistant
    - Accounts Administrator

    In terms of locating a training provider for the qualification, you can search using the following link to search:

    https://www.aat.org.uk/qualifications/training-providers/search

    I hope this answers queries, please let me know if you require further information.

    Dan.
  • shylaja
    shylaja Just Joined Registered Posts: 3
    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for your valuable answer.I have an other doubt,I have selected a classroom based study and the training provider which I selected told me that if u study this Fast Track course you can directly join to Level 3 is this possible and acceptable everywhere ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Shylaja.
  • DanWinterburn
    DanWinterburn Just Joined Registered Posts: 2
    Hi Shylaja,

    I'm glad you found the response helpful.

    It is at the training provider's discretion in terms of entry requirements for a particular level of qualification, so in theory it is possible to go straight from completing the Certificate in Bookkeeping to Level 3 as you have described.

    You can then continue onto the remainder of the qualification without any issues.

    Please let me know if you require further information.

    Dan.
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Hello all,

    This appeared to be the most appropriate forum, but please excuse me if it is not. I wonder if I could ask for some advice. I am considering trying to become a part-time self-employed MIP with the AAT as a secondary source of income. Please forgive the long post, but before I ask any specific questions, I just wanted to give some background to add a little context to my situation.

    I graduated with a BA(Hons) in Accounting back in 2000. I struggled to really get into the degree at that time, having no prior accounting experience at college or in practice, and just generally limited interest in the subject matter. Nevertheless, I got through it, and I did also spend about 12 months after graduating in temp purchase/sales/general ledger and credit control roles. I was offered a trainee accountant role, but ultimately did not pursue this, and later landed on a career in IT instead, starting as a graduate trainee and moving up through the grades to IT Consultant. I have worked in IT for 10 years.

    For various reasons which I need not go into, I now need to look at additional sources of income. Given my degree, Accountancy seems a logical choice, and as far as my earlier reluctance goes, I believe I will have more interest and patience for the mechanics of it now than when I was younger (having been involved in the build and maintenance of various bespoke accounting software, I think I have had enough exposure to the sharp end, if not on a practitioner level, to be able to make this judgement). However, at this stage, and due to my primary motivations, its probably not realistic to fully retrain and go as far as trying to become a chartered accountant (ACCA/CIMA etc). So, my current plan, based on a little research, is as follows:
    • Study AAT, jumping straight to level 4, through distance learning, while continuing to be employed in my current role. This is primarily to re-gain confidence (and the necessary credentials) to setup as an MIP with the AAT. I am hoping this will take me about 12 months if I work steadily (4-5 hours study per week). Realistically, I may not have time to both study and try to take on clients given that I will be keeping my current job, so I thought it best to get the studying out of the way first.
    • Once I have completed level 4, I will look for clients. I may also do some voluntary work for a local Accountant's practices to gain the necessary variety of experience and fill any gaps in my basic accounting (I guess I may have to brush up on a few basic areas as I suppose AAT level 4 won't refresh everything). I expect this to take around 12 months, at which point I think I can apply for MIP (please correct me if I am wrong).
    • Try to achieve FMAAT status somewhere along the way.
    I hope this will serve as an additional source of income, with the additional benefit of giving me something else to fall back on in the unfortunate event of my IT skills become redundant at any point.

    My questions are:

    Does anyone out there have any experiences of being a part time self-employed MIP with the AAT while being full time employed in an unrelated profession? How has this worked out for you? Does what I have mentioned above seem a prudent/sensible approach? Is there a better way I can approach this? Is there anything else I need to consider? Are there any obvious pitfalls I am missing?

    Also, is there anything to be gained from starting lower on the AAT ladder (eg level 3), bearing in mind I studied Accounting at degree level? I don't want to spend too much money (or time) on study in the short term before being able to practice as a MIP if I dont have to. I do feel that starting at level 3 probably isn't necessary, and level 2 would probably be way too low, but open to feedback from those with more experience. AAT is stated to be below the standard of a degree, but I do believe AAT is generally more respected and more relevant in practice, and probably quite critical to helping me get clients as a self-employed accountant/bookkeeper, would that be fair to say? Even if this were not true, I do need some way of getting back into accounting after 13 years.

    Any general feedback and comments on what I have said is very greatfully received.

    Thanks very much for reading,

    Theo
  • StuartW
    StuartW Online Community Manager LondonRegistered Posts: 472
    Hi Theo,

    As this request could probably benefit from the input of existing MIPs, I've copied it to the MIP forum for you.

    Stuart
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Thank you :-)
  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    I may be wrong but I don't think you can be AAT qualified and therefore use the credentials without level 3 as well as 4 (you definitely don't need level 2 though). With your background knowledge though, you'd race through levels 3 and 4, I imagine your estimate of a year will be overly generous.
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Thank you for your comment. I do remember enquiring at the time I graduated, and I am pretty sure the AAT confirmed that I would only have to pass level 4 (this exemption was only given to holders of an Accounting Degree, however). But I am not sure whether there was such a thing as "member in practice" then? To be honest, I always felt an Accountancy graduate should be able to apply for automatic membership without having to pass any of the stages, but I am given to understand that AAT is just that little bit more practical/relevant compared to the Academic focus of the degree, so maybe that's why? I will certainly take a look at the core level 3 objectives, but I would really prefer not to actually have to pass the level 3 exams(s) unless I really have to...
  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    Personally I agree that an accounting degree should give you an exemption, but I've never actually heard anyone talk about it which is why I thought I'd mention it. Though AAT after an accounting degree is fairly unusual so perhaps this is why I've never heard it mentioned.

    Bearing in mind that an accounting degree would give you far more exemptions if you were following the chartered route, it does, on one hand, seem odd that you need to sit AAT exams. However, on the other hand, it also doesn't seem right to be AAT qualified having never had to sit an actual AAT exam!

    As I said earlier, you'll race through the exams so I don't think it will be too much of a hardship for you to do the exams either way (apart from the cost aspect of course!)
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    I think you are right, AAT after a degree is a little unusual. I just checked the ACCA site and it turns out I still have exemptions from 7 of the 14 exams! But I guess not many people come back to accountancy after such a long time out like me, I have been out of it for quite a while and I feel I need a worthwhile refresher, pitched at the right level. The final stage of AAT seems perfect given where I am coming from, and I will gain a worthwhile and recognised qualification to boot (practically speaking, I believe it's probably worth more than my degree as a stand-alone credential). The cost aspect, at this stage, is important, so the less study and exams I have to take, the better. But I'll take level 3 into consideration. Thanks very much for your comments.
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Also, could anyone recommend a good (and low cost) distance learning provider? I live in the North West. Thanks again.
  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    I'd really consider self studying in your shoes. I think you'd find distance learning too slow, and would probably look back and feel you'd wasted your money.

    You would need a distance learning provider to mark the modules which are projects, but for the purely exam modules, just buy the BPP text books and question banks, and go from there. I am fairly sure you will have already covered the content in your degree so you've already proved you understand it, so doing level 4 should just be revision for you.
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Thanks for the advice. Seems sensible but most of the distance learning providers I have looked at so far seem to be "all or nothing" as far as I can tell, ie the fees they charge cover the whole stage and are not broken down by module, unless you know otherwise? I'm also not sure how rusty I will be on the various topics, so the support may be valuable. Also, when I looked at the syllabus for level 4, there are a few areas which I am not sure were covered in much depth on my degree (though maybe I've just completely forgotten them).
  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    For what it's worth, I taught myself from the books and didn't find anything too taxing, and I don't have an accounting degree, or even any basic prior accounting knowledge. There are many people on these forums who did the same. By all means, pay for a distance learning package if you think you need it, but I think you are selling yourself short and underestimating your ability and knowledge. Think how gutted you'd be if you paid out all that money and then found that you never used the tutors!

    Why not buy a few of the text books and see how you get on by yourself - the distance learners will still be there if you decided to enrol later on if you are finding it tough on your own.
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Good point. Thanks for sharing your experience (its worth a lot!). What happened when you had to submit coursework? Did you just pay a small fee to a learning provider to mark it and cover the exam study yourself etc? What learning provider did you use for the level 4 coursework (if you used one).
  • Nps
    Nps Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 782
    I did level 4 under the old standards (they changed last month) so can only speak from that experience. I needed a distance learning provider for the ICAS module, which you can normally buy as a standalone module. It cost just over £200 so that one module cost me almost as much as the rest of the level. Personally I thought it was a waste of time and to be honest, I thought it was the weak part of an otherwise excellent qualification. I wasn't at all impressed with the provider I used but I won't say who it was as others used the same provider and were quite happy with them. I suspect my dissatisfaction with the module itself didn't help matters but I certainly don't think I got good value for money.
  • TheoVK
    TheoVK Settling In Nicely Registered Posts: 15
    Thanks very much that's really valuable feedback. Sounds like self study is the way forward for me. Im glad I came on this forum!
  • MichaelU
    MichaelU Registered Posts: 1
    I'm in year 11 and my local college offers the AAT diploma. Is it ideal to go straight into this or should I do A levels first?
  • StuartW
    StuartW Online Community Manager LondonRegistered Posts: 472
    Hi @MichaelU‌ - this can really depend on the individual. You would be eligible for an apprenticeship at your age, which would mean if you were successful in finding a vacancy you could have your studies funded by an employer and earn a wage at the same time.

    However you might find you'd be competing for these apprenticeships with people who have sat A-Levels, and who may be more attractive to employers as a result. There's also the fact that a couple of years can mean a significant difference in maturity when you're younger.

    It's worth speaking to the college, although it's also worth bearing in mind that it's in their interest to get students registered on courses, so you can't always be sure college advisors have your best interests at heart. Do you have a careers advisor at school who you could chat to about your decision?

    Some useful links you might want to check out:
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