Should I carry on with AAT Level 4?

I am in my 40's and currently half way through Level 4. I am struggling with whether to continue or not as I have a horrible feeling that I am going to end up "qualified" but with no experience. I work for a charity for 20 hours a week but all they do is travel reimbursements and some reconcilliations. So I have seen some bookkeeping but not much. I don't know what I should do next and this is creating a huge issue with my motivation. You all know how much of a struggle it is to get Level 4 whilst working (and I am a mum too). What can I set my sights on? Should I keep going? Is it going to be worth it??


  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    Hi Ellie,
    I started AAT at 40, started doing some bookkeeping for my local PTA then worked in practice as an accounts assistant - Once AAT qualified I then did the ATT and felt more confident about setting up on my own. I am now studying towards my CTA qualification whilst looking after my clients. It works for me because I can now organise my life around my 3 children and I get to challenge myself everyday on the job front.

    Ultimately you have to look at what is important for you - are you happy staying in your job and does your employer value your qualification? Would you like to do something more challenging? If you are half-way through level 4 you are so close to qualify it would be a shame to give up now. Once qualified you are in a stronger position to apply for a new job; you say you have little experience of bookkeeping but you may be able to ask at work if you could get more involved with that side of things. With AAT under your belt it is something you will pick up easily, do not underestimate yourself!

    Good luck!
  • EllieBlossom
    EllieBlossom Registered Posts: 4
    Thankyou for replying. I do like tax!!!! I am so encouraged to hear from someone else in my age range too. Bless ya!
    I do need a new challenge. My work is lovely and has been a blessing whilst the kids were little - but now they are 13 & 11 I have more space in my head and wish for something more. You would recommend the ATT course to help myself move forwards?
  • MarieNoelle
    MarieNoelle Moderator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,369
    I believe ATT is worth it if you want to work in or set up in practice as it goes beyond the AAT tax modules. If you finish AAT you get an exemption for the Accounting paper, if this alone can motivate you to get your level 4!
  • EllieBlossom
    EllieBlossom Registered Posts: 4
    An exemption! Hooray! xx
  • Nps
    Nps Registered Posts: 782
    I was 37 when I started AAT, with a toddler and pregnant. No accounting experience at all. I am now 40 and will be ACCA qualified by the end of the year. I didn't even look for a job until I had completed AAT so you already have more accounting experience than I did when I was at your stage of study. I found that my age/lack of experience didn't hold me back at all and office experience (and general life experience) opened up many doors. Please don't give up AAT, that would be such a waste of the time you have have already committed to it.

    Why not look around for an entry level full accounting job and take it from there as it doesn't sound like your current role is particularly accounting related. Once you have that first role, the world is your oyster so to speak. You obviously had a reason for starting AAT, are those reasons still valid?
  • Sharon123
    Sharon123 FMAAT Posts: 80
    Although I worked in accounts I didn't do AAT till I was in my forties. I did self study and when I went to do my exams was old enough to be the other students' mum! The thing with Level 4 is that it builds on what you have learnt at Level 3. If you leave a gap it will be harder to study in the future. My experience is that AAT is a well respected qualification in the workplace and completing it will also give you the option of potentially starting your own business.
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