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Where to start with a career change?


I've been in IT for 20 years and I'm fairly senior, although I've just fallen out of love with the industry and the way it's evolved from a technical support perspective.

I'm set on a career change into Accounts, that's for certain, but I just want some advice on where to start exactly.

Friends pointed me to the new AQ2016 Level 2 Foundation Certificate, but then there is the more introductory Level 1 Bookkeeping and Computerised Accounting training.

The Level 2 course seems to cover these anyway, and so I was sticking my neck in that direction.
I work full time, and so all this would be done in my own time, with a view to cutting the cord at some point (probably after achieving the Level 2 completion) and taking an entry level role somewhere, before continuing my studies

I went to self-study, and do this as quick as possible, but in registering with AAT, it asks me to provide training provider details, and a ULN(?) number too.

I guess my question, therefore, is two-fold

1. Is there an exam to take after each module of the Level 2 course?
2. If I feel I'm ready to take an exam (whichever one that is if there are multiple), can I just phone and book to take it somewhere, or do I need to go through an authorized training provider

Any advice would be great,

Thank you


  • Adele69Adele69 CambridgeAAT Student Posts: 320
    1) There is an exam for each module, If you're self studying then it really is as simple as booking in when you feel ready to take the computer based assessments. You could even do more than one on the same day. There is a suggested order in L2 as some content follows on from earlier learning but it's a while since I did

    2) Most (if not all) of the test centres are authorised training providers. Computer based Accounting software (using Sage) does require you to sign up with a provider as they mark this locally and send the results to AAT
  • addy4488addy4488 Registered Posts: 7
    It was afterwards I actually did some further digging and realized I could book the exams via the likes of Kaplan, so that's that issue sorted.
    However, still couldn't find anything on a preferred running order for the Level 2 stuff, though, so if anybody can advise what's best on that score?
    Failing that, I was going to start with BKTN and get going
  • Adele69Adele69 CambridgeAAT Student Posts: 320
    Bookkeeping Transactions or whatever it's called in AQ2016 (I did it in 2014 under AQ2013) really needs to be the first as Control Accounts follow on from earlier content, and you would probably need to have done both those before the Computerised Accounting (Sage) package. Unsure whether the order of Costing and Working effectively in Accounting matters.
  • norwich_alessionorwich_alessio NorwichRegistered Posts: 13

    Not sure if this is going to help you....

    A new syllabus has been introduced in 2016 while I was studying towards my Level 2.

    As far as I'm aware there have been a few changes with the main ones being the introduction of a synoptic exam at the end that will test you across the key modules. I was lucky enough to avoid that as my memory is not the best and it would definitely take loads of extra effort (weak memory here!).

    Broadly the subject should all still be there, if not you can easily check and find out.

    Having said that, for the 2013 syllabus, this was the suggested order, according to AAT

    1) Processing bookkeeping transactions
    2) Control accounts, journals and the banking system
    3) Basic costing
    4) Computerised accounting
    5) Working effectively in accounting and finance

    As I'm in a very similar situation to yours, including the background, I decided to attend the L2 through a local provider, mainly to force myself to prepare, allocate time, etc and maximise chances of success.

    We started in May 2016 and, from the list above, we moved basic costing to the very end (last exam tomorrow! So you get an idea on timings).

    Initially I struggled a bit with the first module, and the second required some extra time as well....all others were very obvious and easy. Having said that, if you are totally serious and motivated about it, you can certainly save a big chunk of money with self-study. The books and mock exams are giving you all you need to understand and prepare/pass the exam....Maybe save the $$ for the L3 and/or L4 that are supposed to be more challenging.

    I'd like to suggest to review the salaries and opportunities out there as coming from IT I was and still am really unimpressed with the average earnings for qualified accountants....specially when comparing them with IT.

    Please note I'm not saying this to demoralise you, but maybe just something to consider. In fact I'm really happy with my L2 progress (passed all exams quite easily) and I'm starting my L3 next week :-)

    Good luck,
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