I need a very professional/experienced answer.. "If you was me"


I have a serious question which will result in my decision to continue AAT or not.

I graduated in 2011 with a B.Sc. degree in Information Technology and i am currently studying AAT Level 2. I do not have any accounting/finance experience.

I started AAT level 2 in Feb 2017 and as of today i have completed both Bookkeeping Transactions and Controls with 95 and 96 percent pass rate.

Whilst applying for job roles i am met with the most common flaw put in place by agencies which is "2 years experience required" for entry level accounting roles.

Whilst applying for training/apprenticeship roles, i have been hit with "you are over qualified". I also had a Kaplan finance member confirm that because of my university degree, I am considered level 4 qualified meaning i cannot apply for apprenticeships, which is not stated on the Gov.co.uk website.

Now the only interviews i have had is with "top dog" companies (FTSE 100). Both PriceWaterhouseCooper and Compass group quickly offered me interviews for graduate roles and both companies acknowledged i have achieved a IT degree which they stated is very beneficial in today's economy. However i was kindly rejected as they had more suitable candidates who (which i discover by networking with a few during the interview day) were part qualified ACCA students.

Now if you was me

Would you continue to finish Level 2 and completely skip Level 3 & 4 and go straight into ACCA?


Would you continue to complete Level 2, 3 and 4 whist continuing to find a related job role then eventually moving towards ACCA in the future.

Bare in mind i study via kaplan's long distance course (basically at home) and that i left my previous job so i could pursue my career goals.

Thanks for reading.


  • Zoynal98
    Zoynal98 Registered Posts: 65
    edited April 2017
    Hi Ricky,

    I'd go with this option without a doubt: "Would you continue to complete Level 2, 3 and 4 whilst continuing to find a related job role then eventually moving towards ACCA in the future." Unless you can find a graduate position within a firm that provides ACA/ACCA/CIMA training.

    As you lack Accounting/Finance knowledge (most of use were at some point), Level 2 is a good starting point. AAT gives you a good understanding of Accountancy as a whole, even if you are not working within an Accounting firm it will give you a pragmatic approach to things, i.e. real life situations.
  • Mike Webster
    Mike Webster Registered, Tutor Posts: 203 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    AAT is also a vocational qualification and so means its 'graduates' from Level 4 are far more work ready than many of their ACCA/CIMA counterparts.
    I had a Business Degree (which qualified me for nothing), couldn't get a graduate position (unless I moved to London which I was not doing) so went and did the old NVQ qualification. 10 years later, I'm a fully qualified lecturer, assessor and internal verifier. None of this would have been possible without my AAT qualification.
    Would I change what I did - yes, I would have gone to university earlier - but I would not have chosen to study anything other than AAT.
    I am proud to put AATQB and FMAAT after my name (along with BA (Hons) & PGCE) and would recommend the suite of qualifications to anyone. (In fact I do on a regular basis in my role as AAT Course Coordinator at my local college).
    Michael JH Webster AATQB FMAAT
  • JayB2606
    JayB2606 Registered Posts: 36 Regular contributor ⭐
    If I was In your predicament, I would review where I wanted to be in ten years and which route would best suit.

    If you wanted to work for KPMG or PWC it would depend on which dept - If Audit then I would have skip and do ACCA, If Small Business Accountant then continue AAT and then ACCA.

    I agree with Zonyna that AAT level 2 gives you a foundation, which is always a plus as I am finding more and more grads that are exempted from the earlier stages on any qual unable to grasp DRs and CRs.
    ACCA, FMAAT, Licenced Accountant and ACCA Practising Certificate
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