Where can AAT take me?

Hello, I achieved the overall grade distinction in August when i finally got my last result which i was very pleased with. However I am unsure what I can realistically strive for with my AAT Level 4 qualification without going on to do ACCA, to be honest I basically haven't stopped learning and doing exams since i left school like 4 years ago and am hesitant to commit to further studies right now in my career, but am motivated to find a new job role such as an assistant accountant/bookkeeper, where i would be able to actually use my AAT and get some experience under my belt. While doing AAT I have only really got 2 years purchase ledger experience which hinders me in looking for a new job role, also my excel skills aren't great (although did the spreadsheet AAT exam @ level 3) and I have only really used a bespoke finance software related to my company and not Sage or any other renowned packages.I ideally want to move more away from purchase ledger, but with me not having ACCA and only Purchase ledger experience I am unsure what to do next. I know it would depend on what duties i would like to do, at the moment I am opened minded, I wouldn't mind trying bookkeeping/sales ledger/credit control/aspects of tax/Fixed asset register usage & depreciation workings/Trial balance/ working with VAT/ Dealing with accruals and prepayments/ control accounts/profit or loss & Balance sheet workings & many other things that AAT has taught me.
But I do want to use my qualification and basically want to know what i can realistically strive for and what sort of salary to expect to the jobs available. If anyone has any ideas/advice etc to give to me that would be fantastic. I am not ruling out ACCA completely, but am just put off for this point in time (I have just turned 21 by the way).

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • ChrisJ30
    ChrisJ30 Just Joined CambridgeMAAT Posts: 93
    I also passed AAT level 4 in August. I was a credit controller for a year and now I'm an accounts assistant but it's mostly PL work. Like you I would also like to use my qualification doing tax, VAT, fixed asset register, TB, accruals and prepayments etc I have been applying for jobs for over 6 months but so far nothing. I am now registered with ACCA and started with the F4 module - though I am finding ACCA very expensive. I'm 32 by the way :D
    Clintm15
  • richf
    richf Just Joined Registered Posts: 86
    This really is a how long is a piece of string question.

    Here's my personal experience, I passed my Lvl 4 exams in November 2015 and had limited bookkeeping experience gained through voluntarily offering to do in my spare time whilst working full time in a printing company. With this I really struggled to get a foot hold in an accounts Job, having working for 13 years in a IT/pre-press role in print.

    I managed to get a account assistant role in May 2016, after trawling many company websites and recruiters just want to pigeon hole you and most just thought it ridiculous to be taking a big pay cut and were not convinced I was worth there time.

    Anyhow, sorry for the tangent, I actually progressed quickly by always asking for more work and I am no classed as accountant, doing monthly postings for about 30 companies, rolling forward month end files and also completing full management accounts 10 smaller companies including board papers and operational models for 2, soon to be 4.

    I have been lucky as staff turnover gave opportunities/gaps which I rushed to fill but have hit the ceiling regards promotion as in this company they require qualified accountants for the next role in the ladder. I have nearly completed CIMA operational level, without which I think they may have not allowed me such responsibility.

    But, every company is different and whilst some will push for studies others will allow you to progress quickly with no further qualifications.

    Regarding your comment 'I wouldn't mind trying bookkeeping/sales ledger/credit control/aspects of tax/Fixed asset register usage & depreciation workings/Trial balance/ working with VAT/ Dealing with accruals and prepayments/ control accounts/profit or loss & Balance sheet workings & many other things that AAT has taught me. ' I have had varying amounts of exposure to all these apart from Fixed asset stuff, and none of it is particularity tricky though can be slightly different in the real world.

    Personally I would aim for a job that offers study support, and take it, these jobs are more likely to be interested in you progression, giving you more variety and less likely to allow stagnation in my opinion. Some of the students who studied AAT alongside me are now having to pay for there studies themselves for ACCA/CIMA and struggling both financially and with lack of support.

    As a disclaimer, I'm 36 and trying my damnedest to progress fast as not much point in a career change if you don't :)

    Regards

    Rich

    PS. Excel skills are a big advantage, and most can be googled for free.
  • burg
    burg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,441
    If you are planning on staying in employment then carry on and gain ACCA or similar.
    It makes a difference in the employment world and will affect your salary and the type of jobs you can command.

    I switched to accountancy and was employed and did AAT and most of ACCA. I then left before completing it to start my own practice and have not felt it holds me back. However I have no intention of returning to an employed role. If I did then not having ACCA or similar may hold me back in respect of roles etc that I could get although my experience would obviously count for something
    Regards,

    Burg
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