Should I start with Accounting or Bookkeeping?

Hi all,

A little background so you can see the situation I am coming from:
I am 31 years old and have been mostly bed bound since I was 6 (hence I have no experience in working and do not have a university degree or GCSEs). I do, however, have hope of recovering to a degree where I can work (and it is this period of my life I will be focusing on with this question).

I love maths and have decided that accounting is the career for me. My question is, should I should start with an AAT Bookkeeping qualification, or jump straight into an AAT Accounting qualification?

I know that I will face challenges getting into either career due to my situation, but I am very happy to give it my all, and start at the bottom of the ladder. I understand that these challenges will apply both to bookkeeping jobs and accounting jobs, but I am wondering if it would be best for me to start with gaining a Bookkeeping qualification, getting my foot in the door with that career, and then moving to accounting, or jump straight into accounting?

Thank you for any advice you have.


  • davealucas
    davealucas Registered Posts: 140 Dedicated contributor 🦉
    Hi there,

    The AAT Accounting Qualification starts at level 2 which are, for most intents and purposes, bookkeeping skills. If you start there you cannot go far wrong.
  • mighty18
    mighty18 Registered Posts: 16
    Bookkeeping is the fundamentals of accounting; it is about gathering information and recording it. Then it follows with financial accounting, management accounting and income taxes...I have a level 2 in manual bookkeeping and also, a level 2 in computerized accounts. after my access course (level 1) this is where I progressed.
  • BradJones_FTA
    BradJones_FTA Registered Posts: 23
    Hi there,

    Great to hear you are looking to move into a career of finance, especially considering your circumstances, but if you have an interest in numbers and problem solving, this is defiantly for you.

    AAT Level 2 pretty much covers the basics of bookkeeping. Coupled with Level 3, you can apply for a Bookkeeping licence/qualification from AAT. So going straight into the accounting qualification would be best.
    Plus, if you decide you want to take it further, you will have the option of completing Level 4 and become fully qualified with AAT.

    Who knows, you may even consider becoming charted. The possibilities are very fruitful.

    The first step is always the biggest, so get yourself signed onto AAT level 2 and take it from there.

    All the best!
  • ElizaBatty
    ElizaBatty Registered Posts: 5
    Thank you very much davealucas, mighty18 and BradJones_FTA for the advice. I really appreciate it, and will be doing the AAT Level 2 Accounting and going from there :)
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