Accounting qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) are a very popular choice for those looking to work in the accounting sector. This is because AAT are the “world’s leading professional body for accounting technicians”. Employers recognise that AAT’s accounting courses give students the real world, practical skills they need to add real value to the workplace.

An AAT accounting qualification is often the first step on the road to becoming a chartered accountant for many (due to the AAT fast track route which gives AAT full and fellow members generous exemptions), but there are other routes into the accounting industry, too. We’re here to lift the lid on some of your options, and then it’s your turn to decide which path is right for you.

AAT Qualifications

For some, simply gaining a specific AAT qualification is enough to secure them the job they want. As you complete each AAT accounting level (2, 3 and 4), you will be eligible for a number of different accounting roles. Simply, the more levels you complete, the higher the salary tends to be and the more jobs you will be eligible for. We recommend looking into the jobs available at different AAT levels to see if they are the type of job you’re aiming for.

AAT and Apprenticeships

Because students are able to study AAT qualifications part-time, some individuals opt to undertake an apprenticeship at the same time. Students often enter full-time employment as a result of gaining both qualifications (an AAT qualification and an apprenticeship qualification). Employers have been known to offer apprentices full-time roles in their company as a result of their apprenticeship.


If you would like to gain chartered accountant status with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), you’ll need to have passed the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting – Level 4 qualification. By completing this level, you will be eligible for exemption from the first three ACCA exam papers. More information on AAT to ACCA.


The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is a professional awarding body with whom you can gain full chartered accountant status. To apply for the CIMA Professional Qualification, you will have to have completed the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting course. Once you have secured the CIMA Professional Qualification, you will be awarded the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation and have chartered accountant status.


A collaboration between AAT and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) gives students the opportunity to qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in as little as two years. This is called the AAT-ACA Fast Track route. To get onto the fast track route, you need to have completed the AAT Level 4 qualification.

For more information on AAT qualifications and routes into the accounting sector, contact Aspiring Accountants today for free advice and guidance.


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