For many, AAT levels offer everything one might need in a qualification – practically applicable, globally recognised and reasonably priced. For others, however, AAT qualifications are but a step on the way to gaining chartered accountant status from an awarding body like the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Today we’ll go through the necessary steps you’ll need to complete if you wish to go from AAT to full ACCA chartered accountant status.

To begin with, you’ll need to have gained the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4). Once you’ve obtained the Level 4 qualification, you’ll be able to apply to study for the chartered accountant qualification with ACCA. By completing AAT’s Professional Diploma in Accounting, you’ll be eligible for exemption from the first three exam papers from the ACCA qualification.

The ACCA qualification is split into three parts: Fundamentals, Professional and mandatory work experience. Fundamentals and Professional levels are assessed through a variety of papers, and ACCA students are also required to complete at least 36 months of hands-on professional experience in an appropriate accounting role before they achieve ACCA chartered status


The first part of your formal ACCA qualification begins with the Fundamentals level. This is divided into two further sections: Knowledge and Skills. Thanks to your AAT Level 4 qualification, you can move straight past the Knowledge modules and onto Skills.

ACCA Skills is made up of six modules: F4 – Corporate and Business Law, F5 – Performance Management, F6 – Taxation, F7 – Financial Reporting, F8 – Audit and Assurance, and F9 – Financial Management. Once completed, you’ll move onto the Professional level modules.


The second part of the ACCA qualification looks to build upon all the skills you will have learnt throughout the AAT courses and Fundamentals ACCA modules. Again, topics are split into two: the compulsory Essentials modules and two specialist modules of your choice. During this time, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in a particular accounting role and gain senior level knowledge.

ACCA Essentials comprises of the following modules: P1 – Governance, P2 – Corporate Reporting, and P3 – Business Analysis. You’ll then be given the choice of completing two from the following four modules: P4 – Advanced Financial Management, P5 – Advanced Performance Management, P6 – Advanced Taxation, or P7 – Advanced Audit and Assurance.

Depending on whether you’re working whilst studying, the ACCA qualification can be gained in as little as three years. Once achieved, you’ll be able to apply for senior level accounting roles and demand a higher salary. Check out the 2017 salary calculator to get an idea of what pay range you can expect from a variety of accounting roles.  

Interested in learning how you can get started on your path to chartered status? Contact Aspiring Accountants today for free, impartial advice on your accounting career options.


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