A career in accountancy can be extremely rewarding as it can offer excellent job prospects to those who decide to pursue a career in it. The best way to start a career in accountancy is with an accountancy qualification and The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) provide great qualifications to suit both beginners and those with previous accounting experience.
AAT is the UK’s leading professional membership association for accounting professionals. It has more than 120,000 members in more than 90 countries all around the world.
AAT is considered the best entry point for those looking to start a career in accounting, and the association is sponsored by four of the UK’s leading chartered accountancy bodies: CIPFA, CIMA, ICAS, and ICAEW.
What is an Accounting Technician?
Becoming AAT qualified means that you could work in the accounts department of a variety of businesses in a variety of industries. It also means you could start working for yourself and start up your own business.
The AAT qualification combines the essential accountancy knowledge with practical accounting skills. It can even lead to higher levels of professional accountancy qualifications, including ACCA, CIPFA, CIMA and ICAEW.
Accountancy offers a number of areas to work within:
- Business Restructuring
- Corporate Finance
- Company Financial Control
- Double Bookkeeping
- Financial Legislation & Compliance
- Fund Management
- Investment Banking
- Management Consultancy
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Offshore Trusts
- Tax Consultancy
Why Choose AAT?
While it is true that there are a lot of different accounting qualifications out there, the AAT qualification is perfect for anyone looking to take their first steps into building a successful career in accounting.
This qualification is greatly respected by professionals in the financial industry, not only in the UK but around the world. Large companies such as The NHS, Coca Cola, and Procter & Gamble all used AAT qualifications as a gold standard to improve the skills of their employees.
The Benefits of AAT Membership
AAT members are allowed to use the letter MAAT after their names, which is something recruitment companies look for when hiring professionals for accounts departments.
AAT members also get access to a benefits packaged which includes things like discounts on car and home insurance, as well as perks to reduce the costs of holiday accommodations.
Even if you are not yet fully qualified, you can add to your CV that you are in the process of getting your first AAT Level, and that alone will increase your chances with many employers.
Who Can Study AAT?
If you are looking to build your career in accounting, the AAT qualification is the perfect place to start.
There are no entry requirements for AAT Level 2, and you don’t need work experience. This is a qualification that is designed to give its students practical skills that they can implement in the workplace.
This means AAT is ideal if you are leaving school or college, but also if you are changing careers.
Here are some interesting facts about studying AAT:
- The average time to complete each of the AAT levels is around three years
- The first level of AAT can be completed as fast as 7 months
- There are AAT students in more than 90 countries around the world
- There’s access to career and study practice within the AAT membership
How Much Can You Earn?
According to AAT official figures, the average salary of an AAT qualified member (MAAT) is around £30k and this can rise further to £38k for those who are Fellow members (FMAAT).
The earning potential of AAT members also increases as they progress in their careers, with senior managers earning an average of £43k per year. Here’s what you can expect if you are just starting out:
- AAT Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE) – Accounts Administrator – £18,000 annual salary
- AAT Level 3 (equivalent to A Level) – Accounts Assistant – £19,000 annual salary
- AAT Level 4 (equivalent to Degree Level) – Assistance Financial Accountant – £21,000 annual salary
It’s worth adding that earning potentials will vary depending on each individual employer, the business location, employee’s certifications, and even job title. The more levels you gain, the greater your earning potential.
For example, someone who gets an AAT qualification Level 2 could be earning somewhere in the region of £16,500-18,000 per year as an Accounting Clerk, but as they progress into further levels, the next step in their accounting career would be to move on to positions such as Accounts Supervisor, or Accounts Manager where earnings can reach above £30,000 and rise up to the £50,000 for more experienced professionals.
Where Should You Study AAT?
AAT is the organisation behind the creation of the course syllabus, so all course providers usually work with the same type of material. With that in mind, you need to think beyond study materials to find the best provider for you.
Here are some of the most relevant factors you should consider when choosing your provider:
- Do they offer a study method that suits your needs? You might prefer classroom study to online study?
- Do they have a high pass rates? Rated higher than 90% indicates good training
- Do they have good quality lecturers? Look at their lecturers professional experience
- Are AAT study materials included in the course? This will save you paying for extras
- Is there support until you pass? Some providers will offer pass guarantees