About AAT

AAT, established in 1980, is a voluntary membership organization that offers skills-based (vocational) accountancy and finance qualifications. AAT’s qualifications are regulated by all four United Kingdom qualification regulators, including Ofqual (England), CCEA (Northern Ireland), SQA Accreditation (Scotland), and Qualifications Wales. AAT is also a recognised End Point Assessment Organisation for the purposes of providing End Point Assessment for apprenticeships in accounting. AAT regulates its members and ensures that they comply with ethical requirements and is responsible for the investigation and discipline of its members. AAT is a professional body supervisor for the purposes of Anti-Money Laundering.

AAT in numbers

  • Around 130,000 members in more than 100 countries
  • We award around 80% of all vocational qualifications in accounting
  • We work with more than 500 AAT approved training providers
  • We have over 4,000 licensed members throughout the UK


AAT Foundation in Certificate

To pass this level, you’ll be examined on five units (also known as subjects), of which one includes the synoptic assessment. This tests the knowledge you have gained throughout the level, covering multiple (but not all) units. All assessments are computer-based exams (CBE).

You can learn the basic principles of accountancy, such as double-entry bookkeeping, recording day to day transactions and basic costing, as well as how to use accountancy software.

Assessed through both unit and synoptic assessment:


Bookkeeping transactions

You can learn how to understand and demonstrate basic financial transactions within a bookkeeping system, across supplier, customer and business accounts.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Bookkeeping controls

You can identify appropriate payment methods and the effect they have on the bank balance. You’ll learn about control accounts, reconciliation and the purpose of using the journal.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Elements of costing

This will teach you to understand the cost recording system within an organisation, use cost recording techniques, and provide information on actual and budgeted costs and income.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Foundation Synoptic Assessment

You’ll understand and develop the personal skills required to work effectively in a business and understand corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethics, and sustainability in the workplace. The synoptic assessment will also draw on your understanding from Bookkeeping transactions, Bookkeeping controls and Elements of costing.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Advanced Diploma

To pass this level you’ll need to study five units (also known as subjects), which are all mandatory. Four of the units are examined individually and there is also a synoptic assessment that you’ll take towards the end of the level, which incorporates the final two units as well as drawing on all of the other units you’ve studied at this level.

You can learn complex accounting techniques including maintaining cost accounting records and the preparation of reports and returns. You’ll master a number of accounting disciplines including financial processes, advanced bookkeeping, final accounts and ethical practices for accountants.

Unit and synoptic assessment:


Advanced Bookkeeping

You can learn how to apply the principles of advanced double entry bookkeeping. You’ll prepare depreciation calculations, period-end adjustments and learn how to extend the trial balance.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Final Accounts Preparation

You can learn how to prepare final accounts for sole traders and partnerships, identify alternative organisation structures, and examine the regulations governing company accounts.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Management Accounting: Costing

You can develop the knowledge and skills to understand the role of cost and management accounting in an organisation and understand how organisations use this information to make management decisions.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Indirect Tax

You can examine and apply VAT legislation requirements, complete VAT returns, and study the implications of errors, late filing and payment, and how to report VAT related information.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam

Advanced Synoptic Assessment

You canstudy the relevance of ethics in accountancy and learn about unethical behaviour or illegal acts in your accounting role. You will also learn the relevant spreadsheet skills and techniques which Accounting Technicians will use on a daily basis by incorporating the knowledge you have learnt from Advanced Bookkeeping, Final Accounts Preparation and Management Accounting: Costing.


ou must pass all the unit assessments and the synoptic assessment to be awarded a grade (70-79 for a Pass, 80-89 for a Merit or 90+ for a Distinction). The marks achieved in the individual units and the synoptic assessment contribute to your overall grade.


Professional Diploma

This course is made up of three mandatory units (also known as subjects), one synoptic unit, and five optional units. You must pass all the mandatory assessments, synoptic assessment, and two optional unit assessments to achieve the qualification.

Unit and synoptic assessment:

Financial Statements of Limited Companies

You can learn about drafting financial statements for single entities and consolidation of limited companies. You will also gain the skills to interpret the financial statements of limited companies, using ratio analysis.

Management Accounting: Budgeting

You can learn how to budget for business activities, set targets and plans, and monitor results. You’ll strengthen your skills in management accounting, statistical analysis, written communication and variance analysis.


Management Accounting: Decision and Control

This unit will prepare you to liaise with business managers to prepare basic or standard budget costs, create budgetary reports, control reports, and standard costing control reports. You’ll learn about concepts like cost behaviour, cost analysis, standard costing, and contribution theory.


Professional synoptic assessment

You’ll demonstrate your understanding by evaluating internal control systems within a business, and make recommendations to any weaknesses you find, to minimise the risk of loss. The synoptic assessment will also draw on your understanding from Financial Statements of Limited Companies, Management Accounting: Decision and Control and Management Accounting: Decision and Control.


Unit assessment only (optional units – choose two)

Business Tax

You can learn about UK taxation related to businesses. You’ll learn how to treat capital expenditure, adjust profits, the ramifications of late payments, and compute returns in an ethical manner.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Personal Tax

You can learn about taxation that affects UK tax payers – income tax, national insurance, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax. You’ll also learn about deductions and reliefs, and how UK taxpayers can minimise their tax legally.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


External Auditing

You can learn about external auditing of a financial statement, and understand the importance of internal controls. You’ll be able to conduct an external audit, including planning, gathering sufficient and appropriate evidence.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Cash and Treasury Management

You can learn how to identify how cash moves in a business in order to accurately prepare cash flow forecasts. You’ll gain the practical skills to identify ways to raise finance or also invest surplus funds in order to maximise the wealth of the business.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam


Credit Management

You can learn the principles of effective credit control in an organisation, find solutions to breaches of contracts, and describe terms and conditions with customers. You’ll be able to identify sources of information, assess credit risk, and learn about liquidity management, bankruptcies and insolvencies.

Subject assessment: computer-based exam

Study Method

You’ll benefit from high quality learning materials, practical learning methods, hundreds of practice questions, marked mock exams and expert support even on evenings and weekends. You can be confident with Excellent Choice Institute of Finance and Management.


You should have either passed AAT Foundation (Level 2), or you may be eligible for relevant exemptions if you’ve been working in an intermediate accounts role before enrolling on this course, or have achieved relevant A Levels.

If you are starting on Level 3, we advise that you enrol onto the Kaplan 2 Day Bookkeeping course, as there is an assumption at this level that you have a good knowledge of Double Entry Bookkeeping.

If you have a university degree in accountancy, or related, we recommend that you move straight onto ACCA, CIMA, or ACA.


You can take your exams at any time, apart from the synoptic exam, where there are only six specific exam weeks for this unit throughout the year. Understanding when you want to sit and pass your exam will affect the end date of your course and what materials you receive. Please note, you’ll still need to book your exams separately. All assessments on this level are computer-based exams (CBE).

You’ll be awarded a grade (pass, merit, or distinction) based on how you perform across the qualification. Unit and synoptic assessments are not awarded grades individually, but the marks achieved in all assessments contribute to your overall grade for the qualification.

For more information please visit : https://www.aat.org.uk