Choose the right training for your business needs

Match the finance skills you need with an AAT qualification

Use our qualifications navigator to help you choose the right course for your staff or match the finance skills you need with AAT qualifications and courses.

To assess your training needs, think about where the gaps are in your finance team. Are you looking to fill a particular finance role or are there certain skillsets that need to be filled or updated? Use the information below to find out which AAT qualification best suits your training needs.

Entry-level finance roles

Roles you'd like to fill:

  • Cashier
  • Clerical Assistant

Skills you need in your team:

  • Familiarity with business documents including those used for buying and selling goods on credit.
  • Familiarity with accounting terms such as assets, liabilities, income and expenditure.
  • Basic principles of VAT.
  • Performing simple bank reconciliations.
  • Basic principles of petty cash.
  • Familiarity with the accounting function within an organisation.
  • Handling payments.
  • Calculating percentages, ratios and fractions.
  • Calculating gross and net profit.
  • Performing routine computerised payroll functions.
  • Performing routine computerised accounts transactions.
  • Performing basic spreadsheet techniques.

Consider these foundation qualifications, which allow students to complete a varied range of tasks with some supervision or guidance:

More entry-level finance roles

Roles you'd like to fill:

  • Accounts Administrator
  • Accounts Clerk
  • Clerical Assistant
  • Finance Assistant
  • Trainee Bookkeeper

Skills you need in your team:

  • Understanding of the five-stage accounting system and the accounting equation.
  • Understanding of sales and purchasing processes including discounts and processing documents from order to payments and receipts.
  • Recording transactions into the accounts, including VAT and using general and subsidiary ledgers with control accounts.
  • Performing double entry up to and including the trial balance.
  • Recognition and correction of errors in the accounts using journals, including clearing any suspense balance.
  • Petty cash.
  • Performing bank reconciliations and control account reconciliations.
  • Use of accounting software to perform the above skills and to produce reports.

Consider these foundation qualifications, which allow students to complete a varied range of tasks with some supervision or guidance:

Roles you'd like to fill:

  • Accounts Administrator
  • Accounts Assistant
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Purchase Clerk/Sales Ledger Clerk
  • Trainee Accounts Technician
  • Trainee Finance Assistant

Skills you need in your team:

  • Understanding of the five-stage accounting system and the accounting equation.
  • Understanding of sales and purchasing processes including discounts and processing documents from order to payments and receipts.
  • Recording transactions into the accounts, including VAT and using general and subsidiary ledgers with control accounts.
  • Performing double entry up to and including the trial balance.
  • Recognition and correction of errors in the accounts using journals, including clearing any suspense balance.
  • Petty cash.
  • Performing bank reconciliations and control account reconciliations.
  • Use of accounting software to perform the above skills and to produce reports.
  • Recognition of cost classifications by nature and behaviour.
  • Calculation of total and unit costs including the high-low method.
  • Inventory valuation methods, LIFO, FIFO and AVCO.
  • Overhead absorption.
  • Budgets with variances, actual vs budget.
  • Understanding of the role of the finance department within an organisation.
  • Understanding of effective teamwork and interpersonal skills.
  • Importance of accuracy.
  • Effective business communications.
  • Familiarity with the basic principles of ethics and sustainable business practices.
  • Understanding the core principles of payroll.
  • Performing simple spreadsheet techniques.

Consider the Foundation Certificate in Accounting, which allows students to complete a varied range of tasks with some supervision or guidance.

Part-qualified accountant-level roles

Roles you'd like to fill:

  • Accounts Manager
  • Ledger Manager
  • Professional Bookkeeper

Skills you need in your team:

  • The accounting principles underlying the preparation of final accounts.
  • Financial period end adjustments including accruals, prepayments, irrecoverable and doubtful debts, inventory valuation and the use of the extended trial balance.
  • Non-current asset record keeping including depreciation and the difference between capital and revenue expenditure/income.
  • Differences between, and regulations applying to, different types of organisation.
  • Incomplete record account preparation.
  • Producing final accounts for sole traders and partnerships.
  • Understanding the key differences between accounts for limited companies and sole traders.
  • Familiarity with the principles of ethics and sustainability.

Consider the Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping, which covers a solid range of knowledge and skills. It corresponds to job roles where employees are required to work independently.

Roles you'd like to fill:

  • Accounts Assistant
  • Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Assistant Accountant
  • Audit Trainee
  • Senior Bookkeeper
  • Corporate Recovery Analyst
  • Credit Controller
  • Finance Assistant
  • Finance Officer
  • Indirect Tax Manager
  • Insolvency Executive
  • Payroll Supervisor
  • Professional Bookkeeper
  • Tax Assistant

Skills you need in your team:

  • The accounting principles underlying the preparation of final accounts.
  • Financial period end adjustments including accruals, prepayments, irrecoverable and doubtful debts, inventory valuation and the use of the extended trial balance.
  • Non-current asset record keeping including depreciation and the difference between capital and revenue expenditure/income.
  • Differences between, and regulations applying to, different types of organisation.
  • Incomplete record account preparation.
  • Producing final accounts for sole traders and partnerships.
  • Understanding the key differences between accounts for limited companies and sole traders.
  • The purpose and use of management accounting within an organisation.
  • Marginal and absorption costing techniques.
  • Calculating materials, labour and overhead costs, differentiating between the classification of cost types.
  • Inventory control including economic order quantities and stock valuation.
  • Overhead apportionment including activity based costing and traditional methods.
  • Decision-making techniques such as break even, limiting factors and the internal rate of return.
  • VAT legislation requirements and filing VAT returns.
  • The principles of the ethical code for professional accountants including the conceptual framework and the action to be taken concerning unethical behaviour or illegal acts.

Consider the Advanced Diploma in Accounting, which covers a solid range of knowledge and skills. It corresponds to job roles where employees are required to work independently.

Management-level roles

Roles you'd like to fill:

  • Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor
  • Assistant Auditor
  • Assistant Financial Accountant
  • Assistant Management Accountant
  • Commercial Analyst
  • Cost Accountant
  • Fixed Asset Accountant
  • Indirect Tax Manager
  • Payments and Billing Manager
  • Payroll Manager
  • Professional Accounting Technician
  • Senior Bookkeeper
  • Senior Finance Officer
  • Senior Fund Accountant
  • Senior Insolvency Administrator
  • Tax Supervisor
  • VAT Accountant

Skills you need in your team:

  • Knowledge of the regulatory framework that underpins financial reporting for different types of businesses.
  • Financial statements for limited companies, including consolidated financial statements.
  • Ratio analysis for profitability, liquidity, resources and financial position.
  • The principles of budgeting including responsibilities and accountabilities, constraints, and production plans.
  • The use of budgeting to improve organisational performance, planning and review.
  • Standard costing techniques.
  • Techniques to forecast income and expenditure.
  • Cash flow forecasts.
  • Marginal and absorption costing techniques.
  • Activity-based costing.
  • Life cycle costing.
  • Management reporting on financial analysis including key financial and non-financial performance indicators.
  • Making recommendations using decision-making techniques.
  • Evaluation of internal control systems and procedures to minimise the risk of loss or fraud to an organisation, making recommendations.
  • Application of the principles of ethics and sustainability.
  • Cash and treasury management.
  • Credit management.
  • Business tax.
  • Personal tax.

Consider the Professional Diploma in Accounting, which is aimed at technical or professional job roles, sometimes with supervisory or first-line management elements.

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