Professional growth is vital for keeping your employees technically and practically up to date, and supporting them to grow their knowledge, skills and understanding as the industry evolves.
Now more than ever, it’s important to keep your staff ahead of the new demands emerging. Professional development can also increase staff engagement, motivation and job satisfaction, and even plays a key role in retaining talent. Here are a few ways you can support your staff as they learn and grow.
Supporting staff through their studies
- Provide time and space to study: many organisations find that giving their staff paid study leave to attend classes, revise or sit assessments boosts their study success.
- Promote work experience and mentoring: shadowing colleagues, and placements or job swaps in different departments will give students the chance to master the skills they learn during their studies. Appointing a mentor for your AAT students can also help their confidence and understanding as they learn.
- Encourage your staff to attend AAT branch events and other specialist events: your employees will be able to take part in a broad range of courses and events at our regional branches. Many of these focus on specific topics and relevant issues, such as tax changes after the Budget or new financial legislation. These courses are also open to the non-AAT members of your team.
Professional membership for your staff
AAT professional membership demonstrates that your staff have the expertise needed to positively impact you, your business and your clients. It also opens access to a wide range of resources, support and training that will keep their skills sharp and their knowledge ahead of the curve.
We offer two routes to professional recognition for your staff: AAT bookkeeping membership (AATQB) and AAT full membership (MAAT). They demonstrate quality, competence and commitment, and MAAT is a fast track to chartered status.
CPD for your staff
AAT's CPD programme covers all the bases. Whether it's a deep dive into the latest tax update, or teaching your staff how to become business finance partners, we provide a host of learning resources for you and your staff, whatever your goals and however they like to learn.
Our e-learning and study support for students will put your staff on the path to success.
Students can access these resources through their MyAAT account. The resources include interactive tutorials, sample assessments, worksheets and webinars, to improve understanding of each learning area and to complement their studies.
Our online resources include:
- practice assessments: students can familiarise themselves with content types and question structures and try example assessment questions to practise their technique
- Green Light tests: students can judge how well they understand their learning areas and identify where they need to put in some more work. The tests also give students an idea of whether they are ready to sit their assessment
- the skills checklist: Students can tick off the skills they've gained through each unit. They can also use the checklist to see all the new skills they'll gain when they progress to the next level.
Accounting news and AAT student updates
Students will receive 20 magazine and the AAT Weekly student e-newsletter for expert articles, industry news, study tips, career advice and finance updates.
They can also share ideas and study tips with other AAT members on our lively AAT discussion forums, and keep up to date with the latest study and accounting news from us on Twitter @YourAAT and Facebook.
Progression to chartered status
Once a staff member has achieved the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting they can go on to study chartered accountancy. This is an extremely popular route: a third of all AAT students go on to chartered studies.
Chartered status supports a broad range of managerial finance roles across every sector.
How chartered staff will boost your business
Chartered accountants offer financial advice, audit records, manage finance systems and budgets. They generally play a strategic role by providing professional advice aimed at maximising profitability for their employer.
By supporting your staff to become chartered, you'll increase engagement and talent retention in your business. You'll also be developing your existing team into future business leaders.
Chartered qualification will build on your employees' technical knowledge, professional skills and practical experience, ensuring that they continue to add value to your organisation throughout their careers. Chartered qualification is a commitment for the employee, and they'll need to work under a mentor programme for at least three years.
The AAT fast-track route to chartered status
All the UK's chartered accountancy bodies offer AAT full members (MAAT) and fellow members (FMAAT) generous exemptions and a fast track to chartered status. This allows non-graduates to achieve chartered status quicker than by following the university path.
These bodies have information about chartered exemptions on their websites.
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Chartered Institute of Public and Finance Accountancy (CIPFA)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
Which employers train their staff to chartered level?
Although most training opportunities for chartered accountants are in public practice, more and more employers are offering training contracts for chartered status.
- Public practice
Including international accounting organisations or smaller accountancy firms, known as small and medium practices (SMPs), all providing a variety of accounting and business services to clients.
- Industry and commerce
Including major commercial companies, such as those in the manufacturing, retail and telecoms industries.
- Public sector
Including local and central government, educational institutions, charities and not-for-profit organisations. Historically, the public sector has not been a big recruiter/trainer of chartered accountants, but this has increased in recent years.