Become an AAT Licensed Accountant or Bookkeeper

We support over 4,000 AAT Licensed Accountants and Bookkeepers in running their own successful practices. It’s your opportunity to:

  • increase your earning potential – the average fee income for full-time AAT Licensed Accountants who are purely self-employed is £54,500*
  • utilise your finance skills and knowledge and work with a range of clients
  • achieve a better work/life balance and job satisfaction – 92% of AAT Licensed Accountants are satisfied in their jobs*
  • start your own business as a side venture – over 30% of AAT licensed members that have their own practice are also in employed roles.

Could it be right for you?

Take a look at some of the reasons why AAT students and professional members are thinking of taking the leap, then check out stories from AAT licensed members to find out what life is like as your own boss.

Are you eligible?

To see if we can support you to offer self-employed accountancy and bookkeeping services, use our licence checker.

Guidance for AAT professional members

If you're an AAT professional member (AATQB, MAAT or FMAAT), you’re eligible to apply for an AAT licence. You must apply if any of the following applies to you and you don’t qualify for a licence exemption.

  • You intend to provide self-employed bookkeeping or accountancy services to the public as a sole practitioner or a partner of a firm in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
  • You intend to provide self-employed bookkeeping or accountancy services to the public as a director or principal of a firm, with at least 5% shares belonging to you, your household or your family, in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
  • You intend to provide self-employed bookkeeping or accountancy services to the public as a designated member or member of a limited liability partnership the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
  • You intend to join an existing practice in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man as a principal.

Guidance for AAT students and affiliates

If you’re an AAT student or affiliate member, you’ll need to wait until you’re eligible to become a professional member before you can apply for an AAT licence and we strongly recommended that you take these steps before providing self-employed bookkeeping or accountancy services to the public. If you do offer services prior to this, you must adhere to the following.

  • You must only undertake work that you have experience in and are competent to perform.
  • You must ensure that the description of the services you are providing is not misleading and does not exaggerate the services you are able to provide, your experience or the qualifications you possess.
  • You must register for money laundering supervision from the default supervisor HMRC, or from another approved professional accountancy body.
  • You must follow all relevant regulations, policies and procedures in your role as a service provider, such as The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, Provision of Service Regulations 2009, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data protection legislation in force. This includes registering with the Information Commissioner's Office.
  • You must not reference AAT or use our logo in any way on any of your materials, such your website, letterhead, business card or email signature, as this could cause the public to incorrectly assume that you are regulated by us. The only occasion in which you are permitted to refer to "AAT" in any capacity would be in a personal profile where you list the qualifications you hold or are currently studying, such as:
    • “I have completed the AAT Accounting Foundation Certificate in Accounting”
    • “I am currently studying the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting”.

You are also strongly recommended to hold Professional Indemnity Insurance prior to offering services.

If it is brought to AAT’s attention that the rules are not being adhered to and the public interest has been compromised, we will take necessary action against you.  

*AAT Salary Survey 2019