Accounting qualifications

AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting

Level 3

Study this accounting qualification to master complex accounting disciplines including financial processes, advanced bookkeeping, final accounts and ethics.

What it covers

In this Level 3 qualification (Level 6 in Scotland) students will master more complex accounting disciplines including financial processes, advanced bookkeeping, final accounts and ethical practices for accountants.



Advanced Bookkeeping

The purpose of this unit is to build on skills and knowledge learned in the Foundation level accounting units and to develop bookkeeping skills, taken to an initial trial balance. This is valuable progress for the student, both in terms of moving towards preparing final accounts and also in terms of offering employers more technical skills at this stage. The bookkeeping skills that students have acquired at an earlier stage will be reinforced and developed in this unit.

Learning outcomes

  • Apply the principles of advanced double-entry bookkeeping.
  • Implement procedures for the acquisition and disposal of non-current assets.
  • Prepare and record depreciation calculations.
  • Record period end adjustments.
  • Produce and extend the trial balance.

Final Accounts Preparation

This purpose of this unit is to provide the background knowledge and skills that a student needs in order to be capable of drafting accounts for sole traders and partnerships, and it provides the background knowledge of the regulations governing company accounts. A successful student will be able to complete tasks while being aware of potential ethical issues and know how to report information effectively.

The student should become an accomplished member of the accounting team who is able to work with little supervision and who can see a financial picture of the organisation as a whole.

Learning outcomes

  • Distinguish between the financial recording and reporting requirements of different types of organisation.
  • Explain the need for final accounts and the accounting and ethical principles underlying their preparation.
  • Prepare accounting records from incomplete information.
  • Produce accounts for sole traders.
  • Produce accounts for partnerships.
  • Recognise the key differences between preparing accounts for a limited company and a sole trader.

Management Accounting: Costing

This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the role of cost and management accounting in an organisation, and how organisations use such information to aid management decision making.

It takes students from Elements of Costing at Foundation level and gets them ready to prepare organisational budgets and report on performance at Professional level.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the purpose and use of management accounting within an organisation.
  • Apply techniques required for dealing with costs.
  • Apportion costs according to organisational requirements.
  • Analyse and review deviations from budget and report these to management.
  • Apply management accounting techniques to support decision making.

Indirect Tax

This Advanced level unit is about indirect tax: specifically, the tax that is referred to in the UK and throughout this unit as value added tax (VAT). The unit is designed to develop students’ skills in preparing and submitting returns to the relevant tax authority in situations where the transactions that have to be included are relatively routine. However, some non-routine issues are also included in this unit.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand and apply VAT legislation requirements.
  • Accurately complete VAT returns and submit them in a timely manner.
  • Understand the implications for the business of errors, omissions and late filing and payment.
  • Report VAT-related information within the organisation in accordance with regulatory and organisational requirement.

Ethics for Accountants

This unit is about professional ethics in an accounting environment. It seeks to ensure that students have an excellent understanding of why accountants need to act ethically, of the principles of ethical working, of what is meant by ethical behaviour at work, and of when and how to take action in relation to unethical behaviour and illegal acts.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the need to act ethically.
  • Understand the relevance to the accountant’s work of the ethical code for professional accountants.
  • Recognise how to act ethically in an accounting role.
  • Identify action to take in relation to unethical behaviour or illegal acts.

Spreadsheets for Accounting

This Advanced level unit is about using spreadsheets to accurately enter, analyse and present information so that informed accountancy judgements can be made. The skills and knowledge from this unit integrate spreadsheet use within the other Advanced level accountancy subjects.

Learning outcomes

  • Design and structure appropriate spreadsheets to meet customer needs.
  • Use spreadsheet software to record, format and organise data.
  • Use relevant tools to manipulate and analyse data.
  • Use software tools to verify accuracy and protect data.
  • Use tools and techniques to prepare and report accounting information.

Advanced Diploma Synoptic Assessment

This asks students to apply knowledge and skills gained across the qualification in an integrated way, within a workplace context. Scenarios change over time to ensure validity.

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Find a local training provider to deliver your course and once you've registered with them, you're ready to register with us.

How long it takes

This qualification will usually take around one year to complete, but this will depend on study method and course timetable. It may be possible to complete it in as little as six months.

Read the AAT course prospectus
Read the AAT course prospectus

Find out more about where AAT qualifications can take you.

Read the qualification specification
Read the qualification specification

Download this PDF for a detailed view of the qualification and the individual unit learning objectives.

Achieve AAT bookkeeping membership

If you successfully complete this qualification you can apply to become an AAT bookkeeping member (AATQB).

How and where to study

You can study through distance learning online, blended learning, or in the classroom. Do it in the evening, part-time or full-time, whatever suits you. You'll need to find a training provider, even if you're choosing distance learning.


National Skills Fund

This qualification is approved for the National Skills Fund. If you live in England, are aged 19 years or over and have not completed a Level 3 qualification before, you may be entitled to receive full funding.

To confirm if you're eligible, contact your local training provider.

Training provider fees


This fee covers your tuition (if attending a course of study) and is paid directly to your training provider.

Standard qualification fee

The standard qualification fee comprises four assessment fees at £49 per assessment, plus one synoptic assessment fee at £54, giving a total of £250.

You will be required to pay the assessment fees to your training provider or assessment venue.

Note: training providers and assessment venues may charge an additional administrative fee for each assessment. Administrative fees, if charged, can vary from one organisation to another. 

AAT membership fees

You need to register for AAT student membership in order to study this qualification, sit assessments and access study support resources to help you succeed. Read about the benefits of student membership.

  • £155 for UK students
  • £145 for international students

These are paid to AAT. The fees cover:

  • AAT admission fee
  • AAT annual membership fee.

Read more about AAT student membership fees.

Check what funding options are available
Check what funding options are available

You may be eligible for support from your employer or other bodies.

Download all AAT fees
Download all AAT fees

Here's a list of all qualification-related fees in PDF.

Entry requirements

Students can start with any qualification depending on existing skills and experience. For the best chance of success we recommend that students begin their studies with a good standard of English and maths.

Already got some accounting experience? Test your knowledge with AAT Skillcheck to find out the best qualification to start with.


Those who can provide evidence of gaining a previous, relevant qualification from an external awarding body may not have to sit all AAT assessments.

We believe that if you've already studied qualification units featuring the same content, you shouldn't need to duplicate work. This means students can fast track onto the most appropriate AAT qualification.

Students may be eligible for exemptions if they have:

  • previous finance or accounting qualifications
  • an accounting or finance degree.
AAT is a great qualification. It develops knowledge in the accounting field and helped me acquire practical skills that employers value. It's given me the foundation to progress within my current role and also in the financial world.
Wesley Sinfield, Internal Audit Apprentice, London Borough of Barnet

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