Accounting qualifications

AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting

SCQF Level 6 in Scotland

Level 2

Get a foundation in finance administration and core accounting skills, including double-entry bookkeeping, basic costing, and sales and purchase ledgers.

What it covers

This qualification delivers a solid foundation in finance administration and core accounting skills, including double-entry bookkeeping, basic costing and an understanding of purchase, sales and general ledgers.

Students will also learn about accountancy related business and personal skills and be introduced to the four key themes embedded in the qualification: ethics, technology, communications and sustainability.


Introduction to Bookkeeping

This unit provides students with an understanding of manual and digital bookkeeping systems, including the associated documents and processes. Students will learn the basic principles that underpin double-entry bookkeeping systems.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 25%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand how to set up bookkeeping systems.
  • Process customer transactions.
  • Process supplier transactions.
  • Process receipts and payments.
  • Process transactions into the ledger accounts.

Principles of Bookkeeping Controls

This unit builds on the knowledge and skills acquired from studying Introduction to Bookkeeping and explores control accounts, journals and reconciliations. Students will develop the ability to prepare the value added tax (VAT) control accounts as well as the receivables and payables ledger accounts. They'll use the journal to record a variety of transactions, including the correction errors. Students will be able to redraft the initial trial balance, following adjustments.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 25%.

Learning outcomes

  • Use control accounts.
  • Reconcile a bank statement with the cash book.
  • Use the journal.
  • Produce trial balances.

Principles of Costing

This unit gives students an introduction to the principles of basic costing and builds a solid foundation in the knowledge and skills required for more complex costing and management accounting tasks. Students will learn the importance of the costing system as a source of information that allows management to plan, make decisions and control costs.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 20%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the cost recording system within an organisation.
  • Use cost recording techniques.
  • Provide information on actual and budgeted cost and income.
  • Use tools and techniques to support cost calculations.

The Business Environment

This unit provides knowledge and understanding of key business concepts and their practical application in the external and internal environment in which students will work. Students will gain an understanding of the legal system and principles of contract law and an appreciation of the legal implications of setting up a business and the consequences this may have. This unit will also give an understanding of how organisations are structured and where the finance function fits.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 30%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the principles of contract law.
  • Understand the external business environment.
  • Understand the key principles of corporate social responsibility (CSR), ethics and sustainability.
  • Understand the impact of setting up different types of business entity.
  • Understand the finance function within an organisation.
  • Produce work in appropriate formats and communicate effectively.
  • Understand the importance of information to business operations.

Get started now

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

The qualification usually takes 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 career guide
Read the AAT career guide

Find out where an AAT qualification 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.

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.


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 is £424. This fee is made up of:

  • a one-off registration fee of £175, paid directly to AAT. This registration fee will give you access to the qualification for its lifetime, typically four to five years, and access to the study support resources, and enable you to sit the qualification assessments
  • four unit assessments, three at £61 each and one at £66.

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. 

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.

AAT Bursary

AAT Bursary

We’re delighted to be able to offer a bursary to financially disadvantaged people, giving you the opportunity to change your life and unlock your potential with our AAT Bursary.

Check if you are eligible

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.
I always had a passion for accounting and AAT helped nurture me into becoming a professional accountant.
Keneilwe Moshokgo, AAT student

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