Accounting qualifications

AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting

SCQF Level 7 in Scotland

Level 3

Study this qualification to learn higher accounting techniques and disciplines, and qualify for AAT bookkeeping membership (AATQB).

What it covers

This qualification covers a range of essential and higher-level accounting techniques and disciplines. Students will learn and develop skills needed for a range of financial processes, including maintaining cost accounting records, advanced bookkeeping and the preparation of financial reports and returns.

Syllabus

Business Awareness

This unit provides students with an understanding of the business, its environment and the influences that this has on an organisation’s structure, the role of its accounting function and its performance. Students will examine the purpose and types for businesses that exist and the rights and responsibilities of the key stakeholders, as well as gain an understanding of the importance of professional ethics and ethical management within the finance function.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 15%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand business types, structure and governance and the legal framework in which they operate.
  • Understand the impact of the external and internal environments on business, their performance and decisions.
  • Understand how businesses and accounts comply with principles of professional ethics.
  • Understand the impact of new technologies in accounting and the risks associated with data security.
  • Communicate information to stakeholders.

Financial Accounting: Preparing Financial Statements

This unit provides students with the skills required to produce statements of profit or loss and statements for financial position for sole traders and partnerships, using a trial balance. Students will gain the double-entry bookkeeping skills needed to record financial transactions into an organisation’s accounts using a manual bookkeeping system.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 40%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the accounting principles underlaying final accounts preparation.
  • Understand 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.
  • Produce financial statements for sole traders and partnerships.
  • Interpret financial statements using profitability ratios.
  • Prepare accounting records from incomplete information.

Management Accounting Techniques

This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the role of management accounting in an organisation, and how organisations use such information to aid decision making. Students will learn the principles that underpin management accounting methodology and techniques, how costs are handled in organisations and why organisations treat costs in different ways.

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

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the purpose and use of management accounting within organisations.
  • Use techniques required for dealing with costs.
  • Attribute costs according to organisational requirements.
  • Investigate deviations from budgets.
  • Use spreadsheet techniques to provide management accounting information.
  • Use management accounting techniques to support short-term decision making.
  • Understand principles of cash management.

Tax Processes for Businesses

This unit explores tax processes that influence the daily operations of businesses and is designed to develop students’ skills in understanding, preparing and submitting Value Added Tax (VAT) returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The unit provides students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to keep businesses, employers and clients compliant with laws and practices that apply to VAT and payroll.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 15%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand legislation requirements relating to VAT.
  • Calculate VAT.
  • Review and verify VAT returns.
  • Understand principles of payroll.
  • Report information within the organisation.

Botswana Tax Processes for Businesses (for students in Botswana only)

This unit explores tax processes that influence the daily operations of businesses and is designed to develop students’ skills in understanding, preparing and submitting Value Added Tax (VAT) returns to the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS). The unit provides students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to keep businesses, employers and clients compliant with laws and practices that apply to VAT and payroll.

Percentage contribution of this unit to the overall qualification grade: 15%.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand legislation requirements relating to VAT.
  • Calculate VAT.
  • Review and verify VAT returns.
  • Understand principles of payroll.
  • Report information within the organisation.

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.

Achieve AAT bookkeeping membership

If you successfully complete this qualification you can apply for AAT bookkeeping membership (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.

Fees

Training provider fees

£900–£2,000

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

Standard qualification fee (applicable until 31 August 2024)

The standard qualification fee is £472. This fee is made up of:

  • a one-off registration fee of £228, 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, all priced at £61 each.

Standard qualification fee (applicable from 1 September 2024)

The standard qualification fee is £487. This fee is made up of:

  • a one-off registration fee of £235, 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, all priced at £63 each.

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. 

Reduced registration fee for AAT bookkeeping members (applicable until 31 August 2024)

If you're already an AAT bookkeeping member (AATQB) you'll pay a reduced registration fee of £96. Make sure you're logged in and the discount will be automatically applied when you add the qualification to your basket.

Your unit assessments will still cost £61 each.

Reduced registration fee for AAT bookkeeping members (applicable from 1 September 2024)

If you're already an AAT bookkeeping member (AATQB) you'll pay a reduced registration fee of £101. Make sure you're logged in and the discount will be automatically applied when you add the qualification to your basket.

Your unit assessments will still cost £63 each.

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 them the opportunity to change their lives with an AAT qualification.

Applications open in June 2024.

Check if you're eligible and register your interest.

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.

Exemptions

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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