Bookkeeping qualifications

AAT bookkeeping qualifications provide training for a huge range of bookkeeping roles and are recognised by employers worldwide. They can prepare students to become an AAT bookkeeping member and also open up the opportunity to be your own boss.

We offer five short bookkeeping qualifications, which take from six weeks to six months to complete.

Students can start with any qualification depending on their existing skills and experience. If they already have some accounting experience, they should use AAT Skillcheck to find out which qualification is right for them.

Typical bookkeeper job roles vary according to the level of bookkeeping qualification undertaken – take a look at each qualification to find out more.

Access qualifications explained

A great introduction for young people into the world of finance.

AAT Access qualifications are entry-level qualifications and take just 6–12 weeks to complete. They’re ideal if you’re at the start of your career and are interested in numbers. Learn more about whether our Access qualifications are right for you, then find out more about each qualification below.

Accounting Qualifications 2016 and Access qualifications (until 31 August 2022)

Our Accounting Qualifications 2016 (AQ2016) and Access suites, including all the qualifications listed below, are being withdrawn.

You can register on these as a new student until 31 August 2022 at 17.00 (UK time). You'll have until 30 September 2023 to complete your studies and sit all assessments.

You can instead choose to wait until 1 September 2022 and register on one of their replacements, listed below under "Qualifications 2022 (from 1 September 2022)". You'll be able to study and complete the assessments for the qualification's lifetime (usually around four years).

Access Award in Bookkeeping

Access Award in Bookkeeping

How long it takes on average: 2–3 months, depending on the student and mode of study

Level 1

Read more and register

Access Award in Accounting Software

Access Award in Accounting Software

How long it takes on average: 2–3 months, depending on the student and mode of study

Level 1

Read more and register

Bookkeeping qualifications explained

Gain essential skills for a range of finance roles.

AAT bookkeeping qualifications take from six weeks to six months to complete and will give you the fundamental skills that underpin many roles in finance. See where each qualification can take you, then find out more about them below.

Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping 

Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping 

How long it takes on average: 3 months, depending on the student and mode of study

Level 2 

Read more and register

Foundation Award in Accounting Software

Foundation Award in Accounting Software

How long it takes on average: 2 months, depending on the student and mode of study

Level 2

Read more and register

Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping

Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping

How long it takes on average: 6 months, depending on the student and mode of study

Level 3

Read more and register

This qualification can be used as a route to professional AAT bookkeeping member (AATQB) status.

Qualifications 2022 (from 1 September 2022)

Our Qualifications 2022 (Q2022) suite, listed below, will be available for registration from 1 September 2022. Once registered, you'll be able to study and complete the assessments for the qualification's lifetime (usually around four years).

You can instead choose to register on one of our current qualifications, listed above, until 31 August 2022 at 17.00 (UK time). You'll have until 30 September 2023 to complete your studies and sit all assessments.

AQ2016 qualification, available for registration for new students until 31 August 2022Equivalent Q2022 qualification, available for registration from 1 September 2022
Access Award in BookkeepingLevel 1 Award in Bookkeeping
Access Award in Accounting SoftwareNot being replaced, but the Level 1 Award in Bookkeeping and Level 1 Award in Business Skills are similar
Foundation Certificate in BookkeepingLevel 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping
Foundation Award in Accounting SoftwareNot being replaced, but the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping is similar
Advanced Certificate in BookkeepingLevel 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping
What job will you discover?

What job will you discover?

Our access and bookkeeping qualifications help you gain essential skills and knowledge that can used in a variety of finance roles. But what’s it like to be a bookkeeper?

Read some job descriptions

Read about all the benefits of becoming an AATQB
Read about all the benefits of becoming an AATQB

Once you complete the AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping, you can apply to become an AAT bookkeeping member and use the letters AATQB after your name to demonstrate your knowledge.

Find out more about being your own boss
Find out more about being your own boss

Become self-employed: by studying AAT, you can progress to become an AAT licensed member and run your own practice as an accountant or bookkeeper.