Bookkeeping qualifications

AAT Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping

Level 3

Experienced bookkeepers should study this qualification to learn double entry bookkeeping, financial statements, intermediate spreadsheets and software use.

What it covers

Aimed at experienced bookkeepers, this Level 3 qualification offers progression for those who already have bookkeeping knowledge at Foundation level, either to secure a bookkeeping role or go on to further study.

It covers areas like double entry bookkeeping, financial statements, intermediate spreadsheets and software use.


Advanced Bookkeeping

This unit is the first of two Advanced financial accounting units. It develops Foundation skills, incorporating advanced bookkeeping and managing records for non-current assets, in preparation for producing final accounts for unincorporated organisations.

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.

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 Advanced level unit is about preparing final accounts for sole traders and partnerships, and helping students to become aware of alternative business organisation structures. This purpose is to provide the background knowledge and skills that a student needs 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.

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.

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.

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

This qualification takes around six months to complete.

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:

  • a registration fee of £50, and
  • three assessment fees of £49 each.

This gives a total of £197.

Your registration fee is paid directly to AAT and will give you access to study support resources and the assessment for 12 months or until you complete the qualification, whichever comes first.

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

Note: training providers and assessment venues may charge an additional administrative fee for the assessment. The administrative fee, 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.

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.


This is an entry-level qualification: exemptions don't apply.

AAT was the best starting point for my career as it's a strongly viewed qualification that can lead to higher levels. Every unit I study has helped me to understand my practice, work better and support my clients more effectively.
Craig Dyer AATQB, AAT Licensed Bookkeeper

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