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AAT Syllabus

AAT is the perfect start if you're looking to study a professional qualification in accounting. It takes around three years to complete the qualification. You’ll learn both practical and technical skills to equip you for a future in business.


If you're currently working in accounts or have studied accountancy before, you may be exempt from some units. Take the AAT skillcheck test to find out which level you can start at.

Bookkeeping

AAT Bookkeeping Qualifications

The exams are the same as the equivalent units on the full AAT Qualification. If you’re unsure about the full qualification, why not try the bookkeeping qualification first? You can transfer over to the full qualification and be exempt from taking the exams again. You will only need to pass the outstanding units in order to gain the full AAT qualification.

Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 2)

Consists of two units:

Bookkeeping Transactions (BTRN)
Bookkeeping Controls (BKCL)

Foundation Award in Accounting Software (Level 2)

Consists of one unit:

Using Accounting Software (UACS)

Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping (Level 3)

Consists of three units:

Advanced Bookkeeping (AVBK)
Final Accounts Preparation (FAPR)
Indirect Tax (IDRX)

Foundation Certificate

AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting – Level 2

The Foundation Certificate in Accounting covers a range of basic accounting principles and techniques, from costing and double-entry bookkeeping to using accounting software.

It is ideally suited for someone who is new to accounting and finance, someone who perhaps works in an accounts department but wants to gain a qualification or enhance their foundation knowledge and skills or someone who is looking to change their career.

Top five skills you’ll gain:

  • Effective business communication skills including letters, memos and informal reports
  • Processing payments and receipts
  • Preparing invoices
  • Completing bank reconciliations
  • Using accounting software

Units

The Foundation Certificate is made up of 4 separately examinable units plus a synoptic assessment, which incorporates additional syllabus areas on how to Work Effectively in Finance. You must have completed your studies for all units (with the exception of Using Accounting Software) before you attempt the synoptic assessment.

Time to Complete

Studying for the Foundation Certificate will take a minimum of six months but may take longer depending on your course timetable, study method and whether you are gaining this Certificate as part of an Apprenticeship.

Studying with Kaplan

All Kaplan courses have been designed so you can study for each unit in isolation or as part of a more integrated programme to achieve the full Certificate qualification. Regardless of your chosen study method, we would advise that you complete the Bookkeeping Transactions (BTRN) unit before studying for Bookkeeping Controls (BKCL) or Using Accounting Software (UACS).

Our UACS courses come with automatic access to Sage One accounting package (free access for 8 months), the UK’s leading accountancy software, to enable you to practise at home and better prepare for the exam.

Our Foundation Synoptic Assessment (FSYA) courses all cover the syllabus areas relating to the Work Effectively in Finance (WEFN) unit, which is assessed only as part of the synoptic exam. They also provide you with an opportunity to recap on your learning from earlier units to ensure you are well prepared and confident ahead of the exam. Find out more about what a synoptic assessment is.

Use the links below to find out more about the support and resources available with each of our study methods.

Advanced Diploma

AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting – Level 3

The Advanced Diploma in Accounting covers a range of complex accounting tasks, including maintaining cost accounting records and the preparation of reports and returns. You’ll learn and master a number of accounting disciplines including financial processes, advanced bookkeeping, final accounts and ethical practices for accountants.

It is ideally suited for someone who has completed the Level 2 Foundation Certificate, someone who perhaps works in an accounts department at an intermediate level and wants to develop their accounting skills or someone who is looking to change their career. It is also an excellent A Level alternative.

Top five skills you’ll gain:

  • The importance of professional ethics in the working environment
  • Use of spreadsheets to manage information in the accounting environment
  • Analysing variances
  • Reconciling ledgers
  • Making provisions for doubtful and irrecoverable debts

Units

The Advanced Diploma is made up of 4 separately examinable units plus a synoptic assessment. Within the synoptic assessment you will be tested on two additional units, Ethics for Accounting and Spreadsheet for Accounting, as well as on the knowledge you’ve gained from the 4 underpinning units. You must have completed your studies for all separately examinable units before you attempt the synoptic assessment.

Time to complete

Studying for the Advanced Diploma will typically take between six and twelve months depending on your course timetable, study method and whether you are gaining this Diploma as part of an Apprenticeship.

Studying with Kaplan

All Kaplan courses have been designed so you can study for each unit in isolation or as part of a more integrated programme to achieve the full Advanced Diploma qualification. Regardless of your chosen study method, we would advise that you complete the Advanced Bookkeeping (AVBK) unit before studying for Final Accounts Preparation (FAPR).

Our Advanced Diploma Synoptic Assessment (AVSY) courses all cover the syllabus areas relating to the Ethics for Accountants (ETFA) and Spreadsheets for Accounting (SPSH) units, which are assessed only as part of the synoptic exam. They also provide you with an opportunity to recap on your learning from earlier units to ensure you are well prepared and confident ahead of the exam.

Kaplan will develop your skills on key areas of Spreadsheets for Accounting through exercises linked to each of the underpinning units. If purchased at the beginning of your studies for this qualification, these exercises can also be used to support your learning for each unit, helping you gain a deeper level of understanding.

Use the links below to find out more about the support and resources available with each of our study methods.

Professional Diploma

AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting – Level 4

The Professional Diploma in Accounting covers higher accounting tasks required by a financial team leader such as drafting financial statement, managing budgets and evaluating financial performance.

It is ideally suited for someone who has completed the Level 3 Advanced Diploma, someone who is at a more advanced stage of their career in finance and who wants to back up their skills with a recognised qualification. It can also be used by those looking for an alternative to university.

Once completed you can go on to be an AAT full member or study for chartered status.

Top five skills you’ll gain:

  • Drafting and interpreting limited company financial statements
  • Preparing forecasts of income and expenditure
  • Preparing draft budgets and revising them as required by the business
  • Managing budgets and reporting variances back to the business
  • Reviewing the finance function to identify risk and make recommendations for improvement

Units

To obtain the Professional Diploma, you must successfully complete 3 mandatory units, 2 optional units from a choice of 5 and pass a synoptic assessment. The synoptic assessment can be attempted after studying for the 3 mandatory units has been completed. It will test your knowledge of these four mandatory units as well as additional knowledge on Accounting Systems and Controls.

Time to complete

Studying for the Professional Diploma will typically take at least 12-18 months depending on your course timetable, study method and whether you are gaining this Diploma as part of an Apprenticeship.

Studying with Kaplan

All Kaplan courses have been designed so you can study for each unit in isolation or as part of a more integrated programme to achieve the full Professional Diploma qualification.

Our Professional Diploma Synoptic Assessment (PDSY) courses all cover the syllabus areas relating to the Accounting Systems and Controls (ASYC) unit, which is assessed only as part of the synoptic exam. They also provide you with an opportunity to recap on your learning from earlier units to ensure you are well prepared and confident ahead of the exam.

Kaplan will develop your skills on key areas of Spreadsheets for Accounting through exercises linked to each of the underpinning units. If purchased at the beginning of your studies for this qualification, these exercises can also be used to support your learning for each unit, helping you gain a deeper level of understanding.

Use the links below to find out more about the support and resources available with each of our study methods.

Choose a study method

  • Distance Learning ›

    Self study with printed and online materials for you to work through at your own pace, with tutor support available when you need it.

  • OnDemand ›

    Study when it suits you with an efficient tutor-led online course using resources designed specifically to keep you motivated and engaged.

  • Live Online ›

    The nearest thing to sitting in a classroom. Join timetabled live lectures on your computer and post questions for live tutor feedback.

  • Classroom ›

    Face-to-face learning at one of 21 local Kaplan training centres, taught by expert tutors on a weekday, weekend or evening.


AAT Syllabus