Which accounting course is best in UK?

How to Choose the Best Accountancy Qualification for You?

Which accounting course is best in UKHow to Choose the Best Accountancy Qualification for You

You might believe that the only way to build the accounting career of your dreams is to slog it out at university, spending all of your time studying, and piling up student loan debt, but we're here to tell you that this isn't the only way - there are many other options that are more flexible and affordable for you to pursue!

It's true that earning an academic degree is a significant accomplishment; however, not everyone is cut out to go to college. This is especially true if you have a family to support, a full-time job, or if you don't have the grades necessary to enroll.

Professional accounting degrees are now much easier to get; in many cases, there are no admission requirements, and you may study online, part-time, and at your own speed, as well as in other cases, there are no prerequisites at all.

Because doing a simple search online for accounting classes will provide you with an overwhelming number of possibilities, we have included an overview of the most valuable accounting credentials below so that you can get started on the road to a successful career in finance right away.


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Qualifications for the AAT

Qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) are an excellent way to get started in the field of accounting if you are an absolute beginner in the field. They are recognized all around the globe, are very practical, and will give you the skills you need to succeed in finance in the real world.

You will have the option to pick between three accounting credentials, depending on the amount of knowledge and expertise you already possess, including the following:

  • Certificate of Foundational Studies (Level 2)
  • Advanced Degree Certificate (Level 3)
  • A Professional Certificate (Level 4)


In addition, the Association of Accounting Technicians provides students between the ages of 16 and 19 with a Foundation Diploma for Accounting and Business at Level 2 for those students who are interested in becoming bookkeepers, brushing up on their skills, or becoming experts in that particular area of expertise.

You have the option of attending these classes in person (provided that there are no pandemic limitations) or taking them online, which is a very helpful option if you want to tailor your academic pursuits to fit in with your schedule.


Accounting and Finance Foundation Certificate from the AAT

The Foundation level is where the great majority of students begin their study of finance. It is the greatest accounting certificate if you are just starting out and are trying to improve on and formalize your abilities. There are no official admission criteria other than being over the age of 19, and it is the only prerequisite.

Your successful completion of this certification will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to important topics such as bookkeeping, the components of costing, and how to utilize accounting software.

After successful completion of this course, you will have the education you need to be eligible for entry-level accounting occupations such as accounts administrator, accounts assistant, or accounts payable clerk.


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Advanced Accounting Technology Certificate (AAT)

You've already got some experience under your belt, and now you want to take your profession to the next level.

You will be able to improve on your existing knowledge and expertise by completing the Advanced Diploma at Level 3 if you have previous practical accounting experience and a solid understanding of double-entry bookkeeping.

With this certification, you will get a better understanding of more complicated accounting methods, which will enable you to become proficient in advanced bookkeeping, final accounts, and learn more about ethics as they relate to accountants.

After obtaining this certificate, you will be qualified to take on a broad range of middle-level accounting positions, such as Credit Controller, Payroll Supervisor, or Assistant Accountant.

You will also be a fully qualified bookkeeper and have the opportunity to apply for AAT associate bookkeeping membership. This is an honor that acknowledges your level of skill and enables you to append the initials AATQB to your name, which provides an additional boost of credibility.


Professional Accounting Qualification from the AAT

If you already have a solid grasp of the fundamentals, have a solid grasp of the advanced content, and are now seeking to immerse yourself in studying towards your ideal job in a senior capacity, then this accounting certification will get you there faster than any other!

In order to become an expert in the field, you will spend a significant portion of your time studying developing financial statements, supervising budgets, and analyzing financial performance.

After you have successfully completed the Professional Diploma, you will be eligible to apply to become an AAT Full Member or Fellow Member provided you have acquired the requisite amount of professional experience.

You will also be allowed to formally call yourself an AAT Accountant, and you will have the option of adding the initials MAAT or FMAAT after your name. Yes, that's even more letters!


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As Soon As You Have Your AAT Qualification

Following the completion of your Professional Diploma and attainment of full AAT qualification, you have a number various options available to you, including the following:

You have the ability to become your own boss by establishing your own medical practice.

When you have obtained all of the necessary qualifications, you will be able to engage in self-employment as an accountant and have the flexibility to select your own customers.

You have the option of submitting your resume to accounting companies as well as in-house accounting departments.

AAT Accountants often find employment in a variety of fields, including Senior Finance Officer, Commercial Analyst, Indirect Tax Manager, Cost Accountant, and VAT Accountant, amongst others.

Do not feel discouraged if none of the aforementioned occupations pique your interest; these are only some samples of the various employment options that will become available to you after you have earned your AAT Accountant certification. You have several fascinating options available to you in terms of professional choices.

You have the option of enrolling in an accelerated program in order to become a Chartered Accountant.

The majority of the main Chartered organisations in the UK provide a fast-track path for AAT graduates; hence, earning your AAT certification may actually be a more expedient way to get your Chartered status than attending university.


Qualifications to Become a Chartered Accountant

It is a common misconception that in order to become a Chartered Accountant, one must first get a degree from an accredited college or university. However, in reality, all that is required to begin studying directly with the majority of Chartered organisations is a high school diploma.


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The following are some of the most prestigious accounting credentials available in the United Kingdom:

  • This organization is known as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • ACCA is one of the most prominent Chartered Accountancy organisations in the world, with more than 227,000 members and 544,000 students worldwide. You may study for their degrees online or in courses, either part-time or full-time, and you have the option to study them either way.


If you are beginning completely from scratch:

  • The minimum qualifications for admittance are two A Levels and three GCSEs (or their equivalent) in five distinct courses, including English and Mathematics.


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If you have an AAT qualification:

  • The qualification typically consists of nine papers; however, if you have completed all of the coursework leading up to and including the Professional Diploma, you are exempt from having to take the first three papers of the qualification. This not only provides you a head start, but it also reduces the amount of time you will need to spend studying.
  • Additionally, any job experience that you have earned while studying towards your AAT certification may be credited towards the 3 years of experience that is required to become an ACCA member. This is something that you should keep in mind if you plan on becoming an ACCA member.
  • That organization's full name is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • The credentials required to become a CIMA member are more focused on management accounting than those required to become an ACCA member. They are an excellent choice if your career goals include working in a management capacity for a large company and gaining a solid foundation in both the theory and practice of business as well as finance. You have the option to study in person, online, or a combination of the two.


If you are beginning completely from scratch:

  • You are able to get started by earning the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting at the Entry Level. There are no predetermined standards to follow in order to join.


If you have an AAT qualification:

  • You are exempt from the CIMA Certificate requirements if you have already completed the AAT Professional Diploma, which means you are eligible to begin the CIMA Professional Qualification. Even if you have already finished AAT Foundation or Advanced, you will still need to start with the CIMA Certificate.
  • That organization's name is the Institute of Public and Finance Accountancy (CIPFA)
  • CIPFA accountants have a specialty in public finance and are trained to manage finances for governments and other organizations in the public sector.


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If you are beginning completely from scratch:

  • In order to qualify with CIPFA, you will need to have at least one of the things listed below.
  • A minimum of five GCSEs (grades A–C) and two A-Levels (grades A–C) or the equivalent is required, with one of the A-Levels having to be in mathematics or English.
  • The national certifications equal to those awarded by BTEC or SCOTVEC
  • NVQ/GNVQ Level 3, or a comparable qualification in Scotland
  • You must be at least 21 years old and have a minimum of three years of experience in a relevant field of employment.


If you have an AAT qualification:

  • You will be able to study towards their Professional Accountancy Qualification, and as an AAT member, you will have access to a wide variety of wonderful perks. You will be eligible for free exemptions from three of their test papers as well. However, since their exams are more in-depth than those of the ACCA, you will still be required to sit for 9 different papers.
  • If you completed External Audit as one of the optional subjects throughout the course of your AAT studies, you will be excused from the Audit and Assurance paper as well.
  • You may get an additional benefit in the form of a discount on your CIPFA membership of more than fifty percent for the length of your study.
  • Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • With over 150,000 chartered members and offices located across Europe and Asia, ICAEW has a high level of reputation around the globe. Their credential is referred to as the ACA, which should not be mistaken with the ACCA in any way!


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If you are beginning completely from scratch:

If you have two A level passes (grades A*-E) and three GCSE passes (grades A-C/grades 9-4), or an equivalent, you are qualified to start studying for the ACA. (Here is where the whole list of credentials that are acceptable to use.)

In the event that you do not satisfy these prerequisites, you may start your education with the ICAEW Certificate.


If you have an AAT qualification:

  • You may utilize your existing AAT certification to apply for test credits toward specific modules if you enroll in their AAT-ACA Fast Track program, which the company provides.
  • Similar to CIPFA, if you finished certain elective courses during your time studying for the AAT, you are eligible to request for additional test credits. You may also submit an application for a decrease in the amount of practical work experience that is necessary to pass the ACA exam if you were working while you were pursuing your education.
  • Chartered Accountants in Scotland's Professional Body (ICAS)
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) was granted its Royal Charter in 1854, making it the oldest professional association of chartered accountants in the whole globe.


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If you are beginning completely from scratch:

You have the option of obtaining your education while working for an ICAS-approved business for a period of five years. Even though there are no official qualifications to enter, it is recommended that you have good scores on your A Levels or Scottish Highers.


If you have an AAT qualification:

You will only need to complete the remaining four units of the qualification if you are an AAT member and ask to be excluded from the coursework and tests for business management and financial accounting. In order to submit your request for this exemption, you will be required to fill out the appropriate form and include a full transcript that lists all of the AAT courses that you have successfully completed.

If you're still unsure which path to take after reading this, keep in mind that the most important thing to think about is how studying will fit into your life based on the specific career goals and aspirations you have for yourself. We hope that this article has helped you get a better understanding of the various accountancy qualifications that are currently available.

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