Why choose this course?

The AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting provides candidates with the specialist knowledge and skills required to work in a finance or accounting role. It is ideal for candidates progressing from the Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping or Accounting.  Candidates may already be working in an accounting role or seeking to find employment in the sector.

Course fees include mandatory student membership of the AAT which provides a whole range of benefits, including e-learning materials and ‘Green Light’ tests to help with study.

Attendance at workshops means high-quality tuition and support from a highly experienced AAT professional tutor and the opportunity to share the learning journey with other candidates who all bring a different experience to the group.

On achieving the qualification, candidates are qualified to work in a range of finance roles such as:

  • assistant accountant
  • accounts payable and expenses supervisor
  • accounts payable clerk
  • credit controller
  • finance officer
  • payroll supervisor
  • professional bookkeeper
  • tax assistant

They can also progress to a range of more advanced AAT qualifications such as the Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting.

Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements although we do recommend GCSEs in English and maths or equivalent and a previous qualification such as the Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping or Accounting would be an advantage.

Course content and assessment

There are six mandatory units in the qualification:

Advanced Bookkeeping (mandatory)

This unit reinforces candidates’ bookkeeping skills and introduces the concept of accruals based accounting.  This enables candidates to make more complex adjustments to take account of (for example) prepayments and irrecoverable debts so that an accurate profit and loss statement can be produced.  At the end of the unit candidates will be able to:

  • 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

The purpose of this unit is to provide the background knowledge and skills a student needs to be capable of drafting accounts for sole traders and partnerships and provides the background knowledge of the regulations governing company accounts. At the end of the unit candidates will be able to:

  • 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

Management Accounting: Costing

Management Accounting: Costing provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand the role of cost and management accounting in an organisation, and how organisations use such information to aid management decision making.  At the end of the unit candidates will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose and use of management accounting within an organisation
  • Apply techniques required for dealing with costs
  • Apportion costs according to organisational requirements
  • Analyse and review deviations from budget and report these to management
  • Apply management accounting techniques to support decision making

Indirect tax

This Level 3 unit is about VAT and is designed to develop students’ skills in preparing and submitting returns to HMRC in situations where the transactions that have to be included are relatively routine. The unit provides candidates with the knowledge and skills they need to keep their employers and clients compliant with the laws and practices that apply to the indirect taxation of sales and purchases. At the end of the unit candidates will be able to:

  • Understand and apply VAT legislation requirements
  • Accurately complete VAT returns and submit them in a timely manner
  • Understand the implications of errors, omissions and late filing and payment
  • Report VAT related information in accordance with regulatory and organisational requirement

Ethics for accountants

This unit is about professional ethics in an accounting environment. It seeks to ensure that candidates have an excellent understanding of why accountants need to act ethically, of the principles of ethical working, of what is meant by ethical behaviour at work, and of when and how to take action in relation to unethical behaviour and illegal acts.  At the end of the unit candidates will be able to:

Understand the need to act ethically

Understand the relevance to the accountant’s work of the ethical code for professional accountants
3. Recognise how to act ethically in an accounting role
4. Identify action to take in relation to unethical behaviour or illegal acts

Spreadsheets for accountants


The first four units are assessed through online computer-based assessments which are timed and invigilated.  These take place at our training centre.  in addition to these there is a final ‘synoptic assessment’.  This is a three-hour exam which assesses the full range of knowledge and skills covered by all six units.  This is illustrated below:

Duration and start dates

The qualification takes 12 weeks to complete using our standard study model although this is flexible and can be extended to suit individual needs.  We have start dates throughout the year, please call 023 8000 4210 or fill out an enquiry form (for employersfor candidates) to find out more about start dates.

Mode of study

Learning takes place through a combination of:

  • attendance at workshops (please contact us for information about dates and times)
  • self study using online e-learning and practice tests from AAT as well as a textbook

Outcomes and progression

Successful candidates receive the Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting.  There is a range of progression possibilities such as the Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting or the Professional Accounting Technician apprenticeship programme.