The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to pursue a career in accountancy or finance. It is also open to those already working in an accounting field to progress in their career by offering them development and formal recognition of their skills. The course may be studied one day a week or one evening a week; select the preferred option when applying below.
Students at Foundation Certificate Level will develop accountancy skills in double-entry bookkeeping and basic costing, as well as an understanding of purchase, sales and general ledgers. Students acquire knowledge in how to use accounting software and to develop the professional skills and behaviours needed to contribute effectively in the workplace. Working in accountancy requires good communication skills, IT skills and an understanding of the business environment, all of which are covered by this qualification.
The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting covers a range of basic accounting from costing and double-entry bookkeeping to computerised accounting.
Students learn the principles of processing financial transactions, double entry bookkeeping, discounts, and how to prepare and process financial documentation for customers. process supplier invoices and credit notes and calculate payments. They also look at maintaining cash-books, petty cash records, processing ledger transactions and extract a trial balance.
Students learn about the purpose and how to maintain control accounts and journals. They will also reconcile a bank statement with the cash book, understand the banking process and the retention and storage requirements relating to banking documents.
Elements of costing
This unit enables students to understand the cost recording system within an organisation and how to record and extract data. They will also be able to use spreadsheets to provide information on actual and budgeted income and expenditure.
Work effectively in finance
Students gain an understanding of the accounting or payroll function within an organisation and be able to use a range of communication skills. They will demonstrate that they can work independently or as part of a team and develop skills and knowledge to meet personal and organisational needs. They will also learn about sustainable and ethical values
Using accounting software
This will allow students to develop skills in accounting records, entering accounting transactions, performing a bank reconciliation, correct errors, and produce a range of reports whilst maintaining the security of accounting information using passwords and backup routines.
The four main units (with the exception of Work Effectively in Finance) are assessed individually in end-of-unit assessments and are mandatory. Additionally, this qualification includes a Synoptic Assessment which the students are expected to sit towards the end of the qualification. The Work Effectively in Finance unit is assessed within the Synoptic Assessment. The Synoptic Assessment draws on and assesses knowledge and understanding gained and retained from across the qualification.
There is no formal entry requirement, however students are expected to have literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to level 2 (GCSE). A good working understanding of maths and budgeting would be an advantage.
Work experience in an accounting environment is not necessary, but would be an advantage. You will need to have an understanding of budgeting and be confident with using computerised spreadsheets. Methodical and accurate working styles will also be an advantage.
AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting Level 2
There are five computer based examinations. These exams are set at pre-determined dates set by the department. You will need to successfully complete all exams in order to gain your qualification.
Students are expected to spend approximately six to eight hours a week on independent study. This consists of weekly homework checks and exam preparation.
Employment or the ability to access work in a related area is not necessary but will be an advantage to support learning.
Progression to AAT level 3 - Diploma in Accounting. Students may progress onto careers in accounting and finance in a variety of industrial and commercial settings.
Fees and Additional Costs
The following costs are payable directly to AAT, admission fees (new students) and annual membership fee. These fees are set by the AAT and are subject to yearly changes without notice. Students are expected to buy course book/materials. Students are also expected to pay for any resit examinations.