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AAT courses

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AAT courses - study essentials

AAT is one of the leading membership organisations for over 120,000 accounting professionals.

Highly sought-after qualifications, an AAT certification demonstrates practical, real-world accounting knowledge that employers will love. Fast-track your way to becoming a fully-fledged bookkeeper or accountant with a sealed stamp of excellence!

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Who are AAT?

The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) are the UK’s leading professional body that offers skill-based accountancy and finance qualifications.

Regulated by all four UK qualification regulators – Ofqual (England), CCEA (Northern Ireland), SQA (Scotland), and Qualifications Wales – AAT are highly respected internationally.

The AAT Accounting Qualifications are also universally recognised, as they work across the world with around 130,000 members in over 100 countries. They also currently award 80% of all vocational qualifications in accounting.

What is the difference between accounting and bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the first part of the accounting process, meaning the work of bookkeepers and accountants often overlaps.

While bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data, accounting will interpret and present that data.

They both support the business in different stages of the financial cycle.

Distance learning accounting

With distance learning, you can study the same subjects and qualifications you would in a traditional college, simply from home! It takes the location out of studying. You’ll save time and money on travelling, and if you have other life commitments, such as a full-time or part-time job, or if you have a family to look after, it may help to be able to study at a time that suits you.

There are no physical classes to attend or timetables to stick to. With 24-hour access to your course either online or through a study pack, you can study whenever you have free time (if that’s in the middle of the night it’s possible).

Tutor support

When you study your AAT courses with us, you’ll get unlimited, personal tutor support. Your tutor will be on hand to guide you through your course and help with any questions you may have, ensuring you are fully prepared for any examinations if needed. You’ll never be alone. This is just one of the many benefits you’ll get from enrolling with OSC.

Frequently asked questions

AAT courses will give you all you need to begin your journey into accounting and bookkeeping, teaching you the basic accounting skills and knowledge, from double-entry bookkeeping to computerised accounting.

ACCA course, however, are aimed at those with some previous qualifications. For example, you were to start the Applied Knowledge level, you will need to have at least two A Levels and three GCSEs. These courses start at a more advanced level than AAT. You will dive into topics including Financial Accounting, Corporate and Business Law, and Performance Management, proving that the ACCA coverage is both broad and deep.


The business world is constantly evolving, meaning the accounting requirements that go with it do too. It’s certainly a handy tool to have if you come up with fresh ideas, ready to make an impact on the future of accounting.


Understanding aligns with innovation, as you will need to understand the field in which you’ll be working. Meeting new clients, taking in new information and project managements may just be a few of your daily tasks in accounting. This is why understanding information quickly is vital for the role.


When it comes to conveying complex information, accountants need to be able to communicate it in the most straightforward way possible. No matter where you’re working, it’s likely you’ll need to work alongside colleagues on every level.

Commercial awareness

It’s very important that an accountant can understand how and where a business fits in the market. This will range from how it is affected by the economy, to social and political movements, to how it can forge ahead and evolve. Having this level of knowledge will put you in good stead in an accounting career.


This is really a staple for any job, but it’s no different in the world of accounting. You will need to bring positive energy, and truly believe that what you are working towards is crucial.


Being able to work on your own is just as important as being able to work with others in accounting. This will prove that you can think independently, which will eventually see you given more trust and responsibility. This is a very important factor if further in your career, you decided to go into freelancing.


First things first, you want people to trust you, whether that be your co-workers or your clients. Having credibility in the bank allows you to earn more opportunities by building a credible brand, which will lay the foundations for a solid future in the field.


Just like any career, showing that you’re willing to put in the hard yards can go a long way. This is particularly important when starting out in accounting, as you will be working towards tight deadlines, and juggling multiple clients’ needs, all whilst remaining positive through tough challenges.


This is important from the very first step into your journey into accounting, whether you’re a student or a fully qualified accountant, you need to be self-motivated. The challenges you go through can sometimes make you doubt yourself, but it’s important to have a goal in sight that you can push towards.


Accounting is a fast-paced industry, and you’ll never really have a slow day as an accountant. This is why being able to keep on top of a busy schedule by being organised is vital.

Time management

This goes hand-in-hand with organisation, as you’re going to have multiple tasks, all set to a strict deadline, all with different priorities. Being able to manage that workload and hit your deadlines is very important when it comes to accounting.


Just as was mentioned in the innovation section, the business and finance industry is always changing. Due to this, it’s important that you can adapt to change quickly and be able to keep up with the times. You’ll put yourself in even better stead if you can foresee what will be important in the future, which can be tough, but it will certainly pay off.

Problem-solving skills

Problems, caused by you or have nothing to do with you, will always arise in accounting, and being able to overcome those problems and figure them out is a vital skill to have. Of course, not every problem can be solved, but developing your skills to make sure when they do arise will be very beneficial.

Accountants have a good earning potential and it's all dependent on the route you choose to go down and factors such as the company you work for, your practice, and your location.

On average AAT accountants can start at a salary of £22,000 rising up to £30,000 with experience.

One of the many benefits of enrolling as a student with us is that we will help you even after your studies are finished. We work with a recruitment specialist who can help you secure a position in your dream career. Contact us to find out more.

A business will not be able to run for very long without balancing the books and sound knowledge of finance.

For them to be successful, they need to be balancing the books every single month, otherwise, they may struggle to pay for things like stock, suppliers, and even their taxes.

By balancing the books, it means they can correctly calculate how much tax is due throughout the year, to avoid running into any trouble with HMRC.

It also allows a business to prepare for its financial year, allowing them to think about what the next moves are. That could be growing the business, or even setting up a limited company.

The study method you choose depends on your personal learning style. Your options are:

  • Study pack: if you choose the study pack option, you will be sent a set of printed course materials.
  • Study online: if you choose this option, you will be sent your login details to our online portal through which you will access your course materials digitally. You can access your course via a desktop/laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

When you enrol on an AAT course with Open Study College, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Dedicated personal tutor support with unlimited email access.
  • Dedicated learner services from our learner services team.
  • Course materials with learning activities.
  • Assignment marking and feedback from your personal tutor.
  • A predicted grade on completion of your tutor-marked assignments, if required for your university application.
  • A free CV writing service and employability guide if you’re focusing on career advancement.
  • A free Student Discounts membership to save you money on your favourite brands.
  • The option to add your exams (and practical assessments where applicable) to your enrolment, meaning we will book and pay for your exams and assessments on your behalf, giving you one less thing to worry about and allowing you to focus on your studies instead.

Looking to speak to an adviser?

We are delighted that you are considering joining us to study and take pleasure in welcoming you to our family.

Open Study College is one of the UK’s leading distance learning colleges. We provide professionally recognised AAT qualifications that enable you to study at your own pace, in your own environment either online or via printed materials sent to your home.

We understand that choosing a course is a big decision. That’s why we have a team of friendly, knowledgeable education specialists that can help you choose the right accounting qualifications for you.

Over the past 15 years we’ve enrolled over 120,000 people on courses that have improved their education and their career prospects!

Our education specialists can answer any questions you may have, talk you through our finance options and get you enrolled over the telephone.

As a family-founded college, we think of our learners as extended members of our family. We’re all here to help you achieve your goals in life, whatever they may be.

If you’d like to speak to an education specialist about our online accounting, simply complete the form here and you’ll get a call back at the requested time.

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