The Association of Accounting Technicians is internationally recognised and respected as a professional membership body throughout a wide range of businesses. It has around 130,000 members and operates in over 90 countries. It requires its members to have a professional and ethical approach throughout their accountancy and finance careers.The Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting offers you technical training in accounting and is ideal if you are wishing to pursue or progress your career in accountancy and/or finance. The purpose of this qualification is to enhance the skills developed from the Level 3 Diploma in Accounting, enabling you to maximise opportunities in your current or new employment.
What will I learn?
The Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting comprises three mandatory units and two specialist units selected from a choice of five options:
The mandatory units are:
Applied Management Accounting: this unit focuses on the three fundamental areas of management accounting – planning, control and decision making. You will learn how to construct budgets and then by comparing these budgets to actual results, identify and report on areas of success and areas of concern. You will develop an understanding of the accounting methods and techniques used to identify problem areas and subsequently take action to improve performance. You will also learn a range of methods to aid short-term and long-term decision making.
Drafting and Interpreting Financial Statements: this unit provides you with the skills and knowledge for drafting the financial statements of single limited companies and consolidated financial statements of groups of companies. You will acquire a proficient level of knowledge and understanding of international accounting standards and will gain a sound appreciation of the regulatory and conceptual frameworks that underpin the preparation of limited company financial statements.
Internal Accounting Systems and Controls: this unit develops your understanding of the role of the accounting function within an organisation and how it meets the needs of the many key stakeholders who use financial reports to make decisions. The importance of internal controls in minimising the risk of fraud is often underestimated by businesses and you will undertake an evaluation of an accounting system and its control systems to identify weaknesses and recommend improvements.
The optional units are:
· Business Tax
· Personal Tax
· Audit and Assurance
· Cash and Financial Management
· Credit and Debt Management
Please note that not all the option units may be available as taught units.
For more information on the option units, please refer to your course tutor.
Study, Assessment and Qualifications
During weekly classes your tutor will introduce you to the skills and knowledge needed for each unit, using a variety of resources including lectures, handouts and e-learning via the college virtual learning environment. Time in class will always include the completion of practice questions to consolidate knowledge, and this will be reinforced by home study.
Homework will be set every week, and you will also need to allow time for reading and working through questions in your textbooks.
Regular attendance in class is essential to maximise your chance of success. Students should also be aware that the demands of Level 4 will require considerably more time spent on home study than was necessary at Level 2 and Level 3.
Students must successfully complete the three mandatory and two optional unit assessments to achieve this qualification.
Individual unit assessments are not graded, however, the percentage score achieved will be used to calculate the overall grade for the qualification of Pass, Merit or Distinction.
Students must have completed the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting to be accepted on to the AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting at Wiltshire College.
Written communication forms an important part of the Level 4 qualification and there will be extended writing tasks in all five unit exams. For the best chance of success, it is recommended that students should have a good standard of both English and Maths before starting the course with a GCSE at grade C or better in both subjects, or equivalent.
If you do not have formal qualifications in English and Maths, please discuss your situation with the course tutor before enrolment.
Additional Costs and Information
The course fee includes all tuition and the cost of your first attempt at each assessment.
You will need to buy textbooks - your tutor will tell you what textbooks to buy at the start of the course.
You will need to be registered with AAT before you can sit any assessments.
Should you need to re-sit any assessments, you will need to pay a re-sit fee of approximately £55 per assessment.
You will need to bring paper, pens and pencils and a calculator to each class. You will also need a large folder, such as a lever-arch file, to keep your handouts and notes in good order.
What Could I Do Next?
Successful completion of the Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting will enable a student to progress to one of the Chartered Accountancy qualifications, ACA, ACCA, CIMA or CIPFA. Alternatively, the qualification is accepted by many universities as entry to year 1 or year 2 (at some universities) of a degree in Accounting and Finance.Full membership of AAT is available once the workplace experience requirements have been met, leading to a wide range of interesting job opportunities. With further experience you may choose to set up your own business as a self-employed AAT Member in Practice.