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9 Jobs You Can Get With an AAT Qualification

AAT qualifications can open up a whole variety of accountancy careers. As the gold standard qualifications for vocational accountancy and bookkeeping careers, recognised worldwide, they show prospective employers that you have the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to excel in hands-on accounting roles.

So, what type of jobs are available with an AAT qualification? We decided to have a closer look!

We’ve taken these typical accountancy and bookkeeping jobs from the Hays Salary Guide 2022 – a great resource that shows you the typical salary range for a job role in a particular industry, in different parts of the UK.

Accountancy and Bookkeeping: a sector full of opportunities

The accountancy and bookkeeping sector is notable for the sheer number of fulfilling roles that it has to offer people looking to develop a career in it. And these roles aren’t just concentrated in one particular area either: they’re varied, comprising many different areas. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to finding a role that will fit your own specialisms and interests.

Here are three of the most popular accountancy sectors that you can enter with an AAT qualification.

Public Practice

Public practice accounting is one of the most common areas of accounting, giving employees the chance to experience a wide range of accountancy roles in different contexts.

Public practice accounting firms provide accountancy services to clients but remain independent from their staff.

There are a wide variety of different public practice accountancy firms out there, ranging from massive international ones like PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG that provide general services to a wide range of industries, to smaller organisations that service particular sectors and specialisms.

1. Bookkeeper

A public practice bookkeeper is responsible for managing a client’s financial data through keeping accurate records and registers. This is an entry-to-intermediate-level role, and it’s a solid role to build experience on for more senior positions.

A public practice bookkeeper will manage records relating to payroll, accounts payable and receivable and will carry out general accounting admin, like recording ledger entries and payments.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and AAT Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping (or study both through the AAT Level 2 and Level 3 Certificates in Bookkeeping combined course)

Average Salary: £18,000 to £37,000

2. Trainee Accountant

A trainee public practice accountant is a great intermediate-level accountancy role that will help you build the foundation of a successful accountancy career.

This type of accountant is responsible for general financial duties, like analysing payments, logging receipts, examining creditor and debtor lists, and carrying out general account management.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting

Average Salary: £24,000 to £28,000

3. Accountancy Manager

In this role, you’ll take on more responsibility for supervising accountancy and bookkeeping staff, and implementing strategic directives.

You might still perform some general accountancy functions as well, but you’ll have more of a coordinating role in a managerial context.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting

Average Salary: £55,000 to £65,000

Looking At Graphs And Using Calculator

Corporate Finance

This is the type of accounting that looks at how a corporation’s finances can be structured to achieve maximum value for shareholders.

Its purpose is to think about how capital, investment and funding influence profit and how value can be enhanced through accounting and financial management.

4. Trainee Accounting Technician 

As a Trainee Accounting Technician, you'll be responsible for handing everyday financial reporting for corporate clients. This normally takes the form of preparing monthly reports, managing accounts and helping with audits.

As this is a trainee role, you'll not be expected to have any prior experience or accounting qualifications – you'll normally need at least a C grade in GCSE English or Maths (or equivalent) or an A Level. Showing passion and commitment, rather than your specific experience of accounting, are really important when it comes to securing a role like this. 

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Accounting

Average Salary: £16,000 to £20,000

5. Trainee Corporate Finance Assistant

Not every accounting role in corporate finance is client-facing. Other internal accounting roles exist too!  A Trainee Corporate Finance Assistant is one of them. 

As this is a trainee role you, again, probably won't need much prior work experience of accounting – just a clear desire to progress a career in the sector. 

A trainee corporate finance assistant role will normally see you responsible for checking purchase invoices, expenses claims and checking against relevant receipts, maintaining a sales ledger, and carrying out general office and administrative duties.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting, AAT Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Accounting.

Average Salary: £45,000 to £78,000

6. Accounts Payable Clerk

As a Corporate Finance Accounts Payable Clerk, an intermediate-level accountancy role, you’ll be responsible for maintaining purchase ledgers, processing invoices and staff expenses, filing invoices, and general ad-hoc financial reporting duties.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Accounting

Average Salary: £24,000 to £28,000

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Taxation accountancy is basically what it says on the tin – accountancy that deals with taxation and all of the elements that come with it, like submitting tax returns, gathering and processing information, conducting audits and analysing tax legislation and its effect on the finances of a company.

7. VAT Accountant

A VAT Accountant offers financial advice about VAT and how it affects an organisation. You’ll manage relationships with HMRC and other VAT bodies, you’ll look at the VAT implications of transactions and you’ll be responsible for all aspects of VAT compliance.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting

Average Salary: £40,000 to £60,000

8. Tax Accountant

A Tax Accountant is responsible for helping a client or organisation stay on the right side of tax laws and obligations. It’s their job to look at legislation and ensure that their client is paying the required amount of tax. You’ll prepare tax documents, interpret tax law and submit tax returns on behalf of clients.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 4 Diploma in Professional Accounting

Average Salary: £40,000 to £60,000

9. Trainee Tax Assistant 

An entry-level role in the tax sector, as a trainee tax assistant you'll help to prepare a variety of tax documents, like Personal, Trust and Estate returns for a range of clients, as well as providing advice on different types of taxes, including Income Tax, Corporation Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

AAT qualification needed: AAT Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma in Accounting

Average Salary: £80,000 to £120,000

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We hope you’ve found this guide to jobs that you can get with an AAT qualification useful. Good luck with your accounting career!

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