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  • Guided Learning Hours : 420
  • Support Period : 18 Months

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Our AAT Students

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Get AAT qualified online at your own pace with live online classrooms, unlimited 1:1 tutor support, and interest-free payment plans. 

The AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4) is the most advanced AAT accounting qualification. It's ideal if you have a lot of accounting experience and are looking to become a financial team leader or set up your own practice. It's also the next step from the Advanced Diploma in Accounting.

At this advanced level, you'll cover complex and advanced finance processes and topics. You'll be able to draft financial statements for limited companies, recommend strategy for accounting systems, and build and present complex management accounting reports.

Once you've passed, you'll automatically become an affiliate AAT member. You'll also be able to achieve internationally-recognised professional MAAT status if you have the right work experience, and you could go on to study to become a Chartered Accountant on a fast-track route.

There are no deadlines except the end of the generous support period, so you can set your own timetable and work around your current job or family responsibilities.

That's why our AAT pass rate is 95%.

*Based on 1,280 exam sittings and 1,215 passes by ICS Learn AAT students between July 2015 and June 2016.

If the Professional Diploma isn't right for you, have a look at the AAT Advanced Diploma (Level 3) or the AAT Foundation Certificate (Level 2).

The AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (AQ2016 Syllabus) sits on the Qualifications and Credit Framework at Level 4, or Level 8 in the Scottish system.

This course has a Total Qualification Time (TQT) value of 560 hours. The TQT is a measure of how long it will take to complete a qualification and includes the Guided Learning Hours as well as any unsupervised learning and time spent on independent research.

In total, you'll study six units. This includes the four mandatory units, plus two out of the four optional units.

Mandatory Units

Management Accounting: Budgeting

  1. Prepare forecasts of income and expenditure
  2. Prepare budgets
  3. Demonstrate how budgeting can improve organisational performance
  4. Report budgetary information to management in a clear and appropriate format

Management Accounting: Decision and Control

  1. Analyse a range of costing techniques to support the management accounting function of an organisation
  2. Calculate and use standard costing to improve performance
  3. Demonstrate a range of statistical techniques to analyse business information
  4. Use appropriate financial and non-financial performance techniques to aid decision making
  5. Evaluate a range of cost management techniques to enhance value and aid decision making

Financial Statements of Limited Companies

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the reporting frameworks and ethical principles that underpin financial reporting
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the key features of a published set of financial statements
  3. Draft statutory financial statements for a limited company
  4. Draft consolidated financial statements
  5. Interpret financial statements using ratio analysis

Accounting Systems and Controls

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the accounting function within an organisation
  2. Evaluate internal control systems
  3. Evaluate an organisation’s accounting system and underpinning procedures
  4. Analyse recommendations made to improve an organisation’s accounting system

Optional Units (choose two):

Business Tax

  1. Complete tax returns for sole traders and partnerships and prepare supporting tax computations
  2. Complete tax returns for limited companies and prepare supporting tax computations
  3. Provide advice on the UK’s tax regime and its impact on sole traders, partnerships and limited companies
  4. Advise business clients on tax reliefs, and their responsibilities and their agent’s responsibilities in reporting taxation to HMRC
  5. Prepare tax computations for the sale of capital assets

Personal Tax

  1. Analyse the theories, principles and rules that underpin taxation systems
  2. Calculate a UK taxpayer’s total income
  3. Calculate income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions payable by a UK taxpayer
  4. Account for capital gains tax
  5. Discuss the basics of inheritance tax

Cash and Treasury Management

  1. Use statistical techniques and financial information to prepare forecasts of cash receipts and payments
  2. Prepare cash budgets and monitor cash flows within the organisation
  3. Evaluate the principles of cash management within the context of regulation and government monetary policies
  4. Evaluate ways of raising finance in accordance with organisational requirements
  5. Evaluate ways of investing surplus funds within organisational policies

Credit Management

  1. Analyse relevant legislation and contract law that has an impact on the credit control environment
  2. Critically analyse information from a variety of sources to assess credit risk and grant credit in compliance with organisational policies and procedures
  3. Evaluate a range of techniques to collect debts
  4. Critically evaluate credit control in line with organisational policies and procedures
  5. Present advice and recommendations to management on the credit control system

You'll choose your optional units once you've begun your studies. Your expert tutor will be happy to advise you on this decision.

This course is perfect if you aspire to run your own accounting practice or hold a senior, well-paying technical accounting role.

If you're looking to become a Chartered Accountant, your AAT qualification will allow you to take a fast-track route with all the major Chartered Accountancy bodies. Find out more under 'Further Education'.

In order to enrol, you'll need significant practical accounting experience or the Advanced Diploma in Accounting (or the Level 3 Diploma, as it was previously known). Our course advisors will be happy to talk your experience over with you to make sure you're choosing the right course.

You must be over 19, and if English isn't your first language, you'll need an IELTS score of 5.5 or equivalent.

Please note that if you have a criminal record or have been made bankrupt, AAT may not accept you as a member. This means you won't be able to sit your exams. If you're unsure, please contact AAT directly for advice.

Not sure which course is right for you? Complete the AAT Skillcheck. It's a short online test with a series of multiple-choice questions that takes 30 minutes to complete, and it'll suggest the level that would suit you best.

If you have any disabilities which you believe may impact your studies or assessments, please inform your Course Advisor before enrolment so that we can advise you on whether reasonable adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs.

AAT qualifications are highly respected by employers as the gold standard in technical accounting.

  1. 77% of students agree that studying AAT has increased their earning potential
  2. 78% of MAAT/FMAATs and 73% of students are satisfied with their jobs
  3. 83% of members feel secure in their jobs

Once you've completed the AAT Professional Diploma you'll be a fully qualified Accounting Technician. You'll automatically become an affiliate member of AAT, and if you have the relevant work experience you can apply for internationally-recognised professional MAAT status.

You could set up your own practice, or begin further study to become a Chartered Accountant. You'll be qualified for well-paying senior roles such as:

  1. Senior Finance Officer
  2. Senior Fund Accountant
  3. Senior Insolvency Administrator
  4. Professional Accounting Technician
  5. Assistant Auditor
  6. Assistant Management Accountant
  7. Accounts Payable and Expenses Supervisor
  8. Payments and Billing Manager
  9. Commercial Analyst
  10. Cost Accountant
  11. Fixed Asset Accountant
  12. Indirect Tax Manager
  13. Payroll Manager
  14. Senior Bookkeeper
  15. Tax Supervisor
  16. Assistant Financial Accountant
  17. VAT Accountant

All statistics from the AAT Salary Survey 2017.

Once you've completed your course, you'll have completed all the AAT Accounting qualification levels.

You could continue your education by becoming a Chartered Accountant. Your AAT qualifications will allow you to fast-track your certification by skipping certain modules, thus achieving chartered status more quickly than by the university route.

All the UK Chartered Accountancy bodies recognise AAT qualifications, and AAT is sponsored by the professional accounting bodies CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS.

Find out how your AAT qualification can fast-track your learning with:

  1. Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
  2. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  3. Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  4. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  5. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

You could also become a tax specialist with the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT).

You can either pay for your course in full or opt for an interest-free payment plan. You'll pay a small deposit and the rest by monthly direct debit. Our plans are flexible, so you can extend the terms or pay your balance off sooner if you choose.

Speak to our course advisors for more information on our payment plans.

Please note that the AAT Student admission fee, annual AAT student membership fee, AAT exam fees and AAT exam centre administration fees aren't included in the course price listed. Please contact us for the latest AAT fee information.

Employer-funded Accounting courses can be enrolled as an all-inclusive package which combines course, exam, centre and AAT Membership fees.

Extensive Resources

Once you enrol, you’ll have access to our Student Community, which will allow you to see your course materials, contact your tutor and student support team, submit your assignments and connect with your fellow students. Your course materials have been specially designed for online learning by experts in the field. 

The Student Community will give you access to a huge range of helpful resources:

  1. Live tutor-led online classrooms
  2. Interactive quizzes
  3. Progress checks
  4. Online activities
  5. Peer discussions
  6. E-books
  7. Personal journal
  8. AAT resources


We'll also give you:

  1. Kaplan textbooks in both print and ebook form

You can access your ebooks through the MyKaplan website.

Our optional live tutor-led online classrooms allow you to talk the tutor, interact with other students, and get help with anything you're stuck with. The majority are scheduled during lunchtimes, evenings and weekends so they're as easy as possible to fit around work. They're also recorded so if you can't make it, you can watch them back and re-watch them as many times as you need. 

Unlimited Support

Whenever you need help, there'll be a real person on hand.

You'll be assigned an expert academic tutor who will be with you from enrolment to graduation. Their support is unlimited and you can contact them by phone, email or via the Student Community. They’ll answer questions about coursework, study materials, assessments and exams, and help you work through any part of the course you’re stuck with. All your work will be given constructive feedback so you know exactly what your strengths are and what you can improve.

Plus, our dedicated student support team will be on hand to assist you with administrative tasks, using the Student Community, and any other non-academic queries you may have.

Your AAT tutor and support team will give you all the help you need, any time you ask. Because our courses allow you to work at your own pace, we won't chase you about deadlines or keeping up with your coursework. However, if you feel like you're falling behind at any time, just contact us and let us know - we'll do everything we can to help you get back on track.

Your AAT assessments will be computer-based and you'll sit them at an AAT-approved exam centre. You can find an AAT centre near you using the assessment venue search tool here.

Your exams are designed to assess the skills, knowledge and understanding you've developed through the course.

There are two types of assessment:

  1. Unit assessments test what you've learned in one specific unit. They don't test any knowledge you've gained on other units in the course. 
  2. Synoptic assessments test what you've learned across multiple units. They allow you to demonstrate your new knowledge and skills by applying them to real-world situations.

You must complete all the unit assessments before you sit the synoptic exam.

To achieve your AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting you'll sit six separate assessments. Five of these will be unit assessments:

  1. Financial Statements of Limited Companies
  2. Management Accounting: Budgeting
  3. Management Accounting: Decision and Control
  4. + whichever two optional units you chose

The sixth assessment will be synoptic, covering knowledge and skills you've gained across all four of the mandatory units. It won't cover any material from the optional units.

Before you sit the real thing, you'll have completed a number of practice tests to ensure you're well-prepared. You'll sit a mock exam at the end of every unit so you know where you're doing well and where you can improve. You'll also complete a sample synoptic assessment that'll be marked and given constructive feedback by your tutor.

Once you've passed your mock tests with at least 70%, the minimum pass grade, you can arrange to sit your exams as a private candidate. To make your life easier, there'll be a list of exam centres which accept private candidates on the Student Community. If you have any problems booking your exams, we'll be more than happy to help.

The grades you can achieve are:

  1. Distinction: 90-100%
  2. Merit: 80-89%
  3. Pass: 70-79%

Please note that AAT's assessment fees and invigilation fees aren't included in the course price.

In order to sit your exams and receive your qualification, you'll need to pay:

  1. AAT Registration Fees
  2. AAT Annual Student Membership Fees
  3. AAT Exam Fees
  4. Exam Centre Administration Fees

Our course advisors can fill you in on the latest AAT fee information, and advise you on how to pay them. Exam centre fees will vary depending on the centre you choose.

A year's AAT student membership can be included on your payment plan. Please note that AAT requires you to activate your membership within four weeks of enrolment.

Employer-funded Accounting courses can be enrolled as an all-inclusive package which combines course, exam, centre and AAT Membership fees.