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The AAT Accounting Qualification is a widely recognised and respected qualification. It will provide you with the skills to follow a career in accountancy and finance.

You can start an AAT qualification with no experience or you may have a job working within finance and wish to gain a formal qualification. We offer a range of classes in Kettering and Northampton with starting points throughout the year.

AAT has quickly become the preferred qualification within the industry with businesses and accountancy firms large and small.

Accounting courses

Starting Off provides two locations for training, Northampton and Kettering. These training centres are both within easy access to public transport.

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AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting or Bookkeeping – Level 2

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Most students will start their career in accounts at foundation level. At Level 2 you can complete the Foundation Certificate in Accounting which covers the following units:

  • Bookkeeping transactions
  • Bookkeeping controls
  • Elements of costing
  • Working effectively in finance
  • Using accounting software

Each unit is assessed by a computer based exam. The qualification delivers the skills and essential knowledge to introduce you into accountancy and bookkeeping. You will attend once a week for 3 hours and the qualification will take approximately 12 months. It can be completed as part of the Level 2 Accounts/Finance Assistant Apprenticeship.

The two Bookkeeping units can also be taken as a stand-alone qualification – the AAT Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping - Level 2 which takes approximately 5 months. This can be used as a fast-track route to the AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting/Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship and may be a more suitable route for mature/experienced candidates.

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AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting - Level 3

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1. Advanced Bookkeeping 2. Final Accounts Preparation 3. Management Accounting: Costing 4. Indirect Tax 5. Ethics for Accountants 6. Spreadsheets for Accounting

In this qualification you will master more complex accounting disciplines including financial processes, Advanced bookkeeping, final accounts and ethical practices for accountants.

Units 1-3 are assessed by individual unit exams plus a synoptic assessment which also incorporates Ethics for Accountants and Spreadsheets for Accounting. Unit 4 is assessed by an individual stand-alone exam only.

You will attend once a week for 3 hours and the qualification will take approximately 18 months to complete. It can be taken after the Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping as part of the Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship.

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AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting

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In this qualification you will cover higher accounting tasks including drafting financial statements, managing budgets and evaluating financial performance, as well as optional specialist units including business tax, personal tax and credit management and cash and treasury management.

Mandatory Units

1. Financial Statements of Limited Companies 2. Management Accounting: Budgeting 3. Management Accounting: Decision and Control 4. Accounting Systems and Controls (Synoptic Assessment)

Accounting Systems and Controls is a Synoptic Assessment that will draw on knowledge and skills gained whilst studying the other three mandatory units. All units are assessed by computer-based exams.

Plus two optional units from the following routes


Personal Tax Business Tax


Cash and Treasury Management Credit Management

The AAT Level 4 qualification can be taken as part of the Professional Accountant/Tax Technician Apprenticeship. You will attend once a week for 4 hours and the qualification will take 20 - 24 months to complete.

Working with you on Functional Skills

All Apprenticeships require learners to demonstrate a minimum level of Maths & English, however learners may be exempt from these with relevant GCSE grades. Don’t worry if you need to work with us on this as we’ll get you through them as part of your training.


"I feel that I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked my way through an Apprenticeship. My career has progressed all thanks to the AAT qualification."
Ben Haynes - Motor Neurone Disease Association
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