This is a difficult question to answer due to all the variables, but we will do our best to explain all the options so that you can get a better understanding of what it could cost you to become AAT qualified.
You’ll be keen to have some sort of answer quickly though, so in a nutshell, to become AAT qualified*, it will cost anything from just over £750 to around £6,000 (give or take). We’ll explain what the key variables are a bit later on.
In the meantime, it’s important to know that you don’t have to find all of this money up front – getting started on your AAT journey could cost you as little as £99!
Our own view is that you should avoid any substantial upfront investment for a couple of reasons:
- If you have no prior experience in accounting, you may simply find that ‘accounting isn’t for you’!
If you’re still keen to purchase all three levels in one go, then we’d suggest you sample some materials first, or at least just start with the first AAT Level (Bookkeeping or Accounting) – you need to ensure that the materials suit your learning style and you should be able to ascertain pretty quickly whether you enjoy the subject matter e.g. ‘Yes, I’m enjoying this – accountancy is for me’, or not as the case may be.
- In our experience, personal circumstances (family commitments, redundancy, ill health and so on) often change and sometimes students find it is not possible to complete what they started. If you change your mind about completing the course, you may not be able to get a refund.
At this juncture, it is probably useful to point out that to become AAT qualified, there will be 2-3 qualifications (or AAT levels) that you will need to complete, depending on which route you want to take.
There are two key routes, which are:
* With the AAT Bookkeeping route, you can qualify as an AAT Licensed Bookkeeper and will be entitled to put AATQB after your name.
With the AAT Accounting route, you can qualify as an AAT Accounting Technician and will be entitled to put MAAT after your name.
N.B. In order to qualify, you will need to submit a membership application to the AAT (this applies to both qualifications).
Back to course fees – obviously there is a huge difference between spending £1,000 and £6,000 to qualify as an AAT Bookkeeper or AAT Accounting Technician. Here is some more information about the variable costs.
Main factors that impact course fees:
College courses: The first key factor that will have an impact on what you pay for your course is your chosen study method. If you decide that you need to study by attending classes at a local college, this will generally be more expensive than studying via online lectures/distance learning (a college will have higher overheads than a distance learning provider e.g. the latter will not have classrooms to upkeep)
Online lectures: Training providers that offer timetabled online lectures are often more expensive than study packages that provide you with the learning materials to study at your own pace. A plus side on this is that you are more likely to stick to your study routine and you will get to see the tutor (albeit online); a downside is that as with a college course, you can only start your course at specific times of the year.
Distance Learning: with this study method, you will be given access to learning materials in order that you can study at your own pace. There may well be a mixture of different resources available, such as interactive online presentations, online question banks and a wealth of other practice materials (some online and others in pdf format). Additionally, your learning materials may be supplemented by text books. Some providers create their own and others buy in text books from one of 3 main AAT text book publishers, namely Kaplan, BPP and Osborne.
- Package type: some training providers will offer several different study packages for you to choose from e.g.
- All inclusive: this means that your course costs (tutor supported) and all other associated fees are included, such as AAT membership and exam/invigilation fees. The fee may well include an administration cost to take into account the extra work involved with organising payment codes and payment of exam fees to AAT approved assessment (exam) venues. For this reason, ‘all inclusive’ courses are usually the most expensive of all the options.
- Course materials and tutor support: this package will include your course fee as well as tutor support, but it may not include any of the other associated costs (membership/exams etc) and if applicable, it may not include text books and postage & packaging.
- Self study: this package will only provide you with your course materials along with initial advice and guidance i.e. no tutor support and none of the extras (membership/exams etc). This will obviously be the most economical package to purchase, but it is not suitable for everyone – if you are completely new to accounting and are not used to further education courses, you may want to consider opting for a tutor supported course. There are very few providers who offer this type of package, so you will need to ‘hunt around’!
When purchasing any course, what is and what isn’t included in your course fee is not always very clear… make sure you have a thorough understanding of what you are getting before parting with your cash!