Whether you are considering a change of career or adding some qualifications to the experience you already have, one of the professional development courses that should be top of your list is bookkeeping. Even if you’re just balancing your own books as a freelancer, a course in bookkeeping will really help you get to grips with your finances. I wrote a blog post last week about how bookkeeping can save you money, but that’s not the only reason to study accounting…
Who is AAT?
AAT is the Association of Accounting Technicians and is the leading professional body for the accounting and finance sectors. Currently, they have over 130,000 members around the world and hand out thousands of vocational qualifications each year. These qualifications are recognised around the globe and have great respect with employers. It’s easy to find AAT Courses in London and at colleges around the UK, so you’ll be able to find a course to fit around the hours you have available to study.
Learn the skills employers want
One of the top reasons that AAT bookkeeping courses are so well respected is that students are taught a variety of skills and knowledge that employers want. These courses aim to teach students all of the basics of bookkeeping as well as ensuring they are up to date with the latest trends and skills that an employer will be seeking. The qualifications are known for being practical and industry-focused so that students are able to quickly take on their assigned role. Armed with the latest industry standards, you can make sure any business is employing the best bookkeeping practices, including your own.
The AAT bookkeeping course is ideal if you want a career in bookkeeping or to use it as a base to continue into other areas of accountancy and finance. It is also a very practical qualification for people who run their own business and want to be able to manage the basics of bookkeeping within their business. With the growth of bookkeeping software, it is easier than ever to manage your own finances but the addition of a solid course background means you have context and knowledge to ensure your business remains on a solid financial footing.
Become a licensed bookkeeper
The course comes in two levels – Level 2 and Level 3. Sure you might only need a Level 2 to do the type of accounting you need for your freelance business, but once you’ve completed both of these levels, you’ll be in a position to apply for an AAT associate bookkeeping membership and to achieve AAT professional status. This entitles you to use the letters AATQB after your name and looks rather impressive on a CV! It also adds immense credibility if you want to start offering your services as a freelancer or start your own company, allowing people to quickly see that you are highly trained and trustworthy in the services you are offering.
Become an accountant
For many, the bookkeeping course is a way to step up to a full accountancy course. Content is often shared between qualifications and the bookkeeping papers fall within the AAT accountancy courses, so you’ll already have some sections that you’ll be exempt from studying if you’ve taken the bookkeeping course first. This means you can train to be a full accountant without having to re-study the areas you are already qualified for, speeding up the process.
Great for any age
Another beauty of a bookkeeping course is that they are suitable for any age group. Whether you have just left college or are looking to retrain in the later stages of your career, these courses will introduce you to the topic and provide you with globally recognised qualifications that allow you to do whatever you want. Whether this is training as an accountant, working in a company as a bookkeeper or offering these services as an outsourcing option for companies, a bookkeeping qualification will put you in a strong position to succeed. And if you want to travel and work abroad, the qualification is internationally recognised by companies and governments around the world.
Let me know if you’re considering studying finance or accounting yourself and please share your experiences in the comments below if you’ve already taken a bookkeeping course. I studied accounting at university as part of my management degree, and even though I always thought I was rubbish with number, I’m so glad that learned this skill. It’s been so useful to me as a freelancer throughout my career.