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Options after AAT

I'm currently studying for AAT, on the middle level (level 3), and hope to have level 3 completed in the next 2 months and level 4 within 9 months or so of that.  Where do I go after this?  I'm a single mum and don't have the childcare options to work for a company and also would like anyway, to be self-employed.  Was thinking of ACCA (my mum has said she will provide childcare for me to get the three years work experience needed).  Any advice would be gratefully received!!


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No need, just start building a business

It depends what you want to do in terms of work but I just spoke with our latest franchisee who is AAT and he has changed his mind and will not be carrying on with further accounting qualifications.

He is committed to CPD both on accountancy/tax issues but also on areas of business consulting.

Bob Harper

Crunchers Accountancy Franchise

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Thanks.  Would I be qualified

Thanks.  Would I be qualified to do "stuff" with just AAT - accounts for limited companies not just sole traders is one that springs to mind? The business consulting area is one that interests me, I used to work in banking and have finance qualifications as well so would be good to do more than just a basic service if I can.

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You do not need the ACCA qualification to start trading and given your time constraints I would just start building a business.  Anything that looks too difficult can be referred to another practice on some kind of commission arrangement; they may even pass you some book keeping work.

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Whilst this may sound odd anyone can call themselves an accountant and start trading.  As with any business I would not recommend that you get out of your depth and you will need to be able to prepare LTD accounts to have a reasonable income.  Have you thought of maybe working part time in someone's practice if you are a in need of some experience?

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You don't say how much work experience you have in this area. If it's not up to date, you should do all you can to get some. Especially if you are planning to go self-employed. Exams on their own aren't much help for the real-life situations that you will face. AAT exams set the ground work for accountancy work, but give very little tuition for the tax side of things.

Many in practice take AAT and then go on to ATT. I think that would be the best course of action for you, but after AAT I suggest you just get experience before plunging into ATT.




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Thank you all - much appreciated.  Hopefully by the time I have finished AAT my mum may be able to have my daughter for 1 day a week or something similar.  Will also look into ATT - I like studying so would like to do something after AAT regardless!

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Go for it..

AAT are extremely supportive of people who wish to set up their own business. You will have to prove your competence in the areas you wish to work and demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge and experience to do so but, again, AAT can help you there too.


You are probably looking at around a 4 to 5 year commitment to gain ACCA, whilst working for an employer, and meeting their qualifying criteria for a practising certificate. They will not allow you to do anything other than bookkeeping as a student so if that is the route you want to go down then be prepared for a long (but worthwhile) journey.


If you want to get stuck in sooner then get going solely with AAT. Lots of useful information on their website here and lots of people in a similar position to you on their forums here.


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Completing your AAT

I believe the rules on completing the AAT has changed over the years. I had to complete two years in a practice before the my membership was accepted, but I believe this may now have reduced some what.

The best advice I can give, is for you to link up with a small practice on a part time basis where you will gain a lot of valuable experience over a period of time.

Once you have your practicing licence then you will be able to build your own client bank and have a better understanding of the tasks to be undertaken.

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Many thanks to all of you

Many thanks to all of you this has given me lots of food for thought.  Think I need to do some more investigating and will get in contact with AAT to see how they can help. 

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