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What Accounting Qualifications do you need to be an Accountant in the UK?

What Accounting Qualifications do you need to be an Accountant in the UK?

Some may have recently graduated from high school, while others raise a family or are halfway through their careers. All accountants have in common a desire to learn more about the field. They'll often ask, "What credentials do I need to become an accountant?"

You don't need any accounting qualification or experience; you need excellent numeracy abilities and passion. From financial administration to financial management, you'll obtain the information and skills required for a career in accounting.

What Accounting qualification is important?

Although you don't need A-Levels or a diploma to operate as an accountant, you will need to be fluent in English and Maths and have a strong understanding of numbers to get started. Many credentials cover accounting fundamentals and do not require prior experience or qualifications.

If you have A-levels or a bachelor's degree in accounting, you may be excused from some requirements, allowing you to complete your studies faster. An accounting training will provide you with essential academic knowledge, but the certificates we'll look at will provide you with the practical abilities you'll need to succeed in your work.

AAT accounting certification

Accounting certification from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is the bare minimum for a successful career in accountancy. AAT is an excellent place to start for individuals new to the business since it may lead to a level 4 certificate, equivalent to a year of university study.

You can become a professional member and use the letters 'MAAT' after your name once you've passed level 4. With the complete AAT certificate under your belt, you'll discover that new possibilities open up for you, and companies highly respect it.

Foundation Certificate AAT Level 2

What exactly is it?

The AAT Level 2 Foundation Certificate is the first to earn an accounting certification. It introduces the financial statement and double-entry bookkeeping. It also covers Basic costs and accounting in a firm. It has a computerised accounting unit, allowing you to transfer manual bookkeeping abilities to the automated system.

Who should be the one to do it?

It is the best choice for people new to accounting or who have worked in the field but lack a certificate. It's perfect if you've recently started a trainee accounting position because it will accelerate the development of essential skills.

The Foundation Certificate Level 2 AAT will also benefit people working as Accounts Clerks who use a computerised accounting package. It will give you a better grasp of how the programme operates and combines with other accounting activities.

Advanced Diploma AAT Level 3

What exactly is it?

The Advanced Diploma in AAT level 3 is the second level of the AAT accounting qualification. This level builds on the information gained in the Certificate by covering double-entry principles and costing, introducing topics like year-end adjustments, accruals, and prepayments, and creating a set of final accounts.

This level also offers new ideas, such as utilising spreadsheets and being ethical in an accounting profession.

Who should be the one to do it?

If you've already finished the Certificate, the Advanced Diploma is the next stage. You should start at this level if you have another accounting qualification that provides you with the basic information covered at the Certificate level.

You might begin at this level if you have a working grasp of manual accounting and are familiar with double-entry techniques. Suppose you work in an accounting capacity like Senior Accounts Clerk and are familiar with manual accounting processes. In that case, this is a great place to start because it will build on your current knowledge of bank reconciliations and management accounts.

AAT Professional Diploma Level 4

What exactly is it?

The Level 4 Professional Diploma is the third and final section of the AAT accounting courses. This level expands on the information gained in the previous two levels by examining financial statements for limited corporations and corporate financial performance.

You will be able to select between two optional units: tax or cash flow. You'll also have to complete a project that allows you to put what you've learned so far into practice while also demonstrating your mastery of accounting controls.

Who should be the one to do it?

It is the best next level if you already hold the Advanced Diploma. You will have the understanding levels necessary to begin the Advanced Diploma if you have worked in finance and have a working grasp of double-entry, final adjustments to accounts, and cost.

It is an excellent certification to complement and develop your existing skills and knowledge if you operate as a Finance Manager, estimate products, complete cash flows and budgets, and generate financial accounts and tax returns.


ICAEW offers a professional certification internationally recognised as a superior business diploma. In 160 countries, the ICAEW has 140,000 members and students.

You must first sign a training agreement with an authorised employer to begin ACA training. After that, you have five years to complete the course while gaining 450 days of relevant work experience.

After completing your ACA accounting course, you will be a chartered accountant who may work for any accounting company, including audit firms. You might also work for a commercial or public-sector organisation or create your own business.

Certificate Level; First Year

The Accounting and Assurance tests are the first exams you take. College begins the second week after you enrol, and you will stay for two weeks before taking your examinations. These tests might be difficult, so you'll need to put in a lot of effort right away.

Around a month later, college begins again, with you studying Tax and Law as a home study module. Around a month later, you resume home study for Management Information and Business and Finance.

Three of the six tests must be passed on the first attempt. Any credits you don't utilise in your first year are carried over to your second. You'll have finished the certificate stage of the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountancy in England and Wales) ACA course by mid-December.

Professional Level; Second Year

The following spring, you will begin your second year of college, where you will study Financial Accounting and Reporting and Audit and Assurance subjects. The third subject, Tax and Compliance, starts in July, with mock tests following a few weeks later. In mid-August, you begin the revision process for your three examinations, and you have three weeks of college before sitting them in September.

After these tests, you'll have about a week until the next three modules, which you'll take in December. Business Planning, Taxation, Business Strategy, and Financial Management are the subjects covered. You attend college for three weeks, then return to work for four weeks before returning to college for review. You’ll be part-qualified after passing these examinations.


The ACCA is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing accounting certificate providers, with 586,000 members and students in different countries.

You have ten years to complete this certification, either as part of a training arrangement or on your own. To complete the qualification, you must additionally have three years of relevant job experience.

The world is your oyster once you become an ACCA chartered certified accountant. You can work for accounting companies, businesses in the private or public sector or start your firm.


The CIMA is a professional organisation located in the United Kingdom that focuses on company accounting. Their members and students in d countries receive training and certificates in management accounting and associated areas.

You can work towards accounting certification independently or through an accounting training arrangement with your company, much like ACCA. There is no time restriction on the training period; all you need is to pass your examinations and work for three years.

As a CIMA management accountant, you're more likely to work for a company than for a specialised accounting firm.

What do you need to have to become a Certified Public Accountant?

Several options are available to you, ranging from obtaining a specialism to establishing your organisation and beyond. The path to becoming an accountant is difficult, requiring effort and research. Nonetheless, the return includes above-average pay, a desirable job, and opportunities for advancement.


Accounting qualifications are available in various formats, allowing you to work as an accountant on your schedule. Depending on your accounting career goals, you can specialise in tax and auditing, making you a valuable candidate for any organisation.


Q.1: What are the different degrees of accounting education?

The primary qualifications available to accountants in the United Kingdom are the AAT, ACA, ACCA, CIMA, and CIPFA. There is a range of educational, skill, and location-based variations among these credentials.

Q.2: Is accounting a difficult task?

While certain topics may be difficult to grasp, you may succeed by studying the subject and taking the time to ensure that you thoroughly comprehend accounting principles.

Q.3: Which accounting certification is the most simple?

If you want to start an accounting career in accounting and want a recognised certification at a lower level, Future Connect proposes AAT, which goes up to level 4 (HND level), and then you may continue to CIMA/ACCA/etc.

Q.4: Is math required to study accounting?

Math is the most helpful subject to have when applying for an accounting degree, as you might think.