Qualification: AAT Foundation Certificate
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About this course
This AAT course is for anyone wishing to study the basics of accountancy and gain first level knowledge of accounting systems and is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to pursue a career in accountancy or finance.
It includes a range of basic accounting principles and techniques, from costing and double entry bookkeeping to computerised accounting. This introductory level is where you will develop your skills in finance administration: basic costing principles, double-entry bookkeeping and purchase, sales and general ledgers.
This level 2 qualification will suit you if:
- You work in accounts and would like a formal qualification in the field
- You would like to acquire new skills to help with a change in your career
- You’re a school leaver looking for an introduction to accounting and finance
- You are not currently in employment or training and you need workplace skills
- You would like to go onto be an AAT full member or study for chartered status
The course includes all materials, books and exam fees.
* Great news... if you're aged 19 or over and earning less than £15,736.50 a year (gross salary), you may not have to pay for this course. Apply online now!
What you will learn
The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting covers a range of foundation accounting and finance skills in five mandatory units:
- Bookkeeping Transactions
- Bookkeeping Controls
- Elements of Costing
- Using Accounting Software
- Work Effectively in Finance
This introduces you to the double-entry bookkeeping system and the associated documents and processes. You will reach the stage of extracting an initial trial balance, before any adjustments are made. This unit provides you with the skills necessary to operate a manual double-entry bookkeeping system and provides a strong foundation for progression to more advanced manual and computerised activities.
On completion of this unit, you will be able to check the accuracy of invoices, credit notes, remittance advices, statements of account and petty cash vouchers. You will know how to use these documents to make entries in sales and purchases daybooks, sales and purchases returns daybooks, and discounts allowed and received daybooks using account codes, as well as how to transfer those totals to the sales, purchases and general ledgers. The cash book and petty cash book are also covered in this unit, including making entries into both and transferring totals to the ledgers.
This unit is about control accounts, journals and methods of payment. It takes you through reconciliation processes and the use of the journal to the stage of redrafting the trial balance, following initial adjustments. It also covers more complex Foundation level bookkeeping procedures, which will enable you to develop your understanding of the relationship between the various accounting records and consolidate your knowledge of double-entry bookkeeping.
You will develop the ability to prepare the value added tax (VAT) control account as well as the sales and purchases ledger control accounts, including reconciliation with the sales and purchases ledgers. You will use the journal to record a variety of transactions, including the correction of errors. You will be able to redraft the initial trial balance, following adjustments, and be able to identify different methods of payment and their use. You will learn to update the cash book following receipt of a bank statement, and also how to prepare a bank reconciliation statement.
Elements of Costing
This unit will give you a basic introduction to costing, while building the knowledge and skills you need for more complex costing and management accounting units. You will understand the importance of the costing system as a source of information for internal management decision making. In contrast to the more outward perspective of financial accounting, the skills developed in this unit will allow you to provide information to managers that can be used to assist in internal business planning, decision making and control.
This unit covers the nature of cost and how it is used in a costing system. You will understand the different classifications of cost and how they can be used for internal management decision making. As well as classifying costs, you will code transactions and build up a unit cost for a product or service, using a range of techniques to cost material, labour and overheads. You will also engage with the budgetary control system by comparing actual costs with budgeted costs and they will determine variances, noting whether they are adverse or favourable.
Using Accounting Software
This unit provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to carry out typical bookkeeping transactions and tasks using accounting software. In the modern business environment, processing data and information into accounting software is a necessary task in most finance roles. It will teach you the practical steps for processing accounting information electronically and will allow you to reinforce your understanding of the sequence in which bookkeeping tasks are carried out.
On completion of this unit, you will have the practical ability to enter accounting transactions into accounting software and to perform bank reconciliations accurately. You will be able to enter information into accounting software and understand the main features of accounting software. You will learn how to set up general ledger accounts for new and existing businesses and process the typical bookkeeping entries expected of students at this level, including the processing of sales and purchase documentation, recording bank and cash entries and carrying out bank reconciliations accurately. You will also learn how to produce reports using the software and understand the purpose of these reports.
Working Effectively in Finance
This unit will help you to develop the professional skills and behaviours needed in the workplace. While this unit is set in the context of the finance function, these skills are transferable to many other working environments. You will understand the work of the finance function and why that work is important to an organisation. You will understand that finance employees require more than numerical skills: you also need interpersonal and written communication skills. You will learn the importance of being an effective employee and what this means, and how to work as part of a finance team.
You will be able to identify activities that develop current skills and knowledge, and those that will help you achieve future career aspirations. You will understand how to ensure data security and the importance of maintaining confidentiality of information. You will understand why corporate social responsibility is important and what actions individuals can take to ensure that they behave ethically and support sustainability.
All of the course is based in the classroom with no distance learning.
No prior accountancy or bookkeeping experience is required to undertake this qualification but, due to the content of this course and the required level of work commitment, a good level in both English and numeracy is required for enrolment.
You will be required to attend an interview with the course tutor during which a literacy and numeracy assessment will take place to ensure you are proficient enough to complete the course.
The finance, accountancy, business and communications skills developed in the AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting can lead to employment as:
- Accounts Administrator
- Accounts Assistant
- Accounts Payable Clerk
- Purchase/Sales Ledger Clerk
- Trainee Accounting Technician
- Trainee Finance Assistant
As your career in accounting progresses you may wish to move on to the AAT Level 3 and AAT Level 4, and then perhaps to the certified and chartered accountant qualifications.
The course includes all materials, books and exam fees.