Both AAT and ACCA qualification are largely recognised by UK employers and approved by international accounting regulatory organisations and HMRC. It is not easy to decide whether AAT or ACCA is right for you.

However, in deciding whether AAT qualification or ACCA qualification suits you, it is important to consider some of the following factors.

Availability of Accounting Job Roles

If you are looking for an immediate accounting job role in UK then AAT is a suitable course for you. Once you complete AAT level 2, you can start applying for entry level of accounting jobs in UK. Majority of the employers prefer employing AAT students to ACCA for their entry level accounting jobs. It takes around 6-7 months to complete AAT level 2 at Osborne Training.  Once you complete AAT Level 2, you can apply for the following accounting roles

  • Bookkeeper role
  • Assistant Bookkeeper Role
  • Purchase Ledge Clarke role
  • Sales Ledger Clark role
  • Assistant Accountant role

For ACCA Qualified following job roles are common,

  • Senior Accountant
  • Auditor


Entry Requirements for AAT or ACCA

There are no strict requirements for AAT or ACCA.

AAT entry level will be suitable for

  • School leavers
  • People looking to change careers
  • People with no or limited accounting experience

ACCA entry level is

  • 2 passes at GCE / VCE A Level (grades A-E) PLUS 3 GCSE / Vocational GCSE / GCE O Level passes (grades 1-6 / A-C) (in five separate subjects including Mathematics & English).
Study Commitments

You really need to consider how much time you can spend in order to build a career in accounting. ACCA is a challenging course whereas; AAT is likely to be more flexible and you can finish quicker than ACCA. If you think you cannot compel a long-term study commitment or if you have other commitments then do not opt to ACCA. Because, ACCA requires long-term study commitments.

Work Experience

Choosing AAT or ACCA as your first-step of your professional career in accounting, you may consider your previous work experience. If you have 3-5 years of work experience in UK, then ACCA would be suitable for you. However, again you need to consider your other circumstances and commitments such as family, jobs and friends.

Future Career Ambition

Both AAT and ACCA qualifications are professional accounting qualification and you will be a professional accountant after successful completion of the course and required work experience. If your career plan is to become a professional accountant with shorter period of time and lower funding then AAT is more suitable than ACCA.

Exemption and Previous work Experience

You will get exemption from ACCA if you have a degree in accounting from UK or some selected universities from overseas. You can also get exemption from AAT level 2 or AAT level 2 and 3 if you have a degree in accounting.  Please contact one of the ACCA or AAT courses advisors on 02036087179 to get tips and important information on aat exemptions.

Study Options

Osborne Training is a premier training provider for aat qualification and ACCA qualification. We offer AAT courses in London, aat courses online and aat distance learning (aat home learning). For ACCA courses, we offer ACCA Distance Learning


In order to take AAT or ACCA as a first step to enter into professional accounting world you need to assess your personal circumstances and set up your career goal. If you do not have any previous accounting background, it can be recommended to start with AAT first then progress onto ACCA . You will get exemptions from ACCA if you have AAT qualification. AAT is more transparent, highly job oriented, hands on practical qualification whereas ACCA is a most sophisticated globally recognised qualification. Get in touch today to reach your dream career and to choose the right accounting qualifications.

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