Course overview

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This qualification is also available as part of an apprenticeship

Awarded by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting is the advanced and final level of the internationally recognised AAT qualification.

This course is ideal if you have completed the AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting. You will learn a range of higher level accounting tasks including drafting financial statements, managing budgets, evaluating financial performance and preparing personal and business tax returns.

The AAT accounting qualification is respected by employers around the world, providing you with excellent career prospects. Once you complete this qualification you will be a fully AAT qualified accounting technician and enjoy elevated professional status, increasing your career and salary prospects.

There will also be the option of starting your own business by becoming an AAT Member in Practice and if you want to continue to study towards professional accountancy qualifications, you will gain generous study exemptions from UK chartered, certified and management accountancy bodies.

Key facts

  • Attendance: Half Day Release: Monday mornings: 9.15am-1pm OR Thursday evenings 5.30pm-8.30pm
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Next start date: W/C 21 January 2019
  • Location: Godmanchester, Huntingdon (Cambridgeshire)

Membership of AAT

As a student on this programme you will need to register as a student member with the AAT. You can register online at Your AAT membership will give you access to extensive e-learning resources, forums, networking opportunities and practice assessments.

Course content

This qualification is also available as part of an apprenticeship

The Level 4 Accounting course offers a combination of classroom lessons, regular tutorial support and online study.

You will undertake the following five units:

Financial Statements of Limited Companies

  • The external reporting environment for limited companies and groups which need to publish accounts.
  • Principles of consolidated accounts, and analysis and interpretation of financial statements.
  • Preparing a range of financial statements and identifying an organisation’s financial position.

Management Accounting: Budgeting

  • How and why budgets are prepared, helping you prepare revenue forecasts and a range of budgets for different circumstances.
  • Understanding budgetary procedure to aid organisational planning and control.
  • Preparing budgets, analysing variances and making recommendations for improving organisational performance.

Management Accounting: Decision and Control

• Managing and measuring financial performance; the range of techniques for analysing information on expenditure and making judgements to support decision making, planning and control by managers.
• Collecting and analysing information, monitoring performance and presenting reports to management.

Accounting Systems and Controls

  • Identifying the role of internal control within an organisation and recognising different approaches to making informed recommendations on how to implement or improve systems.
  • Communicating this to management and identifying the impact that changes would have on the system and its users.

Personal Tax

  • How Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax is applied to income.
  • Calculating Income Tax liabilities and income from all sources.
  • Applying relevant allowances, deductions and reliefs to prepare accurate Income Tax computations.

You will then undertake one of the following optional units:

Business Tax

  • Preparing tax returns for sole traders, partnerships and incorporated businesses.
  • Recognise trading profits, make adjustments and apply current relevant legislation.

Credit Management

  • Managing the granting of credit and collection of monies owed in compliance with relevant legislation, good practice and organisational policy
  • Understanding the implication of insolvency
  • Calculating and interpreting key ratios to assess credit worthiness


You will undertake computer based exams or projects. As an AAT accredited exam centre you will be able to take your exams at College without the need to travel to an external exam centre.

Entry requirements

This qualification is also available as part of an apprenticeship

You should be competent in complex double-entry bookkeeping and have completed the AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting.

Course fees

Course fees can either be paid in full before the beginning of the course, on an annual basis, or via our ‘Pay As You Learn’ monthly payment scheme

If you have not achieved your AAT qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, you will be able to continue to receive support and access to your course by paying monthly direct debit payments until certification of your award.

Course Fees

Full Fee Annual Pay As You Learn
£2,086 £1,048 per year £116 per month

A Level 4 Accounting Apprenticeship is also available – view fees

If you are over 19 years of age you may be entitled to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help fund your studies! (England only)

Awarding Body Fees*

You will also be required to pay AAT membership, exam fees (approximately £266*) and textbooks.

* Awarding Body Fees are payable by all students or employers and recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page. Before making any financial decision it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

These are current figures and may be subject to change. The differences in AAT course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be as a result of age, employment status, previous education achievements, or location for example, and are outside the control of CAW Business School.

What next?

After completing the AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting qualification, you will be able to apply to become an AAT full member and use the letters MAAT after your name. You’ll enjoy elevated professional credibility and status, increasing your opportunities for career progression and fulfilling your salary expectations.

The Level 4 AAT qualification will allow you to work in a variety of roles, such as:

  • Senior Finance Officer
  • Assistant Financial Accountant
  • Payroll Manager

Become self-employed

You may choose to start up your own business. As an AAT member in practice (MIP) you can offer accountancy, taxation or related consultancy services to the public in the UK or Channel Islands. More information on this can be found on the AAT website.

Become a chartered accountant

You may decide to continue your studies by becoming a chartered accountant. All the UK chartered and certified accountancy bodies recognise the AAT Accounting qualification and will give you exemptions from certain modules. Read more.


What our AAT students say…

We asked our students what aspects of their AAT course they have most enjoyed. Here are some of the things they had to say!

  • “Learning new skills, socialising with people within a similar field of work and with similar goals”
  • “I have really enjoyed the classes and follow up activities for homework. The resources are very good”
  • “Manageable sections. Broken down so not overloaded with information”
  • “Good tutor making a hard subject easy to understand with good examples”
Julie Shodiya“I really like the time that we are given by the tutors, especially regarding sitting exams. I previously studied with another provider and everything seemed muddled and rushed. At The College of Animal Welfare, Emma has taken time to analyse my capabilities and strengths and weaknesses. She sits with each student and gives them individual, one-to-one time. If she felt that I wasn’t ready to take an exam she would tell me. She is 100% supportive. If I ever email Emma she always responds straight away. The environment is very quiet to study and is a beautiful venue. As English is not my first language I find a lot of support and help on the VLE and from other resources, to help me with the English”. Julie Shodiya, AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting
Joe Kokotka"The tutors at CAW are very approachable and happy to help with any assistance you require. They also had a very good understanding of the course content, along with a good way of delivering that to me, so I could fully understand the AAT syllabus. The AAT course that CAW provides is flexible and was fitted around my work which made my life easier. The classrooms were well laid out in a way where you felt included with every member of my class, and IT facilities were always available to use".
Joe Kokotka AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting 
George Hay Chartered Accountants