AAT Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping

Subject: Accounting & Bookkeeping

 I am: an employer a student

Awarded by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), the Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping is ideal for those looking to reach the next stage of their bookkeeping career; for instance people who have previously completed the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping, those who are working in small to medium sized businesses looking to enhance their existing skillset, and more experienced bookkeepers who require an advanced level of skill and knowledge on this subject. The advanced AAT programme covers a range of accounting practices such as double entry bookkeeping, indirect taxation, year-end adjustments and the drafting of financial statements.

As a level 3 qualified AAT Bookkeeper you may apply for professional status and use the designatory letters AATQB after their name. This indicates the highest standards of professional conduct and up to date technical knowledge.

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

Key Facts

  • Attendance: Half-day/evening classes or blended learning.
  • Duration: Six months.
  • Next start dates: Classroom attendance - September 2024. Please note, blended learning students can start at any time.
  • Location: Huntingdon or blended learning.

Course delivery details:

Location Attendance Options Day Time
Huntingdon Half-day release (am)
Blended Learning No college attendance required, start at any time n/a n/a


Entry Requirements

Whilst there are no formal academic entry requirements to undertake the AAT Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping, competency in manual double-entry bookkeeping along with basic maths and English skills are necessary.

Course Content

This bookkeeping qualification offers a combination of classroom or online lessons and regular tutorial support. In addition to your classroom or online lessons, students will be expected to study for an additional eight hours per week.

The following two units will be studied:

Tax Processes for Business

This unit explores tax processes that influence the daily operations of businesses and is designed to develop students’ skills in understanding, preparing, and submitting Value Added Tax (VAT) returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The unit provides students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to keep businesses, employers and clients compliant with laws and practices that apply to VAT and payroll. Students will learn about legislation and the importance of maintaining their technical knowledge through monitoring updates. For VAT, students will understand the registration and deregistration rules, including signing up for Making Tax Digital (MTD), and the rules relating to specialist VAT schemes. Students will be able to recognise different types of supplies and calculate VAT correctly, understanding the importance of the rules relating to the recovery of input VAT and the sanctions and penalties for inaccuracies, omissions and failure to make submissions and payments within the correct timescales.

  • Understanding current VAT regulations and building your knowledge of VAT registration requirements, different VAT scheme available, penalties for non-compliance and the different types of classification of supplies.
  • Performing the calculations needed to complete a VAT return.
  • Submitting completed documentation in a timely manner while maintaining an effective working relationship with the relevant tax authority.

Financial Accounting - Preparing Financial Statements

This unit provides students with the skills required to produce statements of profit or loss and statements of financial position for sole traders and partnerships using a trial balance. In employment, students may be required to prepare a portion of, or all, the final accounts and this unit will give them the theoretical knowledge needed to complete that task. It will also allow them to understand how final accounts have been produced, either manually or automatically through use of accounting software.

  • Legal requirements and preparation of partnership accounts, showing division of profits after adjusting for interest on capital, interest on drawings and any salaries due to each partner.
  • Preparation of final accounts for partnerships and developing skills in restructuring accounting information.
  • Preparing final accounts for sole traders, including the accounting treatment required to incorporate accruals and prepayments, provision for depreciation, irrecoverable debts and allowance for doubtful debts.


Computer based exams or projects will be undertaken. As we are an AAT accredited exam centre these exams can be taken at College without the need to travel to an external exam centre.

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. A CAW Loans2Learn scheme is also available, details can be found below.

If you have not achieved your qualification by the planned end date detailed in your individual learning plan, continued support and course access is available by paying monthly direct debit payments until certification is achieved.

Full Fee Pay As You Learn
£1,049 £210 per month

Awarding Body Fees*

Payment for AAT membership, exam fees (approximately £213*) and textbooks (approximately £33 per unit) will also be required.

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

These are current figures and may be subject to change.

Funding Available to Residents of Peterborough and Cambridgeshire (Subject to Eligibility)

Check if you are eligible to undertake this course for free here.

If you are 19 years of age or over and are thinking of starting a course with us at level 3 or above, you may qualify for one of the government’s Advanced Learner Loans to help fund your studies. You won’t have to pay anything back until you earn over £25,000 a year, there is no credit check and your household income isn’t taken into account when applying; plus it’s easy to apply. To find out more, check if you’re eligible and apply, head over to our dedicated Advanced Learner Loans page.

The CAW Loans2Learn scheme is a personal loan that can help you to spread the cost of your course into manageable payments. The loan can be used to fully or partially cover your course fees (but does not cover any awarding body fees, such as enrolment and examination fees). Please contact us for more information.


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.

This course is eligible for the Ministry of Defence Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) Funding. Read more here.

What Next?

On completion of this Level 3 bookkeeping course, many students choose to continue their studies by pursing a related qualification, such as the AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting, in order to build upon their existing skillset and gain more understanding of the business environment. Your Level 3 Bookkeeping qualification will give you exemptions from certain modules within this.

As a level 3 qualified AAT Bookkeeper you may apply for professional status and use the designatory letters AATQB after your name. This indicates the highest standards of professional conduct and up to date technical knowledge.

A formal qualification in bookkeeping produces fantastic career prospects, as the ability to record and manage financial activity is relevant across a wide range of industries. For example, there are opportunities to work as an assistant accountant, accounts payable clerk, or credit controller; or pursue more specialist roles within the larger finance departments of bigger organisations. You could even use your new found skills to set up your own business.



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”
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