Everything you need to know about the AAT 2022 program redesign

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Cut through the misinformation to show exactly what’s up with it @YourAAT Quals ’22

In a few months, AAT shakes up its qualification structure.

In January, they launch their new program – Quals ’22. And it’s a substantial overhaul.

But what has changed?

And how is it different from the AAT 2016 program?

Removing duplicate reviews

No more duplicate reviews.

This is a fundamental change in this new AAT program and while it makes sense overall, it also has the potential to cause problems for students.

Because while the duplication of assessment has been removed, knowledge retention has not.

Accounting is a basic subject. The knowledge you acquire on the first day of your studies is used throughout your accounting journey.

So what does this mean for people who want to start at level 3?

Or even level 4?

These are good questions because just as the duplicate assessment is removed, providers are likely to remove the duplicate delivery as well.

This means that it is more important than ever that students are honest about the depth of knowledge they have gained through their previous qualifications or previous work experience.

The new AAT qualification structure

Now let’s take a look at the structure, units, and progression through levels 2, 3, and 4 to show why it’s essential to avoid skipping basic knowledge.

I broke it down into three learning components:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Management accounting
  • General business units

Level 2

The first unit you are most likely to tackle in financial accounting will be Introduction to accounting. It is here that you will learn the fundamental knowledge about the formation of an accounting system and you will learn the rules and principles of recording accounting transactions.

After reviewing this unit, you will move on to Principles of accounting controls which extends the principles and processes learned in the first unit.

The understanding gained in the first unit now forms the basis for a clear understanding in this second unit.

The first unit of the Management Accounting component is Principles of cost calculation.

Where level 2 accounting units have ensured that we accurately measure and record financial transactions, the principles of costing provide an understanding of costs and cost classification which are the building blocks of management accounting. the same way that accounting units do for financial accounting.

In the General Business Unit section, we have the Working environment. It examines the economic factors, legal structures and certain laws relating to the ownership and management of a business.

This unit is examined as part of the level 2 synoptic assessment. In addition to the information contained in the business environment unit, the synoptic review covers certain aspects of the Introduction to accounting and accounting control principles. .

While it might be considered a repetition, these basics are so important to your future development that it is essential that you have a solid knowledge before moving on to higher level studies.

Level 3

At level 3 of the Financial Accounting component, there are two units.

Here it is not only important to maintain the understanding from one unit to another within a level, the knowledge acquired at level 2 now forms the basis of your studies at level 3.

We have Financial Accounting – Preparation of Financial Statements.

As the principles of accounting controls take you to trial balance and identify some potential accounting adjustments, this unit develops a deeper and deeper knowledge of accounting adjustments and moves on to preparing financial statements.

The last unit of this stream at level 3 is the tax process for businesses.

This is a thorough review of VAT. Now, there are topics in this unit that are brand new and others that are probably only covered in this unit, however the underlying principles of accounting still emerge from level 2 in this unit.

The Management Accounting Techniques unit is of course part of the management accounting component.

This develops from the basics of costing into more useful analytical techniques undertaken by a management / cost accountant. However, just as financial accounting is difficult if you cannot identify whether an account is an asset, liability, income, or expense from your level 2 education, understanding management accounting techniques at this level may be more difficult if you don’t have the skills to identify and categorize costs from this level on.

Finally, at this level, we have a fourth unit, Business Awareness.

Now this relies on the Business Environment unit, but this is a stand-alone assessment as we only have a Level 2 synoptic exam under the new qualification structure.

Level 4

At level 4, the financial component continues until the drafting and interpretation of financial statements. This now brings us to the drafting of the accounts of public limited companies and the production of consolidated accounts. You will also need knowledge of international accounting standards that govern the production of published accounting information and the skills to analyze and interpret accounting statements.

In the field of management accounting, we have applied management accounting.

And everything you’ve learned from Costing Principles at Level 2 to Management Accounting Techniques at Level 3 will have prepared you for this applied and in-depth review of complex management accounting techniques used to improve efficiency and productivity. of an organization. .

The last mandatory unit at this level under the general business units stream is internal accounting systems and controls. It examines other aspects of managing the accounting function within a company and examines ways to identify and manage risk.

At level 4 there will also be 2 optional units that you will need to select.

There are five options available:

  1. Credit and Debt Management
  2. Treasury and financial management
  3. Audit and certification
  4. Personal Tax
  5. Business tax

To a certain extent, we would like to teach you the end of the accounting process and then replenish from the beginning with the underlying knowledge needed to get you there, as this would give you a better understanding of where your previous education is leading.

However, we need to acquire knowledge before tackling these complex topics.

That being said, I hope this diagram can give you an idea of ​​how all of these units fit together. Understanding this will hopefully lead you to making sure you take the opportunities at the lower levels to truly understand this topic.

Understanding a topic will provide a better opportunity to remember and implement it. The technique of the exam is important, but ultimately it is much more difficult to learn how to pass an exam given the complexity and variety of businesses!

Hope this helps you decide this is the right path for you and helps you plan your future as an accountant.

Mark Hempinstall, AAT e-learning manager, Training Link


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