AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting (AQ2016)


Please note: We are no longer enrolling any new students for this course as AAT is replacing the current AQ2016 set of qualifications with the new QUAL22 set of qualifications from September 2022. The exams for the current AQ2016 qualifications will be available until end of September 2023.

About this course: Our AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting course is an advance level qualification that introduces you to aspects of working in an accounts department of a limited company. 


Study Method: You can study via Online Distance Learning (learn at your own pace and convenience with full tutor support from us). See below for fees and other details.


Duration: 9-12 months (depends on how many hours you can dedicate to your studies every week); approximately 18 hrs/week (full-time) or 10 hrs/week (part-time)


Accredition: This course is fully accredited by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). AAT’s qualifications are recognised internationally by employers and other professional accounting bodies such as ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA, etc.


What our students say:
Standard of teaching - 9.8/10
Overall support and guidance - 9.7/10
2020 Student Feedback Survey conducted by the AAT

Not sure if this is the right level for you?

Use AAT's free online Skillcheck to find out: https://www.aatskillcheck.org/home.aspx

How much does it cost?


Course Fees: £763.


Fees include:

  • Books (tutorial books, work books, question banks) from Osborne/BPP/Kaplan and free delivery within Great Britain (additional delivery charges apply if you reside outside Great Britain)

  • Pre-recorded lectures and revision videos through our online classroom (email us for a demo)

  • Dedicated tutor support for 18 months via email/text/WhatsApp/phone/online meetings


Fees DO NOT include:

  • AAT membership fees

  • AAT assessment fees for six exams


0% Interest payment plan available 


For details and a full cost breakdown please request our AAT Course Specifications booklet via email (enquiries@learnac.co.uk) or WhatsApp (07460 105 190)


14 days "No Quibbles, Money Back" assurance

What will you learn?

You will learn how to prepare financial statements (Income Statements; Statement of Financial Position; Statement of Changes in Equity and Cash Flow Statement) following International Accounting Standards. You will also learn to prepare consolidated financial statements.

For aspects of management accounting, you will learn advanced costing methods and systems and budgeting (including flexi budgets and budgets based on marginal costing).

Depending upon the optional subjects chosen, you will gain varied range of knowledge and skills from personal and business tax, auditing, cash management and credit management.

This course is a logical extension to the skills and knowledge gained at AAT Level 3/Advanced Diploma. The course is made up of six units (all examinable by computer-based assessments):


There are four mandatory units:

1 – Management Accounting: Budgeting
2 – Management Accounting: Decision and Control
3 – Financial Statements of Limited Companies
4 – Accounting Systems and Controls

You have to choose two optional subjects from the following:

1 – Personal Tax
2 – Cash and Treasury Management
3 – Credit Management

Business Tax and External Auditing are not available.


Mandatory subjects:

1 –Management Accounting – Budgeting
• Prepare forecasts of income and expenditure
• Prepare budgets
• Demonstrate how budgeting can improve organisational performance
• Report budgetary information to management in clear and appropriate format

2 – Management Accounting – Decision and Control
• Analyse a range of costing techniques to support the management accounting function of an organisation
• Calculate and use standard costing to improve performance
• Demonstrate a rage of statistical techniques to analyse business information
• Use appropriate financial and non-financial performance techniques to aid decision making
• Evaluate a range of cost management techniques to enhance value and aid decision making

3 – Financial Statements of Limited Companies
• Demonstrate an understanding of reporting frameworks and ethical principles that underpin financial reporting
• Demonstrate an understanding of the key features of a published set of financial statements
• Draft statutory financial statements of a limited company
• Draft consolidated financial statements
• Interpret financial statements using ratio analysis

4 – Accounting Systems and Controls
• Demonstrate an understanding of the role and responsibilities of the accounting function within an organisation
• Evaluate internal control systems
• Evaluate an organisation’s accounting system and underpinning procedures
• Analyse recommendations made to improve an organisation’s accounting system

Optional subjects:

1 – Business Tax (currently unavailable)
• Complete tax returns for sole-traders and partnerships and prepare supporting tax computations
• Complete tax returns for limited companies and prepare supporting tax computations
• Provide advice on UK’s tax regime and its impact on sole-traders, partnerships and limited companies
• Advice business clients on tax reliefs, and their responsibilities and their agent’s responsibilities in reporting taxation to HMRC
• Prepare tax computations for the sale of capital assets

2 – Personal Tax
• Analyse the theories, principles and rules that underpin the taxation systems
• Calculate a UK taxpayer’s total income
• Calculate income tax and National Insurance (NI) contributions payable by a UK taxpayer
• Account for capital gains tax
• Discuss the basis of inheritance tax

3 – External Auditing (currently unavailable)
• Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of auditing
• Demonstrate the importance of professional ethics
• Evaluate the audited entity’s system of internal control
• Evaluate audit procedures for obtaining audit evidence
• Evaluate the planning process
• Evaluate audit procedures

4 – Cash and Treasury Management
• Use statistical techniques and financial information to prepare forecasts of cash receipts and payments
• Prepare cash budgets and monitor cash flows within the organisation
• Evaluate the principles of cash management within the context of regulation and government monetary policies
• Evaluate the ways of raising finance in accordance with organisational requirements
• Evaluate ways of investing surplus funds within organisational policies

5 – Credit Management
• Analyse relevant legislation and contract law that has an impact on the credit control environment
• Critically analyse information from a variety of sources to assess credit risk and grant credit in compliance with organisational policies and procedures
• Evaluate a range of techniques to collect debts
• Critically evaluate credit control in line with organisational policies and procedures
• Present advise and recommendations to management on the credit control system

How will you be assessed?


You will be assessed through six computer based assessments which can be taken at any AAT assessment venue at any time (other than the Synoptic exam which can only be taken during certain weeks). There are various assessment venues and centres available for AAT computer-based exams all over the UK and internationally as well. Assessment fees are payable directly to the assessment venue. If you live near Milton Keynes you also have the option to do your exams at our exams centre in Milton Keynes for a discounted fee as an enrolled student.

AAT also allows some exams to be taken from home via their Remote Invigilation (RI) service. The availability is at AAT's sole discretion and we cannot be held responsible if certain exams are made unavailable via RI by the AAT at a later date. For an up-to-date list of assessments available through RI please check AAT's Remote Invigilation page: https://www.aat.org.uk/qualifications-and-courses/assessments/remote-invigilation

The four mandatory units are assessed as under:


1 – Unit assessment for Management Accounting – Budgeting.
2 – Unit assessment for Management Accounting – Decision and Control
3 – Unit assessment for Financial Statements of Limited Companies
4 – Synoptic assessment covering all the three above units plus the Accounting Systems and Control unit.


All the optional units are assessed by way of unit assessments. Hence, you have to complete two assessments for two of the three optional units available.

What are the study options?


You can study at your own pace and convenience with full tutor support through online distance learning, also known as “home study”, “self-study” or “correspondence” course. We provide you with all the study material (online videos, text books, work books, question banks, revision activities, etc.) you will need to prepare for your exams. 

What resources do we provide?

We will provide you with online videos, text books, work books and question banks when you enrol. In addition, your tutor may also send you some activities (for practice and revision) via email from time to time.

What are the entry requirements?

Although this is an open qualification and there are no formal qualifications required, we require candidates to have completed AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma with minimum 85% overall marks (ideally with us) recently. If transferring from another training provider, you will need to provider your Statement of Achievement which can be downloaded from your ‘myAAT’ account.

You also need to have good literacy and numeracy skills.

We do not accept candidates direct into this level without having done AAT Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Accounting.

You also need to have good IT equipment (a desktop or a laptop) with high speed broadband connectivity.

What is the progression path?

You can progress to professional accounting qualifications like ACCA, CIMA or ACA. Normally you get exemptions for some of the initial papers with them. Please check with these bodies for the exemptions available.

As for your career progression, you can look forward to being employed in middle level or semi-senior roles such as accountant, accounts executive, management accountant, corporate accountant, financial accountant etc. You can continue your further studies while working to achieve a good balance of work experience with academic studies.



The syllabus for this qualification has been based on the information published by the AAT. For detailed syllabus and guidance for this qualification please refer to the information available on AAT's website: https://www.aat.org.uk/prod/s3fs-public/assets/AAT_Professional_Diploma_in_Accounting_Level_4_Qualification_Specification.pdf


We have tried to summarise the information available but cannot be held responsible for any omissions or inconsistencies.


Updated: March 2022