So, what does level 4 consist of?
AAT level 4 is made up of 6 units, 4 of which are mandatory units and 2 are optional units, you need to choose 2 out of a choice of 5 optional units in order to complete the Professional Diploma in Accounting (level 4).
The mandatory units:
- Management account budgeting
- Management account decision and control
- Financial statements
- Professional level synoptic
- Personal tax
- Business tax
- Credit management
- Cash and treasury management
- External auditing
You will learn each unit, one at a time and sit an assessment at the end of each unit, before moving on to the next. You must have sat and passed all 6 assessments to achieve your AAT level 4 qualification.
Management accounting: budgeting
- This builds on your management accounting knowledge from the previous levels (elements of costing at level 2 and management accounting: costing at level 3).
- It will also expand your costing knowledge.
- Teaches you how to deal with budgets, how to understand and work out different variances, ratios and what these mean for the business.
- This is a great unit to start level 4 with.
Management accounting: decision and control
- Builds on what you learnt in management accounting: budgeting.
- In this unit it will require you to show your knowledge of what the variances and ratios mean in the written questions.
- You will need to show good decision-making skills, both short term and long term and that you can use various key performance indicators to gather key information.
- This is a big unit so don’t underestimate this one, but the knowledge gained in this unit is very useful.
- The final bookkeeping unit.
- Enhances your knowledge from levels 2 & 3 bookkeeping units.
- It will teach you the key parts to making adjustments in the financial statements. How to read extra information and pluck out the parts that you need.
- You will learn the international accountancy standards and how to follow certain rules when dealing with statements.
- This unit will also teach you how to deal with group accounts when companies buy a percentage of another company etc.
- This is one of the biggest units at level 4 so allow yourself enough time to learn everything properly.
Professional level synoptic
- This teaches you about accounting systems and controls.
- You will be given details about a company and you will have to break the company down financially. Investigate the systems that are currently in place, see what needs improving and offer solutions by putting controls in place based on certain different scenarios.
- It is a very wordy unit so it will need a lot of time and practice to get yourself comfortable answering these types of questions.
- This exam is unique as it will also include questions from the first three units (management accounting: budgeting, management accounting: decision and control, financial statements). So, this will test that you have retained the knowledge from the prior three units.
Here is a guide to the 5 optional units at level 4: