AAT : Further Education and Training (FET) Certificate: Accounting Technician (NQF level 4)


Who should attend

Learners competent in language, literacy, communication and mathematical literacy at NQF Level 3.

This course is perfect if you’ve completed Level 3, or you’re already at a more intermediate level and looking to develop existing accounting skills.

You may be heading for your first job in accounting and finance, seeking a change of career, or already work in the industry.

Programme Description

This is the second level of the AAT(SA) Accounting Qualification. It introduces you to more complex accounting tasks, such as maintaining cost accounting records and the preparation of reports and returns

The purpose of this qualification is to provide the learner with the skills, competence, knowledge and understanding to effectively fulfil an accounts clerk type role in local government. The qualification follows on from and builds upon the registered Local Government Accounting Certificate at NQF Level 3.

The qualification benefits employers in local government as the qualification is tailored specifically to their needs and they can have confidence in the ability of trained staff and can recruit or promote accounting technicians, knowing that they have proved ability to do the required work.

This enables learners to develop work relevant competence, as an aid to employment and career progression. It also enables learners to progress further, using the excellent progression routes on to the registered Advanced Certificate and Diploma levels of the AAT Diploma in Accounting and also ultimately, the ACCA or CIMA qualifications or SAICA membership. The qualification also allows learners access to lifelong professional development and support, through the opportunity to take up full membership of the AAT, the largest professional body for accounting technicians.

The AAT suite of qualifications comprises 3 levels i.e. Level 3, 4 and 5. The course provider undertakes an initial assessment to determine at which stage of the qualification the learner should start. This involves examining their previous learning and current skills in accounting. Those with some accounting experience may start at the level 4 qualification. Rarely, someone very experienced in accounting might start at the final level: 5. The AAT provides an online tool to help providers assess the right starting point for each learner.

Programme Outcomes

  • Demonstrate competence in the processing of sales and receipts.
  • Process purchases and payments correctly.
  • Be able to process petty cash, reconcile accounts and prepare an initial trial balance.
  • Present financial data for internal and external use.
  • Be able to operate a computerised accounting system.
  • Maintain accurate records relating to capital acquisition and disposal.
  • Collect and collate information for the preparation of final accounts.
  • Prepare the final accounts of sole traders and partnerships.
  • Record and analyse information relating to direct costs and revenues.
  • Record and analyse information relating to the allocation, apportionment and absorption of overhead costs.
  • Prepare and evaluate estimates of costs and revenues.
  • Monitor and control cash receipts and payments.
  • Manage cash balances effectively.
  • Be able to assess risk of debtor accounts.
  • Monitor and control the collection of debts.
  • Apply general principles and procedures for ethical compliance expected within the accounting sector.

Topics covered

AAT(SA) Qualifications in Accounting NQF level 4 –the structure of the qualification

Level 4 Further Education and Training Certificate: Accounting technician NQF level 4

Short code

Learning & assessment area Method of assessment1

Mandatory (Core qualification) units

API Accounts preparation I Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Principles of accounts preparation (K)2
Extending the trial balance using accounting adjustments (S)
Accounting for fixed assets (S)
APII Accounts preparation II Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Preparing accounts for partnerships (K&S)
Prepare final accounts for sole traders (S)
CMGT Cash management Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Principles of cash management (K)
Cash management (S)
CRS Costs and revenues Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Principles of Costing (K)
Providing cost and revenue information (S)
ITX Indirect tax AAT e-delivered project/case study or workplace evidence (locally assessed by centre) Principles of VAT (K)
Preparing and completing VAT returns (S)
PEAF Professional ethics in accounting and finance Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Professional ethics in accounting and finance (K)
SPSW Spreadsheets software Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Or

Workplace evidence (locally assessed by centre)

Spreadsheet Software (imported unit)
  1. All AAT assessments will be delivered using current and/or emerging computer-based technologies. Please also note that it is the AAT’s aim to develop alternative assessments so the form of assessment delivered in year 1 may not be the same form of assessments we use in year 2, 3, 4 or 5. We are aware that the infrastructure outside the UK varies and not all countries will immediately be able to adopt computer-based assessments (CBA). So outside the UK, the assessment strategy in the short-term will be different to the UK with regard the use of formal CBAs.
  2. The Principles of accounts preparation unit is assessed in API and APII and will only be awarded once both API and APII have been achieved. The assessment requirement set for this unit currently states that the Principles of accounts preparation (Knowledge) unit needs to be delivered and assessed with the four other units in the AAT’s Account preparation learning and assessment area. Any logical overlap between units will need to be taken into consideration as part of teaching and when planning assessments.