AAT Certificate Accounting Technician (NQF Level 3)

Who should attend

It’s ideal if you’re new to working in finance or you’re looking to expand and develop your foundation knowledge and skills.

Programme Description

Covers a range of basic accounting practices and techniques; from costing and double-entry bookkeeping to computerised accounting.

The purpose of this qualification is to provide the learner with the skills, competence, knowledge and understanding to become an accounting technician.

This enables learners to develop work relevant competence, as an aid to employment and career progression. It also enables learners to progress further, to either the Advanced Certificate or the Diploma. The qualification also allows learners access to lifelong professional development and support, through the opportunity to take up student membership of the AAT, the largest professional body for accounting technicians.

The qualification benefits employers as 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.

The qualification makes a positive contribution to South Africa’s transformation agenda, by developing skills at Certificate level and providing recognition for those who have developed workplace skills but have not had the opportunity to gain formal qualifications. It is an open access qualification, requiring a good standard of literacy and numeracy, but not requiring the learner to hold formal qualifications, or have any previous work experience in accounts.

It benefits the South African economy by ensuring that the people responsible for accounting technicians` work are skilled, competent people. This is essential for organisational success in every sector of the economy, from the public sector to accountancy practice, to industry and commerce.

Programme Outcomes

  • Demonstrate competence in the processing of sales and/or receipts.
  • Process purchases and/or payments correctly.
  • Monitor and control cash receipts and payments.
  • Process petty cash and reconcile accounts.
  • Present financial data for internal use.
  • Grant credit accurately.
  • Monitor and control the collection of debts.
  • Process documents related to goods and services supplied.
  • Apply general principles and procedures for ethical compliance expected within the public accounting sector.
  • Develop, maintain and apply ethics in employer/employee situations and in public practice.
  • Perform effectively in the workplace within the public sector environment.
  • Use computer systems and software.
  • Process petty cash, reconcile accounts and prepare an initial trial balance.
  • Present financial data for internal and external use.
  • Manage cash balances effectively.

Topics covered

AAT(SA) Qualifications in Accounting NQF level 3 – the structure of the qualification

Level 3 Certificate: Accounting Technician NQF level 3 (Mandatory)

Short code

Learning & assessment area Method of assessment1

Mandatory (Core qualification) units

BAI Basic accounting I Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Principles of recording and processing financial transactions (K)2
Preparing and recording financial documentation (S)
Processing ledger transactions and extracting a trial balance (S)
BAII Basic accounting II Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Maintaining and reconciling the cash book (S)
Banking procedures (K)
Maintaining petty cash records (S)
Maintaining the journal (S)
Maintaining control accounts (S)


Work effectively in accounting and finance AAT e-delivered project/case study or workplace evidence (locally assessed by centre)  

Work effectively in accounting and finance (S)




Basic costing

Computer based test (centrally set and assessed by AAT) Basic principles of costing (K)
Provide basic cost and revenue information (S)
CMPA Computerised accounting Computer based test(centrally set and assessed by AAT) Or

Workplace evidence(locally assessed by centre)

Computerised Accounting (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 recording and processing financial transactions unit is assessed in BAI and BAII and will only be awarded once both BAI and BAII have been achieved. The assessment requirement set for this unit currently states that the Principles of recording and processing financial transaction (Knowledge) unit needs to be delivered and assessed with at least six of the other units in the Basic accounting learning and assessment area. Any logical overlap between units will need to be taken into consideration as part of teaching and when planning assessments.