The Foundation Certificate in Accounting holds two levels – Associate or Bachelor. This certification will prepare you adequately for entry-level and junior accounting positions. It gives a firm foundation in accounting principles, covering various areas like double entry bookkeeping, costing principles to basic accounting and with various accounting software. The main goal of the AAT Foundation Certificate in accounting is to provide an unbroken basis in the core accounting understanding and skills required to progress from accountant to financial manager. With this diploma, candidates learn the essential foundation knowledge and the practical application of accounting concepts to management decision making aat level 2.
In order to qualify for this qualification, candidates must have finished at least diploma level with an accounting background. Some AAT examination programmes require candidates to have passed a foundation level examination before they can progress to the associate degree. The requirements of each area of examination differ by the exam board. Candidates must successfully complete one of three subjects which include accountancy, basic costing and business mathematics and knowledge of introductory Statistics.
As soon as the candidate successfully completes the foundation AAT qualification, they can go on to take the practical test for the Associate Certificate in Accountancy, which is called the Practitioner’s Assessment Test. This test covers a number of topics in accountancy including basic costing principles, double entry bookkeeping and principles of deposit management. Candidates need to successfully answer questions relating to the use of financial management software, bank reconciliation, cost accounting principles, internal and external cash flow, internal and external profit and loss and inventory principles. In addition to the practical examination, candidates have to successfully complete a written test covering all of the material covered in the accountancy arena. There are two sets of exam papers and these can be obtained from the AAT website. To enhance your knowledge, you should obtain a copy of ‘The AICPA Principles of Accounting’ which provides you with further information regarding the AICPA principles of accounting and bookkeeping aat level 3.
It is important that you choose a reputable company to attend your foundation certificate in accountancy course. There are many courses available at community colleges, technical institutes and universities. You may wish to consider taking foundation courses at university or community college to supplement your qualifications if you cannot attend an educational institution. If you choose to go down this route you may want to compare the options of various colleges before choosing one. It is also important that you check the eligibility requirements for foundation courses in order to ensure that you can benefit from them when you become a professional in the accounting industry.
Once you have successfully completed the AICPA foundation certificate in accountancy, you will be eligible to take the Professional Examination for Chartered Accountants (PCA) examination. Candidates who have previously taken the AICPA certification exam and were successful will have a greater advantage over their peers. The exam consists of two parts and both can be challenging. During the first part you will be asked to conduct a series of interview-style questionnaires with a panel of experts. The PCA is conducted in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICEAW).
After successfully completing your foundation certificate in accountancy, you will have gained valuable knowledge about the essential roles and responsibilities of an accountant. This knowledge will help you develop into a more skilled professional. In addition to the practical skills learned during your accountancy courses, you will also have gained insight into the ethics and professionalism of the accounting profession. Your improved understanding of the important role of the accountant in our society will serve you well in the future. The increase in demand for accountants is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, and with the availability of online courses, it is now easier than ever to achieve your degree and certification.