Universities courses will ‘complement’ not replace AAT

Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales gave the green light last June for the development of new routes into the profession in answer to market trends. Those courses could beging as early as this autumn.

But Patricia McDonagh, AAT project development manager, said: ‘The initiative will complement our qualifications,’ said . ‘In fact, our courses often provide credits towards courses in universities.’

Brian Chiplin, executive director of education and training at the English ICA, said: ‘Certain educational institutions approached us showing interest in the development of accountancy courses. We put it to the vote and will now advise on the development of the courses.’

University accountancy courses could lead to the shortening of training contracts – currently three years’ long – to qualify as a chartered accountant, he added.

Existing rules do not allow trainee accountants to sit their final exams until they reach the third year of a training contract. But Chiplin hinted that some institutions would be offering accountancy courses from this September.

The growth of new routes is a further indication of the interest in widening access to the accountancy profession. Updating and creating different courses seems to be a growing trend at present. Almost all of the professional accountancy bodies have recently revamped their training syllabuses reflecting the changing face of the accountancy world.

Chiplin dismissed any notion that the institute’s support for the initiative would replace its backing of the AAT, which offers vocationally-orientated accountancy courses up to the NVQ level 4.

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