CoursesAccounting Courses

Accounting Courses

Whether you are a school leaver or a professional, building a career in accounting and finance can be incredibly rewarding. But what exactly is accounting and what type of courses are available?

Completing an accounting course can lead to some of the best career prospects and not just in accounting. Students who have qualified can progress into finance roles, managerial positions and more. Completing an accounting certification such as the AAT or ACCA can present many opportunities.

Whether you are a school leaver or a professional, building a career in accounting and finance can be incredibly rewarding. But what exactly is accounting and what type of courses are available?

Firstly, an accountant requires meticulous attention to detail, a natural aptitude for numeracy and the ability to work methodically. The majority of your work will involve dealing with transactions and maintaining highly accurate records. Accounting also requires effective collation, storage, retrieval and summary of financial data through the creation of statistical reports and completion of detailed analysis. As an accountant you will need to review financial data over a certain period of time, conduct analysis and then present your findings in the form of a report, often to management. These reports then act as a foundation on which business decisions are made. To practice as an accountant, you will need to attain several qualifications through specialist accounting courses approved by one of the awarding bodies in the UK. The qualification that you will choose depends on your career path and as well as academic qualifications such as a degree, you can also pursue professional courses such as AAT and ACCA.

Depending on the nature of your finance and accounting role, your work will be incredibly diverse. The work of an accountant is made up of multiple areas, from processing payments through to managing tax and complying with the law. Your work could involve generating financial statements, undertaking performance analysis of company finances or preparing a balance sheet for an external party. All the reports and documents prepared by a business must be created in line with accounting principles such as GAAP or US GAAP. Tasks such as these are recognised as financial accounting.

Alternatively, management accounting will involve tasks such as preparing reports that detail the status of company finances and to aid the decision-making process at a senior level. Information prepared under the umbrella of management accounting will never be distributed externally. The data collected from this type of accounting is usually found by evaluating company transactions and analysing budgets, estimated selling prices for new contracts and standards for overseeing operations.

Another area of accounting relates to compliance with regulations and reporting required by the government and tax authorities. The majority of recording, storing and sorting accounting tasks have been automated, largely due to advances in technology, but skills in accounting are still in demand.

There are three areas of accounting: financial accounting, management accounting and compliance. You can choose to specialise in one of these areas or complete a general accounting course that covers all aspects of accounting and finance.

What are accounting courses for?

Accountants are in very high demand and it is a career that delivers excellent job stability and an attractive salary. Once you qualify and enter the profession, accountants have excellent prospects whether this is progression into a senior role or given the right level of experience, even set up your own practice. Unlike many jobs, accounting is a career that can survive even during difficult economic times. Businesses will always need a skilled accountant to keep their finances in check. Furthermore, jobs in accounting are dependable and accountants can establish a regular routine based on clear financial procedures.

Who does accounting courses?

A good accountant must possess a range of different skills. Most importantly, they should be able to communicate complex accounting information in a clear and concise manner. This includes both financial data and business projections. Although the perception of an accountant is someone who is sat behind a desk all day sifting through masses of paperwork, the reality is quite different. Their work is incredibly varied, and they may be asked to deliver presentations, coordinate teams and work in collaboration with many other people. As a result, accounting courses are much more than simply learning about financial processes and procedures. The profession is quite an involved job where minor mistakes can cause significant problems. As a result, people looking to enter the profession do need to complete in depth training to acquire the necessary level of expertise to practise competently in this area. If you are looking to embark on a career in finance and accounting, the right training will educate you in the correct processes and techniques to work competently and practise confidently in all areas of accounting.

Once qualified however, as financial standards are constantly changing, professional accounting qualifications are regularly reviewed which means that you will need ongoing training long after you obtain your initial qualifications. If you decide that this is your chosen career path you need to have a long-term commitment to continuous professional development.

Who are accrediting bodies?

Before embarking on an accounting course, it is beneficial to understand the various professional bodies and accreditations that exist for the profession. While qualified accountants are not obliged to register with these bodies or take an accredited course, being a member will ensure that the accountant meets certain requirements and will comply with the code of ethics and complaints procedures relevant to the professional body.

In the UK there are multiple professional bodies and accreditations including:

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

This is a worldwide organisation for accounting that delivers professional qualifications and offers membership for those working as a professional accountant or within management finance.  You will be eligible for official membership of the ACCA if you complete an ACCA qualification, pass the examinations and acquire at least three years’ experience in the industry. Once you have achieved membership of the ACCA you can refer to yourself as a Chartered Accountant.

The Association of Authorised Public Accountants (AAPA)

Established in the late 1970s under the Companies Act 1948, the AAPA is a professional body specifically for auditors.

The Association of International Accountants (AIA)

A well known professional body for accountants in the UK and internationally for accountants. There are two levels of membership: academic and affiliate. Academic membership is reserved for academics while affiliate is open to members within the finance and accounting field for more than five years.

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

The world’s largest professional organisation for management accountants where members specialise in business accounting focusing on areas such as management accounts, forecasting, risk management and control.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

A lead professional accountancy body for public services in the public and private sector.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

An organisation committed to promoting and maintaining high standards within accounting.

Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)

An awarding body and professional membership body that coordinates finance and accounting qualifications.

Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA)

Internationally recognised body which equips professionals with the tools they need to work as a financial accountant.

Certified Public Accountant Association (CPAA)

Members are usually working in a public practice in the UK and have worked in the industry for several years.

How are accounting courses taught online?

As an online accounting student, you will be in charge of your study schedule and the pace at which you learn. Depending on the training provider, you will be issued with a login and access to your own learning portal where you can access course materials, communicate with fellow students and contact your tutor. Your learning environment will be entirely digital; whether you use a laptop, your mobile or a tablet computer. The courses are structured in a similar way, split into succinct learning nuggets or modules where you can progress through the material, take quizzes to check your knowledge and then sit the end of course test to obtain your certificate of completion.

Studying accounting online has never been easier. There are many training providers who offer courses such as AVADO learning who are a multi-award winning provider of AAT and ACCA courses. AVADO offer a dedicated Virtual Learning Campus for students which can be accessed 24 hours a day. When you enrol, you will be assigned an experienced tutor who is available throughout your entire course to support you along your journey to achieving an accountancy qualification.

AAT and ACCA online learning are two of our most popular courses in accounting. Whether you want to study a one-off module to develop your knowledge, specialise in a certain area or complete the entire pathway AVADO have a number of courses available for students. From the complete beginner through to graduates, their courses offer students an immersive learning experience that is engaging and will help to establish strong foundations on which to build your career in finance and accounting.


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Get AAT qualified with learning that works from AVADO

At AVADO, we create inspiring learning experiences that are all about your success. With our 26 years’ experience and exceptional AAT pass rates, an AAT course with us gives you the best chance to pass first time: Great teachers and inspiring content Your own dedicated tutor, hand-picked for their expertise, is available by phone or email. Access a range of engaging content including videos, quizzes and live classes. Support every step of the way as you learn with others Your tutor and community team are here for you whenever you need them. And, because you learn online with other students, you’ll never be short of inspiration and motivation! An online platform built around you Designed to work on your mobile and featuring bite-sized content so that you can learn as you go. Learn at your own pace but with structured milestones to keep you on track. Affordable price plans Payment packages to suit your budget with a flexible range of monthly instalment options. An award-winning provider you can trust Winner of two AAT 2016 Awards including Best Use of E-learning and PQ Magazine Editor’s Choice Award 2017. With 6,000 AAT students qualifying with us each year, we know this is learning that works. Enquire now to find out how it can work for you.