The Professional Diploma covers financial team leader skills, including financial statements for limited companies, complex management accounting tasks, management skills and specialist learning areas. It's perfect if you progressed through Levels 2 and 3, or are at a more advanced stage in your career and want a qualification to give you the confidence and proof that you have the skills to do the job.
You need to take all four mandatory papers and then choose two of the five optional ones which allow you to specialise in areas from tax to auditing and credit control.
On successful completion of Levels 3 and 4 you will be awarded the AAT Accounting Qualification. With proof of one year past relevant work experience you'll be able to apply to become a full member of AAT and use the letters MAAT after your name.
The four mandatory papers are:
Financial Statements of Limited Companies (unit assessment)
This unit is concerned with the drafting, analysis and interpretation of financial statements of limited companies. This builds on the Foundation and Advanced levels, where the emphasis of the financial accounting units is on identifying and recording transactions in accounts and ledgers following the principles of double-entry bookkeeping, and drafting the financial statements of unincorporated organisations from the accounts and records prepared.
Management Accounting: Budgeting (unit assessment)
This unit is about the use of budgeting for planning, coordinating and authorising the activities of an organisation and for controlling costs. The unit provides skills and knowledge to improve the performance of an organisation by setting targets, constructing achievable plans and monitoring results.
Students will develop a range of skills within the context of planning and control. These include management accounting, statistical analysis, written communication and variance analysis. The application of standard costing and its links to budgeting is also included, although the topic is covered in detail in the Management Accounting: Decision and Control unit.
Management Accounting: Decision and Control (unit assessment)
This unit is one of the mandatory Professional level units. It takes students from Advanced level costing principles and prepares them to be valuable members of a management accounting finance team. This unit was formerly known as Financial Performance. A student who has successfully completed this unit, together with the Professional level unit, Management Accounting: Budgeting, should be a useful member of a management accounting team.
Working with little supervision, the student could be expected to liaise with key business unit managers and/or budget holders in order to: prepare a basic budget and/or standard cost budget; create budgetary reports, control reports and standard costing control reports; and prepare key performance indicators and workings to aid management decision making.
Accounting Systems and Controls (synoptic assessment)
This unit aims to enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the role of the accounting function in an organisation and the importance of internal controls in minimising the risk of loss. Students will undertake an evaluation of an accounting system to identify weaknesses and assess the impact of those weaknesses on the operation of the organisation.
Students will then make recommendations to address the weaknesses, having regard for the costs and benefits, the sustainability and the impact of those recommendations on users of the accounting system.
This unit enables students to consolidate and apply the knowledge and understanding that they have gained from the mandatory Professional level units of Financial Statements of Limited Companies, Management Accounting: Budgeting and Management Accounting: Decision and Control to the analysis of an accounting system.
The five optional papers delivered by HTFT are (you choose two):
Personal Tax (unit assessment)
This unit is about the key aspects of taxation that affect UK taxpayers. It covers income tax, National Insurance (NI), capital gains tax and inheritance tax.
This unit provides students with the underpinning theory on taxation, such as what makes for a fair and equitable taxation system.
Business Tax (unit assessment)
This unit introduces the student to UK taxation relevant to businesses. It is about the computing of business taxation, preparation of tax returns and how taxation has an impact on the running of a business for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.
In learning how to prepare tax computations, students will gain skills in the tax treatment of capital expenditure, and the adjustment of accounting profits for tax purposes for sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.
In addition, they will be able to allocate profits between partners in a partnership and be able to calculate National Insurance (NI) contributions for the self-employed.
Credit Management (unit assessment)
This unit is about understanding and applying the principles of effective credit control in an organisation. Students will require an understanding of the principles of credit control in the context of relevant legislation, contract law, best practice, professional ethics and organisational policies.
Students will also be able to describe remedies for breach of contract, as well as the terms and conditions of contracts with customers.
Cash and Treasury Management (unit assessment)
This unit covers the skills and knowledge that students need in order to be able to identify the movements of cash within the business and make informed decisions on the best course of action to maximise the wealth of the business. This unit provides a link to the importance of cash management to a business.
It is generally accepted that a large number of organisations fail not through a lack of generated sales orders but through an inability to make sound financial decisions in controlling cash and working capital, and making informed decisions in investing surplus funds or raising cash when need dictates.
External Auditing (unit assessment)
This unit is about external audits of financial statements. These audits are undertaken in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISA) to provide assurance to the intended users regarding the credibility of the information contained within the financial statements. The unit is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to undertake an external audit under supervision.
It is directed at students who wish to pursue a career in an accountancy firm that undertakes external audits. However, the coverage of accounting systems, internal controls and the control environment will provide those students wishing to pursue a career in finance or internal audit in any organisation with a strong foundation in governance procedures.
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We offer two distinctive packages for the AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting:
- HTFT On-demand
- HTFT Ultimate Live
We look to harness the power of the internet, and the multi device world, to create innovative content and delivery models that reflect how people learn and puts learning and mastering first.
With HTFT On-demand, you get immediate access to pre-recorded videos covering the syllabus content in addition to being provided with the recordings of any live masterclasses or sessions that take place.
With HTFT Ultimate Live, you get all the pre-recorded videos that accompany a paper along with personal invites to the live online masterclass sessions. We have flipped the classroom for AAT: the pre-recorded videos develop your knowledge, allowing us to focus the masterclasses on your application of knowledge
Expand the box below to see what you get with each package
HTFT Packages for AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (Level 4)

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