Become an Accounting Technician

With three pathways to choose from, the AT designation is a great option for financial professionals at any experience level

In Brief

  • Whether you’re starting out, want to change career or are already established, the Accounting Technician Designation has choices to suit a range of professionals.
  • Choose the best course of study for your lifestyle.  There are three different pathways including full-time and part-time study options.
  • All three pathways have two core components which are compulsory. One provides training on ethics and is called the Professional Ethics Module (PETH).  Training is provided by trusted external providers.  The other is a practical experience component.

Ways to become an Accounting Technician

You choose how you want to become an Accounting Technician from three pathways, each designed for different career stages and needs.

For a practical, real-world approach, covering a wide range of practical accounting topics, consider the Vocational pathway.

If you prefer a formal academic qualification, consider our Academic pathway, covering accounting and wider business management.

If you’re already working in accounting and finance consider the Experience pathway.  It assesses your practical experience to see how it measures up against a range of skill based criteria.

The different AT pathways

  • Vocational pathway

    Choose a practical, flexible study path which allows you to study at your own pace online, when it suits you. The Vocational pathway is great for distance learning or for people wanting to fit study around work and family.

    You gain the AAT Diploma in Accounting through the Vocational pathway. This highly respected UK-based qualification covers a wide range of practical accounting topics.

    It was developed by the Association of Accounting Technicians in the UK. The online tuition is provided by Home Learning College - AVADO.

  • Academic pathway

    Become an Accounting Technician by choosing academic study. The Academic pathway involves tertiary study through The New Zealand Diploma in Business course or equivalent university degree level study.

    You can apply to become a provisional accounting technician while you study towards an approved course.

    This involves two key elements:

    • The core component
    • Accounting specific component

    The core component covers a broad range of business related subjects. For example:

    • Accounting
    • Sales and marketing
    • Human resources
    • Risk management
    • Developing business relationships with stakeholders

    The accounting specific component covers a mix of technical knowledge and skills and analytical skills including:

    • Applying accounting concepts and standards to prepare financial statements and reports
    • Preparing budgets and monitoring business performance against budgets
    • Applying tax rules for individuals and small business
    • Analysing and interpreting financial information to help make business decisions
    • Researching and communicating technical financial information for a business entity’s performance.
  • The Professional Ethics Module

    Acting and working in an ethical way is a core expectation of the accounting profession. To support this, training in professional ethics is a compulsory part of the course requirements for the Accounting Technician designation.

    The Professional Ethics module takes approximately 50 hours or five weeks of study online. It requires an assignment marked by a tutor and an exam. The course is offered in partnership with trusted external provider, UK-based Home Learning College, and consists of one tutor marked assignment and one examination.

  • Practical experience requirements

    Practical experience complements formal study and is an essential part of qualifying as an Accounting Technician. It provides the invaluable opportunity to apply academic knowledge and learn from it. It also builds the knowledge, professional skills and hands-on learning to help you excel and stand out from the crowd.

    Two years relevant accounting employment is required to become an Accounting Technician. This consists of at least 17.5 hours per week for at least three months (full time equivalent based on a 35 hour week) relevant accounting employment in any one role. It must also be signed off by a supervisor or manager and be reviewed by a current member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand.

    The experience must be in at least one of the following areas to count:

    • Financial accounting
    • Auditing
    • General practice
    • Management accounting
    • Taxation
    • Financial management
    • Financial advice
    • Treasury
    • Information systems
    • Academia
    • Comparable sub-divisions of accounting.

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