Apprenticeships have become increasingly popular across a variety of different industries. More people are choosing to forego traditional collegiate educations in an effort to join the workforce faster. The same goes for the accounting industry.

aat-approvedAnyone can be an accounting apprentice, but it will mostly benefit people who want to work with a team, creatively solve problems, and have a passion for numbers.

From a business standpoint, there are also plenty of benefits for you, as an employer. Let’s take a look at two of the levels typically involved with an accounting apprenticeship, what will be learned, and how apprenticeships can help to support both personal growth for your employees and business growth for your company.

Level 2 - Accounts/Finance Assistant

This apprenticeship program is perfect for anyone just starting out in accounting or financing. It only takes 15 months to complete - 12 months of direct learning with 3 months of end point assessment.

Throughout the duration of the apprenticeship, the ‘student’ will learn everything from bookkeeping transactions and controls to the ins and outs of financing software. One of the great thing about this type of apprenticeship is that it offers one-on-one support, so the student can get their questions answered directly without any confusion. This helps them to learn faster, more efficiently, and to the standards of your business.

By the time the student completes their end point assessment, they can choose to move on to a Level 3 position by taking on an assistant accountant apprenticeship. This apprenticeship is a springboard for a long and successful career in the accounting industry as it provides a firm foundation for further education and training.

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Level 3 - Assistant Accountant

This apprenticeship is meant for those who have level two functional skills in both math and English, and have already achieved their Level 2 accountancy apprenticeship. An assistant accountant apprenticeship is ideal for anyone with an interest in the complex financial sector. Some of the common careers that can blossom from this type of apprenticeship include:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Tax accountant

Much like the Level 2 apprenticeship, students will receive one-on-one support through Level 3, and learn everything from advanced bookkeeping to how to manage spreadsheets.

Because this is essentially a launching pad for a variety of different careers, those who go through this apprenticeship will also learn about the ethics of accounting and the skills needed to become a successful individual in the world of finance. Accountants need more than just an underlying skill with finances. They need to be strong communicators and be able to solve problems in unique ways. Not only does this apprenticeship prepare those enrolled for a specific job within a company but it helps them to learn about what they can expect in a variety of career paths.

What Are End Point Assessments?

At the end of every apprenticeship, the student will have to go through end point assessments. These include a structured interview, a display of a completed portfolio, and an in-tray test. The general purpose of an end point assessment is to make sure the student has a strong understanding of their core skills and behaviors.

As an employer, you need to be confident that the apprentice you’re choosing to hire will be able to help your business grow and succeed. An end point assessment is almost like a final exam combined with a job interview. Even if you may have been working directly with the apprentice for months, it’s important to make sure they have retained everything they’ve learned and are able to apply it to real-world situations.

An assessment is just that - not necessarily how much they may have learned from a book, but how they handle themselves in hands-on situations. An apprentice can’t only succeed in one area. That’s why it’s so important for them to experience hands-on learning from the start.

You can also boost their confidence by sharing with them what their apprenticeship can mean for them, including allowing them to be more flexible within their career and continue to grow in their positions.

Accounting apprenticeships go far beyond general staff training. They can help you to mold new employees with a passion for finance into the future of your business, and it is truly a win-win situation for everyone.

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Blog author: Lead AAT Tutor, Niki Read AATQB

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