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Accountancy | Advisory | Audit | Tax

AAT accounting apprenticeships

Accountancy | Advisory | Audit | Tax

Why do an AAT accountancy apprenticeship with us?

AAT accountancy apprenticeships are level 3 and 4 qualifications, they are perfect for school leavers or career changers who left education at 18.

You’ll be supported to achieve the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) professional qualification via an apprenticeship. Each level takes approximately 15 months.
  • You’ll earn while you learn

  • We fund your training and professional qualifications

  • The work is really varied – no two days are the same

  • You’ll feel supported by your team and your fellow trainees
    • We’re a large firm able to offer great career progression opportunities


    • You don’t need a degree


    • You can live and work in the stunning South West

What do I need to apply?

  • 112 UCAS points, with GCSE Maths and English at grade 4/grade C or above


  • You’ll need to feel comfortable working with numbers, but we’ll teach you everything you need to know – for now we’re looking for aptitude and a willingness to learn!
  • You’ll need great written and oral communication skills to build trusted relationships with clients
  • You’ll need to be personable, outgoing and ready to ask questions

Read more about our recruitment process here.

What does an AAT accounting apprentice do?

It’s likely you’ll join us in one of our Business Advisory teams, but you could join in Audit. You will learn all you need to know to gain your professional qualification and become a qualified accountant. We’re the largest independent chartered accountancy firm in the South West, so you have the opportunity to specialise or pursue a broader role.

Two AAT accountancy apprentices working at a desk - one is using a laptop and the other is on the phone
Business Advisory
Go broad. Help our clients prepare year-end accounts, management accounts, forecasts and projections. Get involved in areas such as company and business taxation, company secretarial matters and VAT returns.
You’ll typically work in a team at a client’s premises. Our audit team actively keep clients up to speed on technical changes and developments, financial reporting, corporate governance and other issues.

The typical tasks undertaken by an AAT accounting apprentice include:

  • Bookkeeping – recording transactions and ensuring the accounts add up


  • Preparing and filing financial reports – such as balance sheets, budgets, cash flow plans, profit and loss statements tax returns and company financial performance reporting


  • Researching – market research such as industry trends or competitor financials, researching complex tax rules, gathering data for forecasting and to do company valuations


  • Relationship building – talking to clients to answer their questions; giving expert advice and building trusted relationships with your clients is at the heart of what accountants do


  • Learn to use accounting programs – makes the work much more efficient

During your AAT accountancy apprenticeship, you’ll develop a broad range of accounting skills, and you’ll get a flavour of some of the specialisms that you might opt to get into in future. For example you could specialise in work in a given sector such as energy, food and drink or property; or in a service such as corporate finance, cyber security or tax; or pick a path that will see you working with a broad range of clients.

You’ll do lots of on-the-job training, supported by day release for study – either online, with a local training provider or a blend of both.

If you want to continue to develop once you’ve achieved your AAT qualification, we can support you with further professional training. You can move on to the ACA qualification to become a Chartered Accountant or the CTA route to become a Chartered Tax Advisor.

Both are level 7 qualifications, equivalent to a Master’s degree at university. Again, with these routes you earn while you learn and we fund your studies.

Entering the world of work can be daunting – we’re here to support you. We encourage a strong sense of belonging with an open, caring team culture, so everyone feels valued and respected.

As you start your career, we understand that making friends and having a great social life are important and you’ll get that here. There are lots of socials, team days and volunteering days. You really can love your job and live your life.

Is an AAT accounting apprenticeship or going uni a better route into accounting?

That depends on what you want. The pros to doing an AAT accounting apprenticeship are no tuition fees and that you’ll be learning on-the-job from day one and talking to clients.

The pros to going to uni first are that you get to study something you love, and you get to enjoy the university experience. If you go to uni you can go straight into a level 7 accounting apprenticeship, or a tax one. Anyone who holds the level 4 AAT accountancy apprenticeship can then progress to the same level 7 qualifications that graduates start on. All roads lead to Rome and all that.

You don’t need a degree to reach the top of the profession. Do whatever feels right for you.

PKF Francis Clark rank 28th on the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list for 2023, compiled by the Department for Education.

How does an apprenticeship work?

Your training programme

You’ll start out on our internal induction programme learning the basics of the work you’ll be doing. It also explores wider topics such as communication, your personal brand, and professional ethics. You’ll meet your fellow trainees and colleagues from across the firm.

As an AAT trainee you’ll then spend 20% of your time training with an external training provider. This could be in person or online. You’ll have access to a tutor to get one-to-one support with any queries.

You’ll be assessed through exams which are sat in person and the firm pays for your exams and training. You are expected to do independent study in your own time, our current AAT apprentices say this is typically around five hours per week.

Beyond gaining a qualification, our wide-ranging AAT apprenticeships programme spans apprentices’ complete developmental needs, through the involvement of buddies and managers. Our internal learning and development team collaborate with you to ensure you have the support you need.

Level three and level four take around 15 months each to complete. If you join us without prior accounting experience, you’ll start with level two bookkeeping. See the AAT website for the latest syllabus.

Employee stories

AAT Vacancies

Plymouth Trainee accountant jobs, AAT (non-graduates)

We’ve always got new job opportunities in the pipeline.
You can email [email protected] outlining your experience and what you’re looking for and we’ll be in touch.
Smiling accountant in our Poole office
Relaxed group of colleagues smiling as they have a break in a modern colourful office
Trainee in the agricultural accounts team wears her PKF Francis Clark branded gilet with a field of grass in the background

Our commitment to hybrid work means that our people have the option to work in any of our offices at any time, and to spend some time working at home (or wherever they want to work!). The exact details of what hybrid working looks like varies from person to person, depending on the exact operational needs of each role.

Our commitment to hybrid work means that our people have the option to work in any of our offices at any time, and to spend some time working at home (or wherever they want to work!). The exact details of what hybrid working looks like varies from person to person, depending on the exact operational needs of each role.

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