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Difference Between CAT and AAT

CAT vs AAT

Two of the highly regarded standards for professional accounting technicians are Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) and Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualifications. CAT and AAT are technical level qualifications which entitle exam-passers to call themselves associate accounting technicians. However, they differ in certain aspects such as the historical background, level of global prestige and, curriculum coverage
AAT is offered by the Association of Accounting Technicians, a London-based accountancy organization. It is global, housed in multiple branches alcohol and has maintained thousands of members worldwide. CAT, on the other hand, is run by ACCA. It is an international body that widely influenced and implemented the standards of the accounting technician profession. It also stands as one of the key sponsors of qualification courses such as CAT and AAT. Their course and exams, consisting of 9 components, could eat up to 1 and half years.

In the past, ACCA used to support AAT. But since the organization, then based in UK, remodeled itself and wanted a qualification that would perfectly match its international business structure, ACCA decided to break away from AAT and, instead, create something it can influence directly, thus the birth of CAT. Today, AAT is still recognized by UK’s, USA’s and other commonwealth countries’ Department of Trade and Industry as an academic and vocational course, while CAT is not. It is stand-alone. The latter is a mere qualification within ACCA standards.
AAT examinations happen twice a year. A part of its benefits is that after an AAT-taker passes the exam, he’ll be eligible to work in range of finance functions, particularly at technician level. He also has the option to pursue studies on becoming a chartered accountant with the help of another exam held by one of its sponsors, usually the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants or ACCA. AAT certification is best for professionals who are self-employed. Furthermore, a CAT passer will have the right to append the letters CAT to their name and become a member of the sought after CAT alumni. It is considered the junior level qualification of the ACCA and will be a better choice if one is gunning at becoming a full chartered certified accountant. CAT proves to be a more appropriate choice over AAT if the taker is looking at becoming employed by multinational and local corporations.

As far as curriculum is concerned, most examinees believe that the AAT syllabus is more advanced as compared to CAT’s. Also, AAT is also deemed to cater a wider range of niche accounting professionals. There are no restrictions with what services an exam passer can offer. In addition, AAT includes employer accreditation services, a scheme that recognizes employer with an optimal and pro-employee approach that would be favorable in the development and growth of AAT members.

With regard to global prestige, both are well-known in most countries. However, the makers of CAT, ACCA, made it a point that the course and exams they offer is tailored for their globally-oriented business model. AAT, being an older counterpart, has gained it own sense of prestige especially in terms of its flexibility with other accounting standards.
Summary

  1. AAT and CAT are qualifications for accounting technician professionals. They are both based in UK but are recognized in the US and other commonwealth countries as well.
  2. Both CAT and AAT are well respected qualifications in their own right, with CAT good for employees and AAT well suited for the self-employed.
  3. AAT is stand-alone and serves as a good preparatory course for more advanced standards, while CAT is highly dependent and relative to the ACCA standards.
  4. CAT is built upon the premise of globally-present business structures.
  5. ATT includes employer accreditation standards as part of developing the potential of their graduates.

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