Business Finance

Difference between CAT and AAT

Difference between CAT and AAT

Education is a very important aspect of life, and accounting is one of the fields that many different sectors of business requirements. Thus, it is normal that accountants and accounting technicians are always high. CAT and AAT are two qualification exams highly regarded in the accounting field. And while they may sound the same with the difference in one letter, they are completely different. If you aim to be an accountant or get into the accounting field, you must learn the difference between the two.


The key difference between the CAT and the AAT is that the CAT is an examination conducted by the ACCA. This international organization implements accounting standards for professional accountants which means that the exam results are going to be recognized globally. AAT, on the other side, is a test that is monitored by the Association of Accounting Technicians, which happens to be London-based, so it is recognized by a limited number of countries, mostly the UK, US, and commonwealth countries

CAT is a highly regarded examination by professional accountants and is administered by the ACCA. The ACCA is a well-known international organization responsible for establishing professional accountants’ standards. In conclusion, CAT is one of the international qualifications that are important to have, especially if you aim to be qualified by companies worldwide.

On the other side, AAT is offered by the Association of Accounting Technicians and is a test for professional accounting technicians. They are a London-based team of professional accountants, so it is only accepted through the UK, the US, and some commonwealth countries which means that it has a very limited scope compared with the CAT.

What is CAT?

The Certified Accounting Technicians or the CAT qualification exam is a qualification offered by the ACCA or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a highly recognized international organization. It is one of the highest qualifications for aspirants of becoming professional accountants.

The organization is international, and it sponsors different certified accountants and other professional accounting technicians. The organization helps in establishing the rules and standards for the different accounting professionals all over the world. It is also the organization that conducts the CAT and other CA qualification examinations.

CAT is considered a junior-level qualification and is considered the first step needed to be taken to become a chartered accountant. It is an important qualification exam that has been recognized by a lot of different companies all over the globe. The syllabus for the CAT covers everything in accounting, especially the fundamentals. It also includes the basics of chartered accountancy since the ACCA offers it.

CAT is not recognized by the DTI or the Department of Trade and Industry. However, those that qualify for the CAT become eligible for working in the accounting department. It is important to note that they would not work in the broader finance domain through qualifying for the CAT alone. Still, CAT is one of the most sought-after qualifications for many aspiring Cas. A lot of students pursue the CA once they have qualified for the CAT as it gives them quite an advantage for it.

What is AAT?

The AAT is organized by the Association of Accounting Technicians, which is based in London, and it is an internationally recognized examination targeted towards aspiring accounting technicians. The AAT is known to be one of the oldest organizations, and thus, it has a lot of influences in terms of setting the accounting standards and rules worldwide.

It is an organization that establishes the rules and standard practices for accountants and Cas all over the globe. Thus, companies in different countries model their accounting departments based on the standards set by the AAT.

AAT is also one of the highest qualifications for professional accounting technicians and is widely recognized in a lot of different countries such as the UK and the US, as well as other commonwealth countries.

One of the major benefits of taking the AAT test is that it is duly recognized by the DTI or the Department of Trade and Industry in a lot of different countries. This means that the students who qualify for it will be able to work in the finance department of government agencies.

The syllabus for this test is more advanced compared to the CAT, and it has a broader scope as well. It covers all of the fundamentals of accounting as well as different modules from commerce and finance.

Difference between CAT and AAT

  • CAT is a qualification exam for aspiring accountants, while AAT is a qualifying test for professional accountants.
  • CAT is monitored by the ACCA, while AAT is organized by the AAT.
  • CAT is globally recognized, while AAT is accepted in countries such as the US, the UK, and other commonwealth countries.
  • The AAT has a wider coverage, including the modules in commerce in finance, while the CAT only covers the fundamentals of accountancy.
  • AAT qualifiers are able to work in finance departments of government agencies, while CAT qualifiers are able to work in accounting departments of companies all over the world.


Accountants are highly in demand as they are required in different types of businesses. They do a lot of different work such as keeping track of the books, dealing with different transactions and more and thus, they need a lot of skills and knowledge. To test if they are ready to do their jobs, the CAT and the AAT are some of the highly regarded qualifying exams that they must pass to prove themselves.