AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting (PLA)

L4 Level 4
Part Time
5 September 2022 — 9 June 2023
City Centre Campus, Cardiff
PLA: This course is free for employed adults eligible for a Personal Learning Account (PLA). To see if you could be eligible for a PLA go to www.cavc.ac.uk/PartTimeFunding - For a full list of PLA courses go to www.cavc.ac.uk/PLA

About this course

Our AAT Level 4 Professional Diploma in Accounting course is perfect for those individuals keen to enhance their knowledge and understanding of accounting. Based at our City Centre campus in Cardiff, this programme will help students become comfortable with a wide range of financial management skills and applications, and gain competencies in:

  • Drafting financial statements for limited companies
  • Recommending accounting systems and strategies
  • Constructing and presenting complex management accounting reports

This FREE course is only available to adults that are eligible for a Personal Learning Account (PLA). Personal Learning Accounts, funded by the Welsh Government, are available to employed adults living in Wales that wish to develop skills to progress or change career. 
Find out if you're eligible today.

What you will study

Mandatory Units

Applied Management Accounting

In today’s world, management accountants are not only required to interpret and analyse data to produce reports. They are also required to have the requisite skills to be able to relate their findings to the organisation and provide insightful feedback that will help the business to move forward and achieve its objectives. This unit focuses on the three fundamental areas of management accounting: planning, control and decision making. All organisations rely on the provision of accurate, business-focused information in order to make sound business judgements.

This unit will allow students to understand how the budgetary process is undertaken. Students will be able to construct budgets and then identify and report both on areas of success and on areas that should be of concern to key stakeholders. Students will also gain the skills required to critically evaluate organisational performance.

Drafting and Interpreting Financial Statements

This unit provides students with the skills and knowledge for drafting the financial statements of single limited companies and consolidated financial statements for groups of companies. It ensures that students will have a proficient level of knowledge and understanding of international accounting standards, which will then be applied when drafting the financial statements. Students will also have a sound appreciation of the regulatory and conceptual frameworks that underpin the preparation of limited company financial statements.

On successful completion of this unit, students would be expected to draft the financial statements of single limited companies and groups of companies with little supervision. Students will also acquire the tools and techniques required to analyse and interpret financial statements of limited companies by means of ratio analysis for the purposes of assisting outside user groups in their decision making, thereby fulfilling a useful role within an accounting team.

Internal Accounting Systems and Controls

All organisations must guard against fraud through good control systems. However, many businesses underestimate both the probability and impact of employee fraud. Those working within the accounts department play a pivotal role in guarding against misuse of resources, and the key aim of this unit is to provide students with the tools to evaluate internal controls and to recommend improvements.

The unit teaches student to consider the role and responsibilities of the accounting function, including the needs of key stakeholders who use financial reports to make decisions. Students will review accounting systems to identify weaknesses and will make recommendations to mitigate identified weaknesses in future operations. Students will apply several analytical methods to evaluate the implications of any changes to operating procedures.

Optional Units (these are the only optional units offered at present)

Cash and Financial Management

This unit focuses on the importance of managing cash within organisations and covers the knowledge and skills required to make informed decisions on financing and investment in accordance with organisational policies and external regulations.

Students will identify current and future cash transactions from a range of sources. They will learn how to eliminate non-cash items in the financial information provided. Using various techniques, students will prepare cash budgets considering the timing of transactions required to monitor the flow of cash into and out of organisations.

Understanding the importance of cash management is key to the sustainability of organisations, therefore students will identify shortfalls and surpluses in cash budgets and take appropriate action to deal with them. Students will understand how to reforecast cash budgets and reasons for deviations from budget.

Students will appreciate how an organisation needs to meet its financial obligations to avoid the risk of financial failure and the different methods of financing available to meet short- and long-term financing requirements, along with the types of investments available for surplus funds. Students will gain an understanding of the external regulations and considerations that relate to cash and finance, including any financing and investment decisions, to comply with an organisation’s policies and principles, which may not be purely focused on maximising wealth.

Credit and Debt Management

This unit provides an understanding and application of the principles of effective credit control systems, including appropriate debt management systems. Organisations will usually offer credit terms to its customers, which could lead to financial difficulties if customers pay late or do not pay at all. It is therefore important to determine that potential credit customers can honour any credit terms agreed.

This unit will consider the techniques that can be used to assess credit risks in line with policies, relevant legislation and ethical principles. Equally, once the credit decision has been approved, it will be important to ensure that any debts due from the customer are paid within the terms agreed.

Students will also consider what techniques are used to enable the collection of any overdue debts, following organisational policies, legal procedures and methods for collecting debts. Knowledge and use of performance measures relating to liquidity, profitability and gearing are fundamental to this unit. Students will also develop their understanding of liquidity management, bankruptcies and insolvencies, as well as the mechanisms of invoice discounting, factoring and credit insurance.

The teaching assessments for this course is five computer-based assessments. 

Entry requirements

Successful completion of AAT Level 3.

Important points

  • The College welcomes contact with parents/guardians of students who are under 18.
  • Additional support is available for students with learning difficulties and disabilities.
  • Cardiff and Vale College is committed to inclusion and values diversity. We are determined to promote equality of opportunity and to treat everyone fairly and with respect.
  • Cardiff and Vale College reserves the right to make changes to this course without prior notice.
  • Course fees are subject to change. Your fee will be confirmed prior to enrolment.
  • All courses are accurate at the time of upload or print.
  • Courses can only run if there are sufficient numbers.
  • Please note, if you choose three or more course choices, then you may be referred for a careers appointment first. This does not apply to A Level or GCSE choices.
Key information

Start date

5 September 2022

End date

9 June 2023

Time of day

Day Time

Part Time

7 hours per week


City Centre Campus, Cardiff
Maps & directions
PLA: This course is free for employed adults eligible for a Personal Learning Account (PLA). To see if you could be eligible for a PLA go to www.cavc.ac.uk/PartTimeFunding - For a full list of PLA courses go to www.cavc.ac.uk/PLA

Course code



AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting - Level 4


What our students say

When I came back into education I knew this was the place to go. Moodle is great and there’s a lot of content on there, any questions we have the tutors are very quick in responding.

Breeze Thompson
AAT Accounting Student

Career prospects & further study

After completing this course, successful candidates may progress to further accountancy qualifications. To confirm, this qualification allows exemption from year 1 of Professional Accounting qualifications i.e. CIMA, CIPFA and ACCA Higher Education Accountancy Degree. Many students also pursue various courses at University, as well as employment opportunities within the industry.



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City Centre Campus, Cardiff
City Centre Campus, Cardiff

City Centre Campus,

Dumballs Road,


CF10 5FE