Why pay your AAT membership fee?

aat comment

AAT CEO Sarah Beale MAAT explains why AAT membership is worth the fee – and how it will soon develop further. 

Recently, I asked a training provider why they chose to provide the AAT qualification and promoted it above other options.

Their answer made me very proud.

They told me: “I came into the training profession to help people gain genuine skills that would give them the greatest opportunity to have successful, rewarding careers; that make them valuable as individuals so employers, in turn, would value them and their credentials. In my opinion, AAT is the embodiment of that.” 

After seven months in the job, I believe more strongly than ever in what AAT stands for.

The longer I am in the business, the more evidence I see of a desire to further raise the standard of what we are doing. And we are working hard on a strategic plan that builds on our inclusive foundations and raises the bar again.

The best route, not easiest 

Those of us who have taken the AAT qualification know we didn’t choose the easy route into the profession.

But we did choose the best route.

That is why there is such camaraderie within the AAT family – an authentic sense of achievement and respect. While attaining this level of technical excellence makes us rightly proud, it is not a one-off event. Knowledge is like fitness – it has to be maintained or it will decline. AAT membership ensures that competence does not diminish. 

As a MAAT or FMAAT, you have access to up-to-date information, resources, a wide community, and our local branches’ support network.

Some 80% of our members believe AAT has helped them improve their earning potential, and we can state that members on average earn £5,500 more than non-members. Our members enjoy access to 600 pieces of CPD content and nearly 18,000 have engaged in our CPD programme this year – which is why our retention rate of 92% is one of the highest in the profession. These are all quantifiable benefits for individual members, but employers gain in tangible ways, too. When they hire someone with AAT credentials, they know they are getting someone who add value. 

Looking to the future, we want to develop our membership categories to encourage progression and ensure our members attain real credibility at different stages of their career.  

We’ll also increase recognition for those who continue to build their skills.  

Members give back 

One of my learning points during my first year as CEO is that it’s not all about what individual members receive.

Many of you also want a chance to give back.

The power of that is much greater than I had first realised. 

What we can do as an AAT community is exciting. We stand for providing access to long-lasting careers in finance – as well as providing skills that can underpin many other careers. 

We want a stronger voice 

Our size and credibility give us the ability to speak out – and be heard – in public affairs. We already influence fiscal and education policy, and make sure the public is aware of the benefits of using regulated accountants. Our sights are set on doing more in the future. 

As a charity, we want our services to benefit those under-represented in our profession and who need support to get started. We want to engage with all potential entrants, from career changers to those in schools, to make it attractive and as easy to access as possible.  

The AAT family can make these things happen, benefitting individual careers,our profession and society. That’s the ambition of the strategic plan we are all working on within AAT, and that I look forward to revealing by early 2023.   

Sarah Beale is AAT Chief Executive.

Related articles