Flexibilities agreed that are in line with the Covid-19 guidance on our website


Due to Covid-19, it has been agreed that all methods of assessment can be delivered remotely.


All adaptations need to be approved by the standards EQA provider and meet the Covid-19 guidance on our website.

This apprenticeship standard is in the process of being revised. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other occupational standards in revision are available in the revisions status report.

Overview of the role

Working as an accountant or bookkeeper for an accounting practice, business, organisations or HMRC.

Professional accounting or taxation technician

Reference Number: ST0003

Details of standard


Individuals in the role of a Professional accounting or tax technician will have responsibility for creating, and/or verifying and reviewing, accurate and timely financial information within the organisation in which they are employed or on behalf of another organisation. This will be performed in order to meet relevant ethical, professional and legal standards, and will utilise the individual’s knowledge of the business systems and processes, as well as standard accounting and tax practices. This role may exist in an accounting practice, a professional services company, HMRC or the accounting function of a business or other organisation.

Examples of roles as a Professional accounting or tax technician include, but are not limited to, Assistant auditor, Assistant management accountant, Assistant financial accountant, Accounts payable and expenses supervisor, Commercial analyst, Payroll manager, Senior bookkeeper, Senior financial officer, Tax investigations officer, Personal tax assistant and Business tax assistant.


This occupation covers two areas of specialism, accounting and tax. A successful apprentice will have met the core requirements common to both areas and one of the two technical knowledge option requirements. A competent Professional accounting or tax technician, on completion of the apprenticeship standard, will meet the following requirements.


 What is required?

Technical knowledge

Option 1 accounting

Knowledge and understanding of the core elements of double entry bookkeeping and accounting standards enable accountants to create and report financial information to the users of accounts.  A Professional accounting technician will understand and/or validate the accounting standards for basic accounts preparation and/or the drafting of financial statements. Depending on their role they will also have specialist knowledge in other aspects of accounting, for example management accounting and tax accounting.

Option 2 tax

A Professional tax technician will be required to have knowledge and understanding of the core elements of personal and business taxation and accounting principles. They will be required to prepare tax calculations, prepare government forms, understand and comply with filing deadlines, and document client paperwork. Depending on their role they will also have specialist knowledge in other areas of taxation, for example business compliance, VAT, Inheritance tax, trusts and estates and corporate tax.

Business awareness

Financial  information  is  an  outcome  of  an  organisation’s  activities  in  the  industries  and environments  in  which  it  operates.  In  its  simplest  form,  financial  information  reflects  the transactions arising from the purchase and sale of products and services. A Professional accounting or tax  technician  will  understand  the  industries  and  environments  in   which  an organisation operates, including customer and supplier needs, in order to create and/or validate and/or report financial information.

Ethical standards

Ethics  and  integrity  are  fundamental  to  the  role  of  all  finance  professionals  as  they  often independently verify financial information that affects individuals and institutions that are separate from  the  management  of  an  organisation.  A  Professional  accounting or tax  technician  will understand and apply the relevant ethical standards to their own behaviour and appropriately challenge the actions of others where they do not meet these standards.

Regulation and compliance

Accounting and tax are governed by a series of standards and regulations which must be applied where relevant.   A Professional accounting or tax technician will be able to understand and apply professional  standards and  legal  regulations to  an  organisation’s financial  information, and  to comply with the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care and confidentiality.

Systems and processes

Financial information is created, verified and reported via a combination of systems and processes, such as accounting or tax systems, internal control systems and IT systems.  An understanding of these systems and processes is fundamental to an accountant’s ability to perform their role. A professional accounting or tax technician will be able to understand and evaluate an organisation’s systems and processes and make recommendations for improvement, as appropriate. Depending on their role they may also have a basic understanding of external and internal audit’s function in giving assurance over these systems and processes.


The above technical knowledge will be understood and applied according to the relevant statutory and regulatory environment.


What is required?


Create and interpret information, and show how that information can be used most effectively to add value to the organisation.


Effectively communicate relevant information across the organisation and to appropriate stakeholders in both written and verbal formats.


Proactively manage their own development and is committed to the job and their profession.

Planning and prioritisation

Work to tight deadlines and respond to changing priorities.  Effectively plan and prioritise time and co-ordinate the input of others in order to meet both deadlines and changing priorities.

Produces quality and accurate Information

Apply accounting, tax knowledge to consistently deliver high quality, accurate data and information in a timely fashion.

Team Working and collaboration

Work effectively in a team and with others, maintaining effective, professional working relationships both internally and externally across organisations.

Uses systems and processes

Understand the systems and processes of the organisation sufficiently, as applicable to the role. Proficient in the IT systems applicable to the role.


The above skills will be acquired and demonstrated, through a process of continuous self improvement, in a changing and sometimes pressurised environment.


What is required?


Willing to both listen and learn and to accept changing priorities and working requirements and has the flexibility to maintain high standards in a changing environment.

Adding value

Actively engage in the wider business, as appropriate, and look to provide information that positively contributes to influencing business decisions.  Continually strive to improve own working processes and those of the organisation.

Ethics and integrity

Honest and principled in all of their actions and interactions. They will respect others and meet the ethical requirements of their profession.


Takes responsibility. Demonstrates the drive and energy to get things done, even under pressure.

Professional scepticism

Demonstrates an attitude that includes a questioning mind, being alert to conditions which may indicate possible misstatement of financial information due to error or fraud.

The above behaviours will be developed and exhibited, while adhering to high standards of professionalism and quality.

Typical job titles include: 

Assistant auditor, Assistant management accountant, Assistant financial accountant, Accounts payable and Expenses supervisor, Bookkeeper, Commercial analyst, Payroll manager, Senior bookkeeper, Senior financial officer, Tax investigations officer, Personal tax assistant, Business tax assistant 


It is anticipated that candidates will typically complete the apprenticeship within 18 to 24 months.

Entry requirements

Individual employers  will  identify entry requirements in  terms  of  previous  qualifications, training  or  other  criteria.  Most candidates will have Level 2 maths and English (equivalent to GCSE grade C or above), ideally as part of 5 GCSE A-C grades or other comparable qualifications. Apprentices without English or maths at Level 2 must achieve this prior to the completion of the apprenticeship. 


Level 4

Link to professional registration and progression

The Professional accounting or tax technician standard allows student registration with a number of UK professional bodies in this sector. If a candidate seeks to become a member of a professional body there may be other requirements specific to the relevant professional body, which may be taken as part of, or alongside, the Apprenticeship at the employer’s and candidate’s discretion.

Completion of the professional accounting or tax technician apprenticeship may lead to the candidate receiving credits towards the completion of the Professional accountant or tax apprenticeship or chartered Accountancy or taxation qualifications provided by the relevant professional bodies.  Completion of the professional accounting or tax technician apprenticeship may also result in credits being awarded towards relevant undergraduate degree programmes.


The standard will be reviewed after a maximum of three years to ensure it is updated to reflect employer demand for changes in the syllabus.

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Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0003
Version: 1.1
Date updated: 08/04/2022
Approved for delivery: 21 July 2016
Route: Legal, finance and accounting
Typical duration to gateway : 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £8000
Options: Accounting, Tax
LARS Code: 117
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Baker Tilly, BDO, Costain, Dains, Deloitte, Government Finance Profession, Ernst & Young, Flemmings, Grant Thornton, Hall and Woodhouse, Harvey & Son, Hazlewoods LLP, Health Education East of England, Kingston Smith, KPMG, Lentells Chartered Accountants, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, NHS Employers, PwC, Solid State Solutions, Warrington and Halton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.1 The funding band for this standard has been reviewed as part of the apprenticeship funding band review. The new funding band is £8000 04/03/2019 Not set Not set
1.0 Retired 21/07/2016 03/03/2019 Not set

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