HNC/HND Accounting

HNC/D Accounting

The HN Accounting qualifications are respected qualifications and provide candidates with the competences to meet the requirements of employers recruiting accounting staff. In addition they enable candidates to progress to further academic and professional qualifications either prior to taking up an accounting position or in parallel with it.

Guidance - IFRS 16 Leases - August 2019 (79 KB)


A consultation is being carried out to appraise the HNC and HND Accounting group awards.  This is intended to identify where updates may be needed to ensure they continue to remain current, reflect current practice and the challenges faced by the accounting sector.

SQA invites you to provide feedback on the content of the current qualifications and suggestions as to how they may be improved by completing the survey below.  The survey will close on Friday 27 September 2019.

HN Accounting - Delivering Centres Survey


Keep up to date and engage with all things Accounting, Administration, Business and Financial Services through our blog.

Accounting, Administration, Business and Financial Services blog

Update letters

Update letters

Why deliver this qualification

The HNC and HND Accounting Group Awards are based on standard accounting practice. They have up-to-date relevance and appeal for those seeking employment in the accounting sector.

The qualifications can be delivered flexibly to meet the needs of candidates — eg through open or distance learning (as long as there is access to the appropriate software).

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC and HND qualifications in Accounting are designed for people who wish to take up a career in accounting and/or financial administration, or progress to further study. They are suitable both for employees and for those who are not yet employed in the sector.


Access will be at the discretion of the centre. Examples of appropriate formal entry qualifications are:

  • any two relevant National Courses at Higher together with three Standard Grade passes at level 3 or above
  • an SVQ Level 2 in Accounting or other relevant area
  • Units from previous HNC/HND Accounting frameworks
  • different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable, as would suitable vendor qualifications at an appropriate level

Candidates should have some prior knowledge of numeracy and communication, although formal qualifications may not be necessary if suitable experience had been gained informally or through work experience.

Mature candidates with suitable work experience may be accepted for entry provided the enrolling centre believes that they are likely to benefit from undertaking the award.

Candidate Information

HNC Accounting

The HNC Accounting will give you skills and knowledge in financial accounting and cost accounting using manual and computerised methods, including:

  • preparing, analysing and reporting on financial data
  • practical IT skills using a range of software packages
  • integrate financial and costing data

During the course, you will develop study and research skills and interpersonal skills. You will also have the opportunity to develop the Core Skills of Communication, Numeracy, Information Technology, Problem Solving and Working with Others at SCQF Level 6.

HND Accounting

The HND Accounting award is designed for those who wish to take up a career in accounting and/or financial administration within a range of business organisations.

You will develop the following skills: researching, evaluating and interpreting financial data; applying relevant legislation and accounting standards; providing information for decision making; integrating financial and management accounting with relevant business taxation.


The HNC is aimed at those employed, or wishing to become employed in roles such as accounts assistant, trainee accountant and financial administrator.

It is possible to progress from the HNC/HND Accounting to degree courses at various universities. Check with the relevant institutions before selecting optional Units.

With relevant options, the courses provide exemptions from examination papers for some professional accounting bodies, including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

Ongoing internal course assessment will apply. Specific information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment are contained within each Unit.  

Candidates will also be assessed in relation to a Graded Unit/s towards the end of their programme. The purpose of the Graded Units is to assess the candidate’s ability to retain and integrate the knowledge and skills gained in the mandatory Units; and to assess that the candidate has met the principal aims of the Group Award.

The Graded Units are:

  • Accounting: Graded Unit 1 — F8KE 34
  • Accounting: Graded Unit 2 — F8KF 35
  • Accounting: Graded Unit 3 — F8KG 35

Where can you take this course?

Ushare open learning resources

Group Award Specification

Title: HNC and HND Accounting
Code: G9M5 15 and G9M6 16
Date: Version 18 (July 2019)
Download: HNC and HND Accounting Arrangements Document (908 KB)

Assessment Exemplars

Qualification Verification Summary Report

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.

Guidance on updating Units with Tax Content

SOLAR formative assessment

OpenAssess ( ) is a facility which enables the delivery of formative assessments to support learning within SQA Qualifications. It is part of the SOLAR suite of applications that SQA use to deliver assessment across a range of qualifications. We have released a limited number of formative assessments to support Business, Accounting and Administration and IT Higher National awards. These cover topics such as Meeting skills, employee motivation techniques and Payroll.

The full list of all assessments available through SOLAR, both formative and summative is available on the SOLAR website at

  SOLAR Formative Assessment

Additional Information

Assessment Title

Unit Title

Unit No

Topics covered

Topic-based formative questions covering all 5 outcomes within this unit.   12 questions

Cost Accounting

Cost Accounting

F7JR 36


Topic-based formative questions covering the first 2 outcomes within this unit.   7 questions

Recording Financial Information

Recording Financial Information

F7JV 34

1, 2

Topic-based formative questions covering all 4 outcomes within this unit.   12 questions

Management Accounting using IT

Management Accounting using Information Technology



Topic-based formative questions covering all 4 outcomes within this unit.   10 questions

Preparing Financial Statements

Preparing Financial Statements

F7JT 34


Error Tolerance Guidance


Qualifications Support Team (QST) - Action Grids

Mapping to AAT's Accounting Qualifications

Related links