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IAB & ICB breakdown

Bookkeeping qualifications can be quite a murky area if you don’t know where to look.

Many acronyms and phrases of extreme technical jargon can disguise something relatively straightforward in a trench-coat of confusion and misunderstanding, like a 60’s detective.

We’ll start with the ICB:

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is a bookkeeping body who make themselves responsible for promoting and maintaining the standards of bookkeeping as a profession. They do this through providing graded memberships through academic qualifications, work experience and continuous professional development.

Their qualifications start at Level 2, and work their way up to Level 4.

As Bookkeepers, they should be able to apply the common knowledge of starting counting from the number one, but they make their own rules and start at number two. It throws a lot of people, who ask:

“But, what about level one?”

Well, quite simply, there isn’t one. The ICB Level 2 stands as a Level 2 in the national qualification structure, which is why it is named as such.

ICB usually align themselves with independent bookkeeping professionals or bookkeeping firms. So, if you’re aiming to become self-employed, the ICB is the ideal place for you to start learning and build a client base.

The International Association of Bookkeepers are one of the most prestigious not-for-profit organisations for Bookkeepers in the world. They work closely with the UK government by setting principles to promote the professional integrity of Bookkeepers.

The IAB follow the general rule of grading their qualifications, starting with Level 1 and going up to Level 3.

The IAB mainly collaborate with bookkeeping professionals who work as part of a finance or accounts team within a company to ensure their members have the latest in resources, news and personal development.

The ICB qualifications will allow you to apply your skills whether you’re working with a manual or computerised bookkeeping system, while IAB is entirely focused on computerised accounting.

There we have it.

That was our breakdown of the main qualifications of our two biggest awarding bodies for bookkeeping. If you’re interested in browsing ICB course, you can click here for more information. If you’re swaying more to the IAB side, you can click here.