ICB – Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

History

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is a Professional Body that has existed since 1931. In South Africa the roles of professional bodies use to combine both Professional Membership as well as Education and Training. However, educational regulations and laws in recent years made these bodies split those functions.

Thus, the historic ICB was split into a Professional Body and an Academic Body in 2015. The educational body continues under the name Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.

The (new) ICB, that is the body solely dealing with Academics, is a recognised Quality Assurance Partner of FASSET. FASSET is the Sector Education and Training Authority for Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Services).

This means that the ICB is authorised by FASSET to accredit training providers. Act as the assessment (exams) body for the ICB courses, offered by training providers accredited by them.

Currently the QCTO (the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations) is in the process of taking on the responsibility for all SETAs. That means that FASSET “falls under” the QCTO. This might have some effect on the details of the accreditation process in the near future. Both FASSET and the QCTO are bodies established in terms of an Act of Parliament.

The ICB, under authority of FASSET (and soon under authority of the QCTO), is responsible for the quality assurance and exams (assessments) of a range of qualifications. More about that below, under the heading “ICB Qualifications”.

The Professional Body is called the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants (ICBA). The ICBA is recognised by SAQA as a Professional Body and for the registration of seven professional designations on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Traditionally a student would study ICB qualifications, and on the strength of their qualifications, as well as working experience, and adhering to a professional code of conduct, be able to apply for Membership.

The main objective of the ICBA is to provide professional membership to Junior and Senior Bookkeepers, as well as Junior Accountants and Financial Accountants, as well as Office Administrators. As an ICB student, you can apply for Student Membership of the ICBA.

Depending on their level of qualification, successful ICB students can apply to the following levels of professional membership with the ICBA:

Certified Junior Bookkeeper

Certified Senior Bookkeeper

Certified Technical Financial Accountant

Certified Financial Accountant

Certified Public Accounts Administrator

Certified Public Accountant

Benefits of studying at the ICB

Accreditation and Recognition

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is recognised by FASSET

The ICB is a Quality Assurance Partner of FASSET. With FASSET now forming part of the QCTO, it can be expected that there might be some changes in the roles of the various bodies regulating education and training for these accredited programmes.

My expectations is that the ICB will become a QAP of the QCTO, and retain its role, under a slightly different setup with the two different regulatory bodies.

Institute of certified bookkeepers

Professional Bodies

Historically South Africa has a number of old and well-established professional bodies. With the big changes in the laws and regulations that determines educational rules in South Africa, these bodies had to adjust to the new world. Some did this more successfully than others.

The ICB as processional body has set an example of how professional bodies can stay relevant in this new world. They have built relationships with government bodies like SAQA, the SETAs (FASSET) and other Professional Bodies. All of this to the benefit of education and of their students and professional members.

The ICB has professional relationships with the following bodies:

Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)

South African Business Accountants (SAIBA)

South African Institute for Tax Professionals (SAIT)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET)

Through the close link between the ICB (Educational Body) and the ICBA (Professional Membership Body), there are a number of advantages linking to these other professional bodies – for students on ICB courses, as well as IBA members.

SETAs

In South Africa the SETAs (Sector Education and Training Authorities) plays an important role in collecting and distributing taxes meant for education. They also accredit and quality assure education and training in their various sectors.

Here is a complete list of all the SETAs:

AGRISETA (Agricultural Sector SETA)

BANKSETA (Banking Sector SETA)

CETA (Construction SETA)

CHIETA (Chemical Industries SETA)

CATHSETA (Culture Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports SETA)

ESETA (Energy and Water SETA)

ETDPSETA (Education Training and Development Practices SETA)

FPMSETA (Fibre, Processing & Manufacturing SETA)

FOODBEV (Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry SETA)

FASSET SETA (Financial and Accounting Services SETA)

HWSETA (Health and Welfare SETA)

INSETA (Insurance SETA)

LGSETA (Local Government SETA)

MERSETA (Media, Advertising, Information and Communication Technologies SETA)

MICTSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA)

MQSETA (Mining Qualifications Authority SETA)

PSETA (Public Service SETA)

SASSETA (Safety and Security SETA)

SERVICES SETA

TETA (Transport SETA)

W&RSETA (Wholesale and Retail SETA)

The SETAs are in a time of transition. They are moving to fall under the authority of the QCTO. The role of the QCTO I shall discuss below.

QCTO

The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is responsible for qualifications listed on the OQSF (the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework). They are one of the three top level Quality Councils. These three are the Council on Higher Education (CHE), Umalusi and the QCTO. Together they are responsible for the National Qualification Framework.

The QCTO is responsible for the accreditation of providers / colleges / academies who offer occupational qualifications.

How do I know a course or college is accredited?

To find out if a college is accredited to offer ICB courses; and accredited for a specific course; the easiest way is to ask to see the accreditation certificate from the ICB.

The ICB provides each accredited provider with a certificate for that specific provider, and for that specific programme. See here for an example: Skills Academy Accreditation Certificate ICB National Certificate Bookkeeping.

Look at the dates on the accreditation certificate. There you can see if the accreditation is still valid. And check the name of the course provider on the accreditation certificate.

In addition to the accreditation certificate, course providers also get an accreditation letter from FASSET.  Here is an example of a valid accreditation letter from FASSET. Skills Academy FASSET Accreditation letter.

ICB Qualifications

ICB qualifications are divided into four different areas of study. Financial Accounting, Public Sector Accounting, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, and Office Administration.

Depending on how you combine your subjects, you can build up to any of a number of high level qualifications, and eventually membership of the ICBA.

Institute of certified bookkeepers

ICB Financial Accounting

Foundation level

National Certificate: Bookkeeping

Intermediate level

FET Certificate: Bookkeeping

Upper intermediate level

National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting

Advanced level

National Diploma: Financial Accounting

ICB Public Sector Accounting

Foundation level

National Certificate: Public Sector Accounting

Intermediate level

Diploma: Public Sector Accounting

Advanced level

National Diploma: Financial Accounting

ICB Business Management

Foundation level

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management

Intermediate level

Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Advanced level

National Diploma: Financial Accounting

ICB Entrepreneurship

Foundation level

National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management

Intermediate level

Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Advanced level

National Diploma: Financial Accounting

ICB Office Administration

Foundation level

Certificate: Office Administration

Intermediate level

Higher Certificate: Office Administration

Advanced level

Diploma: Office Administration

ICB Courses

To study towards one of the ICB Qualifications, you register with a course provider. The course provider is where you got for your classes. Or, if you are doing home study, then the course provider will send you your study material, help you with your course work over the phone, or in online study groups, marks your assignments, and keep pushing you to finish your course successfully.

At TWP Academy we courier the study material to our students. Then we help them in their online study groups, hosted with Together We Pass. In this way you are in an electronic classroom every day, with your lecturer and your classmates.

Your course provider must be Accredited by the ICB, as well as FASSET.

The ICB courses are arranged into four different fields of study. These fields of study are:

Financial Accounting

Public Sector Accounting

Business Management

Entrepreneurship

Office Administration

Inside each field of study is a range of courses, which I shall list below.

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Financial Accounting Courses

  • National Certificate: Bookkeeping
  • FET Certificate: Bookkeeping
  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Public Sector Accounting Courses

  • National Certificate: Public Sector Accounting
  • Diploma: Public Sector Accounting
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Business Management Courses

  • National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management
  • Higher Certificate: Office Administration
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Entrepreneurship Courses

  • National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management
  • Higher Certificate: Office Administration
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Office Administration Courses

  • Certificate: Office Administration
  • Higher Certificate: Office Administration
  • Diploma: Office Administration

What is the difference between Bookkeeping courses and Accounting courses?

Often there is confusion between bookkeeping courses and accounting courses. Let me explain the difference.

Bookkeeping is the process of keeping record of financial transactions. So as the bookkeeper, you make sure that all the transactions are properly recorded. Usually this means you record every transaction in a set of “books”, or in a software package like Pastel or QuickBooks.

So the bookkeeper is responsible for the accurate reporting of all the financial transactions. Bookkeeping and the accurate recording of all the financial transactions are the first steps in the accounting process.

Accounting is the interpreting, analysing and summarizing of financial data. So it is one level above bookkeeping. An accountant will be assisted by bookkeepers. The accountant makes sure that the bookkeepers accurately record all the transactions. And the the accountant prepares and summarise those transactions in the financial statements. The Accountant is also responsible for analysing and interpreting the financial data.

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, Bookkeeping Courses

Since bookkeeping is the first steps in the accounting process, you will see that the lower level courses are called “bookkeeping” courses. Then as you progress to the higher levels, the courses are now called “accounting” courses.

  • National Certificate: Bookkeeping
  • FET Certificate: Bookkeeping
  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting

ICB Accounting Courses

Accounting is the more advanced levels of bookkeeping. So once you have passed the certificate level courses, you will see that the diploma level courses has the word “accounting” in them.

At this level you are no longer busy with bookkeeping, you have now graduated to the level of accounting.

  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting

Learner Portal

The ICB has recently introduced a Learner Portal. Here students can do a number of things themselves. This is a “self-service” option for student who wants to:

  • See and update their contact details with the ICB
  • Pay ICB fees online
  • Enter for assessments (register for exams) and see their results (this option only available for home study students)

Exams and Assessments

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers home study students can write their exams four times a year. In February, May, August and November.

You usually have to register for an exam two or three months before the exam. So, if you are aiming for the February exams, you need to be registered for them by the beginning of December.

Here is a detailed explanation of the exam dates: Skills Academy ICB Exam Registration Process and Dates.

ICBA Membership

As an ICB student, you can apply for Student Membership of ICBA. The benefits of membership is as follows:

The right to use those designation ICBA letters after your name (not if you are still a Student Member)

Use the ICBA logo on your business cards, letterheads and website

ICBA Membership certificate

Tax booklet for ICBA members – updated after the annual budget speech

ICBA Members’ notebook

Discounted workshops

With the right ICB courses and work experience you can apply to the SAIT to become a Tax Practitioner – as well as get a discount on your SAIT Membership

ICBA Members who are Bookkeepers in private practice, can apply for exclusive access to Pastel’s Bookkeepers’ Forum – which brings all kinds of special benefits for you from Pastel

ICBA Members with the required work experience and the proper ICB qualification (National Diploma: Financial Accounting NQF Level 6) can apply to become an Accounting Officer through SAIBA

Certified Technical Financial Accountants and Certified Financial Accountants may perform the duties of an ex-officio Commissioner of Oaths

 

 

The ICBA has professional relationships with the following bodies:

Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)

South African Business Accountants (SAIBA)

South African Institute for Tax Professionals (SAIT)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET)

The ICBA does not offer training. However, it recognises appropriate education and training providers and contributes to the curricula of learning programmes offered by these providers.

So when you study one of the ICB courses, then you know that each course of recognised by the ICBA towards membership of the ICBA.

Further Studies after the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Because of the relationship the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers has with a number of prominent professional bodies, you can further your studies on the foundation of your completed Institute of Certified Bookkeepers qualifications.

You can further your studies with any of the following bodies, that recognise your ICB qualifications.

South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT)

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

 

 

ICB Registration |

Last Updated: June 09 2017

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