Introducing the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)

Looking to become a bookkeeper? An ICB Qualification could kick-start your career

Who are the ICB?

Founded in 1996, the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) was set up to promote the bookkeeping profession, learning and education, and to offer qualifications. They are a respected and trusted benchmark for the industry and are the largest bookkeeping membership organisation in the world.

Over 150,000 students and members are part of the ICB and it operates in over 100 countries.

Only the finest professionals are eligible to become a member, and the ICB‘s certification is based on exams. Members need to maintain their training via Continuous Professional Development to maintain their status.

Businesses look for ICB certification when they are looking to hire a good freelance bookkeeper because of their reputation for encouraging the highest standards of the profession.


President of ICB Global, Garry Carter explains how the ICB began

What are the ICB membership levels?


President of ICB Global, Garry Carter explains the different levels of ICB membership

There are three levels of membership:

Associate (AICB)Eligible to apply for Associate status after the successful completion of a Level 2 ICB qualification.
Member (MICB)Eligible to apply for Member status after the successful completion of a Level 3 ICB qualification.
Fellow (FICB)To apply for Fellow status you must have completed the Level 4 ICB qualifications and have been a Member for at least the previous two years.

What are the benefits of ICB membership?

When you become a member of the ICB you’ll benefit from ongoing support that ensures you are up to date with the latest changes in legislation, and you’ll make yourself more attractive to potential employers.

Other benefits of membership are:

  • Membership certificate sealed by the Institute
  • Membership card
  • Access to the ‘members only’ section on the Institute’s web site
  • Notification of Bookkeeping Job Vacancies in your area
  • Free Technical advice line covering all aspects of bookkeeping
  • Free legal advice line for business and personal usage
  • Free access to technical and legal downloads
  • Free updates on changes to legislation which might affect bookkeeping
  • Free advice and guidance on setting up a private practice (Self Employed)
  • Free information on employment opportunities which arise
  • Regional meetings
  • CPD (continuing professional development) seminars
  • Access to ICB Plus – Exclusive offers on professional and everyday products and services

What does ICB Level 2 qualify me to do?

The ICB Level 2 Certificate In Bookkeeping is the entry-level ICB qualification. By achieving this level, you can become an Associate of the ICB and are entitled to use the AICB letters after your name. You would be able to manage the day-to-day books for you or your partners business, and could apply for Jobs in Bookkeeping and Accounts.

Browse our ICB Level 2 Courses »

What does ICB Level 3 qualify me to do?

When you have gained the ICB Level 3 Certificate In Bookkeeping qualification you can apply for full membership and use the letters MICB after your name.

You’ll be able to produce VAT Returns, control the sales and purchases ledger, post year-end adjustments, and produce the final accounts for sole traders, partnerships, not-for-profit organisations, and limited companies. At level 3, many people then start their own bookkeeping practice.

Browse our ICB Level 3 Courses »

What does ICB Level 4 qualify me to do?

At level 4, there are a suite of several different courses which cover additional skills that you may wish to offer as a freelance bookkeeper. This includes Financial Statements (Micro and Small Businesses), Business Insights, and Corporation Tax for Small and Micro Entities.

Browse our ICB Level 4 Courses »

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