Category | Bookkeeping

Happy New Year

Congratulations to Ed Thorpe who finished 2015 in fine style, completing the ICB Level 2 exams, passing each paper at the first attempt. Those who are new to bookkeeping and perhaps not sure if they have the aptitude for it can enrol for our Module 1 course on its own first (basic double entry to trial balance). Ed opted for this route but soon showed his ability, earning a distinction on Paper B1. He has finished with merit on B2 and was advised on 31 December that he had 100% on B3. You are going to become an excellent bookkeeper, Ed!

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Level 3 Diploma in Payroll Management – Treatment of Pensions

The ICB exam now includes questions on Automatic Enrolment for pensions and how it operates. The ICB advises that candidates should take particularly careful note of the type of pension used for the computerised element and the relevant tax treatment for contributions. You may lose marks if you select either the wrong pensions scheme or the incorrect tax treatment for contributions. If in doubt (and your software does not select this automatically) please ensure that you check on the Pension Regulator’s website ( for the correct method of selecting the relevant tax treatment for each type of approved pension.

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Payroll Management 2015

Our Payroll Management course,for the ICB Level III exam, has now been revised for the fiscal year 2015/16. The course is supplied with Sage Instant Payroll 2015 and comprises 15 practical study units, each providing practical tasks as you proceed and an assignment at the end for marking by your Tutor.  You will be well-rehearsed for your exam.

It is possible to get 100% on the ICB Payroll Management exam – which is just as well when you are managing people’s pay! You take the exam at home and you have 24 hours to complete it, logging on and off as you wish. Not exactly stress-free but this does enable you to work accurately at your own pace.

You do not need to be a bookkeeper to take the exam but you do have to register with the ICB. (We do that for you if you are not already registered.) Bookkeeping experience is not essential for the course though it can be helpful.

For Course Information, please see the relevant pages on this website.

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ICB Exams – Prompt Payment Discounts

New legislation showing how VAT should be entered after prompt payment discounts came into effect on 1 April 2015.  Unfortunately, HMRC has not yet finally decided how these changes should be reflected in the production of accounts. The ICB has therefore decided that prompt payment discounts will not appear in any of its exams for at least six months after 1 April.  However, to make sure that things are not thereby made too easy for you, questions are likely to give candidates an invoice to complete which will have a combination of different levels of VAT, e.g. standard and zero-rated or standard and reduced rate. We have been provided with a sample question and solution in this type of question and this is now distributed with our course material. If you have any difficulty in following this your Tutor will be glad to assist.

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ICB Exams (Old Scheme -Transitional Arrangements)

The ICB has extended the transitional arrangements for some of the exam to be taken under the previous scheme by registered Students.

  • You can now book the M2 and M3 exams until 31 March 2015. There is no deadline after that date for taking the booked exams but there will be no re-sits.
  • At the same time the deadline for completing C2 and C3 has been extended until 30 June 2015.
  • If you have become an Associate Member of the ICB by 31 March 2015 you will be upgraded to the new Level 3 Certificate and will not have to take exam papers BA4 and BA5. In other words, you can proceed to the new Level 4. You may find that you still need to enrol for BA4 and BA5 courses to ensure that you have acquired the necessary foundation knowledge and expertise before tackling Level 4 courses.
  • If you complete C2 and C3 by 30 June you will also be able to proceed new Level 4.

The final exam for the new Level 4 ABA9, which you take at a Pearson Vue centre,  is available from 2 March 2015.

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Success in VAT

Congratulations to Nicole who completed our practical Introduction to VAT this month with a distinction. This course goes through the ledger entries for VAT records, and finishes with a final full VAT practical assessment.

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Congratulations to Bridie..

..who passed her Level 3 (new syllabus) exams with the ICB earlier this month, with an overall Distinction. Bridie is now an ICB Associate and is already taking on clients who seek her bookkeeping services. She intends to study for Level 4 (Member) exams in the New Year and may well be our first new Member in 2015.

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Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping & Accounting

Our course for Level 3 is now available!  Get into practice as an ICB Associate – by completing the Level 3 Certificate, you are qualified to keep books up to final accounts for sole traders, partnerships and unincorporated associations, such as clubs and societies.  You can apply for the appropriate level of licence from the Institute and start earning fees.

You must of course have passed or have been exempted from the ICB Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping. In Level 3 you move on to more advanced applications, using both manual and computerised bookkeeping.

Written by experts and tutored by Ray Taylor, our course will enable you to pass the Level 3 exam papers as soon as you may wish. And if you studied Level 2 with us, we will refund you a 5% discount on the Level 3 price.

For a full course description please visit the Level 3 page in the Courses (Formal) section on this website.

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ICB Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping

This new Certificate, for which we are now accepting enrolments, leads to ICB Affiliate Membership. It is the first stage in the ICB’s new examination scheme. The new Level 3 leads to Associateship and Level 4 to full Member. If you are already registered with the ICB and are part way through the existing exam scheme you can continue until 31 March 2015. If you have not finished by then, you can switch to the new scheme with appropriate exemptions. So now is the time to get a move on! If you need to resume a lapsed course please do get in touch with us for a course extension,
The new scheme, from 7 April 2014, brings ICB’s qualifications into line with the Ofqual framework. At the same time, the ICB has reviewed the detailed content, with revised learning objectives to ensure that its qualifications remain up to date and relevant to the practice of bookkeeping. The first exams will be held in June 2014. The Level 2 course starts from course principles so it is suitable even for those who have no experience of bookkeeping – but you need to confident of your basic numeracy and accuracy.



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Assistant Bookkeeper

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers introduces a new examination scheme on 1 April 2014. The first qualification, the Certificate in Bookkeeping, is designed for those who are employed or seeking employment as an Assistant Bookkeeper. It starts from basic principles and entitles you to become an Affiliate Member of the Institute. This gives you the first step towards a full professional qualification in bookkeeping, which in turn enables you to set up in practice if you  wish. You do not need any prior qualifications but you will of course need to have basic numeric skills.

The Certificate is awarded at Level II in the OfQual framework. You take three exam papers, covering both manual and computerised bookkeeping,  but there’s no travelling to exam centres involved as you can take the exams online at home or at your office. The topics you study include setting up cash book and bank accounts, double entry, ledgers, credit transactions and payroll, VAT, control accounts, bad debts, construction industry requirements, withdrawal of funds.

From the Certificate, you can go on to take the Certificate in Bookkeeping & Accounting (Level III) for ICB Associate Membership and the Certificate in Advanced Bookkeeping & Accounting (Level IV) for full ICB Membership.

Our courses for the Certificate in Bookkeeping will be available this month. Contact us or check our website for information about the first courses. As an accredited training provider, we can register you as a Student Member of the ICB when you enrol on our courses. Course Descriptions for all three Certificates will appear on our website in due course.

If you are already taking bookkeeping courses for ICB qualifications, you can continue with these until 31 March 2015. When you transfer to the new scheme, you will receive equivalent exemptions for exams you have passed previously.  Full details of the transfer arrangements are available from the ICB and you will be able to check your exemptions if you would prefer to transfer to the new scheme right away.

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