ICB is promoted in the centre fold of the Independent newspaper on 21st March. ICB chief executive was interviewed for the paper's Accounting supplement which can be read in full as a pdf:
Independent 21 March, Accounting
"It's a fallacy that all companies in this country are big," says Garry Carter, chief executive of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers. "The majority are SMEs or microbusinesses - and, for many of those, a large firm of accountants may be out of reach." Which is why many small firms employ a bookkeeper instead. Whereas an accountant will delve into complex areas of a business such as taxation, investment, strategy and planning, a bookkeeper's role is more clearcut.
The bookkeeper records the day-to-day financial transactions of a business, balances the books and ensures everything is itemised so that a business knows how well it is doing. Although it varies across the country, the average rate for a bookkeeper is £22-£25 per hour.
Financial aid As your business expands or your financial needs become more complex, employing the services of an accountant may become necessary. "For example, you'll need an accountant to talk to you about exit routes if you want to sell up," says Carter. Yet where straightforward book balancing is required, bookkeepers will be in demand. "Many businesses don't have the time or inclination to look after their own books," says Carter. "But they do want to ensure that everything is done right,that their VAT is paid on time and that they have good cash-flow."
"Some businesses have come to our members with receipts in a carrier bag," he says. "The bookkeeper has to be able to pull those apart, then go back and say, for example: ‘Did you realise you're spending this much on postage? And your taxi bills are costing you X amount.' The bookkeeper gets a real insight into the workings of a business."
A bookkeeper's life can be flexible. "You might have left accountancy to have a child," says Carter. "Someone with that financial understanding might take a bookkeeping qualification and run their own business without rejoining the 9 to 5."