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To register or not

  • 1 post
  • # 115578

Hello everyone; i am looking into becoming a member of the ICB; i have 29 years payroll, bookkeeping and accounts experience and AAT level 2 cert in accounting and AAT level 3 cert in Advanced bookkeeping. 

I have some small clients i do VATs for etc but the fees of £200 membership and £100 for a licence seem quite high; does anyone have any info on the benefits they feel being a member brings them?  I am in Lancashire and there are not many jobs posted; apart from i want to set up professionally working for myself but due to lack of clients it is a pipe dream.  Has anyone become a member and found it has helped them achieve what they desire.  Basically is it worth the money? 

  • Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 400 posts
  • # 115581

Hi Diane (I'm presuming thats your name)


I think joining the ICB is worth it.  Its not too expensive to be a member and the practice licence fee includes your MLR which presumably you currently have either with AAT or with HMRC. 

I dont know what the costs are to transfer to ICB but hopefully someone from ICB will let you know. Otherwise if you have to retake exams through ICB then if you plan on going through distance learning I strongly suggest Ideal Schools.   Not only are they very  responsive but have a couple of closed Facebook groups  which are very supportive.


Good luck



  • 1 post
  • # 118017


We are one of the leading chartered accountants in the UAE. Is there any possibility we can subscribe a membership of ICB as a certified bookkeeper?

  • Companion Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 234 posts
  • # 118053

Hi dianet6443

If you are doing VAT for clients on a self-employed basis you will need an Anti-Money Laundering Supervisor such as ICB, AAT or HMRC. The fees to be supervised by HMRC are £300 per year with application fees on top so this is very similar to the combined cost of annual membership and a Practice Licence with ICB, but you won't get any support, networking, technical advice, resources and shopping savings that you get with ICB memebrship. The fees to be supervised by AAT are roughly equivalent too, but AAT's licence fee can increase to £289 (plus membership fee) if you decide to expand your range of servies. 

ICB differs from AAT in this respect as we have just one Practice Licence rate at £150 per year which covers our members for all of the services they are qualified in. This means it could cover you for Self Assessment Tax, Corporation Tax, Management Accounting, and Preparing Financial Statements for Limited Companies.

At this time AAT limits its practising bookkeepers to just five services (none of the above services are included) and if you want to offer further services you need the Accountant Practice Licence which is £289 per year.

Here at ICB we've been supporting self-employed bookkeepers for 23 years and we're absolutely passionate about it! We are here to help you succeed whether or not you want your business to stay small or you're thinking of scaling it and taking on staff or subcontractors. ICB Bookkeepers' practices range from 1 client up to 800 clients. This really is a boom time for bookkeepers and I've spoken to lots of ICB Bookkeepers who have more than doubled their client base in the last 12 months.

We run over 200 events a year in the UK, including the annual Bookkeepers Summit, and lots of friendly and supportive local meetings run by our branch network of dedicated and fabulous members. We'd love to help you feel more confident and professional and we'll be on hand with moral, technical and legal support!

There is a £200 application fee to apply to ICB for membership by exemption (ie. without taking any more exams) and then an annual membership fee and Practice Licence fee to pay once you've been granted exemptions. The annual membership fee depends on the level of membership you get and it's between £115 and £170 per year.

If you have completed AAT Level 2 and 3 qualifications within the last 5 years you should be able to join ICB at MICB grade by exemption (ie. without taking any more exams). The annual fee is for this grade is £125 which you pay once you have received your membership invitation letter. 

Similarly there is an application fee for the Practice Licence (£50) followed by an annual fee (£150). So, just to clarify:

Membership by Exemption:

One-off Application fee: £200
Annual Membership Fee: £115-£170

Practice Licence (including AML Supervision):

One-off Application fee: £50
Annual Fee: £150

Benefits of membership 

Professional status and recognition (letters after your name)
Free legal, bookkeeping, VAT and Tax helpline
Local and national networking and CPD events
Resources, webinars, templates and help sheets
Accounting news, emails and updates
Discounts with 100s of retailers including Sainsbury's, Tesco, IKEA, Curry's and Apple (our UK members saved £179,000 in 2018!)
Savings on business utilities and insurance
Periodic savings on software eg. ICB members get 10% off AutoEntry at the moment
The kinship of the world's most engaged bookkeeping community
The support of a global organisation that believes in bookkeepers amnd their power to trasform businesses

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with the ICB team on 0203 405 4000 if you have any other questions.


  • Companion Fellow PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 234 posts
  • # 118055

@alliottuae We are a truly global organisation with students and members in 134 countries so yes, you can join from UAE! We don't have AML supervisory status in all jurisdictions however, and not in UAE, so as UAE-based chartered accountants you will need to follow the guidance of your chartered body and report any suspicious trasactions to the UAE's ‘Anti-Money Laundering and Suspicious Cases Unit' (‘AMLSCU’) 

To start your application for membership, please email 

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