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.