Practical vocational qualifications that lead to ICB membership and professional status

2019 Syllabus Update

To reflect the rise in digital bookkeeping and the evolving role of the bookkeeper, ICB qualifications have undergone a full review and update. The 2019 syllabuses for the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts have been introduced with effect from 1st January. The 2019 Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounts syllabus is set to be launched in April.

Exams for the new syllabus are available now. Exams for the pre-2019 syllabus remain available and can be completed up until 31st December 2019, at which point they will be withdrawn. If you are on the pre-2019 syllabus, and do not complete all your exams in this time, you can transfer to the 2019 syllabus with ease. Please speak to your training provider or ICB to discuss transferring.

By clicking on the qualification titles below you can open up further details and download the detailed syllabus which maps the Level 2 and 3 content updates.

You can take assessments as soon as you register as a student. To achieve ICB qualifications you need to complete the exams in numerical order and can combine the 2019 and pre-2019 syllabus.

For more information on the syllabus changes please click here

Core Qualifications

Title

Code

Type

Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping

Occupational Role: Assistant Bookkeeper

Gain a full understanding of the concepts of double entry bookkeeping and its place in modern business. You'll learn how to enter transactions, produce an initial trial balance, identify and correct errors, and reconcile sales & purchases ledger balances.

Entry requirements

You must register as an ICB Student, but there are no formal entry requirements and you don't need any bookkeeping knowledge to begin

Duration

120 guided learning hours

or

6 -18 months depending on your study method and other commitments

What's involved 

There are three units with an exam at the end of each one: 

A1 Basic Double-Entry Bookkeeping to Trial Balance
A2 Further Double-Entry Bookkeeping to Trial Balance
A3 Data Entry to Trial Balance using Software

Exams

  • Three 2-hour online exams
  • Can be taken at home, or your office, at any time throughout the year
  • The exams must be taken in order, and within 2 years of each other


Cost

Student Membership: £55 annual subscription + £25 one-off registration fee
Exams: £55 per exam attempt  
Training: Various depending on your chosen training provider. Please view our list of Accredited Training Providers
Textbooks: from £35 per unit for studying independently without a training provider
Software: You will need to use a commercial accounting software to complete the A3 exam. If you do not already have appropriate software, the cost may be included as part of your training course, or you may be able to use a free trial version

 Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping syllabus

A1
A2
A3
3 x online exams
Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts

Occupational Role: Self-Employed Bookkeeper/Employed Bookkeeper

Learn how to produce a VAT Return, control the sales and purchases ledgers, post year-end adjustments and produce the final accounts for sole traders, partnerships, not-for-profit organisations and Limited Companies. You'll understand the basics of the various accounting standards (IFRS and UKGAAP).

Entry requirements

You can begin this certificate when you have achieved the ICB Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping or its equivalent with another awarding body.

You will need current ICB membership or

current student registration and have completed your most recent examination within the last two years.

Duration

180 guided learning hours

or

9 - 24 months depending on your study method and other commitments

What's involved 

There are four units each with an exam at the end, followed by one final synoptic exam.

M4 Reconciliations and Final Accounts of a Sole Trader
M5 Final Accounts for a Partnership
M6 Final Accounts for a Not-for-Profit Organisation
M7 Final Accounts for Incorporated Businesses
M8 Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts Synoptic Exam

Exams

  • Four 3-hour online exams; can be taken at home or your place of work
  • One 2-hour synoptic exam; must be taken at an ICB exam centre 
  • Exams must be taken in order and within two years of each other
  • Exams are available at any time of year


Cost

Student Registration or Membership: from £55 annually 
Exams: £55 per exam attempt  
Training: Various depending on your chosen training provider. Please view our list of Accredited Training Providers
Textbooks: from £35 per unit for studying independently without a training provider

 Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts syllabus

M4
M5
M6
M7
M8
4 x online exams
1 x centre-based exam


Add-on Qualifications

You can choose from our suite of supplementary qualifications that run alongside the core bookkeeping qualifications.  Although these are not usually membership correlative you may need to pass other qualifications before you can attempt them.  

Title

Code

Type

Level 3 Diploma in Payroll Management

This qualification covers the theoretical knowledge and demonstration of the use of various tables and publications issued by HMRC and the demonstration of how to carry out computerised handling of payroll related matters.

Entry-Requirements

No prior bookkeeping knowledge or qualifications are required but candidates must have basic numeracy skills.

Candidates must:

hold valid student registration or ICB membership

Assessment Type

1 home-based, timed, online assessment. Time allowed for completion: 24 hours. 

Availability

Immediate in every week of the year

 Level III Diploma in Payroll Management Syllabus

P3 1 x online assessment
Level 3 Diploma in Self Assessment Tax

This qualification comprises both Personal and Business Taxation and relates to preparing tax computations and returns for businesses (sole trader) and individuals.

Entry-Requirements

Candidates must achieve (or gain exemptions from) the following ICB qualifications before applying:

Level II Certificate in Bookkeeping 
Level III Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts

Candidates must:

hold valid ICB membership or
hold valid student registration and have completed their most recent assessment within the last two years

Assessment Type

1 home-based, timed, online assessment.  Time allowed for completion: 48 hours. 

Availability

Immediate in every week of the year

Level III Diploma in Self Assessment Tax Returns

SAT3 1 x online assessment
Level 3 Diploma in Costing and Budgeting

This qualification is aimed at those who have completed at least the Level III Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts and who wish to understand in more detail the how a business needs to carefully analyse its costs and income, plus being able to produce budgets.

This Diploma will also lead quite smoothly into the Management Accounting Unit at Level IV which deals with similar topics but at a much more detailed level, and which is aimed at larger businesses which might require cost and budgeting information in more complex format. From 1 January 2017 this Level III Diploma will be a compulsory pre-requisite those wishing to take the Level IV Management Accounting module.

Entry-Requirements

Candidates must achieve (or gain exemptions from) the following ICB qualifications before applying:

Level II Certificate in Bookkeeping 
Level III Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts

Candidates must:

hold valid ICB membership or
hold valid student registration and have completed their most recent assessment within the last two years

Assessment Type

1 home-based, timed, online assessment. Time allowed for completion: 24 hours. 

Availability

Immediate in every week of the year

 Level III Diploma in Costing and Budgeting

L3CB 1 x online assessment


Advanced Qualifications

Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounting
An update to this qualification will be available in April 2019

Having completed all the qualifications up to this point you can start ICB's highest level qualification. Choose between these Level 4 units or complete all three units to be awarded the full Diploma.

There are currently three modules available, with the 2019 syllabus update being released in April.

Title

Code

Type

Level 4 Certificate in Preparing and Submitting Final Accounts for a micro-entity under FRS105

This unit comprises 

Preparing and submitting final accounts for a micro-entity under FRS105 

Preparing taxation calculations 

Preparing capital gains tax calculations

Calculating and interpreting ratios 

Entry-Requirements

Candidates must achieve (or gain exemption from) the following ICB qualifications before applying:

Level II Certificate in Bookkeeping 
Level III Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts
Level IV Certificate in Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounts

Candidates must also:

hold valid ICB membership or
hold valid student registration and have completed their most recent examination within the last two years

Assessment Type

Timed online test at home

Availability

Immediate in every week of the year

Syllabus

FR105 1 x online assessment
Level 4 Certificate in Drafting Financial Statements

This unit comprises

Draft Limited Company Financial Statements
Interpret Limited Company Financial Statements

Entry-Requirements

Candidates must achieve (or gain exemption from) the following ICB qualifications before applying:

Level II Certificate in Bookkeeping 
Level III Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts
Level IV Certificate in Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounts

Candidates must also:

hold valid ICB membership or
hold valid student registration and have completed their most recent examination within the last two years

Assessment Type

Timed online test at home

Availability

Immediate in every week of the year

Syllabus

L4DFS 1 x online assessment
Level 4 Certificate in Management Accounting

This unit comprises

Monitor Financial Performance

Collecting information about costs from both internal and external sources
Monitoring performance and making recommendations to enhance value
Preparing and presenting periodic performance reports

Draft Budgets

Preparing forecasts of income and expenditure
Preparing draft budget proposals

Entry-Requirements

Candidates must achieve (or gain exemption from) the following ICB qualifications before applying: 

Level II Certificate in Bookkeeping 
Level III Certificate in Bookkeeping and Accounts
Level IV Certificate in Advanced Bookkeeping and Accounts

Candidates must also:

hold valid ICB membership or
hold valid student registration and have completed their most recent examination within the last two years

Assessment Type

Timed online test at home

Availability

Immediate in every week of the year

Syllabus

L4MA 1 x online assessment
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