Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Welcome to the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the largest bookkeeping institute in the world. It promotes and maintains the standards of bookkeeping as a profession, through the establishment of a series of relevant qualifications and the award of grades of membership that recognise academic attainment, working experience and competence.

Local Focus - National Accreditation - Global Recognition

In Australia, the ICB provides bookkeepers with the co-operative forum to be the best they can be. It is about bookkeepers: Bookkeepers helping bookkeepers help business.

The ICB aims to bring certainty to the bookkeeping profession and all involved and affected by it. It answers the questions: What does a bookkeeper do? How skilled is this bookkeeper? How do I prove my bookkeeping skills? How do I improve my bookkeeping skills? How do I do bookkeeping better? What are the benefits of being part of a professional organisation for bookkeepers?

Matthew Addison (ICB Australia's Executive Director) states: "The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers brings a certainty to the developing bookkeeping industry. Accountants, businesses and government seem to be looking for a structure to understand bookkeeping and the competence of bookkeepers. ICB will accredit, assist and inform bookkeepers and the community thereby increasing the structure and definition of the industry. ICB is a member based, not for profit, professional association: bookkeepers helping bookkeepers."

Benefits of the Institute of Certified Bookkeeper membership include, but not limited to:

  • International Recognition
  • Professional Letters after your name
  • Network Meetings (no additional cost)
  • Sealed Membership Certificate
  • Access to members only website resources
  • Competence certification
  • Bookkeeper specific resources
  • Bookkeeper telephone support
  • Training and Resource Webinars (no additional cost)
  • Membership Card
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Additionally, for members in practice (Self-employed or Sub-contract):

  • Practising Certificate
  • Relevant specific bookkeeping resources
  • Right to use the Institutes heraldic crest
  • Access to beneficial Professional Indemnity Insurance

How to Become a Member

Full details are provided in "Explaining ICB Membership".

You and the Institute

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers was established to provide professionalism that reflect the needs of business and the aspirations of people wanting to enter the profession. It exists to represent bookkeepers at all levels to government and other relevant bodies and also to promote the professionalism of bookkeepers to business, government and the general public.

Becoming a member of the Institute is like joining a club. You will receive strong on-going support from a team of qualified professionals. You will have access to free technical advice. You will have the opportunity to meet other bookkeepers at network meetings and to update your skills through continuing professional education seminars.

What it Means to be a Certified Bookkeeper

A ““Member” of the ICB (MICB) attains certification by proving that they have performed bookkeeping services at a significant level for a period exceeding 2 years and by doing so they have proven their level of bookkeeping knowledge.

Members will have achieved the Certificate IV in Bookkeeping. This qualification recognises a bookkeeper’s skills and competence formally and more importantly “relevantly” recognised within the education system.

Members in Practice with ICB must be insuredwith a minimum professional indemnity insurance requirement (PII). ICB have sourced a respected insurance company thus enabling its members to have access to respectable PII cover. This covers the member if they do make an error ensuring both them and the client have financial security in place to assist with any consequences of errors.

Client Benefits

Clients of ICB Members benefit by engaging with a bookkeeper who strives to maintain and enhance their professionalism:

  • ICB Provide current guidance on matters affecting the clients business. This can include GST, BAS, payroll or any general matters related to running a small business.
  • ICB members undertake relevant training to update their knowledge as a requirement and ICB provide and monitor that training.
  • ICB members source and refer to up-to-date information on software solutions and banking techniques that assist the bookkeeper in not only being professional, but also using current technology to be as efficient as possible.
  • By networking with other ICB members your bookkeeper has access to their own personal development. This then provides help with troubleshooting any problems that arise.
  • Technical support is provided by ICB registered BAS Agents, registered Tax Agents, qualified and experienced bookkeepers and accountants, providing the next level of assistance to your bookkeeper.
  • Periodic re-assessment of skills and knowledge combined with the related resources ensure your bookkeeper remains competent to perform professional bookkeeping services.
  • The ICB Professional Code of Conduct requires and regulates that your bookkeeper meets the standards expected of a real professional service provider.

Expectations of an ICB Certified Bookkeeper

An ICB Certified Bookkeeper should:

  • Communicate regularly and effectively with the business owner. Problems and different expectations can arise between the the business owner and the bookkeeper when they go about their duties if communication isn’t maintained between both parties. By reporting to the business owner after each visit, both of you have an understanding of where the job is at, the time being taken to process, the expansion of areas requiring attention and what can be expected for the next appointment.
  • Provide the output of the bookkeeping work: such as operational reports or simply proof that the bank reconciles (the type of reports should be agreed between you). This ensures that the business owner sees value for the time being spent.

Status of the Bookkeeping Industry

ICB Australia stands for and is for Bookkeepers - An Information Update

  • The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers: 4,300+ members in Australia.
  • Over 600 members attended one of the face to face exercise based workshps on Terminations held in 5 locations around Australia in addition to the 80+ Members who participated in the online workshop.
  • 650+ members attended our End of Year workshops in addition to the end of year Network meetings held during June.
  • 90 different network meetings held either monthly or bi-monthly throughout Australia including webinars and recorded sessions available anytime providing continual education and networking opportunities. Annual day long members conference in 9 locations each March, providing further education.
  • 12 member newsletters per year that are totally engineered to provide members with bookkeeper need to know, resources, information and development concepts. CPE page constantly providing access to bookkeeper centric training and education.
  • Phone and email support for bookkeepers.
  • Annual Members guide for best contemporary resource and guidance.
  • Definitive Guide manuals for BAS Agents, Code of Conduct, Best Practice.
  • 3,000 webpages of resources that have been written for bookkeepers.
  • Launched in 2006, now with an employed team of 20 people as well as 85 network facilitators.
  • Practical and informative website constantly refreshed.
  • Podcasts, webinars, business program.
  • Bookkeepers helping Bookkeepers helping Business.

ICB Is Involved In:

  • Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) as a Recognised Professional Association
  • Membership of the Australian Tax Office BAS Agents Advisory Group (BASAAG)
  • Membership of the Australian Treasury SBR Business Advisory Forum (SBR BAF)
  • Constant consultation with relevant software companies providing bookkeeping solutions
  • Includes providing submissions, comment and support to the software companies from a bookkeepers perspective
  • Interaction with the ATO on areas effecting or impacting on BAS Agents, Bookkeepers and business
  • Submissions to government on issues effecting bookkeeping and business process
  • Involvement in the formation, drafting and implementation of the Legislation around BAS Agents, GST, PAYG Withholding and related business processing areas
  • Small Business departments of state government
  • Ongoing increase of the exposure of the business community, government, education bodies, employers, recruitment agents to the ICB and the credibility and professionalism of our members
  • ICB is a Registered Tax Agent and a Registered BAS Agent
  • Skills for Australia who are skills service organisation looking after the education requirements for the Financial Services sector

Submit matters you wish to raise with our respective consultations with government here.

When others make claims please evaluate carefully. What association actually provides you with tools and information that mean you can do your work more effectively?