Bookkeeping Courses Through Distance Learning

The ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) delivers the following bookkeeping courses by means of distance learning, in their Financial Accounting Programme:
  • National Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF Level 3)
  • FET Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF level 4)
  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting (NQF level 5)
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting (NQF level 6)
With the ICB you can begin at a college level below Matric, and work your way up to two levels higher than matric (NQF 6 level). You can study all these courses by means of ICB certified distance learning organizations:

How does distance learning work with ICB bookkeeping courses?

To understand how you can study ICB bookkeeping courses through distance learning, you should make yourself familiar with the following elements:
  • How does Home Study Work?
  • Can I study ICB Bookkeeping if I do not have a Matric Certificate?
  • ICB Bookkeeping Courses via Distance Learning.
  • National Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF Level 3) – Foundation Level.
  • FET Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF level 4) – Intermediate Level.
  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting (NQF level 5) – Upper Intermediate Level.
  • National Diploma: Financial Accounting (NQF level 6) – Advanced Level.
  • ICB Correspondence Colleges – Accreditation.
  • ICB Learner Portal.
  • ICB Bookkeeping Courses Fees.
  • ICB Registration.
  • ICB Exams.
  • The Difference when comparing Bookkeeping and Accounting Courses.
  • Why Study Bookkeeping?
  • Study Further after finishing your Course.
  • The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants (ICBA)
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How does Home Study Work?

Distance Learning, Correspondence Learning and Part-Time Studies are all the exact same kind of thing. They all refer to a college whose students study from home. That means the students can work during the day, and after that study nights and weekends. Distance Learning is the best choice for working people who have to make a living, but who want to further their studies. When you select a home study college, you have to take note of a number of things that make them unique. Home study colleges do not all work the same. So here are the essential things you need to consider, prior to choosing where to study:
  • Study Materials, Study Notes and Textbooks
  • Delivery and Speed
  • Hidden Costs
  • Study Material Appropriate for Home Study Students
  • Pacing Your Learning
  • Help from your Lecturers and Tutors
  • Online Study Groups
  • Academic Support
  • Outdated Study Materials
  • Enough Time To Finish Your Course
  • The Right Advice

Study Materials, Study Notes and Textbooks

Your study notes and books are essential to your distance learning studies. You need to ensure that the study notes and books you will need, are included in your course charges. You must get the right books and appropriate distance learning study materials. No, the college will not give you pens and paper. That you generally need to buy on yourself. But they ought to provide the appropriate study materials for you as a distance learner. Your study notes, textbooks and assignments should all be included in your course charges. Excellent study material is compiled in an easy-to-understand approach. The study notes are made up of bits that are small enough, so that you can focus on one area in your everyday study time. The material starts from the basic principles, to make sure you understand the essentials. This is done so before proceeding to more complex work.

Shipment and Speed

A few of the older correspondence and distance learning colleges may still send your study material via the Post Office. This can likely delay your studies. So make sure to ask if they always courier your study materials. You will discover that some correspondence colleges courier your first and 2nd bundle of distance learning study materials, yet later they send the rest by means of the Post Office. So you must ask really extensively about how ALL your study materials will be sent to you. If your college holds up your study materials, it means you are still paying, but unfortunately you can not study. If you decide to enroll as a distance learner, you should get value for your money from your college. From your side you have to understand how the courier business works. They usually require an address where they can hand over your package. It will have to be an address where there is always someone to sign for the package. This is why most students prefer to have their distance learning study materials couriered to their work. The courier company will call you prior to sending your package. So you should make sure to provide them a telephone number that you will respond to when they call.

Hidden Costs

With part time study there many potentially concealed costs. So you need to inquire about them. Here are a few important questions you have to ask:
  • Are all your study materials (including books) included in your course costs?
  • Is the courier costs included in your course charges?
  • How and when must you pay your assessment charges? Generally this is not contained in course expenses.
  • What about ICB Student Membership charges? What does it cost? What is this? When must you pay it?
  • Ask about bursaries that are cancelled when you miss out on a payment. Did you get a bursary? Does it get cancelled if you miss a regular month-to-month payment?
  • Is there an annual registration cost? Or do you only pay the registration cost once-off?

Study materials Appropriate for Home Study Students

Excellent distance learning material is compiled for the home study learner in mind. Considering that you do not have a speaker in front of you, the distance learning study materials should “have the tutor inside the notes”. Your distance learning study materials ought to be filled with examples and exercises. So you study a bit at a time. And you do tasks to see if you understood the bit you discovered. The study material we use has been written for correspondence learning students in mind. So you will find it extremely friendly and easy to use!

Pacing Your Learning

When you study from home, you should plan your learning. You should think of how much you will study every day and weekly. However do make sure to spend some time to unwind and recharge your batteries. When we send you your study notes and books, we usually send one subject at a time. For students who wish to study faster, we send out two subjects. The ICB books are edited every year and if you have an old textbook, you will have to pay extra to purchase the brand-new one. We help you speed up your distance learning studies by drawing up a study calendar for the year. The ICB offers five exam sessions for distance learning students in 2017. So as soon as you have completed a subject. You can register for the next available exam. In this way you can move through your studies as quickly as you desire.

Assistance from your Lecturers and Tutors

The college has a team of qualified lecturer and tutors to help you. You can phone or email your questions. However lots of students make use of our online study groups. Your tutors work with us because they enjoy helping students. If you ask them, they will inform you of their own study experiences through distance learning. They have all worked and studied at the same time. The majority of them are currently busy with post-graduate distance learning studies. So you will get assistance from tutors who understand what it feels like to be a home study student!

Online Study Groups

We supply online study groups for all our ICB students, through our partners at TogetherWePass. In your online study group you will find other students, in addition to your tutors and speakers. The online study groups also work on the web browser on your phone, so you can check-in with your group when you take a break in your work day! In your online study group you can ask questions, share your experiences and help other students. Discussing the work you study to another student is one of the best ways in which to validate your understanding of the work. It is a great way to learn, and to make a great contribution to the lives of your fellow students. If you want to talk personally with your lecturer or even another student, then you can select the personal chat function. You will discover that your speaker and your fellow students help and influence you every day! It is a lot simpler to study when you know other students are also working to get their qualifications.

Academic Support

Our college support group includes your lecturers and tutors. Our college administration personnel will help you to sort out all your administrative requirements. Whether you require a letter for your company; a statement of results, or want to more study material sent to you, the academic support staff will help you. If you require greater level intervention with a problem, you will be able to speak with the Academic Head of the college. She is friendly and helpful, and she gets things done!

Obsolete Study Materials

You have to plan your studies carefully, so that you do not sit with outdated study materials before you have written a test. The smart thing to do, is to learn at least one or two subjects for a test. Make sure you get your study materials, and work to pass the test. Keep in mind that study materials are regularly updated. You have to know if you are able write an exam in 3 or 4 months time when you get your study materials and textbooks for your next subject. If you realize that you have time to study, and you need an additional subject, you can order it from us. We always aim to deliver quality service to our students, so for a lot of students residing in cities and towns, you will not wait more than a week. If you stay in an isolated location, it takes a bit longer … however not weeks!

Enough Time To Finish Your Course

Some students worry that they will not have sufficient time to finish their course. Do not stress! If you need to study a bit slower, then you can get a course extension. You will then have more time to study and complete your course. We will assist you in planning your studies, so you can finish bit by bit. If you need a course extension, you wont be charged for re-registration. Normally you simply continue paying your usual month-to-month study costs for the extra time you need. When you see that you will not have enough time to complete your course, get in touch with the college and ask for an extension. We will gladly assist you with this.

The Right Advice

When you sign up for a course, you should make sure you have the correct information with regard to your studies and career choice. You can not make a life choice as important as this by searching the internet and emailing some questions. You have to spend sufficient time talking to a qualified course specialist who can help you. We always want potential students to call us and so we can help them with their queries.Our course experts and registrars are friendly and enjoy helping students. They will ask you about your concerns and what you wish to study and what you need your distance learning studies for. In this way they ensure that you register for a course that will provide you exactly with what you looking for.

ICB Bookkeeping Courses by means of Distance Learning

The ICB accounting programme is made up of four different levels. Inside each level can be several courses.
  • Foundation Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Upper Intermediate Level
  • Advanced Level
As you finish each level, you will get approved by the ICB. You will get an ICB Certificate. As you finish the different courses inside the levels, you will get recognition from FASSET in a formal qualification from FASSET.

Foundation Level

National Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF Level 3) – Foundation Level.

The foundation level is the starting point for many students. If you did not do well at school, stopped matric or have not studied for many years, the foundation level helps you to bridge the gap and return to studying. Academically the level is rated as NQF 3. That is a level below matric. Students with Grade 10 (Standard 8) will be able to manage the level of academic work. You do not need any previous knowledge of accounting if you start at this level. You only need to be a minimum of 16 years of age to be accepted into the program. To finish this level you must pass four courses. The recommended time to complete it is 12 months. However it is common for students to take up to 18 months.

Intermediate Level

FET Certificate: Bookkeeping (NQF level 4) – Intermediate Level.

The intermediate level are for students who have successfully completed the foundation level. It is your 2nd step on the ladder towards becoming a Financial Accountant. To progress to this level, you should have passed the foundation level. That implies you must already have your National Certificate: Bookkeeping to enter this level. To complete this level you have to pass two subjects. Many students complete this level in 6 months. Correspondence learning students are able to complete this level in 9 months if they so wish.

Upper Intermediate Level

National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting (NQF level 5) – Upper Intermediate Level.

At this level you move from Bookkeeper to Accountant. If your dream is to be an accountant, then this level can get you there! To enter this level you are required to have passed the Intermediate level. That implies you need to have your FET Certificate: Bookkeeping to gain entry to the Upper Intermediate Level. To finish this level you have to pass 2 subjects. The recommended time of study is 6 months. Home Study students can take up to 9 months to complete this level.

Advanced Level

National Diploma: Financial Accounting (NQF level 6) – Advanced Level.

This is the highest level in ICB studies. Here you will get your National Diploma: Financial Accounting (NQF Level 6). To enter this level you need to have passed all the other previous levels. That implies that you need to be in possession of a National Diploma in Technical Financial Accounting. To pass this level you need to successfully complete 4 subjects. Students typically take around 12 months to finish this level. Distance learning students can take a bit longer.

ICB Learner Portal

The ICB has a student website for home study students. Through the ICB student portal you can access a variety of self-service functions. You can also ask your college to access these functions in your area if you do not have internet access to, or if you have a tough time using the portal. A few of the things you can do by means of the learner portal are:
  • View and edit your individual and contact information
  • Order a reprint of a certificate you achieved
  • Pay your ICB charges (Credit Card)
  • Register for Exams
  • See your Exam Results

ICB Bookkeeping Courses Fees

There are a number of different costs that you must prepare for, if you are going to study an ICB course. Here are some of the costs you have to take note of and plan for:
  • Study fees with your distance learning college.
  • Book charges: some colleges will include this in your course charges.
  • Courier costs: Skills Academy includes this in your course charges.
  • Exam charges: usually you pay this straight to the ICB, so it is not considered part of your course fees.
  • ICBA Student Membership charges: these fees are normally not included in your course costs.
  • ICB Student Registration costs: this is a yearly fee that is generally not included in your course charges.

ICB Registration

When you choose to study for an ICB certification, you must take note of a number of things that are all part of your ICB Registration, of which include:
  • Yearly ICB Student Registration.
  • Registration with a home study college.
  • ICB Exam Registration.

ICB Exams

The ICB provides five exam sessions to home study students in 2017. You should ensure you understand the exam costs and sign up for it, three months prior so you can prepare. If you have not registered for an exam, you can not show up at the exam center and expect a paper and seat for you.

Why Study Bookkeeping?

In South Africa bookkeeping and accounting are scarce skills. Both market and government recognise that we have a scarcity of accountants and accounting professionals. The government body for qualifications in the financial sector, FASSET, has done a study on scarce skills in 2015. From that study they released their Scarce Skills Guide 2015. FASSET is the SETA for Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Services. In their scarce skills report they identified the following as scarce skills:
  • Student Accountant
  • Financing Manager
  • General Accountant
  • Accounts Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Financial obligation Collector
These are all positions for which an ICB bookkeeping course will prepare you for. Your bookkeeping accreditation will ensure that you are constantly in demand. It is a wonderful career that can take you to the highest level in an organisation. The scarcity of bookkeeping skills likewise affects federal government departments. All federal government departments have accounting and bookkeeping divisions and they work every year to get a successful audit. To get a tidy audit implies that they need experienced, licensed, committed and experienced bookkeeping and accounting personnel and supervisors. As a certified bookkeeper or accountant, you will constantly stay in need. Either in private service, or in a federal government department, which can include both municipalities, along with larger national federal government departments. Spirit of the Champion Last Updated: February 9th, 2017