The Bookkeepers.Network (BKN)

Post Info TOPIC: Advise


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:
Advise


Hello everyone, smile

I'm new to the forum, and could do with a bit of advice.

I worked in sales ledger, purchase ledger and credit control (part qualified ICM) for 10+ years then took a step back when I had my children. They are growing up fast and I am looking at taking the book keeping route as a free lancer (this would suit me both in the short term and long term). As I am sure many of you Mums out there will appreciate having children and being away from the accounting environment takes its toll. Not to mention a 6 month dose of chemo has left my brain and self confidence a little crushed, long with only getting a foundation entry level on the AAT skills test! Anyway I am looking at studying with the ICB, doing level 2&3 with a possibility of doing level 4 afterwards. I have been reading many different post from different forums and now really not sure if this is the best route for me. I have looked at the IAB as well as the AAT. I'm not looking to become an accountant now or at any point in the future, It doesn't float my boat. So before I hand over my hard earned cash to a distance learning college what advice can you give?



__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Hello Rachel
Welcome to the forum, or the madhouse as I often call it.

Sorry to hear you have been unwell and hope you are fully fighting fit again now.

I would say what qualification you take would depend on what else is your ultimate goal ie bookkeeping in the traditional sense and working up to Trial Balance, or beyond that and doing tax returns. If the latter I would suggest the AAT. But as an either/or starter you might look at the new qualification that the AAT have brought out for bookkeepers www.aat.org.uk/aat-qualifications-and-courses/achieve-professional-status/aat-bookkeeper-aatqb-status as this means you can work and get a practice licence through them much sooner than taking the full qualification. The reason I point you towards the AAT is that if you are looking to work with accountants in any way (might be for them in their offices, or indeed just to get work passed your way) the majority generally look for the AAT qualification.

Certainly to get your confidence back after having tried the AAT skills test (which a few on here seem to have struggled with, so dont be dis-heartened) - you might want to try a couple of other things before you set up on your own or delve further.... the ACCA do a completely free bookkeeping course ACCA-X. You can do the course without even having to sign up - the only time you would need to sign up is to do exams (and I would not do that in your case if you dont want to take their accounting qualification, as it will absolutely restrict you to working up to TB, under their Regulation 8 - mentioned on here a few times if you have a gander round!) or have a look at a couple of books that Shaun, our Moderator, tells everyone about that you can purchase cheap as chips from Amazon, usually for pennies plus postage. Although I may have to gag him soon as Amazon will be running out! They are the AAT - 1-4 Foundation: Units 1-4: Course Companion and Revision Companion.

If you want a steer as to which distance learning college to go with - give us a shout as we have a few bods on here who can speak from experience and we also have one or two on here who have won awards (see the awards page). Steer clear from HLC - I hear NOTHING but bad things.

One thing that you might not be aware of, depending how long you have been out of the game, is the need to register for MLR (Money Laundering) as soon as you start trading/before you get your first client. If you havent got a practice certificate via ICB/AAT/whoever you can sort this yourself via HMRC. Also - dont forget to get PII cover.

Anything else - shout out and hope we can help.

Good luck whatever you decide and keep us updated.



__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Thank you so much for your advise.

I have been all clear for nearly 5 years now, not an easy 5 years but I'm still here which is always a bonus! lol

Its funny you should mention HLC, I did contact them and found them to be rather pushy. I spoke to them on Monday and they made an appointment to talk to me today!! no When I turned them down they tied to sell me other courses. So I'm not a fan either. I was looking at E-Careers for the ICB. If anyone has done any training through them can you let me know what your experience has been like.

I was drawn to the ICB because I could have my own practise on completion of level 3, and go on to do incorporated companies at level 4 if I wanted to. It seems the AAT book keeping would be more restricted (please correct me if I'm wrong as I may have misread it, I've read so much its becoming a jumble!!) I'm relieved to hear that I'm not the only one to have struggled with the AAT Skills test, I was truly mortified. I'm going to have a look at the AAT Book keeping course in more detail and also have a gander at the free ACCA course. Amazon is a dirty word in our house so will resort to other online retailers to source the books if need be.

Thanks for the heads up on the MLR.

Thank you for the sound advice.smile

 

 

 

 



__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 2611
Date:

Hi Rachel, welcome to the forum.

 



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Just to give you a bit of an update, I spent most of my evening yesterday looking at AAT bookkeeping, they have introduced a professional bookkeeping qualification. I'm now thinking of taking this route as apposed to the ICM. Today I have spoken to 2 distance learning colleges and the AAT, its all looking very promising. I have managed to regain a bit of confidence after the AAT Skills test saga. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be signing up and becoming a student again!! Thank you again for the advise it has been much appreciated.smile



__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

MrsRC wrote:

Just to give you a bit of an update, I spent most of my evening yesterday looking at AAT bookkeeping, they have introduced a professional bookkeeping qualification (ah yes the AATQB I mentioned - I think its a good one to have) I'm now thinking of taking this route as apposed to the ICM. Today I have spoken to 2 distance learning colleges who are you looking at?  and the AAT, its all looking very promising. I have managed to regain a bit of confidence after the AAT Skills test saga. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be signing up and becoming a student again!! Ive noticed some offers on at the mo  - if you sign up before end of Sep (eg First Intuition for the AQA 2016 course (not sure about the rest).  Thank you again for the advise it has been much appreciated.smile


 



__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11567
Date:

Hi Rachel,

Another vote here for AAT.

The ICB is geared towards getting you into practice as quickly as possible which explains why so many ICB people are on here asking questions which its generally AAT people and up that answer. Thats not true in all instances and there are some excellent ICB people but they tend to be those who love the subject matter and go well beyond the study requirements, not those who think that its the fastest, cheapest route to practice.

If you are thinking that the AAT bookkeping qualification is too restrictive then you are not really looking at bookkeeping but accountancy (bookkeeping ends at trial balance). Although Joanne covered the new Bookkeeping qualification from the AAT I think that was more down to you saying that you were not interested in accountancy so that was thrown in there as a bookkeeping qualification.

Most people here study that actuall AAT qualification through to level IV which will set you up properly as a bookkeeper as nowdays micro businesses tend to look at bookkeepers as a one stop shop going all the way through to accounts and filing so one could argue that a bookkeeper is now simply an accountant defined by the size of business that they look after.

There are still genuine bookkeeping roles out there but they don't tend to be for the smallest businesses and when you first start the smallest businesses will be your key target market.

If you join up to do the ACCA-X you are restricted by ACCA regulation 8 to bookkeeping services, not accountancy unless you go on to gain an ACCA practice certificate (which takes a loooooong time). Its an excellent qualification to learn the basics for free (ish, you still have to pay for exams) before you move on to studying AAT possibly being able to skip level II and start at level III so that would save you a few bob.

One other thing to consider is that a lot of your business will come from accountants and accountants will either recognise you by your local reputation or your qualification and where AAT is general recognised by accountants I have found very few who have heard of the ICB or IAB.

On the MLR comment what Joanne didn't say was that to practice without MLR cover carries a two year jail sentence and unlimited fine (they bundled it in with anti terrorism legislation which is why its so severe).

hope that helps and welcome to the forum, looking forwards to hearing how you progress in your studies,

Shaun.

p.s. Just as a side note, sorry to pick up on this and no insult intended but you need to get away from the mentality behind your comment in your first post about Moms as its equally as applicable to men so it does women a bit of a disservice to make out that they are in any way disadvantaged due to children.

__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11567
Date:

Tut, when I started writing that reply there were two less replies in this thread... You all wait for me to start typing before you have a chat and then log off before I get to read what you've said. lol.

__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11567
Date:

Remember that there's a 24+ loan available for the full AAT course.

see here : www.aat.org.uk/aat-qualifications-and-courses/aat-qualifications/qualification-information/funding-options

__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Hi Shaun,

Thank you for the sound advise. At present I'm not looking at taking it any further than bookkeeping, however with the AAT I have the option to further my studies if I wish too, which is a win win I'd say.

I have not read much yet about the MLR but WOW that's an impressive jail term. I don't think I'm hard enough to do prison time and orange is not my colour so will be extra careful LOL

Cheers mateysmile



__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Shamus wrote:

Remember that there's a 24+ loan available for the full AAT course.

see here : www.aat.org.uk/aat-qualifications-and-courses/aat-qualifications/qualification-information/funding-options


 Oh if you want to use this, be quick as I've heard that it's either disappearing altogether or less training companies are offering it. But it's unsubstantiated info at present.....so worth a dig about.

soz for any typos, back on my ipad with no blinkin glasses. What was it about those £1 specs?? I need to buy a few!!



__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

I'm currently looking at ICount distance learning. Spoke with a really nice chap this afternoon who was very helpful. Not the pushiness of HLC!! I have also been in contact with DLC, again very helpful lady there but a bit more pricey for the same level of support. If anyone has had any experience with either of these colleges or can champion any of the other approved training providers I am happy to take note.

Onwards and upwardssmile



__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Shamus wrote:

Tut, when I started writing that reply there were two less replies in this thread... You all wait for me to start typing before you have a chat and then log off before I get to read what you've said. lol.


 Good everrrning Shaun

clearly having another kip on the sofa hey?!!! 

 



__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

lol



__________________



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

MrsRC wrote:

 say.

I have not read much yet about the MLR but WOW that's an impressive jail term. I don't think I'm hard enough to do prison time and orange is not my colour so will be extra careful LOL

Cheers mateysmile


 Lol.  

They also threaten to take take your children too, but sometimes that's not a bad thing! wink



__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

MrsRC wrote:

I'm currently looking at ICount distance learning. Spoke with a really nice chap this afternoon who was very helpful. Not the pushiness of HLC!! I have also been in contact with DLC, again very helpful lady there but a bit more pricey for the same level of support. If anyone has had any experience with either of these colleges or can champion any of the other approved training providers I am happy to take note.

Onwards and upwardssmile


Hi

Ive not heard of any of them mentioned before, on here or other forums.  

Personally I would look at First Intuition (one of their trainers posts on here and both have own awards) and Kaplan.  Premier have own awards on here too, but I've not had first hand experience with them, although I did hear just today that they only provide one mock in their modules, whereas First and Kaplan supply two, so might be worth asking those sorts of questions of the two you mention. 

Edited to correct typos



-- Edited by Cheshire on Wednesday 7th of September 2016 11:30:07 PM

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

DLC I did a course with many years ago, but nothing recently. ICount I have never heard of but I got their details off the approved training provider list on the AAT website. of the two I am leaning towards ICount but will have a look at others too. smile



__________________


Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 1944
Date:

Shaun, your just slow at typing!!!! You have more than just 2 fingers!!

Best qualification I ever got was Typing in my early 20's, my youngest thinks I am a show off as I can turn round to him and have a conversation and still carry on typing my email without looking at the keyboard!

__________________

Amanda



Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11567
Date:

I'm more advanced now. I use a thumb for the space bar! lol.

My boys PC is set up at a desk behind mine and his typing speed (with all of his fingers) put me to shame... Plus the little sod without being trained doesn't even have the decency to look at the keyboard whilst he's doing it and like you simultaneously talking to his mates through his headphones!

I'm now feeling like a dinosaur cry



__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 2611
Date:

I used to be able to touch type, albeit about 16 words a minute.  I can now do about 25 words a minute but I have to look at the keys .  Just tried touch typing now, but I've forgotten how to. My excuse is it was nearly 40 years ago. 



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 1944
Date:

I used to be about 80 words a minute about 20 years ago, but because its mainly the number pad I use I am slower now, so its about 35 per minute on a good day. I can do the numbers on the right hand side or across the top of the keyboard as well without looking!

Years ago in one of my jobs, the people that could type the fastest always got offered the overtime at the end of the day, as the overtime was job and finish, so they didn't want to pay for slow coaches, so I was always offered it along with a couple of other people that were even quicker than me! My overtime bought our first dishwasher as the hubby was fed up with washing up so late in the evening.

They say if you can play the piano you should be able to type fast... well I played the piano when I was young.


__________________

Amanda



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Touch typing is not something I'm very good at, but I can manage about 25 words a minute biggrin with a bit of peaking.

 



Attachments
__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Having a bit of a crisis with which course to take. I think I can rule out the ICB as it is not recognised. I was looking into the AAT bookkeeping but apparently I need 6 months of work experience before I can apply for my licence. The whole point of me taking this career path was so I could go freelance, so now I am at a lose. I'm not currently employed in an accounts position, and the 12+ years experience I had before having children is null and void!blankstare

I have read so much and looked at so many different providers I can't see the wood for the trees! please can anyone help.

Feeling confused, lost and frustrated.no



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

6 months work experience, liability insurance, MLR, annual membership fees....... may be this is not for me no 

Will have a chat with the finance manager at work, see what he says.

Confidence crashing moment.

Might just go back to being a crafter, and spend my time faffing with fabrics, and just accept that I will be stuck working part time doing basic admin and answering telephones. disbelief 

Thank you all for your time and support.



__________________


Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11567
Date:

I know how you feel Rachel, try 15 exams and six years work experience requirement! Also you missed out software costs, continued professional development, etc.

Some time ago we had a nice lady on here who was attempting to improve her lot by moving from office cleaning to bookkeeping. After a while she posted saying that she was going back to cleaning as you got more respect, was paid on time for the hours that she did, and didn't have any of the overheads or client stress.

I can see her point in that business owners want to have their offices cleaned but feel that they have to hire a bookkeeper / accountant. And even though we generally save them more money than we cost (in both money and time) it's invisible to them so they just don't realise it.

Whenever you are looking at business opportunities you need to consider it from the perspective of Michael Porters five forces analysis. That is, How easy is it for others to enter the market, Can your offering be replaced by alternate products, What power over your ability to work do customers and suppliers have and is it a saturated market already with infighting amongst the incumbants.... Bookkeeping fails on pretty much everything making it one of those businesses where the primary profitability is in those who support it (training companies, professsional bodies and software providers).

Think of the 1870's gold rush in the USA. The only one's who made any real money from it were those selling the picks and shovels, not the one's digging for gold. So it is with bookkeeping in that there is more money in teaching it than there is in doing it.

There will always be some who succeed and those one's tend to be the one's who if you lop their heads off they have finance professional written all the way through them like a stick of blackpool rock and think more about the work than the money as if you love what you do then the money tends to follow but if you do it for the money then it seldom does.

The moral that I'm trying to get to is before making your decision decide how you feel about the profession. Are you entering it in the hope of more money or because you love the work. If the former then you really need to think long and hard about whether this is really the career for you as for every Joanne or Amanda out there, there are a lot of bookkeepers who have spent a lot on training and are sitting there with no clients.

If you genuinely love the subject matter (despite the clients!) then you are one of those that it would be a tragedy to lose from the profession.

Don't make a hasty decision but think long and hard about what drives you and what your strengths are. You may find it useful to try putting together a business plan including SWOT and five forces analysis as well as cashflows and prospective financial statements for the next five years.... If that whole last sentence left you cold rather than excited then therein lies your answer.

Good luck with whatever you decide Rachel,

kindest regards,

Shaun.

__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Hi Rachel
All good things come to those who persevere. I know - thats not strictly the saying, but if you give up at the first hurdle you will never get there.

You wont need MLR and PII until you have got some exams under your belt (UNLESS of course you are going to start dealing with clients before you have completed the training). If you can rattle through those books we suggested and/or the ACCA-x course for nothing, then start the AAT at level three then you only have 5 modules to do and given your background should be bale to rattle through at least a couple of them fairly quickly. You could do the whole training in a few months, dependent on will and time. THEN - if you have a finance manager you are working with then surely you could arrange for them to provide some kind of sign off for you?

How far have you got with the training we suggested? Surely that would give you a steer as much as Shaun's comments on the businessplan idea, as to whether or not this game is for you or not.

Have to say Im sure a fair few of us have had a crisis of confidence or some such over the years, but get stuck in and that feeling goes away. I wont pretend this is an easy career, in fact being self employed is nowhere near as easy as people think, but it can be very rewarding.

Keep at it!

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 1
Date:

Hi Rachel,

My advice to you would be not to discount the ICB. I gained their qualifications and built my own practice on the back of them and I found they provided me with everything I needed. Indeed, I later studied AAT thinking I'd get greater benefit from that qualification but I got next to nothing from it.  I found much of the syllabus aimed to large companies and corporate life.

Now that ICB have the new FRS 105 exam you can actually do final accounts for micro entity companies which is over 90% of UK businesses.

Most of my clients are small limited companies with 2 to 6 employees and ICB gave me all the knowledge I need to do their bookkeeping.  Most of my business comes from word of mouth, the Quickbooks website and my own business website, and I have recently linked with a couple of accountants who have been impressed with my work.  After 3 years in practice I am now turning away new clients on a regular basis.  I find people are less interested in the actual qualification you have (as long as you are qualified, insured, etc...) and more interested in you as a person and the accuracy and quality of your work.

I'm not sure on I-Count but the college I studied with were great and they offer ongoing career support which has been invaluable.  I can highly recommend Ideal Schools for ICB.

Good luck with whatever you decide.  I spent months trying to make my decision but am really pleased with my choice.

Regards

Miranda

PS: one other thing which I love about ICB is their regional branch meetings.  The majority of people with ICB are self employed which means when you go to a branch meeting there a lots of other people facing the same challenges as you and everyone is always really supportive.  What I went to AAT branch meetings they were full of people in employment and were quite different and far less sociable/friendly.  There strangely seems to be a real support network amonst ICB people......

-- Edited by Mirib on Tuesday 13th of September 2016 04:50:57 PM



-- Edited by Mirib on Tuesday 13th of September 2016 04:54:31 PM

__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Shamus wrote:

 Don't make a hasty decision but think long and hard about what drives you and what your strengths are. You may find it useful to try putting together a business plan including SWOT and five forces analysis as well as cashflows and prospective financial statements for the next five years.... If that whole last sentence left you cold rather than excited then therein lies your answer.

 

 Hi Shamus,

It is a tough decision especially one coming a bit later in life. Both my parents studied in their 30's and early 40's and it turned out to be the best things they ever did. I do enjoy working in accounts, I think its the process and order of it all that just appeals to my nature. However it would also be to earn better money than I am on now....which in all fairness isn't bad for what I do, but what I do is pretty basic and crappy but it serves it purpose and allows me to work around my kids. As for you comments on the SWOT, five forces etc quote above that did scare me but only because I don't know how to do it X)

I have taken a couple of days and taken a little step backwards and tried not to think about it too much, I think I have allowed the decision to consume me. So a couple of days away and a chat with the accountant at work today has helped clear my path.

So I've decided that AAT bookkeeping it is. what I do once I've got that can be decided afterwards, but which ever path I decide I will have a solid foundation. smile

Confidence crisis has been conquered, I'm officially ready to become a student again at the age of 41.biggrin

Cheers



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Hi Miranda,

Thanks for your shout out for ICB. I have decided to go with the AAT only because I'm not sure if the freelance route will be the best route for me. The AAT bookkeeping qualification will help fill the missing 10 year of work experience I have lost, and give me a step back into the accounts profession. If I do decide to go freelance I can always look at the ICB for membership, as It sounds like the support they give is really good.

Sounds like you made the right decision and it has paid off for you. I have my fingers crossed that this will be the right one for me.

Thank you



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Thanks Joanne,

As you will see from my other posts I have conquered the confidence crisis and decided to go with the AAT bookkeeping qualification. What I do after that... well...... I'll decide when I cross that bridge.

Thank you everyone for the help and advice.smile



__________________


Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11567
Date:

No problem Rachel, I think that you've made the right choice.

If at some stage in the future you decide to go self employed under a flag of convenience you will at least know that you have the best training with AAT.

Miranda hits the nail on the head when she states that clients don't tend to look at the qualifications, they look at what experience you have. From the qualifications perspective thats more for our side of the fence as clients for the most part don't seem to know the difference between ICB and ACCA.

I have to respectfully disagree with Miranda about AAT being geared towards corporate. It's the qualification of choice for practice. Many chartered started their journeys as AAT students as it gives them the fundamental building blocks needed by practice and the ability to prove themselves before being moved up to more advanced studies with the higher qualifications. Also they will know that you have studied professional ethics and have gained a basic understanding of personal and corporate tax, things that I believe are missing from the ICB syllabus. Considering this if you have AAT then you are a known competency level to them where I have still met very few accountants who have heard of the ICB.

I believe that the ICB is attempting to rectify that by placing ads in PQ magazine each month so at the very least those who will be hiring bookkeepers ten years from now will (or should) have heard of them.

By the way, PQ is a good magazine to sign up to as a student. Its free and keeps you abreast of everything thats happening in the industry. Its geared towards AAT and up with the bulk of the articles aimed at ACCA and CIMA but never the less its a good read which generally has some amusing articles plus like this site its truly independant so when a professional body gets something wrong they are not shy about telling them that.

Good luck in your studies,

kindest regards

Shaun.










__________________

Shaun

Responses are not meant as a substitute for professional advice. Answers are intended as outline only the advice of a qualified professional with access to all relevant information should be sought before acting on any response given.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Mirib wrote:

Hi Rachel,

My advice to you would be not to discount the ICB. I gained their qualifications and built my own practice on the back of them and I found they provided me with everything I needed. Indeed, I later studied AAT thinking I'd get greater benefit from that qualification but I got next to nothing from it.  I found much of the syllabus aimed to large companies and corporate life.

Now that ICB have the new FRS 105 exam you can actually do final accounts for micro entity companies which is over 90% of UK businesses.

Most of my clients are small limited companies with 2 to 6 employees and ICB gave me all the knowledge I need to do their bookkeeping.  Most of my business comes from word of mouth, the Quickbooks website and my own business website, and I have recently linked with a couple of accountants who have been impressed with my work.  After 3 years in practice I am now turning away new clients on a regular basis.  I find people are less interested in the actual qualification you have (as long as you are qualified, insured, etc...) and more interested in you as a person and the accuracy and quality of your work.

I'm not sure on I-Count but the college I studied with were great and they offer ongoing career support which has been invaluable.  I can highly recommend Ideal Schools for ICB.

Good luck with whatever you decide.  I spent months trying to make my decision but am really pleased with my choice.

Regards

Miranda

PS: one other thing which I love about ICB is their regional branch meetings.  The majority of people with ICB are self employed which means when you go to a branch meeting there a lots of other people facing the same challenges as you and everyone is always really supportive.  What I went to AAT branch meetings they were full of people in employment and were quite different and far less sociable/friendly.  There strangely seems to be a real support network amonst ICB people......

-- Edited by Mirib on Tuesday 13th of September 2016 04:50:57 PM



-- Edited by Mirib on Tuesday 13th of September 2016 04:54:31 PM


 Hi Miranda

As with anything there are people who make a success out of anything and others who will do all of the training and pass all of their exams but have no clue.      Also there will be some dodgy branch meetings! Sorry to hear your experience on the AAT ones was as you mentioned, but not all of the AAT ones are full of people in employment - the ones locally to me are full of sole pracitioners who frankly love to socialise and very often do - before, after and often inbetween meetings!   Bunch of lushes in some cases. biggrin

Have to also say that AAT is not geared towards 'large' companies, nor Corporates.  Having worked in Corporate finance for 28+ years I can safely confirm that there was not an AAT member in sight - more reserved for the ACCA/ICAEWs of this world.

But its good to see you are making a success for your career - that is after all what the foundation blocks of the exams are for.  Ive always said - customers dont give a damn what prof body you are with (although most certainly the Accountants do, unless of course you prove yourself with work they see/you get intros/they get to know you in other ways.)   Another thing Ive also also said a lot is that you learn more once you start working with clients than you could ever be taught by the ICB and the AAT.

 

Edited for typos - I must ring the opticians!!!!!!!!



-- Edited by Cheshire on Wednesday 14th of September 2016 12:19:32 PM

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

MrsRC wrote:

Thanks Joanne,

As you will see from my other posts I have conquered the confidence crisis and decided to go with the AAT bookkeeping qualification. What I do after that... well...... I'll decide when I cross that bridge.

Thank you everyone for the help and advice.smile


 Not an easy decision with the information overload on the old interweb!   But you go for it!  Looking forward to your technical queries....and the rest!



__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

19 providers have been contacted. I have spoken to a couple already. Just got 2 more to contact by phone. Hopefully by the end of next week I will have decided on a provider and I will be signed up. Exciting times.smile

Must say now that I have taken a step back from trying to decide to go freelance or not I feel much more comfortable. I will cross that bridge when I get to it, I'm in no rush to make a definitive decision right now. My boys still have a couple of years at school before I will be returning to work full time.

Thanks again for all your help, advise and support.



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Evening all, just a quick update. I am now officially a student. I have signed up to The Distance Learning College to do both AAT bookkeeping Foundation and Advanced. Study pack should be with me in the next week when I will start my studies in earnest. Very excited and a little bit nervous. Brace yourselves for the barrage of questions biggrin

 



__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Am sure you will love it. Have you had any thoughts as to what module you are doing first? Or waiting to see what arrives?

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

 They have a set plan so I will do what ever arrives 1st. Super excited now, really looking forward to getting started. All the induction process has been completed, just waiting for the books. Hopefully they should be here in the next week.

 



__________________


Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

Level 2 Certificate in Accounting Processing Book Keeping transactions Chapter 1 COMPLETE. smile



__________________



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Keep at it Rachel.

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 22
Date:

One year down the line update.
Level 2 has been completed and I have just received my certificate Yay
Level 3 is now underway, pressure is on.
My confidence has really grown over the last year and I'm feeling much happier about studying
For the past 5/6 years I've been working in customer service but i'm hopefully making a move back to the accounts department in the not too distant future.
Would like to thank everyone on here for their support in the early days when I was so very lost and confused.
Rachel x

__________________


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 2611
Date:

Well done Rachel. 



__________________

John 

 

 

 Any advice given is for general guidance and professional advice should be sought applicable to your circumstances.



Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Congrats on the level 2. Onwards and upwards, keep going!

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

Hello! just wanted to check if anyone knows the topic for ICB B1 and B2 separately? They usually come together and I cannot separate which topic belongs to B1 and which belongs to B2? Thank you! 

Flavia



__________________
:) Fx


Master Book-keeper

Status: Offline
Posts: 7091
Date:

Suggest you look on the icb site or talk your training provider.

__________________

Joanne  

 

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

 



Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 13
Date:

Interesting topic and lots of good advice thanks. I hope you are doing well in your level 3 now MrsRC. Keep us updated, I would be interested to know how you are getting on. I have started the ACCA-X and ordering the books mentioned here with the hope of doing the AAT Level 2 exam first then onto the level 3 AAT. Many thanks

__________________

Alex

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  

©2018 The Bookkeepers Network (BKN). All Rights Reserved. The Bookkeepers Network (BKN) is a trading division of Bookcert Ltd. Registered in England Company Number 05782923. 2 Laurel House, 1 Station Rd, Worle, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, BS22 6AR, United Kingdom. The Bookkeepers Network and BKN are trademarks of Bookcert Ltd. This forum is a discussion forum only. There will usually be more than one opinion to any question and any posting should not be viewed as a definitive solution. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of any posting on this site is accepted by the contributors or The Bookkeepers Network. In all cases, appropriate professional advice should be sought before making a decision. We reserve the right to remove any postings which are offensive, libellous, self-promoting or engaged in covert marketing. We will not notify users of removals. The views expressed in the forum posts are those of the individual and do not necessary reflect or agree with those of The Bookkeepers Network. Any offensive or unsuitable posts will be removed by the moderators. Any reader of this forum can request for a post to be looked into by sending an email to: info@bookkeepers.network or info@bookcert.co.uk.

Privacy & Cookie Policy