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iab courses

IAB (Institute of Accountants and Bookkeepers) is the leading international and UK professional association for qualified bookkeepers and for small businesses.

Launch your career as a fully accredited bookkeeper with courses that have been developed by education professionals to meet the highest industry-approved standards. This allows you to work within the industry and become an accountant or bookkeeper.

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Who are IAB?

The Institute of Accountants and Bookkeepers (IAB) is a membership organisation and awarding body that provides qualifications in bookkeeping, payroll, and finance all over the world.

By offering flexible, Ofqual-regulated qualifications, they are helping develop students’ journeys from the beginning and throughout their careers. The courses are developed by education professionals, members of the IAB, employers, and other relevant organisations to ensure that all of their qualifications meet the highest industry-approved standards.

Their courses are nationally recognised qualifications approved by the regulatory authorities in England (Ofqual), Wales (Welsh Government), and Northern Ireland (CCEA).

What is the difference between accounting and bookkeeping?

Bookkeeping is the first part of the accounting process, meaning the work of bookkeepers and accountants often overlaps.

While bookkeeping focuses on recording and organising financial data, accounting will interpret and present that data.

They both support the business in different stages of the financial cycle.

Distance learning accounting

With distance learning, you can study the same subjects and qualifications you would in a traditional college, simply from home! It takes the location out of studying. You’ll save time and money on travelling, and if you have other life commitments, such as a full-time or part-time job, or if you have a family to look after, it may help to be able to study at a time that suits you.

There are no physical classes to attend or timetables to stick to. With 24-hour access to your course either online or through a study pack, you can study whenever you have free time (if that’s in the middle of the night it’s possible).

Tutor support

When you study your IAB courses with us, you’ll get unlimited, personal tutor support. Your tutor will be on hand to guide you through your course and help with any questions you may have, ensuring you are fully prepared for any examinations if needed. You’ll never be alone. This is just one of the many benefits you’ll get from enrolling with OSC.

Frequently asked questions

IAB are one of the most prestigious not-for-profit organisations for Bookkeepers in the world, while working closely with the UK government by setting principles to promote the professional integrity of bookkeeping. They generally grade their qualifications, starting with Level 1, going up to Level 3.

Meanwhile, the ICB is a bookkeeping body who makes themselves responsible for both maintaining and promoting the standards of bookkeeping as a profession. While they don’t offer any Level 1 qualifications, they do work their way up to Level 4.

Attention to detail
Bookkeepers have to be accurate when it comes to handling a business’s financial data, which is why attention to detail is vital. By not making mistakes or errors in the financial records, it allows companies to make critical decisions with correct data.

Communication is an important skill for most job roles, and bookkeeping is no different. Depending on the size of the business you work with, the type of communication will vary, but what will remain the same is the need to present clear and coherent information.

Integrity and transparency
Bookkeepers will deal with a business’ confidential financial data, so they have to act with both integrity and transparency. They must abide by a company’s policy set to protect their data, ensuring that all transactions adhere to these guidelines.

Invoicing is the process of itemising a transaction between a buyer and a seller, explaining each charge on a bill. Bookkeepers will be helped in finding information about a transaction if they know how to read invoice documents.

Keeping track of financial information, recalling past information, noticing any errors in files, and answering client questions can all be helped with good memory. It can also help when needing to recall an exact figure to solve a bookkeeping problem.

Critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical
Bookkeepers will need to solve problems and come over challenges with company records by using critical thinking. It means they can then look at the meaning of the records and identify any trends, patterns, or even irregularities in the business transactions. It could be a discrepancy in a financial report, or an unrecognisable invoice, a bookkeeper will need to use critical thinking to find the route of the problem and use analytical skills to find a solution that doesn’t compromise the business or their employer.

Commitment and flexibility
Bookkeeping is a versatile career path, and it’s likely over time that a bookkeeper’s role will change to suit the needs of a business. However, they need to be committed to embracing the change and new responsibilities. Managing the books is a big responsibility as well, and it needs commitment. A bookkeeper may also work for several companies, but it’s vital that they give their full commitment and attention to each client when working on their files.

Following through when agreeing to finish a project with a strict deadline needs discipline, and it’s an important skill to possess if you’re going to be a successful bookkeeper. It allows you to have a solid work ethic to provide accurate information consistently.

Business skills and big-picture thinking
Being able to keep one eye on the future and understand how each action a bookkeeper makes could affect the business. They should be able to analyse their options with that in mind before deciding on the best course of action and having solid commercial awareness will certainly help this.

This is a pretty obvious one because bookkeepers work with numbers, so of course, they’re going to need numeracy skills. While they don’t need to be geniuses when it comes to maths, however, basic addition, multiplication, and division skills will help in the field of bookkeeping. However, calculators, spreadsheets, and software will help complete these tasks quicker than ever before.

Spreadsheets and data software
Being able to input data quickly and accurately into forms and bookkeeping software will help when it comes to being a bookkeeper. Spreadsheets are often used to record financial data and being able to use these can certainly be beneficial. Popular software like Sage, QuickBooks, and Xero have made it much quicker and easier for bookkeepers to keep accurate records.

Customer Service
Bookkeepers will work with a range of clients, from customers to senior management, and they need to be able to deal with each with a top level of professionalism. Being able to manage complex relationships with effective communication, timely responses, and, simply, fantastic customer service will help surpass expectations.

When starting out as a bookkeeper, according to the National Careers Service, the average salary is £18,000. Meanwhile, an experienced bookkeeper will earn on average £35,000 per year.

One of the many benefits of enrolling as a student with us is that we will help you even after your studies are finished. We work with a recruitment specialist who can help you secure a position in your dream career. Contact us to find out more.

A business will not be able to run for very long without balancing the books and sound knowledge of finance.

For them to be successful, they need to be balancing the books every single month, otherwise, they may struggle to pay for things like stock, suppliers, and even their taxes.

By balancing the books, it means they can correctly calculate how much tax is due throughout the year, to avoid running into any trouble with HMRC.

It also allows a business to prepare for its financial year, allowing them to think about what the next moves are. That could be growing the business, or even setting up a limited company.

The study method you choose depends on your personal learning style. Your options are:

  • Study pack: if you choose the study pack option, you will be sent a set of printed course materials.
  • Study online: if you choose this option, you will be sent your login details to our online portal through which you will access your course materials digitally. You can access your course via a desktop/laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

When you enrol on a course with Open Study College, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Dedicated personal tutor support with unlimited email access.
  • Dedicated learner services from our learner services team.
  • Course materials with learning activities.
  • Assignment marking and feedback from your personal tutor.
  • A predicted grade on completion of your tutor-marked assignments, if required for your university application.
  • A free CV writing service and employability guide if you’re focusing on career advancement.
  • A free Student Discounts membership to save you money on your favourite brands.
  • The option to add your exams (and practical assessments where applicable) to your enrolment, meaning we will book and pay for your exams and assessments on your behalf, giving you one less thing to worry about and allowing you to focus on your studies instead.

Looking to speak to an adviser?

We are delighted that you are considering joining us to study and take pleasure in welcoming you to our family.

Open Study College is one of the UK’s leading distance-learning colleges. We provide professionally-recognised IAB courses that enable you to study at your own pace, in your own environment either online or via printed materials sent to your home.

We understand that choosing a course is a big decision. That’s why we have a team of friendly, knowledgeable education specialists who can help you choose the right IAB qualifications for you.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve enrolled over 120,000 people on courses that have improved their education and their career prospects!

Our education specialists can answer any questions you may have, talk you through our finance options and get you enrolled over the telephone.

As a family-founded college, we think of our learners as extended members of our family. We’re all here to help you achieve your goals in life, whatever they may be.

If you’d like to speak to an education specialist about our online IAB courses, simply complete the form here and you’ll get a call back at the requested time.

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