Bookkeeping courses via distance learning

Trying to find where you can study bookkeeping courses via distance learning? And the accredited distance learning colleges offering them? Here is your list:



Why choose distance learning?


There are many different names for distance learning. It can also be called correspondence courses, home study courses or even part time studies.  Whatever name you know distance learning by we think this a very valuable form of education that gives more people access to valuable, life changing education than ever before in our history.

Distance learning is becoming very popular in South Africa as it means that people that usually do not have access to campus study can now get access the education they need to get better job options.  You might be too far away from a campus, or you may not be able to pay the very high fees that come with classroom studies.  Either way distance learning brings you closer to the chance to further your education.

The next major benefit that make students choose distance learning over classroom study is that you can work while you study.  This means that you can better afford the fees, and you continue to get more work experience even as you get qualified.

There are fears in South Africa that there are many bogus colleges out there trying to scam students.  However, there are easy ways to check if this is the case and we will explain to you what to look out for.  Is the college accredited.  If the answer is yes, then you have nothing to fear as a government body has been to the college to make sure they have everything you need to help you successfully complete your courses.


Can I study bookkeeping if I don’t have Matric?


Many people worry that if they do not have a matric they cannot study further.  Certainly not on a fully accredited course.  However, we know that you can study fully accredited bookkeeping courses with the ICB qualifications.

The colleges we have recommended all offer fully accredited ICB bookkeeping courses via distance learning.  ICB qualifications only need a Grade 10 to get started.  Some of the streams do require a Grade 11 or Matric, but the financial accounting course only requires that you have a Grade 10.

Once you have completed the first level of the qualification, the national certificate, you are then qualified to start on the next level.  That way you can take yourself all the way from a grade to, to a NQF level 6 qualification (a national diploma) which is two levels higher than a matric.

And it does not end there.  A diploma from ICB can give you entry to further studies, such as with CIMA.  With CIMA you can get an accounting qualification that is on the same level as a university degree!

So if you thought you were excluded from any further education, and therefore a real career – you were wrong.  You CAN study further, and you can take that studies as far as you want.


ICB bookkeeping Courses


The ICB bookkeeping programme is made up of 4 different levels, and each levels has a number of subjects.  Remember that the entry requirement for each level is that you can completed the previous level.  So you wont be allowed to start the intermediate level if you have not completed the foundation level, unless you apply for and are granted an exemption.

The four levels of the ICB bookkeeping qualification are as follows:


  • Foundation Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Upper Intermediate Level
  • Advanced Level


As you successfully complete each level the ICB will inform FASSET that you have been deemed competent and you will be then be sent your FASSET certificate.  Remember that this certificate takes between 6 months to a year to arrive, so use your ICB completion certificate or the one you will receive from your college in your CV to apply for jobs until this formal certificate arrives.

bookkeeping courses via distance learning

Foundation Level


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


Remember that you only need to have a grade 10 and be 16 years old to gain entry to this qualification.

This course is at NQF level 3, which means that the concepts being explained will start very simply.  If you have struggled through a UNISA qualification you will be hugely relieved by how carefully everything is explained.

It also means that you need no prior experience with bookkeeping or accounting to study this course.

To complete this level you must pass four subjects, and we suggest that this will take you from 12 to 18 months to complete.

You will be awarded the qualification of a National Certificate in Bookkeeping from FASSET once you have passed all four subjects.


Intermediate Level


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


In order to start this level you must have successfully completed the 4 subjects in the foundation level.


There are a further two subjects on this level, this should take you 6 to 9 months to complete this level.

Once you have completed both subjects you will be awarded a Further Education and Training Certificate in Bookkeeping by FASSET.


Upper Intermediate Level


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


In order to start on your national diploma qualification you will need to have completed the first 6 subjects successfully.

You only need to pass a further two subjects to gain your national diploma in technical financial accounting.  We believe that this should take you a further 6  to 9 months to complete this level.



Advanced Level


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


This is your final level in the financial accounting programme.  In order to qualify for this level you need to have completed all 8 of the subjects on the first 3 levels successfully.

You will need to complete a further 4 subjects to get this final qualification.  You should aim to take 12 to 18 months to complete this.

Once you have successfully passed all 12 subjects you will hold a National Diploma in Financial Accounting!



ICB Accreditation


In order to offer the ICB qualifications each college has first be accredited to do so.  This accreditation is issued by the QCTO SETA.

What happens is that the ICB, as the Quality Assurance Partner (QAP) of QCTO inspects whether or not you have all the elements that are needed to successfully teach the qualification.

First you have to hand in a file that shows that you have the qualified staff, a tax clearance certificate, OHS certificate all the right policies and procedures needed to run a qualify programme.

If you pass this stage you have a site visit where inspectors come to the college to see see the actual facilities, and verify what you said in your file.

This is a very rigorous and intense process and you can be sure that any college that is accredited is suitable to study with.



ICB Learner Portal


The ICB has a website for their students so that they can manage many elements of their students. This is the ICB learner portal.

Through the ICB learner portal the student has access to many self service functions.  Here are some of the functions that you have via the ICB learning portal

you can access a variety of self-service functions. You can similarly ask your college to access these functions in your place if you do not have web access to, or if you have a difficult time to make use of the portal.

Some of the important things you can do via the student website are:


  • View and edit your individual and contact information
  • Order a reprint of a certificate you accomplished
  • Pay your ICB charges (via credit card)
  • Register for Exams
  • See your Exam Results


Here is a video with the details!


ICB bookkeeping course fees


You should always understand all the costs involved when you decide to study.  There are often hidden costs that you did not know about, so before you choose a college to study with make sure you know who will be paying for the various areas of the course.  That means you should know what is included in your course fees, and what will you have to pay on top of your course fees.

Here are all the usual costs of studying:


  • Fees from your college
  • Text Books. Some colleges will include this in your course fees, and some expect you to buy them yourself
  • Courier fees to send you your course material
  • Exam costs. Usually you pay this directly to the ICB, so it is not included in your course fees.
  • ICBA Student Membership charges. These fees are typically not included in your course charges.
  • ICB Annual Student Registration charges. This is a yearly cost that is usually not included in your course charges.


The ICB uses 5 examination sessions to home study trainees in 2017. You must make certain you understand the examination charges. Remember that you need to register for your exams 3 months before you right, so this takes careful planning.

There are long cut off times for exams, so if you don’t register in time you will not be allowed to write your exam in that sitting.


The difference between Bookkeeping and Accounting Courses


Bookkeeping and Accounting are really two sides of the same thing.

The entry level is bookkeeping, and as you progress with more qualifications and experience you move through to accounting.

Bookkeeping is junior accounting, and accounting is senior bookkeeping.


Why study bookkeeping?


In South Africa bookkeeping and accounting are scarce skills. That means that both market and government identify that we have a scarcity of accountants and accountants. The government body for qualifications in the financial sector, FASSET, has done a study on scarce skills in 2015. From that study they published their Scarce Skills Guide 2015.

FASSET is the SETA for Financing, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Solutions. In their scarce skills direct they recognized the following as scarce skills:.


  • Student Accountantbookkeeping courses
  • Finance Manager
  • General Accounting professional
  • Accounts Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Debt Collector


These are all positions for which an ICB accounting course will prepare you appropriately. Your accounting certification will guarantee that you are continuously in demand. It is a great profession that can take you to the highest level in an organisation.

The shortage of accounting abilities also impacts government departments. All government departments have accounting and bookkeeping divisions. And they work every year to obtain an effective audit. To get a faultless audit implies that they require experienced, licensed, dedicated and knowledgeable bookkeeping and accounting staff and managers.

As a certified accountant or accounting professional, you will continuously stay in demand. Either in private business, or in a government department, which can consist of both towns, in addition to larger nationwide government departments.


Study further after completing your programme – Other Courses


The ICB has acknowledgment arrangements with a variety of other expert bodies. So, relying on what qualifications you have actually completed with the ICB, you can get credits to credentials with these bodies.

Here are a list of a few of the bodies that will recognize your ICB certifications as counting to a few of their programs, in addition to towards subscription of these professional bodies:


  • South African Business Accountants (SAIBA).
  • South African Institute for Tax Professionals (SAIT).
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).


Note: You will have to apply to these expert bodies. And they each have their own set of entryway requirements and rules.


The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants (ICBA). bookkeeping courses via distance learning


The ICBA is a professional body that uses membership to students studying ICB courses. Initially you can just become a Student Member. Nevertheless as soon as you have in fact finished your very first accreditation, you will be qualified for Expert Membership.

This implies you get to make use of a specialist designation behind your name on your company card. In this technique you show your colleagues and your customers that you are serious about your profession, which you are acknowledged as an expert by the ICBA.

The different credentials trigger numerous categories. So make sure to discover more about the ICBA early on in your studies. This is a fantastic technique to improve your CV and your expert status.


ICB Course fees | Bookkeeping courses distance learning 

Last Updated: July 9, 2017


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