ICBA – Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants

ICBA – Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants

The ICBA – Institutie of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants – is a professional body for the industries of Finance, Accounting, Bookkeeping and Office Administration.  Once you have completed your studies the the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (the ICB) you are can apply to join the professional body called the ICBA.

This article fully explains what that is and by the end you know whether you qualify, whether you should apply and how to apply.

Where the ICBA started

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants started out in the has its origins in the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, which is mostly known as the ICB. The ICB started in 1931, but it was not until 2012 that it split out into two different bodies.  This was so that the ICB could focus on Education and Training, and the ICBA could then focus Professional Membership.  So the ICBA was only launched as an independent body in 2012.

There are some key differences between these two bodies.

Firstly, the ICB is where you are trained.  They will make sure that the college you are studying with meets their accreditation standards, they will set the examinations and issue instructions to FASSET to send you certificates once you qualify.  Everything about your studying life is controlled by the ICB, even though you are enrolled with a college such as TWP Academy to do those studies.

You will only be involved with the ICB for the length of your studies.

The ICBA is the professional body where you can apply to become a member once you have successfully finished your qualification.  The ICBA is a way in which you can recognition for both your qualification and any work experience you have in the appropriate field.

You will be a member of the ICBA for the rest of your life.

Remember that in South African law, professional bodies can be recognised by SAQA (the South African Qualification Authority). The ICBA is recognised by SAQA as a Professional Body for the registration of professional designations on the NQF (National Qualifications Framework).

Professional Bodies in South Africa

There is a long history of professional bodies in South Africa.   Legislation around education and training have been constantly changing over the past 15 years, and thus the roles of the professional bodies like the ICBA in South Africa are changing too.

Historically it was not unusual for one single body to both offer the training and education, as well as be the professional body.  Just as the ICB was before it split out into the different organisations.  Many professional bodies were not able to navigate the changing education landscape in South Africa, and they fell away entirely.

The successful organisations that still remain today often split into two bodies; one arm focussed on the education of students, and the other arm an independent membership body.

Professional Bodies that link to the ICBA

There are a number of other professional bodies in South Africa that the ICBA is linked to.  The ICBA has professional relationships with the following bodies:

  • South African Business Accountants (SAIBA)
  • South African Institute for Tax Professionals (SAIT)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET)

These relationships with other professional bodies bring a number of advantages to both students studying with the as well as the ICBA members.

The Goals of the ICBA

The main goal of the ICBA is to certify qualifications and award designations.  That means that they look at what you have studied, and how much relevant work experience you have and then you are given a certain level of membership based on this.

You are able to use the designation letters behind your name if you have membership.

Another goal of the ICBA is to improve the image, training and professionalism in the fields of Finance, Accounting, Bookkeeping and Office Administration.

Membership Levels at the ICBA

As soon as you register with the ICB you can apply to the ICBA to become a Student Member.  This is a good thing to do, however you must remember that you cannot use any letters or designation behind your name if you are Student Member.

You are able apply for full membership with the ICBA if you other qualifications (not just from the ICB).  Once you have any qualification in the fields of Finance, Accounting, Bookkeeping and Office Administration you can apply for membership.

In this article we will focus on the ICB qualifications for our explanations.

 

Once you have passed the Certified Junior Bookkeeper qualification, and you have at least six months work experience, then you can use the designation CJBIcba(SA) behind your name. As a professional member of the ICBA you are expected to adhere to their code of conduct.

Using a professional body designation, shows your employer, co-workers, clients and prospective employers that you are a recognised member of the ICBA. You are also allowed to use their logo on your business cards and in your marketing materials. This is a way to stand out as a professional.

As you gain more work experience and higher level qualifications, you can apply to the ICBA to use higher level designations behind your name.

Here is a list of all the membership levels at the ICBA.

ICBA membership levels

Membership level Designation NQF level attained Minimum work experience *
Student None Not applicable 0 months
Certified Junior Bookkeeper CJBIcba(SA) Level 3 6 months
Certified Public Accounts Administrator CPAAIcba(SA) Level 4 12 months
Certified Senior Bookkeeper CSBIcba(SA) Level 4 12 months
Certified Technical Financial Accountant CTFAIcba(SA) Level 5 24 months
Certified Technical Public Accountant CTPAIcba(SA) Level 5 24 months
Certified Junior Office Administrator CJOAIcba(SA) Level 5 24 months
Certified Senior Office Administrator CSOAIcba(SA) Level 5 24 months
Certified Financial Accountant CFAIcba(SA) Level 6 36 months
Certified Office Manager COMIcba(SA) Level 6 36 months
*Relevant and current work experience

ICB Qualifications recognised by the ICBA

The ICBA has seven professional designations on the NQF. They are linked to specific qualifications and jobs, as follows.

Thus, depending on their level of qualification, successful ICB students can apply to the following levels of professional membership with the ICBA:

 

Membership level: Certified Junior Bookkeeper

ICB Qualification required: National Certificate: Bookkeeping

 

Membership level: Certified Senior Bookkeeper

ICB Qualification required: FET Certificate: Bookkeeping

 

Membership level: Certified Technical Financial Accountant

ICB Qualification required: National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting

 

Membership level: Certified Financial Accountant

ICB Qualification required: National Diploma: Financial Accounting

ICB Courses

If you want to apply to the ICBA your first step is to start studying one of the ICB courses.

That means you need to register with an accredited course provider, like TWP Academy.  TWP Academy is fully accredited by the ICB and FASSET to offer these courses.

There are five fields of study at the ICB from which you can choose.  These fields of study are:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Public Sector Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Office Administration

Inside each field of study is a range of courses, which I shall list below. All of these courses are recognised by the ICBA towards membership of the ICBA.

ICB Financial Accounting Courses

ICB Public Sector Accounting Courses

ICB Business Management Courses

ICB Entrepreneurship Courses

ICB Office Administration Courses

Exams and Assessments

ICB home study students can write their exams four times a year. In February, May, August and November.

You usually have to register for an exam two or three months before the exam. So, if you are aiming for the February exams, you need to be registered for them by the beginning of December.

ICBA Membership

As an ICB student, you can apply for Student Membership of ICBA. The benefits of membership is as follows:

The right to use those designation ICBA letters after your name (not if you are still a Student Member)

Use the ICBA logo on your business cards, letterheads and website

ICBA Membership certificate

Tax booklet for ICBA members – updated after the annual budget speech

ICBA Members’ notebook

Discounted workshops

With the right ICB courses and work experience you can apply to the SAIT to become a Tax Practitioner – as well as get a discount on your SAIT Membership

ICBA Members who are Bookkeepers in private practice, can apply for exclusive access to Pastel’s Bookkeepers’ Forum – which brings all kinds of special benefits for you from Pastel

ICBA Members with the required work experience and the proper ICB qualification (National Diploma: Financial Accounting NQF Level 6) can apply to become an Accounting Officer through SAIBA

Certified Technical Financial Accountants and Certified Financial Accountants may perform the duties of an ex-officio Commissioner of Oaths

The ICBA has professional relationships with the following bodies:

  • South African Business Accountants (SAIBA)
  • South African Institute for Tax Professionals (SAIT)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Finance and Accounting Services Sector Education and Training Authority (FASSET)

The ICBA does not offer training. However, it recognises appropriate education and training providers and contributes to the curricula of learning programmes offered by these providers.

So when you study one of the ICB courses, then you know that each course of recognised by the ICBA towards membership of the ICBA.

How to Apply for ICBA Membership

Students

Apply for student membership by filling in the Student Membership Application Form.

Pay the yearly fee for Student Membership.

If you are registered as a student with the ICB, then you qualify for a discount on your student membership fees.

Qualified Bookkeepers, Accountants and Office Administrators

If you are properly qualified, and you have the required amount of work experience, then you can apply for full membership with the ICBA.

Your membership level will depend on your qualifications, as well as your work experience.

Submit your membership application documents, together with membership fees, as well as supporting documents if requested.

If you are continuing your studies as an ICB student, then you qualify for a discount on your membership fees.

The best time to apply is before the start of the new year. Your membership fees are for a calendar year.

24th October, 2016

2 Responses on ICBA - Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and Accountants"

  1. Anthia Losper says:

    Kindly advice me on whats happens to me after or how to go about to get to level 7 qualification after i obtained my level6 through the the ICB .

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