Bookkeeping Courses Via Distance Learning

Studying bookkeeping is a great way to start your career in the finance industry. Studying through distance learning can also help you be more flexible with your studies. 


Studying from the safety and comfort of your own home, you choose your study hours, and you can also work to earn an income while you are studying.

How Can I Learn Bookkeeping Online?

Learning bookkeeping online is easy with many reputable distance learning colleges. The ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) offers two bookkeeping courses. 


The first is the ICB National Certificate in Junior Bookkeeping, which is a NQF level 3 qualification. NQF level 3 means it is a Grade 11 equivalent certificate. This means you only need your Grade 10 certificate/report to apply to study this course. 

The second is the ICB FET Certificate in Senior Bookkeeping, which builds on the Junior Bookkeeping course. It is an NQF level 4 qualification, which means that it is a Matric Equivalent qualification.

Can I Study Directly Through ICB?

You can study directly through the ICB, however, this is not recommended. When taking the route of self-study, you will have to find your own course material, study material, as well as your own tutors. 


It is highly recommended that you study through distance learning rather than going the full self-study route. Studying through distance learning gives the flexibility of non-classroom learning, without the struggle of having to find all your course material on your own.

Are ICB Courses Accredited?

Yes, ICB courses are accredited by QCTO (Quality Council for Trades and Occupations). QCTO determines the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) levels. NQF levels are used to determine the educational level of a qualification.

What Can I Do With An ICB Qualification?

There are many job opportunities available for each of the bookkeeping courses.

ICB National Certificate In Junior Bookkeeping

There are many job opportunities available with this qualification, such as: 


  • Junior Bookkeeper
  • Accounts Clerk
  • Payroll Clerk

Junior Bookkeeper 

The duties of a Junior Bookkeeper can involve, but are not limited to:


  • Managing accounts payable 
  • Managing accounts receivable 
  • Collecting and recording financial data
  • Analysing month-end financial data 

Payscale: R61 000 – R200 000 per year

Accounts Clerk

The duties of an Accounts Clerk can include but are not limited to:


  • Recording financial transactions 
  • Maintaining financial records 
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Assisting accountants with administrative duties

Payscale: R60 000 – R220 000 per year

Payroll Clerk 

The duties of a Payroll Clerk can include but are not limited to:


  • Verifying employee timesheets 
  • Issuing deductions 
  • Updating payroll records 
  • Processing employee pay cheques 

Payscale: R66 000 – R242 000 per year

ICB FET Certificate In Senior Bookkeeping

There are many job opportunities available with this qualification, such as: 


  • Senior Bookkeeper
  • Junior Accountant
  • Assistant Accountant

Senior Bookkeeper 

The duties of a Senior Bookkeeper can include but are not limited to: 


  • Maintaining and operating general accounts 
  • Maintaining and operating subsidiary ledgers
  • Data entry 
  • Maintaining financial records

Payscale: R162 000 – R447 000 per year

Junior Accountant 

The duties of a Junior Accountant can include but are not limited to: 


  • Maintaining general ledgers 
  • Overseeing day-to-day transactions
  • Assessing data 
  • Maintaining the accuracy of employee timesheets

Payscale: R69 000 – R247 000 per year

Assistant Accountant  

The duties of an Assistant Accountant can include but are not limited to: 


  • Bookkeeping 
  • Document filing 
  • Client correspondence
  • Assisting with payroll administration

Payscale: R92 000 – R382 000 per year

Are ICB Qualifications Recognised?

Yes, ICB qualifications are recognised internationally. The ICB began in 1931 in the UK and has since grown to be one of the largest providers of bookkeeping qualifications in the world. 


ICB qualifications are accredited by both the ICB and QCTO, which means it is recognised as a formal qualification in South Africa.

Does UNISA Recognise ICB Qualification?

No, UNISA does not recognise ICB qualifications. However, if you have successfully completed an ICB qualification, you can apply for RPL (recognition of prior learning). You may then be able to gain up to 50% of the credits for your UNISA qualification.

Are Bookkeepers In High Demand?

Yes, ICB qualifications offer scarce skills, which are in high demand in South Africa. This means it is a stable career field to go into and will have more job opportunities than some careers.

How Do I Register With MACCI?

You can register on MACCI through the Provider Portal. Be sure you are not trying to log in through the Student Portal, as this will not give you access to the MACCI platform. To log in on MACCI, you will need your ICB student number. 

To learn how to register on the Student Portal, you can follow the ICB Learner Portal Guide. For more guidance, the ICB has a Learner Guide.

Can I Study Bookkeeping Without Matric?

Yes, you can study ICB bookkeeping courses without Matric. You can apply to the ICB Junior Bookkeeping course with just your Grade 10 certificate/report. The ICB Senior Bookkeeping course requires you to have successfully completed the Junior Bookkeeping course.

What Do I Do If I Still Want To Get My Matric?

There are options to choose from if you want to get your Matric. You can study online Matric through distance learning. The options you can choose from are as follows:


  • Matric Rewrite
  • Matric Upgrade
  • Adult Matric

Matric Rewrite 

This option is available for anyone under the age of 21 who would like to improve their Matric marks. When doing a Matric Rewrite, you may rewrite a maximum of two subjects. These must be subjects you wrote for your Matric final exams, you may not change your subjects. 


There are no limits to the number of times you may rewrite your Matric, as long as you are still under the age of 21. To apply for a Matric Rewrite, you will need: 


  • A copy of your Statement of Results
  • A certified copy of your ID

Matric Upgrade 

This option is available to those who are over the age of 21 and would still like to improve their Matric marks. When doing a Matric Upgrade, you upgrade as many subjects as you choose. You may also choose to change any or all of your elective subjects if you prefer. 


There are no limits to the number of times you can upgrade your Matric. You must be over the age of 21 to upgrade your Matric, as you will be writing the Adult Matric exams. To apply for a Matric Upgrade, you will need: 


  • A copy of your Statement of Results
  • A certified copy of your ID

Adult Matric

Adult Matric is available to anyone over the age of 21 who did not get the opportunity to complete their high school education. Once you have completed your Adult Matric, you will receive your Senior Certificate (Amended). This works exactly the same way as a National Senior Certificate/Matric Certificate


To apply for an Adult Matric, you will need: 


  • A copy of your Grade 9 certificate/report or equivalent
  • A certified copy of your ID

What Other Courses Can I Study?

There are other ICB courses available in different study streams. The available ICB courses are: 

You could also choose to study a NATED course once you have got your Matric. These require Matric to apply. In the past, you could apply to some NATED courses with a Matric Equivalent qualification. This is no longer the case. To study a NATED course, you must have Matric. 


You can also choose to study a number of short courses that do not require Matric to apply. For information on ICB course fees, you can look here

Unfortunately, having an ICB qualification can no longer grant you membership to the ICBA in South Africa, as the ICBA no longer runs in South Africa. You can apply to join the ICBA in other parts of the world.

Author: Chloe Bydawell
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: May 17, 2022

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