The Book-keepers Forum (BKF)

Post Info TOPIC: Starting Bookkeeping Training where to start please.


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Starting Bookkeeping Training where to start please.


Hello All,

I'm new to the forum here.

I will be starting my journey in Bookkeeping in September after the school holidays. Was looking at local colleges and doing the Level 1 Course and then the Level 2 course.

I need some advice as to if I am starting at the right point /level.

About me;

I completed a General Business Degree 20 years ago and worked in a small business for 9 years doing computerised accounts work including nominal ledger, payroll and VAT etc. Then after not returning after maternity leave I worked at home on various things (qualified Reflexologist!) and doing accounts/ invoicing etc for my husbands business. We moved overseas for a while, so I had a short break from working and now am back in the UK and would like to earn some money and fit in with school hours. I don't have any formal accounting qualifications and feel I would like to get some.

Now I know I have some knowledge of accounts etc and am not a complete beginner, but there are various levels of AAT courses out there. I'm not adverse to starting at the basic level 1 bookkeeping course which is only 10 weeks and going on to the level 2 bookkeeping, so I could be refreshed on the basics. I could also at the same time do the Level 2 AAT one day a week, so could get those 3 courses done in one year.

Am I thinking along the right lines here? or should I start at a higher level. I'm aiming to work for myself from home once I get up and running.



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Carrie



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Hi ???
Can you pop your first name so it appears under the signature bar via edit profile, so we don't call you 'on you'.

Welcome.

Forget the level 1, pointless and will bore you rigid and cost you money for nothing. Try the AAT skills test and see what level it suggests and start there.

Would also suggest you forget the local college idea unless you absolutely need a classroom environment to learn. I hear nothing but problems from such students and again I suspect it will move too slowly for you.

Go distance learning and choose a level of learning that suits within that type of learning (self study books only right through to full classroom type lectures). Go for a provider that has won awards on here. Beware/avoid like the plague home learning college or whatever they are called these days!

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Joanne

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

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



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Hi Joanne

Thank you for taking the time to reply.
I'll certainly have a go at the skills test and see what it advises.

I've found the three companies listed under awards for training and I'll check out their websites.

I do like a classroom environment sometimes as it makes me focus my learning but I'm not adverse to online qualifications, I'd just have to be strict with myself!

I've also now been reading about ICB, just to confuse myself further. That seems another route to qualifications, however the consensus of opinion seems to veer towards AAT.





-- Edited by CJArt on Wednesday 28th of June 2017 09:36:09 AM

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Carrie



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CJArt wrote:


I've also now been reading about ICB, just to confuse myself further. That seems another route to qualifications.



It is, but its not one thats recognised by NQF so the qualification cannot be used to gain direct exemptions if you decide to move to one of the qualifications more recognised by accountants.

Thats nothing against the ICB qualification and certainly you could study that and then take the skills test in order to start AAT at level III.

You could also take a look at ACCA-X which is free training but you pay for exams if you want to qualify.... But if your intention is to become AAT why not start by studying for free then taking the skills test.

Take a look at the books in my second answer in this thread :

http://forum.bookkeepers.network/t63668238/looking-for-good-softwaredvds-to-learn-and-practice-bookkeep/

you could save a lot of money by seeing whether you like the subject (sort of try before you buy). If you take to it then the books alone will give you the knowledge base to skip level II AAT.

Dont take the skills test until you have done a bit of study as you only get one go at it.

welcome to the forum,

kindest regards,

Shaun.



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Shaun

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Thanks for your reply Shamus.

And definitely thanks for the warning re the skills test. I hadn't realised that it was a once only thing!

I have had experience of local college evening classes before as I have the PTTLS adult education teaching certificate and I did find at times the progress was a bit slow, but I did enjoy meeting the other folks on the course. The evening traffic was horrendous though!

I really like the idea of the ACCA-X and starting off for free. It would take me through the basics again, refresh my memory and fill in any gaps. Thanks for the links to the books too.

It maybe a daft question and probably one that if I read all the course syllabuses I could answer myself but, is there any merit in studying the AAT Bookkeeping III as well as AAT Level 3? or would content just be duplicated?

I'm not against starting at a basic level just to get my brain functioning again.



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Carrie



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To my mind no merit.

the bookkeeping is largely covered in the AAT units 1-4 (level II) which you would skip by doing ACCA-X.

Think of doing the AAT bookkeeping qualification OR the full AAT qualification but there is no reason to do both as you will be covering the same ground... Just the full qualification goes much further and at level IV you get the option to study personal and business tax modules which wil be invaluable for you future career path. (they're options papers but definitely choose to do those two)... Actually, I would say that the AAT CT module is in some ways better for people working with micro corporations (such as computer contractors) than the tax papers of some higher qualifications as you do it using an actual CT600.

I know that nowadays software does much of the CT600 for you but it's still good to be able to do them manually so that one understands properly what goes where.

So, personally I would do ACCA-X then the full AAT qualifiction including the two tax modules.

Others may disagree and your final decision as to your route is your own but good move asking the question here as it's very easy to make some very expensive mistakes when just starting out.

Good luck,

Shaun.

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Shaun

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Shamus wrote:

So, personally I would do ACCA-X then the full AAT qualifiction including the two tax modules.

Others may disagree and your final decision as to your route is your own but good move asking the question here as it's very easy to make some very expensive mistakes when just starting out.

Good luck,

Shaun.


I've hit go on the first course of the ACCA-X which starts on the 3rd July. I'm happy as its free and will get me started over the 10 weeks, then I can move onto the second one.

My local college has an open day at the beginning of September, so I can poke my head in and chat to them having studied a bit on the ACCA-X. If the online study option works well for me then I'll have the other option of continuing online with one of the 3 online providers in the awards on here.

Thanks for the tips on studying the tax options, Ive done some self assessments for myself and had experience of doing a handful of P11D's during employment. Everyone seemed to hate tax and VAT I remember, but I"ve done both in past and I'm sure there are lots of people out there willing to pay someone to sort it out rather than tackle it themselves.

I very much appreciate the time people take to reply. In these days of the internet there are so many options of study that come up when you type in AAT. I'm sorry to say I am just old enough to remember doing a adult ed course in my late teens when all the info you could get was from the brochures from the local library.

I'll hopefully let you all know how I get on with the ACCA-X. Maybe there is a thread on here with those of us starting it.

Kindest Regards

Carrie Richards



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Carrie



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Hello all,

I just wanted to add my thanks for the incredibly helpful advice offered here.

I am new to the forum and was in a very similar position to Carrie above - totally confused by the variety of courses on offer! As a brief background, I spent 34 years in the civil service doing admin, although in later years when the CS finally caught up and introduced computers ( the latest technology was a black bakelite phone with a dial when I first started ) the job included logging financial transactions when they took place and ensuring everything balanced at the end of each month. Unfortunately, due to my husband's terminal illness coinciding with the relocation of the office, I had to give up work to care for him.

I am now looking to get back into employment but would rather work for myself now. I enjoyed the limited amount of financial work I did, particularly hunting for the errors that prevented the journals balancing at the end of each month and in fact, did get a reputation as the go-to person in the office for sorting those problems out, so I think ( hope!) I will have some aptitude for bookkeeping. Based on the excellent advice given in this and other, replies, I have enrolled for the ACCA -X free course starting tomorrow and will do those followed by the AAT test to see what level AAT course I need to start from. As I would ultimately like to provide bookkeeping services for sole traders amongst others, I will eventually aim to do the tax papers at AAT level IV as Shaun suggests. I have also ordered the books Shaun mentioned in another post, so thank you again Shaun!

All I need to do now is hope the poor old brain hasn't completely turned to mush now I've gone past 50!

With thanks again,

Kind regards

Sharon


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Sharon



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Welcome Sharon.

Shaun is a super star isnt he. He does it all for free as well.

There are a few on here over 50 - this job keeps the brain active as you will never ever ever stop learning with it, certainly not at the speed with which sucessive Governments and HMRC like to shake things up.

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

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



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Hi Sharon

Thanks for posting, I was sorry to read about your husband but good for you for moving forward and starting on training.
It was nice to hear from someone starting on the same path.
Best of luck with the course over the next few weeks.

I haven't ordered the books yet but will give them a look.

We have school holidays and a holiday booked, so I'm hoping to fit the course in somewhere!
Like you I'm dusting off the brain and its bad enough following our 11 year olds maths homework.

Perhaps we can start a new thread for folks doing the ACCA-X.

Kind regards

Carrie




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Carrie



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No problem Sharon,

glad to have helped, welcome to the forum and hope to chat lots more as you progress through your training and beyond.

Don't worry about the age of the brain, it's what you do with it that matters and this career path is certainly going to get it back firing on all cylinders.

Whilst not a sweeping generalisation of the people here I would say that a fair number of us are children of the sixties. I was in my fifties before I got my letters.

Don't let society stereotype thinking knock your confidence. Our minds only stop learning if we allow them to... i.e. I'm mid fifties and just starting my Masters in accountancy... Sure that when I'm in my seventies I'll be thinking about a PHd... Age is nothing but a number. You're only as old inside as you allow yourself to be and I get the impression from the jolly banter here that most of us haven't quite left our twenties behind us yet.

Welcome :)

Shaun.



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Shaun

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Shamus wrote:

Age is nothing but a number. You're only as old inside as you allow yourself to be and I get the impression from the jolly banter here that most of us haven't quite left our twenties behind us yet.


And why should we!!

Hi Sharon welcome to the forum



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Thank you all for your welcome messages. To be honest Joanne, I think you are all superstars for giving your time and advice so generously and I'm very pleased to have found this forum. I like to think that one day, I will be experienced enough to offer my own advice here to help others and so repay the debt.

Thank you for the confidence boost and encouragement Shaun! You are quite right, of course - although sometimes getting out of bed in the mornings I feel more like 90 but I won't count those days On a more serious note, both losing my husband and stopping work have given my confidence a knock - this is the first time I've been out of employment since I was 16 so it does feel a bit strange. However, I've got this opportunity now so will make the most of it. The first of the books you recommended arrived today - the AAT course companion. It's a sturdy tome for sure but I will take it a page at a time and, if all else fails, it'll make an excellent door stop

Carrie, I think a new thread for the ACCA-X course is a good idea. I'll have a go at setting that up in a bit. It certainly sounds like you're going to have your hands full over the next few weeks but hopefully it wont be too challenging for you with your background experience. I wish you the best of luck with your studies too. As an aside, I see from your original post that you are a trained reflexologist. I trained as a homeopath some years back so, if all else fails, we'll have to set up an alternative med. practice instead !

Thanks again everyone and good luck with your Masters studies Shaun.

Kind regards

Sharon







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Sharon


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Welcome to the forum both Sharon and Carrie. I'm a very young 56 3/4 so it's never too late lol.

Sharon, your mention of antiquated equipment brought back memories of my brief time in the Inland Revenue back in 1981. I was only a YTS but I would be given some file cards and info on a sheet and update the taxpayers income and tax for that tax year. It's amazing to think how much technology has advanced even in the last 40 years.



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Thanks John, glad there are other, shall I say, more mature members here

You're right about the speed of technological changes, for sure. I remember the first computer we were introduced to - a dumb terminal shared between 16 people with the computer bit having a room all to itself. All exciting stuff! The printer was four floors up from where we were - a cunning government ploy to get the staff more active, I fancy

Kind regards

Sharon

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Sharon


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Here's me thinking I was the more mature member on here but I'm a few years off 50 yet.
But old enough to remember the first PC's and using DOS based Computers. Also drooling over the first Apples in John Lewis in the 90's but not being able to afford one.
Computing wasn't fun until you'd reinstalled Dos and windows from a huge pile of floppy discs.

We've just enjoyed a rare evening out as daughter is away on school trip. Came out of the cinema at 8:45 hungry and found all the restaurants completely dead and not many folks about. dont remember things being this quiet 20 odd years ago! Sunday night must be a stay in night? There's hubby and me feeling young and out on the town practically by ourselves.

It sounds like you're all a great bunch, and we're all still young yet.

Never too old to learn is my motto.



-- Edited by CJArt on Monday 3rd of July 2017 04:15:27 AM

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Carrie



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Lol. My first laptop needed a very strong lap to hold it. it had an LCD screen, 512k of Ram, two floppy drives and no hard drive. (Toshiba T1200)

Image result for Toshiba T1200

First PC was a Tiko 386DX with 5 1/4 inch floppys and a whole 90mb (thats right, megabytes) of hard drive that at the time I thought nobody cold ever fill up that amount of space!!!

Lol. How times have changed... Well, except the only apples that I've ever drooled over are consumables. Very much a PC person through and through.

And yes, you're one of the spring chickens around here, lol. Many here are career changers. some after redundancy, changinging technology, parenting, etc.... Surprisingly large contingent of ex bankers here.

Thats a great motto to have about learning. Now that you have entered this profession you will never stop learning... A warning there. You will not find everything interesting and some things will be a real struggle to get your head around. Work your way through them, ask questions here and share your problems such as if a certain subject is just not sinking in.

The above said, a lot of it is great to learn and even after many years I still get a warm fuzzy feeling when a balance sheet does... Although, when it does it first time I also have to recheck it as I assume that I've got something wrong on both sides of the equation confuse.

Good luck in the studies which start today don't they.

Have fun,

Shaun.



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Shaun

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Our Uni used to hire out chunky laptops like that for typing up assignments. It was too expensive to buy one for yourself.
My Dad bought me a PC after a while and it was in colour and had basic windows on it, we used to play Ultima Underworld on it instead of actually doing much work.

I've started the introductory course today and listened to first webinar. Learning is so much more interactive and interesting than when I last did any in my business degree, that just consisted of a pile of doorstop shaped books and long lectures. If I can survive that I can do anything.

On the advise of the tutor in the webinar I have enrolled on the other free course, intermediate one. She advised enrolling now rather than having to wait if you find the first course goes well. There is access for 12 month on both which is plenty of time hopefully.





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Carrie



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Shamus wrote:

Lol. My first laptop needed a very strong lap to hold it. it had an LCD screen, 512k of Ram, two floppy drives and no hard drive. (Toshiba T1200)

Image result for Toshiba T1200


Thats what I use now!!!!! biggrinbiggrin

I keep thinking of our works old Lotus 123 machine - that had a room of its own and was just used for dumping clients Auditeds (and maybe management accounts - cant recall!) into ready for further analysis. Rarely see Audited these days!



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Joanne

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You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



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Ok, so perhaps I am changing my mind some what here.
I've read dozens of threads on here on the AAT vs ICB, and I'm now wavering towards the ICB levels II & III.
That would get me up and running quickly and able to work.
I know I don't ever want to be employed in accounts by anyone else again and prefer working for myself. So the ICB route seems attractive to me.
I could do the first two levels then take stock and continue on with ICB if I want to.

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Carrie



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CJArt wrote:

Ok, so perhaps I am changing my mind some what here.
I've read dozens of threads on here on the AAT vs ICB, and I'm now wavering towards the ICB levels II & III.
That would get me up and running quickly and able to work.
I know I don't ever want to be employed in accounts by anyone else again and prefer working for myself. So the ICB route seems attractive to me.
I could do the first two levels then take stock and continue on with ICB if I want to.


Its not a recognised qualification by NQF for exemptions from other qualifications but it will give you the skills required to do the AAT skills test so that after ICB you could start your studies at level III.

You may not want to be employed by accountants but you will work with accountants who may ask you what qualification that you have before they will work with / subcrontract work to, you. Many of them start out as AAT before moving on to ACA or ACCA so they understand what AAT is... I have still met very few accountants who have heard of the ICB or IAB.

Nothing that you study is wrong and everything will help you get to where you want to be.

Be careful listening to lines that you may read such as bookkeeping qualifications putting you in a position to complete accounts. That was a reaction by the bodies concerned to the issue that bookkeepers who qualify through them are typically looking to service the smallest clients and those clients are in general looking for a one stop shop rather than having one person do the bookkeeping and another the accounts. As such offering accountancy services (everything after trial balance) was bolted onto the qualifications so neither of them can truly call themselves bookkeeping qualifications anymore but at the same time, they're not comparable to accountancy qualifications so they cling onto the word bookkeeping in order to differentiate their offering.

For intention of working past trial balance I would advise that the lowest you should look at is AAT. If you feel that you can earn a living from offering only bookkeeping services stopping at trial balance, payroll and VAT work then maybe consider the bookkeeping bodies. At least you go into it knowing the shortfalls of that path.

Good luck no matter which route you take.



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Shaun

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Hi Carrie,

The ICB will give you everything you are looking for. I've known many, many students who have gone on to set up their own bookkeeping accounting secrvices and are now completing year-ends, self-assessment returns, payroll runs, credit control, and much more. Following the ICB qualification structure change in 2014 they are now in line with the National Qualification Framework (NQF) and those that want to take the step toward ACCA, for example, will gain an exemption or two; ICB confirmed this news a year or two ago. However, taking the step to ACCA will initially remove the prospect of self-employment in the indistry.

You don't need to attach yourself to a provider as there are self-study options, but there are one's that provide ongoing support after you qualify, making the transition from student to bookkeeper a little easier.

Whatever route you take....good lucksmilee



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By gosh your right Brian. I stand corrected that things have indeed changed slightly. I have seen no mention of that in any accounting journals or on here which is why it flew under the radar.

LEVEL IV CERTIFICATE IN ADVANCED BOOKKEEPING AND ACCOUNTS, FULL COURSE COMPLETION will now give exemption from paper F3

LEVEL IV CERTIFICATE IN MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING, FULL COURSE COMPLETION (I've not actually seen that course mentioned anywhere? Is that one new?) will now give exemption from paper F2

There doesn't appear to be any exemptions from paper F1 which I assume is down to a lack of professional ethics in the ICB sylabus.

On the what students can do comment. ACCA students can perform bookkeeping to trial balance, VAT and Payroll work (as per regulation 8) unless the are supervised by a suitably qualified accountant in which case they can go further although they still would not be allowed to put their name to anything until they have their letters and a practice certificate. If ACCA students (including ACCA-X students) offer bookkeeping services they can make no mention of ACCA and must get their MLR from HMRC. They can be members of other bodies such as for MLR but the ACCA rules take precedence so for instance, if someone was MICB and studying ACCA they could not go past trial balance where if they were not studying ACCA they could.

Just as an addendum to keep things balanced, having AAT level IV (MAAT) gives exemption of ACCA papers F1, F2 and F3.

For all this talk of exemptions I would strongly advise anyone not to take them and to sit the exams instead as each body is different and future exams build on earlier studies. I remember that my group that did the OU certificate in accountancy for the most part signed up for ACCA. The others took the exemptions and struggled. I did the exams and by F5 I was the last one left of the group. I believe largely due to the fact that they couldn't adapt to the way that with ACCA exam questions as much is written between the lines as on the page. i.e. you are not so much answering a question as considering the reasons behind it and the laws and regulations to which such relates.

kindest regards,

Shaun.








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Shaun

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You can earn more with the higher AAT qualification. Better respected by those you will get work from. Better prepared for the work when you get it. It is not about working for someone else's firm, but getting work from them. If you are in such a rush to earn dont wiait until Septemberr, you can get the whole of the AAT done in as little at 6 months if you choose. It's been done in 4!!

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Caron



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Thanks all again for taking the time to reply.
It is a huge decision deciding which path to take, I'm keen not to waste time being in my late forties, and head in the right direction.

I think AAT must be the way to go then. looking further into the ICB there are lots of parts to it, and extras to do after level 4, such as payroll and self assessment tax. As Shaun has said I can do those as options down the AAT route. It was strange something was drawing me to the ICB but my head is saying AAT. Also thanks for the info re ACCA exemptions, good to know but a long way down the line.

As an aside hubby is fully CIMA qualified but currently not using it as he was working in IT. But the life and traveling of an IT Consultant is not something he wants to do forever as missing out on family life is not fun. I'm trying to entice him back into Accountacy with me so we could work for ourselves. He is scarily good with numbers and even thought of retraining as a maths teacher at one point.

Casu, someone must have worked very hard to pass AAT in 4 or 6 months! Not sure I can match that, especially during the nice weather.

Just to make it clear to myself in order to say I'm AAT I need to have passed up to including level 4. If someone approaches me before that time I can't mention AAT. I know what I'm meaning here but it's warm here on the south coast and my brain is not connecting to my fingers typing properly.






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Carrie



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I've signed up for the ICB route (with Ideal Schools). I've nearly finished level 2. I choose it because of the emphasis on self employment - ACCA and AAT were more focused on employment, and the necessity of a qualification an accounting firm (for example) would recognise. I spoke to a number of local bookkeepers and accountants before signing up, all of whom had heard of ICB. Two accountants felt AAT was strongly unnecessary, when I wanted to be a bookkeeper! The NQF doesn't bother me as it is a qualification in its own right. And I believe the 'parts' you speak of are similar to AAT. I've signed up for Level 2, 3 and 4, with (hopefully!) becoming AICB after level 3 and MiCB after level 4. More local advice I received was to continue and complete level 4 before setting up else you could find yourself putting it off if you become busy. Payroll and Self Assessment I believe are the optional units after level 4, I intend to do them too but figured I'd wait until nearer the time to lock myself in :) I have no regrets so far, the course has been excellent.

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Hi Carrie

I have passed both AAT and ICB, the AAT I passed many moons ago and worked in employment for 15 years with it, when it come to getting my practice licence I was unable to offer self assessment due to not having the 3 years practical experience and gaining it through employment at the time wasn't an option. So I retrained myself with the ICB. I have had no problem gaining clients or work from Accountants, one accountant actually recently found me VIA the ICB website. It will all come down to personal choice, personally I found ICB the best option to hit the ground running when setting up my business.

Bethan

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But is not the key there Bethan that you were taught your craft by the AAT but chose to practice under ICB's. There was much more that you learnt whilst studying AAT. It was not simply a matter that you chose one or the other. You did both with the primary teaching coming from the AAT.

I know that there are quite a few who could not gain practice certificates under their own professional bodies that have moved to flags of convenience with the likes of ICB, IAB and IFA. But, the key there is that they got their training, their foundations in this business, with bodies such as AAT, ACCA and CIMA.

p.s. welcome to the forum. The BCS (who have posted on here before about IR35) are going to be kicking themselves that they didn't beat you to your userid!



-- Edited by Shamus on Thursday 6th of July 2017 05:55:08 PM

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Shaun

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Hi Shamus Yes I was taught a lot of knowledge previously via AAT, none of it I remembered when it came to resitting exams 15 years and 2 children later. I don't believe personally the AAT would've prepared me for self employment like the ICB course did, the AAT is great alongside some kind of practical experience but if you don't have that option then the ICB covers this. Carrie also stated that she knows she never wants to be employed again, it is very difficult to gain the practical experience if you are not in an employed position. It is a great qualification I just believe the ICB is more practical for someone looking to go straight into self employment but as I said it is all down to personal choice. My other point was that you stated few accountants have heard of the ICB, I was just pointing out that this has never been an issue with me gaining work. PS. BCS would be my initials! I was actually surprised such a simple user name was available!

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Master Book-keeper

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SHillK wrote:

I've signed up for the ICB route (with Ideal Schools). I've nearly finished level 2. I choose it because of the emphasis on self employment - ACCA and AAT were more focused on employment Sorry but thatsan absolute pile of tosh! I must remember to tell all those self employed MAAT MIPs, FMAAT MIPs, practising ACCAs and FCCAs!!!!! , and the necessity of a qualification an accounting firm (for example) would recognise.Yes if you want employment that they are the necessity, because they want the best trained people, but it is also true in the majority of cases where such firms farm out work to trusted self employed professionals. Most want AAT or higher, but not all.

I spoke to a number of local bookkeepers and accountants before signing up, all of whom had heard of ICB. But try your hand on Aweb or go along to Accountex and no-one has. Its been mentioned a few times, certainly before that site was completely decimated by the ridiculous supposed upgrade of their website which led to a wholesale departure of hundreds of their respected contributors.

Two accountants felt AAT was strongly unnecessary, when I wanted to be a bookkeeper! Probably more likely to be self preservation. The market is becoming far too crowded and many are just out to protect their own businesses. Again, not all, but most! The NQF doesn't bother me as it is a qualification in its own right. And I believe the 'parts' you speak of are similar to AAT Really - so why are the exemptions so few?. I've signed up for Level 2, 3 and 4, with (hopefully!) becoming AICB after level 3 and MiCB after level 4. More local advice I received was to continue and complete level 4 before setting up else you could find yourself putting it off if you become busy. That is good advice, rather on getting the knowledge before you start serving a client base, but no matter how busy you become CPD is essential and time consuming, you will and should never stop learning.Payroll and Self Assessment I believe are the optional units after level 4, I intend to do them too but figured I'd wait until nearer the time to lock myself in :) I have no regrets so far, the course has been excellent. Good to hear, good luck with the course


Casu is correct, plus as I always say (and have said mnay many times on here) - why settle, why not be the best you can be - always aim for the highest you can.



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Joanne

Winner of Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017

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

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



Master Book-keeper

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BCS wrote:

Hi Shamus Yes I was taught a lot of knowledge previously via AAT, none of it I remembered when it came to resitting exams 15 years and 2 children later. I don't believe personally the AAT would've prepared me for self employment like the ICB course did, the AAT is great alongside some kind of practical experience but if you don't have that option then the ICB covers this. Carrie also stated that she knows she never wants to be employed again, it is very difficult to gain the practical experience if you are not in an employed position. It is a great qualification I just believe the ICB is more practical for someone looking to go straight into self employment but as I said it is all down to personal choice. My other point was that you stated few accountants have heard of the ICB, I was just pointing out that this has never been an issue with me gaining work. PS. BCS would be my initials! I was actually surprised such a simple user name was available!


Hi Bethan

Shamus is called Shaun btw. You might not be able to see his name if you are using some smart phones, but you can when on a PC etc.

So what you are saying is that you forgot EVERYTHING you learnt from the AAT, not one single part of it came back to you whilst you were doing your ICB exams? I dont mean to insult you but in normal circumstances I would find that incredible except my son is the same when it comes to his exams - but in his case that is because he never learns the subject properly in the first instance - not something I can hold against his teachers/course.

Plus the 3 years practical experience is no longer the case. There are ways and means round that. Supervision being one, but plenty of others. There has been a much publicised case of someone who re-trained and did the AAT, a member of this forum, who had no industry nor practice experience but gained their full MAAT MIP providing company, partnerships and sole trader accounts and tax returns within months of passing her exams and is now so bombed out with work that she is sub-contracting and thinking of taking on staff (which is why we dont see her on here these days).

Plus worth mentioning that there are different levels of the AAT, especially with their new bookkeeping qualification, which some may find restrictive, others can earn a living at this level and some use it as a good stepping stone.

Can you please explain - how does the ICB provide support for those entering into private practice? Ive never heard of any so genuinly do not know.

What I do know is that ICBers were looking elsewhere for such support in seemingly huge numbers with this site and others gaining new members, with anecdotal evidence of people actually leaving them to go the IAB due to a lack of support. Plus how does this offer of support for those moving into practice differ from the AAT offering, now?

Also it has to be asked why, when the support is so great, is that we get so many ICBers coming and asking for help on here specifically when they have their own forum? They have a closed forum, well closed to those who are not members, in terms of posting. We can certainly see their questions, yet when I last looked loads of the technical questions have gone unanswered, in fact Ive seen some scarily bad answers. Which to be fair happens on here occasionally although at least our moderator will jump in and sort them out, or they will be advised to seek out other specialists. I do not think this site has hadd many unaswered questions in the last 2 years

Never mind the fact that we have seen many ICBers move on to do the AAT!

Of couse, fortunately, everyone is different, otherwise we would all be vying for the same clients! As ever there will be good ICbers and bad AATers. Plus some who do not have exams behind them, the QE, who will get work from many Accountants, including the Chartered Certifieds ICAEW/ACCA and even some very large firms based on their reputations for producing great work, although these will be in the minority.

Edited to sort typos






-- Edited by Cheshire on Thursday 6th of July 2017 09:08:38 PM

__________________

Joanne

Winner of Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017

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

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



Forum Moderator & Expert

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SHillK wrote:

ACCA and AAT were more focused on employment


Sorry, missed this comment as it was not the last comment in the thread when I responded.

ACCA and AAT are more concerned with why we need to do things in certain ways rather than concentrating so much upon how to do them. Actually, I would say that AAT actually wins out on the how to do things over ACCA as they use a real CT600 in their corporate tax paper and refer to real HMRC and companies house documents where ACCA is more concerned with how what you are entering relates to statute and regulations (tax and financial reporting standards).

I would not confuse needing to know that information with employment but rather preparing those who take those qualifications to be able to debate with those who may not understand why they need to do things in a certain way. (explaining why they cannot put their garden shed office through their business is always a fun one).

The arguements for ICB tend to be that it is the easiest and fastest route to being able to open a business. Thats not to confuse easiest with easy but compared to the others it's not really in the same ball park. Personally it took me over ten years to get my letters and at the end of it you still feel unsure as to whether you actually know enough as the hiogher qualifications show you how much there is hidden behind the curtain. Considering that is taking the fastest route comparable at all? Is it not a serious shortfall that there is so much that one does not know yet the smallest clients expect a full service relationship. They are putting their trust in their representation whether trained by the ICB, AAT or ACCA are all equivalent where the reality is that to a large extent. The ACCA people have been rumaging around behind the curtain and opened a few boxes that they wished that they hadn't looked in. The AAT people have peaked behind the curtain and seen something the equivalent of the warehose at the end of Indiana Jones and the ICB people who have no other experience assume that everything is in front of the curtain.

The reality is that AAT and ACCA are simply more focused on giving their members the big picture where ICB is concerned with giving it's people enough for them to get started.... And if you think thats enough take a look at some of Joannes responses in relation to VAT queries. They are things that bookkeepers need to know but the bookkeeper production factories just don't even touch upon.



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Shaun

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Master Book-keeper

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Shamus wrote:

The reality is that AAT and ACCA are simply more focused on giving their members the big picture where ICB is concerned with giving it's people enough for them to get started.... And if you think thats enough take a look at some of Joannes responses in relation to VAT queries. They are things that bookkeepers need to know but the bookkeeper production factories just don't even touch upon.


Just to add to that. Even at what seems the most basic of bookkeeping levels, you never actually really know when you take a client on just what complex issues they might have further down the line, even by just a couple of months, when their business changes, expands or due to legislative changes etc. Some see a gradual change in their service needs, others see a rapid explosion consisting of a myriad of changes which they will expect you to be able to deal with overnight. Or of course you can then just had them off to someone with the higher qualification to deal with. But why would you put your business and livelihood under that kind of pressure when there is no need.

Or maybe its just me with my flippin out of the box clients (who all seemed such normal straightforward businesses when I first took them on!!)



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Joanne

Winner of Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 & 2017

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

You should check out answers with reference to the legal position



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Thanks to everyone who's responded to my questions.
I'm coming to conclusions now on the route to take.
I have school holidays and a holiday soon, but hope to be studying in September

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Carrie



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CJArt wrote:

Hello All,

I'm new to the forum here.

I will be starting my journey in Bookkeeping in September after the school holidays. Was looking at local colleges and doing the Level 1 Course and then the Level 2 course.

I need some advice as to if I am starting at the right point /level.

About me;

I completed a General Business Degree 20 years ago and worked in a small business for 9 years doing computerised accounts work including nominal ledger, payroll and VAT etc. Then after not returning after maternity leave I worked at home on various things (qualified Reflexologist!) and doing accounts/ invoicing etc for my husbands business. We moved overseas for a while, so I had a short break from working and now am back in the UK and would like to earn some money and fit in with school hours. I don't have any formal accounting qualifications and feel I would like to get some. Local bookkeeping services << REMOVED >> company Your Books On Time.
Now I know I have some knowledge of accounts etc and am not a complete beginner, but there are various levels of AAT courses out there. I'm not adverse to starting at the basic level 1 bookkeeping course which is only 10 weeks and going on to the level 2 bookkeeping, so I could be refreshed on the basics. I could also at the same time do the Level 2 AAT one day a week, so could get those 3 courses done in one year.

Am I thinking along the right lines here? or should I start at a higher level. I'm aiming to work for myself from home once I get up and running.


Is the program still operational?



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Master Book-keeper

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Date:

Grotti wrote:
CJArt wrote:

Hello All,

I'm new to the forum here.

I will be starting my journey in Bookkeeping in September after the school holidays. Was looking at local colleges and doing the Level 1 Course and then the Level 2 course.

I need some advice as to if I am starting at the right point /level.

About me;

I completed a General Business Degree 20 years ago and worked in a small business for 9 years doing computerised accounts work including nominal ledger, payroll and VAT etc. Then after not returning after maternity leave I worked at home on various things (qualified Reflexologist!) and doing accounts/ invoicing etc for my husbands business. We moved overseas for a while, so I had a short break from working and now am back in the UK and would like to earn some money and fit in with school hours. I don't have any formal accounting qualifications and feel I would like to get some. Local bookkeeping services <<link removed>>company Your SPAM On Time.
Now I know I have some knowledge of accounts etc and am not a complete beginner, but there are various levels of AAT courses out there. I'm not adverse to starting at the basic level 1 bookkeeping course which is only 10 weeks and going on to the level 2 bookkeeping, so I could be refreshed on the basics. I could also at the same time do the Level 2 AAT one day a week, so could get those 3 courses done in one year.

Am I thinking along the right lines here? or should I start at a higher level. I'm aiming to work for myself from home once I get up and running.


Is the program still operational?


Bit in bold highlighted in red for Shaun to delete the post I've linked to. Please note that Grotti has linked to a genuine old post and inserted his spam into it.



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John

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Cheers John,

all sorted now. This one said that they were in America (Virginia) but they are actually based in Moscow.

We've not had any Russian spam for a while. I begining to feel that it had all been outsourced to India and Pakistan.

All the best matey,

Shaun.



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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

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Drat, he should have bribed me with a bottle of Vodka and I wouldn't have brought it to your attentionbiggrinbiggrinbiggrinbiggrin

Thanks Shaun.


Edited to remove brand name (dawned on me it might get the forum into trouble)



-- Edited by Leger on Saturday 6th of June 2020 12:42:18 AM

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John

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Hi folks,

Just seen this old thread pop back via an email alert.

Im Happy for the whole thread and my original post to be deleted, if it stops any problems.

Thanks for all your help everyone on study options.

Currently my training is on hold as Im helping our 14 year old through IGCSEs (now really having to use my brain).
She was badly bullied at school and has been home educated for a while now, and studies at a local centre and at home.
She is doing so great, is so bright and hopefully be sitting 5 IGCSES a year early, next year.
Im now learning algebra! And have found at the age of 51 I actually like maths and unlike when I was at school, can actually do gcse maths.






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------------------------

Carrie



Forum Moderator & Expert

Status: Offline
Posts: 11822
Date:

CJArt wrote:

Hi folks,

Just seen this old thread pop back via an email alert.

Im Happy for the whole thread and my original post to be deleted, if it stops any problems.

Thanks for all your help everyone on study options.

Currently my training is on hold as Im helping our 14 year old through IGCSEs (now really having to use my brain).
She was badly bullied at school and has been home educated for a while now, and studies at a local centre and at home.
She is doing so great, is so bright and hopefully be sitting 5 IGCSES a year early, next year.
Im now learning algebra! And have found at the age of 51 I actually like maths and unlike when I was at school, can actually do gcse maths.





Hi Carrie,

they will always find a post to try and push their spam so not going to delete old posts that they find.

Ooh, GCSE prep. Fun. Pretty sure that my boy still has nightmares about his prep with me. I'm white but he got the full Asian parent experience when it came to the run up to his exams. Was quite an eye opener for me as well the number of things that I found he had either not been taught or they had taught them the most illogical, confusing way of doing things.

Lol, for a good three months before I had him doing either two old maths paper or a science paper a day and the number of times I had to sit him down in front of the office white board and reprogram him from scratch on how to calculate basic maths problems was ridiculous.

Of course, once he got good exam results I had to sit with the teachers who don't have a clue about what they are trying to teach and listen to them harping on about it being a struggle but they got Peter through with some pretty decent results in the end.

So just wanted to say "Like f*ck you did" but went with the penguin approach instead... Just smile and wave, smile and wave.

Anyway, that would be my advice. Every old paper for the exam being sat for the past few years sat under exam conditions. At least as you have home schooled you haven't got the issue of deprogramming the wrong way to do things out of her before moving her forwards.

Good luck with that algaebra... Lol, yep, I had to completely relearn things like Pythagoras as we all use that in our daily lives after leaving school don't we!

All the best,

Shaun.



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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.

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