The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is the largest bookkeeping institute in the world. It promotes and maintains the standards of bookkeeping as a profession through the establishment of relevant qualifications and the award of grades of membership that recognise academic attainment, working experience and competence. StudyOnline offers you the chance to join this great community of Bookkeepers and gain a recognised up-to-date certification.


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Approved Learning Partner is an approved partner with The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) in Ireland. The ICB is the largest bookkeeping institute in the world. It promotes and maintains the standards of bookkeeping as a profession through the establishment of relevant qualifications and the award of grades of membership that recognise academic attainment, working experience and competence.


  • to promote bookkeeping as a profession
  • to increase recognition for bookkeeping as an integral part of the financial profession
  • to promote education and learning
  • to enable the achievement of a recognised bookkeeping qualification
  • to provide a trusted benchmark for the profession
  • to improve the career prospects of ICB members

The fee is €399.00 for 1 years enrolment.

Included in this fee is:

  • Registration Fee of €30 with ICB
  • Yearly Membership of €65 with ICB
  • 3 Mock Exams worth €37


The fee provides:

  • Studio recorded course, designed and content produced by a team of experienced bookkeeping trainers and practicing professionals.
  • All content ratified by ICB ( is a certified ICB Training Partner for Ireland)
  • Comprehensive set of instructor led videos
  • A mock exam, with solution for each exam
  • In depth topic by topic exam tips and advice
  • Online tutor support for queries, clarifications, questions and answer


Examination Fees:

  • To gain a Certificate in Bookkeeping, there are 3 assessments (A1, A2 and A3).  These assessments are online and cost €63 each. These are not included in the course fee and paid separately when needed.

The Certificate in Bookkeeping covers the basic principles of single and double entry bookkeeping and its application to business.  Upon completion of this qualification candidates will be able to carry out the role of an employed assistant bookkeeper under supervision.

Qualification Aims

The Certificate in Bookkeeping is aimed at those who are new to bookkeeping and have little or no previous knowledge or experience. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate a full understanding of the concepts of double entry bookkeeping and its place in modern business, enter transactions into a bookkeeping system and produce an initial trial balance. They should be able to reconcile sales and purchases ledger balances against the relevant control accounts and reconcile the bank account. They should also be able to identify and correct errors present in the system.


There are no formal entry requirements to the Certificate in Bookkeeping and no prior bookkeeping knowledge is assumed at this level. However, candidates must have basic numerical skills and a good understanding of the English language.

Course Structure

The Certificate in Bookkeeping is made up of five topics:
  1. Underpinning Knowledge
  2. Preparation of Business Documents
  3. Accounting for VAT
  4. Entering Transactions
  5. Reconciliation and Reporting

The learning outcomes for each topic are:

Topic 1 - Underpinning Knowledge

  • Understand the importance of adhering to a code of professional ethics
  • Understand the legal differences between the structure of different types of businesses
  • Understand the specific accounting requirements for different accounting systems
  • Understand the basic accounting concepts
  • Understand the importance of legislation that applies to bookkeepers
  • Understand the importance of the Chart of Accounts
  • Understand the importance of IT systems in a modern bookkeeping world
  • Understand the basic principles involved in double entry bookkeeping including the format of the accounting equation
  • Identify the various methods of payments and receipts to and from a bank account

Topic 2 – Preparation of Business Documents

  • Understand the purpose and range of business documents
  • Understand the need to accurately prepare business documents for goods and services supplied
  • Understand the need to check business documents received

Topic 3 – Accounting for VAT

  • Understand the various Rates of VAT
  • Understand how to correctly account for VAT in a bookkeeping system
  • Understand how to account for VAT transactions with customers and suppliers in other countries

Topic 4 – Entering Transactions

  • Understand the purpose of, and make entries into, a bookkeeping system
  • Calculate the value of equity
  • Understand how to upload and match bank transactions
  • Understand the use of control accounts in the system
  • Understand the purpose and need to record petty cash
  • Post appropriate journal entries into the system

Topic 5- Reconciliation and Reporting

  • Understand the purpose and use of the trial balance
  • Reconcile relevant account balances
  • Understand the need to correct errors
  • Produce relevant reports

The testing of knowledge and skills for the qualification will comprise three online assessments (A1, A2 and A3)

The first two will test the concepts that underpin the double entry system for a variety of types of businesses; the third will test the set up and data entry to trial balance using software.

The content of each assessment is listed below.

A1 – Basic double entry bookkeeping to trial balance

  • Underpinning knowledge
    • Knowledge of the different categories of business that exist
    • Terms in bookkeeping (assets, liabilities, etc.)
    • Banking procedures
    • Understanding the different categories of VAT (standard, reduced, zero, exempt, outside the scope)
    • Calculation of the value of the capital investment for a sole trader
  • Calculation of business documents including calculation of VAT
  • Showing an understanding of the effect of entering transactions into a bookkeeping system for sales, purchases, overheads, capital items, returns, personal items, etc.
  • The effect of making and receiving payments including bank, cash and petty cash transactions
  • Calculation of account balances
  • Production and explanation of a trial balance

A2 – Further double entry bookkeeping to trial balance

  • Underpinning knowledge
    • Ethics
    • Legislation relevant to the bookkeeper
    • Accounting concepts
  • Further double entry including the following
    • Topics from A1
    • The content of control accounts
    • Writing off a bad debt
    • Construction Industry Scheme
    • Posting non-sole trader entries (subscriptions, donations, drawings of partners, directors’ loan accounts, etc.)
  • Entry of payroll journals
  • Calculation of the value of a suspense account in a system that does not balance
  • Reconciliation of debtors, creditors and bank balances
  • Correction of errors that do not affect the trial balance
  • Production and explanation of a trial balance

A3 – Data entry to trial balance using software

Test to include the use of a computerised accounting software package to include:

  • Opening of entries
  • Entry of cash and credit transactions
  • Production of a trial balance
  • Production of reports for debtors, creditors, bank, VAT and the audit trail
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Correction of errors

The three assessments should be taken in the order listed above.  Candidates will receive notification of results by email.  All three assessments must be achieved to gain the full qualification.



The A1 and A2 assessments are computer marked and results are available immediately. Results for A3 may take up to 28 days as this assessment is manually marked. 


All assessments are taken at home or at the place of work, and each assessment will be graded as follows:

Distinction 95-100%
Merit 90-94%
Pass 85-89%
Fail 0-84%

Once all assessments have been successfully completed an overall qualification certificate is awarded.  The qualification certificate will be graded at Distinction with Honours, Distinction, Merit or Pass. Unit results will be aggregated. To achieve the relevant grade in the full qualification, the following aggregate marks must be achieved:

Distinction with Honours 295 marks and above
Distinction 285 – 294 marks
Merit 270 – 284 marks
Pass 255 – 269 marks

Successful achievement of the full qualification will lead to the offer of Associate Membership of ICB with the designatory letters AICB.

Our Bookkeeping Lecturing Team

Colm Foley

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