Bookkeeping as a Business

Why do Business Owners need Bookkeepers?

The skill gap is at its worst among small and micro businesses with well over 99% lacking any formal qualifications in, what is arguably, the most important part of running any business – bookkeeping. Here’s why:

Without accurate bookkeeping, a business owner has little to no idea of where their business is going.

  • They won’t know if it’s currently in profit.
  • They won’t know if it’s about to have a cashflow issue.
  • They won’t know how much they are owed, or how much they owe.
  • They won’t know whether they are approaching any important thresholds such as the threshold for mandatory VAT registration.

Furthermore, without a proper bookkeeping process in place (as well as an accurate set of books) accountants aren’t able to do their work properly.

And so the demand for professional bookkeepers comes not just from business owners, but also from accountants who are happy to outsource their work to bookkeepers who have nationally recognised qualifications.

Why become a Member in Practice?

You may be wondering how the International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB) can help you become a professional registered bookkeeper and help you set yourself up in practice.

First, let’s look at the reasons you might want to join the IAB and become a registered Member in Practice:

  • Credibility. Qualifications from the IAB are globally recognised and Ofqual accredited.
  • Trust. Gaining trust from your prospective clients is the most important part of building a bookkeeping relationship and practice.
  • Confidence. Passing your bookkeeping qualification not only gives you confidence in your abilities, it gives your customers confidence too.
  • Prestige. As a member of the IAB, your professional qualification allows you to add recognised letters after your name.
  • Support. The IAB offers a very large range of support. You can read more about what you get over here, but one of the benefits of being a Member in Practice is access to the IAB’s tax and accounting support lines (if you’ve got a difficult question, we’ve got the experts to help – at no extra cost).

How Do You Become a Member in Practice?

To apply to join the IAB as a Member in Practice you must first join the IAB as a professional member.  There are two paths depending on your current status. 

The first is if you are already qualified to level 2 in bookkeeping or payroll either through the IAB or another recognised awarding body. In this case, you’re already eligible to join as a professional member. You can find out more about becoming a member here

The other way is to gain your qualifications through the IAB. The IAB is an international organisation available in over 70 countries, so you have an extremely wide set of options to choose from.

Where To Study For Your Qualifications

The IAB has three ways to study for your qualifications:

  1. Self study.
  2. Distance learning.
  3. Classroom based.

If you like the idea of gaining your qualifications at home, then the self study option is the way to go. You can get your text books direct from the IAB online store here.

If you would prefer some guidance, then distance learning may be for you. There are many options to choose from including dedicated tutors.

Or you may prefer a more formal classroom based learning. Many colleges and adult learning centres run IAB courses, and you can find your nearest centres here.

Becoming a Member in Practice

The IAB is one of only 26 organisations approved for anti money laundering (AML) by the Treasury, and as a Member in Practice, you get free advice and help on all matters to do with AML.

The IAB is also recognised by HMRC and as a Member in Practice you are automatically approved by HMRC to operate as a registered agent. If you were to apply to HMRC independently, it would cost you £215 in your first year, and then £115 per year thereafter.

You can find out more about the costs of IAB membership here.

Support for Members in Practice

The IAB run regular seminars, which also help with your Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements as well as regular updates and other ways to improve your skills.

We also have various training courses to help you run your business efficiently as well as professionally, so you will never feel alone. Our ethos is to ensure that every member gets the help they need. We like to think of ourselves as one big family.

This is why the IAB operate as a non profit organisation run by its members for its members. This is another aspect that makes the IAB unique and the only dedicated bookkeeping organisation in the world to do this.

Next Steps

If you’d like to find out more about joining the IAB, becoming a qualified bookkeeper or payroll professional, or becoming an IAB Member in Practice, please contact the IAB.[/vc_column_text]