Amanda Essen AIAB

“Self-study was ideal for me due to the responsibilities of having a young family.”

Amanda successfully completed the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and the Level 1 Award in Bookkeeping via the self-study route.  She is now a professional member with the IAB and is looking to set up her own bookkeeping practice. 

Q: What made you choose bookkeeping as a career route?

A: Bookkeeping is what I have always enjoyed as part of learning accounts. It gives a vast insight into the running and success of a business, and you get to be part of the behind the scenes team.

Q: What was your reason for choosing to study the IAB’s qualifications?

A: I chose the IAB because it offered a self-study route. The IAB specialises in Bookkeeping and Payroll which is where the focus of my career will be. The qualifications are recognised by Ofqual, and I had heard very good reviews from current members on social media. The qualification itself was easy to understand and straightforward.

Q: What made you decide to take the self-study route?

A: Self-study was ideal for me due to the responsibilities of having a young family. It meant I could work around them and to my own schedule. I wanted to change my career path and this was the only way I could see it happening.

Q: How have you found teaching yourself the qualification?

A: I usually like to complicate things for myself however this qualification was much more relaxed than I expected which was great. I feel Level 1 prepared me greatly for Level 2 so I was not feeling as daunted. I found the IAB resources – the text books and past papers – invaluable to my studies, and very clear and concise.

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about your plans for the future? 

A: Although I have applied for my Practice Licence with the IAB I haven’t made the jump and started looking for clients yet. I am still a bit apprehensive to take the leap as I am working out what services to provide and how much to charge. I plan to sit Level 3 and I do want to progress with further qualifications if that’s an option. I would love to become a professional member of the IAB.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying to become a bookkeeper via the self-study route?

A: Take your time. If you have questions ask them. There are plenty of other resources out there like Facebook groups specifically for accounting/bookkeeping students where you get a friendly answer to your questions. The IAB has a Facebook group for members.  Don’t move on until you fully understand. Invest in various other books to give a different perspective on the same subject.