Professional membership FAQs

Is the professional body a non-profit organisation which is controlled by its members?

Yes, the IAB is one of the most prestigious not-for-profit organisations for professional bookkeepers.  It is controlled by its members and has an elected council, which is formed of IAB members who take on the role of directors of the IAB.

Is the professional body involved with various government departments as well as standard setting bodies to promote the professional integrity of bookkeepers?

At the forefront of benchmarking, the IAB works with government as well as standard setting bodies to promote the professional integrity of bookkeepers.

Below are just some of the ways in which the IAB represents its members and students on a national scale:

  • A key partner in the Growth and Innovation Fund project, addressing the financial skills needs in micro and small business, creating bookkeeping and payroll apprenticeships and improving the skills of unemployed people.
  • A key supporting partner in the ‘Get Mentoring’ initiative, funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and led by SFEDI, which has successfully trained over 15,000 mentors to support new businesses.
  • With the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership, the IAB led the work creating the bookkeeping units of the QCF in England, and similarly with the payroll units, with the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.  The IAB also helped initiate bookkeeping apprenticeships.
  • International export of the IAB’s Ofqual accredited qualifications (utilising the effective support of UKTI Growth), enabling the IAB to equip those in developing economies with the essential financial skills for their businesses, and to improve individual career prospects and progress.
  • Offering support to those young entrepreneurs accessing Start Up Loans, with the aim of ensuring that they have the necessary financial skills to success, or otherwise have access to training and accredited qualifications, or access the support of a qualified and regulated IAB bookkeeper.
  • Representation of bookkeepers at national level (for example, the HMRC Employment Consultation Forum and the Tax Agent Strategy.)

What’s the difference between student membership and professional membership?

You are automatically given a year’s free student membership when you register for an IAB qualification.  Student membership doesn’t automatically grant you professional membership.

Professional membership is completely separate to this and is for those who have gained an IAB level 2 qualification or higher or an equivalent with another awarding body.  There are fees involved with professional membership.  To apply for professional membership please contact the membership team on 01732 897750 or membership@iab.org.uk.

Which qualifications do I need in order to apply for professional membership?

To apply for membership you need to have an IAB level 2 qualification or higher.  We also have an exemptions database so if you hold any qualifications equivalent to this with another awarding body you may also apply.

What are the different grades of professional membership?

There are three levels of professional membership: Associate, Member and Fellow.  In addition Fellow members will also have ‘Registered Bookkeeper’ status.

How much does it cost to be a professional member?

The cost does depend on the level of membership which you are applying for and the country in which you live.  The three levels of membership are Associate, Member and Fellow.  This is reviewed on a yearly basis and half year fees are in operation from 1st June onwards.  For a list of fees please click here.  If you don’t live in the UK please contact the Membership Department for the fees list: membership@iab.org.uk or +44 (0)1732 897750.

When does the membership year run?

The membership runs from 1st January until the 31st December each year for all professional members.

What are the benefits of professional membership and what support is available to me?

The moment you join the IAB as a fully-fledged member, you open the door to exclusive opportunities to grow your career – and build your future.

Offering a wealth of resources and discounts, professional membership also lets future employers know you are ahead of the field.

Some of the benefits of joining the IAB today are:

1. Professional status: You can use the IAB’s designatory letters after your name, elevating your status to the most professional level in the industry

2. Be in the know: Regular email newsletters and print magazines keep you up to speed with all the latest news, industry and legislation developments

3. Upgrade skills: Continue your professional development through seminars and online modules – enabling you to learn new skills

4. Comply with the law: Register to be supervised as a member in practice under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007

5. Best practice advice: You’ll have access to a member’s handbook which is packed with invaluable information and sample documents to save you time such as Letters of Engagement, Compliance Checklists, etc

6. Be organised: A free annual diary and tax data card means key information is always at your fingertips

7. One to one support: Access any technical advice you need from a team of experienced members

8. Online resources: Access a wealth of information and practical tools through the restricted area of the IAB website.

For a complete list of the benefits available please click here.

How do I apply for professional membership?

To find out how you can apply for professional membership please click here.

Does the professional body offer supervision for money laundering if I have my own practice?

Yes, the IAB is an approved statutory supervisor.  It was granted authority by HM Treasury to supervise its professional members under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

By law, you have to be supervised if you have your own practice and are:

  • A bookkeeper, payroll administrator
  • An accountant, auditor or tax adviser

Our members in practice are entirely supervised by us, so you won’t need to register with HMRC.  Please note this only applies to practices in the UK. IAB membership entitles you to:

  • Access best practice and up-to-date legislative guidelines
  • Be legally supervised under our regulation framework
  • Receive a compliance certificate in line with your membership level

Certificate of Supervision: Associate Members only

Certificates of Compliance: 0-3 years’ experience, or part-time practice, for MIABs and FIABs

Practising Certificates: 3+ years of registration, for MIABs and FIABs

In turn, as a sole trader or company, you must put procedures in place to deter money laundering and terrorist financing.

For advice on how to apply for IAB supervision, or how the IAB can best help you, please contact the Compliance Team: compliance@iab.org.uk or +44 (0)1732 897750.

Is money laundering supervision in addition to professional membership?

Yes, once your membership has been approved you can then apply for anti-money laundering supervision.  The cost for this is currently £90 for the year and it is mandatory for you to have professional indemnity insurance in place upon application.  We do have a list of providers who offer preferential rates to IAB members for this.  We can send this to you or alternatively you are free to choose your own provider.

For advice on how to apply for IAB supervision, or how the IAB can best help you, please contact the Compliance Team: compliance@iab.org.uk, or +44 (0)1732 897750.  You can also view more information here.

How much shall I charge for my services?

We are unable to provide an exact answer regarding this as prices do vary depending on the type of work and also the region in which you work.  We usually suggest you try contacting other bookkeepers in your area to give you a rough idea of how much you should charge.