ICB Financial Accounting Courses

ICB Financial Accounting course will equip you with the skills and knowledge for bookkeeping and financial activities. This qualification is a scarce skill.

Our ICB Financial Accounting Courses

ICB Senior Bookkeeping FET Certificate

Bookkeeping: ICB FET Certificate

The ICB Bookkeeping : FET Certificate equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge that prepare you to work in senior positions in the Bookkeeping ...
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ICB Junior Bookkeeping National Certificate

Bookkeeping: ICB National Certificate

The ICB Bookkeeping : National Certificate equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge that prepare you for financial duties in the Bookkeeping field.
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ICB Certified Financial Accounting

Certified Financial Accounting: ICB National Diploma

The Certified Financial Accounting National Diploma will set you up for a rewarding career, Remember it is a scarce skill and scarce skills are in ...
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ICB Technical Financial Accounting

Technical Financial Accounting: ICB National Diploma

The ICB Technical Financial Accounting National Diploma will prepare you for the financial Accounting work environment with the relevant skills and knowledge.
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The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) Accounting courses equip students with bookkeeping and accounting skills and knowledge. These skills and knowledge are important as they are relevant to every business.

What Are ICB Financial Accounting Courses?

ICB Financial Accounting courses equip students with the skills and knowledge to account for business finances. These courses build on each other. This means that you cannot proceed to the next level unless you have completed the previous level. These courses fall under the ICB Financial Accounting programme.

ICB Financial Accounting Courses

Bookkeeping: ICB National Certificate

SAQA ID: 58375
Course Credits: 120
NQF Level: 3
Qualification Title: Junior Bookkeeping
Qualification Type: National Certificate
Course Duration: 12–16 months

Entry Requirements

  • Grade 10 or Grade 10 Equivalent Certificate
  • Be able to read, write and understand English
  • Be able to study through distance learning

Course Subjects

  • Bookkeeping to Trial Balance (BKTB) – This subject will introduce you to the basics of bookkeeping up to the trial balance level
  • Payroll and Monthly SARS Returns (PMSR) – This subject will teach you how to work out the payroll. In addition, the courses will teach you to calculate the amount of money that is due to SARS.
  • Computerised Bookkeeping (CPBK) – Not only will you be taught how to perform your bookkeeping duties manually, but you will also learn how computerised bookkeeping works.
  • Business Literacy (BUSL) – This subject will teach you how to manage a business and how communication is done in business

Bookkeeping: ICB FET National Certificate

SAQA ID: 58376
Course Credits: 130
NQF Level: 4
Qualification Title: Senior Bookkeeping
Qualification Type: ICB National Certificate
Course Duration: 12 – 24 months

Entry Requirements

Course Subjects

  • Financial Statements – This subject will teach you how you come up with financial statements and their purpose  
  • Cost and Management Accounting – This subject will introduce you to Cost and Management Accounting. What it is and how it assists in the pricing of goods and services.

Technical Financial Accounting: ICB National Diploma

SAQA ID: 36213
Course Credits: 251
NQF Level: 5
Qualification Title: Technical Financial Accounting
Qualification Type: ICB National Diploma
Course Duration: 12 – 24 months

Entry Requirements

Course Subjects

  • Income Tax Returns – In this subject, you will learn how income tax returns are calculated. You will also learn about the income tax brackets and the rate that applies to each of the brackets 
  • Business Law and Accounting Control – In this subject, you will learn about the law as applied in business and the principles behind accounting control

Certified Financial Accounting: ICB National Diploma

SAQA ID: 20366
Course Credits: 280
NQF Level: 6
Qualification Title: Certified Financial Accounting
Qualification Type: ICB National Diploma
Course Duration: 12 – 36 months

Entry Requirements

Course Subjects

  • Corporate Strategy – In this subject, you will learn about the different methods that you can apply to take the business to the next level in terms of financial prosperity  
  • Management Accounting Control Systems – In this subject, you will learn about how financial management reports are used to manage a business. Certain business financial management controls can be implemented as a result of the management accounting report 
  • Financial Reporting and Regulatory Frameworks – In this subject, you will learn about the financial reporting standards that are used internationally.
  • Research Theory and Practice (in the short dissertation; topic: Financial Accounting) – In this subject, you will submit a researched article on Financial Accounting

The ICB programme that is best for Financial Accounting is the ICB Financial Accounting programme. Remember, ICB courses build on each other. This means that you cannot study the next level before completing the previous level. 

Here are the courses that you will study in this programme:

Yes, Financial accounting is a good career, here is why:

  • It is a scarce skill – Financial Accounting is a scarce skill. This means that employers are always searching for Financial Accountants. It also means that as soon as you finish your studies, there can be a lot of employment opportunities for you.  
  • Competitive salaries – Salaries in the financial accounting industry are very competitive. This is because financial accounting is a scarce skill and there is a high demand for people with these skills.
  • Not restricted to any industry – With a financial accounting qualification, you can work in any industry. Remember that every business or organisation needs a Financial Accountant. The government, municipalities, and not-for-profit organisations also require the services of a Financial Accountant.
  • No geographical limitations – With a Financial Accounting qualification, you can work anywhere in the world. The Financial Accounting profession works the same in any part of the globe.
  • Work for yourself – You are also able to work for yourself if you have an accounting qualification. What this means is that you can perform financial accounting activities for a number of businesses and charge the applicable rates that are set by financial accounting professional bodies.

To become a Financial Accountant,  you can study the ICB Financial Accounting programme. Here are the minimum requirements for admission to this programme: 

  • Grade 10 or Grade 10 Equivalent Certificate 
  • Be able to read, write and understand English 
  • Be able to study through distance learning

Here are some of the duties of an Accountant:

  • Managing cash coming in and going out of the business
  • Preparing budgets
  • Preparing financial statements
  • Calculating taxes
  • Preparing financial reports
  • Auditing financial transactions
  • Making sure that the business remains in a healthy financial position
  • Managing staff in the finance department

Here are some of the skills that are necessary for a Financial Accountant:

  • Communication – To be an effective Financial Accountant, you must be able to communicate well both within the organisation and outside the organisation. You should be able to communicate well both orally and in writing. It is important that you communicate well because issues of finance are critical such that they need to be managed well.  
  • Leadership – As a leader, you must be able to lead from the front. This means that you can demonstrate to your staff members that what you are asking of them to do, you can do just as well or even better. For example, if they are supposed to manage time well, be their example of how time can be managed.
  • Analytical – To be effective in your duties, you will need to analyse your financial reports and statements and come up with winning strategies. 
  • Time management – To be effective as a Financial Accountant, you will need to manage your time well. Deadlines, as well as appointments, must be met on time every time. 
  • Critical thinking – Where business finance issues are concerned, critical thinking becomes important. Critical thinking can determine whether you will be successful in your profession as a Financial Accountant. Some critical decisions that you make can build or break the business.

There are two groups of people that use financial accounting information, and these are:

  • Internal people 
    • Managers
    • Employees
    • Owners
  • External people 
    • Stockholders
    • South Africa Revenue Services (SARS)
    • Banks
    • Lending institutions
    • Investors

Here are the advantages of accounting for business finances:

  • Detect fraud – Financial Accounting can help a business trace fraudulent activities
  • Organisation – Financial Accounting help in organising the finances of a business 
  • Whether there is profit or loss – Financial Accounting assists in determining whether a business is making a profit or a loss
  • Preparation of financial reports and statements – Financial Accounting enables a business to prepare financial reports and statements
  • Maintain records – Financial Accounting helps in keeping financial records
  • Attract investors – Financial Accounting reports can assist in attracting investors if the business is financially healthy
  • Assist lenders – Financial Accounting records can assist lenders to determine whether to lend the business a loan or not

Financial Accounting is not hard. Here are a few tips that you can use: 

  • Draft a study timetable
  • Make sure that there are no distractions at the place where you study
  • Read widely
  • Interact with your tutor
  • Ask your tutor questions on areas that you are finding difficult
  • Prepare thoroughly for your examinations

Here are the recommended duration of the ICB Financial Accounting courses:

You can study Financial accounting online at Matric College. Online learning is a form of distance learning. With distance learning, you use the following online tools:

  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Telephone

Yes, you can be an Accountant without a degree. The ICB Financial Accounting programme gives you an opportunity to become an Accountant without a degree. In addition, the minimum entry requirement to the programme is very flexible.

There are basically five types of accounting. Here are the types of accounting:

Financial AccountingRecording, summarising and reporting financial transactions
Managerial AccountingUsed by management to come up with strategic plans
Cost AccountingMeasures the fixed and variable costs of a product or service
Tax AccountingAccounting for tax purposes
Forensic AccountingUsed to detect fraud and pilferage

Here are the highest paying Accounting jobs in South Africa:

  • Chief Financial Officer – R 780 000.00 per annum
  • Chartered Accountant – R605 000.00 per annum

Here are some of the duties of a Bookkeeper:

  • Recording financial transactions
  • Making sure that financial transactions are recorded in the books
  • Working up to the trial balance stage
  • Complete tax forms

According to Investopedia, here are the best accounting software for small businesses:

  • QuickBooks Online
  • Xero
  • FreshBooks
  • QuickBooks Self-Employed
  • Wave

Here is why you should study ICB courses:

  • The courses are recognised
  • ICB courses are accredited 
  • ICB courses are scarce skills courses
  • Entry requirements to ICB courses are flexible

Yes, ICB qualifications are recognised by both employers and other professional local and international accounting bodies. Here are the professional bodies that recognise ICB: 

  • South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT)
  • South African Institute of Business Accountants (SAIBA) 
  • International Association of Bookkeepers (IAB)
  • International Association of accounting professionals (IAAP)

ICB courses have no set registration period. You can register at any time that you are ready. This means that registration for ICB courses is done throughout the year.

An ICB Student Portal is an online platform that ICB students use for the following:

  • Create a student profile
  • Register as a student
  • Register for the exams
  • Make all the necessary payments
  • Update personal information

ICB MACCI is the second online portal where students can:

  • Monitor the progress of their course
  • Complete assignments 
  • Submit assignments
  • Write Online Tests 
  • Write online Exams 
  • Complete the Digital Portfolio of Evidence

The assessment process involves the following for every subject:

  • Assignments
  • Tests 
  • Exams 


There are three assignments that you will write for each of your subjects. These assignments must have been submitted on the duties before the exam. 30% of your final mark will come from the assignments that you will have written.   


There are two online tests that you are required to write per each of your subjects. These tests are marked immediately, and you will know how well you will have done as soon as you finish. The tests will assist you in determining the areas that you are struggling with. 


The ICB offers two types of exams, that is, paper-based and online. You will have to choose which type of exam that you are comfortable with. The exam duration is 3 hours per subject.

You can register for the ICB exams through the ICB Student Portal. Remember, the portal is your link to the ICB. However, before you register with ICB, make sure you register with Matric College first. You can click here to register for your exams directly with the ICB.

With the paper-based exam, you will have to go to an examination centre to write your exam. With the online exam, you will write the exam online at a place that is suitable for you. It can be at your home or at your office. Bear in mind that the exam that you will write is the same. Only the platforms are different.

Here are the technical specifications for the ICB online exams:

Internet line speedMinimum download 5 Mbps
DataMinimum 3 – 5 GB
SoftwareMS Office
Webcam1280 x 720 resolution

Yes, ICB gives credit for work experience and prior learning. Applications are only considered for courses that are registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Here is the information that you will need to provide:

  • Proof of provider accreditation
  • NQF level 
  • SAQA qualification registration number
  • Proof of Payment – R490.00 (The fees are subject to change)
  • Copies of your previous results (non-South Africans must include a South African Qualifications Association (SAQA ‘Certification of Evaluation’)
  • ICB student number (you must be a registered student to apply for an exemption)
  • Copy of ID or passport

Here is what you will need for an exemption due to work experience:

  • Application letter
  • Detailed CV explaining your work experience and references from relevant jobs
  • A letter from your Manager confirming your work experience
  • Copy of ID or passport.
  • Proof of payment – R490.00 (The fees are subject to change)

There are two ways that you can access your exam results:

  • ICB Student Portal – When the results are released, you can download the results on the students’ portal. Go to the Reports section to download your results.
  • Email – You can wait for an email from ICB to know your results. As soon as the results are released, an email, with the results attached, will be sent to you.

Yes, you can rewrite your exams. You will need to re-register for the rewrite at a full fee. If the new exam date is within the same academic year, you will not need to re-do your tests and assignments. Remember, ICB exams are held every month.

Our Accreditation


SAQA stands for South African Qualifications Association. It is the body that administers the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The body also coordinates with Quality Councils and registers qualifications on the NQF.


The Department of Higher Education and Training is one of the two Government departments that oversee education and training in the country. Higher education and training falls under the DHET. ICB courses are higher education training.


The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the body that sets the ICB exams. When you pass your exam, the ICB instructs FASSET to issue you a Certificate while the ICB issues you with a Certificate of Completion.


QCTO stands for Quality Council for Trades and Occupations. Occupational and trade qualifications are accredited by the QCTO. SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) also falls under the QCTO. This means that FASSET (the Finance and Accounting Education Sector) falls under the QCTO.

Why Choose To Study ICB Financial Accounting via Distance Learning

Here is why you should choose distance learning:

  • Flexibility – There is flexibility in studying through distance learning. You plan your own study timetable. By studying through distance learning, you will never miss a class. You can study at your own pace in your own time. 
  • Cut Transport Costs – With distance learning, there is no need to travel to classes. This way, you get to cut travel costs. In addition to cutting costs, you also save on time since there will be no need to travel. The time that you would have spent travelling can be used for studying. 
  • Study Anywhere – Distance learning allows you to study anywhere you want, as you do not have to attend classes. You will, however, need internet access to be online. Remember, you also have your Matric College-issued study notes and textbooks that you can work from. 
  • Covid-19 Safe – By studying through distance learning, you reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19, as you will be studying at home. If you have a smartphone, there will be no need to leave your home to visit an internet café. You can access relevant study material through your phone.
  • You can learn and work at the same time – With distance learning, you can earn and learn at the same time. You can work full or part-time while studying. The added benefit of this option is that you can pay for your studies this way.

Career Opportunities with an ICB Financial Accounting Courses Qualification

Here are some of your career opportunities and their average salaries:

  • Bookkeeper – R 17 948.00 per month
  • Accounts Clerk – R 15 000.00 per month
  • Loan Officer – R 25 000.00 per month

Here are the duties of a Bookkeeper:

  • Recording financial transactions 
  • Verifying that transactions are recorded 
  • Working the books up to trial balance stage
  • Dealing with tax issues
  • Maintaining financial records

Here are the duties of an Accounts Clerk:

  • Providing clerical support 
  • Maintaining  accounting documents and records
  • Prepare bank deposits,
  • Reconciling accounts 
  • Tracking accounting documentation 
  • Adhering to standards, procedures and applicable laws

Here are the duties of a Loan Officer:

  • Processing loan applications 
  • Interviewing loan applicants to determine eligibility 
  • Determining debt payment plans
  • Approving loans
  • Complete loan contracts 
  • Maintain and update account records
  • Assess customer needs
  • Insurance Underwriter – R 25 000.00 per month
  • Credit Analyst – R 44 781.00 per month
  • Accountant – R 31 873.00 per month

Here are the duties of an Insurance Underwriter:

  • Reviewing insurance applications 
  • Assessing clients’ financial status
  • Liaising with specialists to gather information and opinions
  • Drawing up quotes for insurance premiums
  • Keeping records of policies underwritten 
  • Developing and maintaining a profitable book of business 
  • Following applicable insurance laws

Here are the duties of a Credit Analyst:

  • Analysing and assessing the financial statements of potential clients
  • Reviewing credit applications 
  • Performing credit checks
  • Structuring credit deals  
  • Performing risk assessments.
  • Determining payment terms and credit limits

Benefits Of Studying At Matric College

Here are some of the benefits of studying at Matric College:

  • We provide you with textbooks
  • We provide you with expertly written study notes
  • Access to your tutors
  • Access to student support services from 08:00 am to 05:00 pm Monday to Friday
  • Assist with exam preparations

Yes, Bookkeepers are in demand. Remember,  Bookkeeping is a scarce skill. Employers are always on the lookout for people with scarce skills. That is why you may not spend a long time on the job market when you finish your programme.

Yes, a Bookkeeper can be an Accountant. The progression of the ICB Financial Accounting is such that the first two courses, that is, Bookkeeping: ICB National Certificate and Bookkeeping: ICB FET Certificate  will qualify you as a Bookkeeper while the last two courses, Technical Financial Accounting: ICB National Diploma and Certified Financial Accounting: ICB National Diploma will qualify you as an Accountant.

Yes, you do need both a Bookkeeper and an Accountant. This is because the functions of the two roles are different. While a Bookkeeper is mainly concerned with the recording of financial transactions, and Accountants use the information compiled by the Bookkeeper to come up with financial statements and reports.

Here is the difference between a Bookkeeper and an Accountant:

Records financial transactionsReviews financial statements
Records salesInterprets financial statements
Record bill paymentsAnalyses financial information
Works on the payrollCompiles financial reports
Determine taxes that are dueCompiles financial statements

Here are the common accounting mistakes that are mostly done by small businesses:

  • Taking bookkeeping for granted
  • Doing all accounting activities in-house
  • Not recording small transactions
  • Poor communication with the Bookkeeper
  • Not budgeting for projects
  • Date entry errors
  • Failing to separate personal and business accounts

Here is how you can avoid errors in accounting:

  • Keep receipts, invoices, and other documents
  • Always check your records for accuracy
  • For small businesses, always separate your personal and business accounts
  • Small business owners must also separate personal and business funds
  • Use accounting software where possible
  • Always create budgets for projects

This is a financial statement that shows the company’s assets and liabilities at a given point in time. An asset is a good that provides current or future benefits to a business. An example of an asset is a building, a vehicle, and a computer. A liability is something that a business is liable to or simply a debt. An example of a liability is mortgage debt, salaries owed and bank debt.

Here is the difference between finance and accounting:

Management of money and investmentsMain role is to record, maintain and report a business’ financial records
Finance professionals work in investment banking and wealth management entitiesWork in all sectors of the economy
Main role is to create value 

Here is the difference between Cost Accounting and Financial Accounting:

  • Cost Accounting – Cost Accounting compiles the cost of producing a product or service. Costs that are taken into account are fixed and variable costs. Examples of fixed costs are rentals, salaries, insurance and interest expenses. Examples of variable costs are costs that change from time to time, like contract labour.
  • Financial Accounting –  The recording of all business transactions. Financial statements and reports are then drawn from the records. These can be analysed, reviewed and used for management purposes.

Here is the difference between a journal and a ledger:

  • Journal – This is a subsidiary boom of accounts where all transactions are recorded before being transferred to the ledger. The recordings done in the journal are not as detailed as the ones in the ledger
  • Ledger – This is the principal book of accounts that classifies the transactions that are recorded in a journal. The ledger is more detailed than the journal.

Author: Collin Wilbesi
Editor: Amy Venter
Date Published: May 19, 2022

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