Bookkeeping: ICB FET Certificate

Are you good at numbers and handling money? Do you enjoy helping people with their taxes?

If so, you sound like you’d make a great bookkeeper! Matric College offers an ICB Senior Bookkeeping course! 

As an intermediate course, you will gain the best practical skills and knowledge to help you excel in your career.

Watch our College Principal explain everything you need to know about our ICB Financial Accounting courses.

Read more below.

ICB Financial Accounting

Bookkeeping is the recording of a company’s financial transactions. Bookkeeping enables a company to make important operating, investing and financing decisions. Here are the two bookkeeping methods that are used:

  • Cash Basis
  • Accrual Basis 

Cash Basis

This type of accounting records a transaction only when cash is paid or received. 

Accrual Basis

This type of accounting records a transaction when it occurs, even if cash is not received or paid.

Cash basis and accrual basis

Why Should I Study Bookkeeping?

Every business needs a Bookkeeper. Here are some of the reasons why you should study Bookkeeping:

  • Flexibility
  • Competitive salary
  • Rewarding career
  • Start your own business
  • Gain a scarce skill
  • Gain transferable skills


Bookkeeping cuts across all industries. As a Bookkeeper, you have the flexibility of working in any industry.  

Competitive Salary

Bookkeeping being a scarce skill and therefore Bookkeepers earn a competitive salary. With more experience and as you climb up the corporate ladder your salary and benefits also increase.

Rewarding Career

Having achieved your bookkeeping qualification, you can study further to become an Auditor or Accountant. You can even go on to become the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a business.

Start Your Own Business

With a Bookkeeping qualification, you can start your own business. You can be a Bookkeeper for small businesses or even a Financial Advisor. You can start any other business and implement your financial skills and knowledge in running the business. 

Gain A Scarce Skill

Bookkeeping is a scarce skill. When gaining a scarce skill, besides having a competitive salary and benefits, you also have job security.

Gain Transferable Skills

Your bookkeeping course will also teach you transferable skills. Here are some of the skills that you will gain:

  • Analytical skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Project management skills
  • Strategic thinking

Why Does A Business Need A Bookkeeper?

A business bookkeeping function is necessary as it cuts across all industries.  Here are some of the reasons why businesses need bookkeeping:


For you to budget, you need to have a record of your income and expenses. With a budget, you can plan for the future expenses of a business. 


Recording your income and expenditure assists a company to provide financial information usually needed by the following; SARS, investors, lenders, employees and customers. 


Financial statements are a product of bookkeeping. By using the statements, you can understand where your business stands financially.


For you to plan for the future, you need to understand the past performance of your business. Bookkeeping will provide you with a picture of what has and has not worked for your business.  

Track Profit And Growth

Bookkeeping shows the business’s profitability. The income statement is one of the documents that is included in the financial statements produced through bookkeeping. This allows the business to track whether the company is making a profit. This information can be used as a  comparison with previous years. This comparison enables a business to see trends and gain an understanding of business cycles   

How Does Bookkeeping Differ From Accounting?

Here are some of the differences between Bookkeeping and Accounting as shown in the table below:

bookkeeping versus accounting

General Course Information

Here is the general Information on the Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate.

general Information on the Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate.


These are the subjects that you will study for the Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate.

  • Financial Statements (FNST)
  • Cost and Management Accounting (CMGT)

What is Further Education And Training (FET)?

Further Education and Training (FET) refers to education and training provided from Grades 10 to 12, including career-oriented education and training offered in technical colleges, community colleges and private colleges. The Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate is referred to like that (FET) because it is a career-oriented course. 

Where Does Further Education And Training Fit Into The Educational System? 

There are three bands in the education system of South Africa. These are:

  • General Education Training (GET) – Runs from Grade 0 to Grade 9
  • Further Education and Training (FET) – Grade 10 – 12 and includes career-oriented technical education and training. 
  • Higher Education and Training (HET) – This is tertiary education. This includes both undergraduate and postgraduate Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates

Further Education and Training (FET) is in the middle of the three bands. The courses offered on this level prepare you for a career in a certain field. Further Education and Training courses equip you with a skill set and knowledge that is required in a specific field.

Courses in this level are developed as a response to scarce skills needed by employers. As has already been mentioned, Bookkeeping is a scarce skill.

What Can I Study After Passing My Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate?

After successfully completing your Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate, your next step will be to study for the Financial Accounting: ICB Technical National Diploma. Remember, ICB courses build upon each other. Here is the General Course Information about the Diploma:

General Course Information

General course information forFinancial Accounting: ICB Technical National Diploma


These are the subjects that you will study for the Financial Accounting: ICB Technical National  Diploma:

  • Bookkeeping To Trial Balance (BKTB)
  • Payroll and Monthly SARS Returns (PMSR)
  • Computerised Bookkeeping (CPBK)
  • Business Literacy (BUSL)
  • Income Tax Returns (ITRT)
  • Business Law and Accounting Control (BLAC)

Why Should I Study An ICB Qualification?  

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is internationally recognised and has been in existence for the past 130 years. It is an external examination body. This means the ICB does not provide training material or run the courses. This is done by their accredited training providers including Matric College. All their training providers are registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET).

The Institute is accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations and their courses are registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Here are some of the reasons why you should study your Bookkeeping course with the ICB: 

Internationally Recognised

ICB’s qualifications are also recognised by international professional bodies for either membership and / or exemption. Here are the international bodies that recognise ICB qualifications:

  • ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants – UK
  • CIMA – Chartered Institute of Management Accountants – UK
  • IAB – International Association of Bookkeepers – UK
  • IAAP – International Association of Accounting Professionals – UK

Nationally Recognised

ICB courses are recognised by other professional bodies locally as their qualifications meet the requirements for their membership. Here are professional bodies that recognise ICB’s qualifications:

  • SAIT – South African Institute of Tax Practitioners
  • SAIBA – South African Institute Of Business Accountants

Scarce Skills

All ICB courses are scarce skills. Scarce skills are skills that are in demand. Employers are always looking for new employees with scarce skills. Bookkeeping is a scarce skill. In general scarce skill careers do have better pay rates. 

Entry Requirements Are Flexible

The entrance to most ICB courses is flexible. For example, the minimum entry qualification to the Accounting Programme is the following:

  • You must have completed and passed Grade 10
  • Be 16 years or older
  • Able to read and write in English  
  • Able to study by distance learning

Can I Get Exemptions?

If you have studied a similar course previously or you have relevant work experience you can apply for an exemption. Applications for exemptions are reviewed by the ICB’s Exemptions Board. 

These are the two types of exemptions that are considered:

Recognition Of Prior Learning (RPL)

Here are the conditions that you need to meet for the Board to consider your application:

  • Student application form
  • Qualifications must be on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) register 
  • Submit proof of provider accreditation, for example, Umalusi, DHET (Department of Higher and Tertiary Education)
  • NQF level
  • South African Qualification Association (SAQA) registration number.
  • Qualifications must have been obtained within the last five years and, if not, must still be NQF registered.
  • Detailed CV if you are applying for an exemption on the grounds of work experience.
  • Proof of payment

Exemptions For Work Experience

For exemption on the grounds of work experience, you will be asked to complete a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE). Once you have completed the Portfolio of Evidence, the ICB will evaluate it and then let you know whether your exemption has been approved or not.

Granting Of Exemptions  

Here is what you should expect when you apply for exemption:

  • Full exemption
  • Exemption not granted 
  • Conditional exemption granted

Full Exemption

This is granted if the ICB recognises your previous studies and grants you credit for equivalent subjects. An exemption fee is paid per subject granted.

Exemption Not Granted 

An exemption is not granted if the Exemptions Board finds that your previous qualification(s) or work experience does not match part or all of the learning outcomes of the subject(s) you are applying for.  

Conditional Exemption Granted

This means that you do not qualify for the full exemption but can submit more evidence without having to write an exam. You will have to complete a Portfolio of Evidence assessment to prove your competence in a particular subject. 

Jan Badenhorst, CEO Of Matric College, Discusses Everything You Need To Know About The Institute Of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB)

How Will Matric College Assist Me In Passing My National Certificate?

  • Matric College offers the ICB Courses via distance learning
  • You will receive textbooks and study notes that have been carefully written by our course experts
  • We offer academic support 
  • We offer online study groups
  • We have experienced tutors who will assist you in those areas that you will be struggling with

What Will I Achieve?

By the end of this Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Monthly bookkeeping
  • Asset disposal
  • Year-end adjustments
  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for small businesses 
  • Branch accounts
  • Analysis of financial statements
  • Understand cash flow
  • Basic cost and management accounts
  • Preparing financial accounts
  • Costing and budgeting

How Will I Be Assessed?

As soon as you are ready to study, you will need to pay your annual student registration fee. After payment, you can register for your exams. Registration for your exams will enable you to receive your Portfolio of Evidence. The Portfolio of Evidence is an important part of your learning journey. You can not properly prepare for your exams if you do not have a Portfolio of Evidence.

What Is A Portfolio Of Evidence (PoE)

Since the beginning of April 2021, all Portfolios of Evidence have been converted to digital format. The Portfolio of Evidence is accessed through the ICB MACCI platform. MACCI is the online portal used by ICB students to access their Portfolio of Evidence. Your login details on the platform will be provided as soon as you register for your exams. 

Through MACCI, students can do the following:

  • Submit assignments
  • Write tests
  • Write exams

The Portfolio of Evidence has three phases and each phase has an assignment. 


In phases 1 and 2, the assignments are completed online. The assignments are also auto-marked. You will receive immediate feedback on your submitted assignments.

You will need to download the assignment for phase three and complete it offline. After completing the assignment, you will need to scan it and upload it to the Portfolio of Evidence.

The assignments are not timed but you will need to complete them in a single login.


Two tests need to be completed as part of the Portfolio of Evidence. The tests are part of phases 1 and 2. Tests are done online and are auto-marked. You will receive feedback immediately.

Unlike the assignments, the tests are timed. The tests are designed in such a way that there is no time to look for answers. This means that you have to know your work well. 

Final Exam

ICB exams are written throughout the year. For you to be allowed to write your final exams, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You must have completed all the formative assessments, that is, the three assignments and the two online tests
  • You will need to submit your Portfolio of Evidence online before the start of an exam. For students who are writing the paper-based exam, the Portfolio of Evidence must be submitted at least 48 hours before the exams. 

Online Exams

Online exams are written during February, April, June, August, October and December. The 3-hour exams start at 9:00 am. You get 30 minutes to set up your computer. You will write your final exams on the MACCI platform. You will need to keep an eye on the ICB website for the actual dates. 

Paper-Based Exams

When we talk about paper-based exams, it means that you have opted to go to an examination centre to write your exam. Paper-based exams are written in March and August. The 3-hour exam starts at 1:00 pm. Keep an eye on the ICB website for the actual dates.

What Is The ICB Student Portal?

The image below shows the ICB Student Portal login page

ICB Student Portal

All students have access to the students’ portal. The student portal is your link to the ICB. As soon as you register as a student you will be able to do the following:

  • Register for exams
  • Print exam confirmations
  • Update your personal information
  • Pay your fees

The infographic below shows how ICB Courses are assessed

How will I be assessed for an ICB course

Why Choose To Study With Matric College?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced most education institutions’ to move a lot of their activities online. Online learning is a form of distance learning and we have been perfecting this form of education for years. Here are some of the reasons that you should choose to study at Matric College. 

  • Save on transport costs
  • Earn and learn
  • Flexibility
  • Get promoted

Save On Transport Costs

By studying with Matric College, you will save on transport costs because you do not have to attend any classes. You can study anytime, anywhere.

Earn And Learn

If you are working, there is no need for you to leave your job while you study. Work, earn and pay for your tuition without missing a beat. 


You can ‘attend’ classes from anywhere in the world. All your course material are readily available from anywhere and at any time. Textbooks and study notes are delivered by courier to your door, anywhere in South Africa.

Get Promoted

Your employer could promote you if you are studying by distance learning as you could implement the skills and knowledge that you are learning. 

How Does It Work With Matric College?

You need to register with Matric College first and here is how you can do that:

  • Contact one of our course experts
  • Within 5 – 7 days of registration, you will receive, by courier, your textbooks and study notes
  • Join the ICB Facebook Study Group – You will be able to interact with fellow students and tutors on the Group. You will also get access to study materials as well as model answers from past exam papers. 
  • Attempt your first assignment 
  • Get feedback from your tutor
  • Get assistance from your tutor on the areas you may be struggling with
  • Prepare for your exams
  • Write and pass your exams
  • Receive your ICB and QCTO accredited and FASSET certified qualification 

What Are My Career Options When Studying For Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate Course? 

These are some of the career opportunities you can consider on completion of your  Bookkeeping: ICB Further Education Training (FET) Certificate course:

  • Junior Bookkeeper
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Audit Clerk
  • Account Manager
  • Officer Administrator
  • Payroll Administrator  

Other Financial Accounting Courses

Author: Collin Wilbesi

Date Published: 22 December

Online Application Form

What is Senior Bookkeeping?

Being a senior bookkeeper comes with a great deal of responsibilities. Bookkeepers are an integral part of running a business day to day. This includes:

  • Recording ingoing and outgoing transactions 
  • Daily banking activities
  • Payment processing 
  • Financial reporting
  • Oversee all financial data

It's a scarce skill

Senior bookkeeping is one of South Africa’s scarce skills. This means that it is in demand and not many people have this qualification. 

With a scarce skill, it’ll be easier to find employment anywhere in the country and even the world. Bookkeeping is something that can be done anywhere.

Why study an ICB accredited course?

ICB Senior Bookkeeping

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers are an internationally recognised institution that offers business related courses such as finance management. 

ICB courses are internationally accredited and well known. This means that you can practise bookkeeping nationally and internationally with an ICB qualification. Employers are also more likely to employ you since they know your qualification is high quality. 

All of the ICB courses are long-distance learning. Not only can you study at your own pace, but you can also save money on transport! 

General Information

If you’re thinking of studying Senior Bookkeeping, here’s what you need to know:

  • Programme type: Partner Program
  • Award type: FET Certificate and a Program Completion Certificate
  • Awards issued by: FASSET will issue your National Qualification and the ICB will issue your Program Completion Certificate
  • Accredited by: QCTO
  • Course duration: 24 Months

Entry Requirements

These are the entry requirements needed to be able to apply for the Senior Bookkeeping course: 

  • Successful completion of the ICB bookkeeping certificate: If you want to apply you must have either completed the ICB bookkeeping certificate or be a certified senior bookkeeper. 
  • Be a certified senior bookkeeper: Either you completed the certificate mentioned above or you need to be a certified senior bookkeeper to apply.
  • Ability to read and write in English: Because the course is taught in English, you’ll need to be able to read and write in English 

Unable to meet the course requirements?

Want to study towards an ICB qualification but don’t meet the standard requirements? Apply for the Bridging Course!

The bridging course is perfect for students who want to further their studies towards an ICB qualification, but they don’t meet the standard entry requirements.

Your Subjects

When looking to study Senior Bookkeeping, these are the subjects that you can expect to encounter. 

  • Introduction to Business English 
  • Bookkeeping to Trial Balance 
  • Payroll and Monthly SARS Returns 
  • Computerised Bookkeeping
  • Business Literacy 
  • Financial Statements
  • Cost and Management Accounting.