We all dream of studying further but the reality is that not all of us will manage to do that. One of the main reasons for this is because of how expensive it is to study further after high school.  Not everyone can or wants to take out a bank loan to pay for their studies. Fortunately, studying further through the ICB is a great option which can also be much cheaper than you think.

What is the ICB?

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is an organisation that specialises in professional, business-related training. It offers 16 different qualifications which are all divided into one of their five study programmes.

The Qualifications the ICB Offers

The 16  qualifications on offer are as follows:
  • National Diploma: Technical Financial Accounting
  • The National Certificate: Bookkeeping (Junior Bookkeeper)
  • National Diploma: Certified Financial Accounting
  • FET Certificate: Bookkeeping (Certified Senior Bookkeeper)National Diploma: Certified Financial Accounting
  • Higher Certificate: Office Administration (Certified Senior Office Administrator)
  • National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management
  • National Certificate: Public Sector Accounting
  • Diploma: Public Sector Accounting
  • National Diploma: Public Sector Accounting
  • National Certificate: Office Administration (Certified Junior Office Administrator)
  • Higher Certificate: Office Administration (Certified Senior Office Administrator)
  • Diploma: Office Administration (Certified Office Manager)
  • National Diploma: Certified Financial Accounting
  • Higher Certificate: Office Administration (Certified Senior Office Administrator)
  • National Certificate: Small Business Financial Management These qualifications are divided into five different study programmes namely the Business Management, Financial Management, Public Sector Accounting, Entrepreneurship, and Office Administration programmes.

Is the ICB Cheap to Study Through?

If you look only at the prices the answer is yes and no. Yes, because it is cheaper than many other options, but no because it is still not cheap. So why is this a great option? One of the reasons is the fact that each one of those qualifications is internationally recognised. The means that you don’t need to finish an entire study programme before you get a qualification. Finishing an entire study programme just means that you have a higher qualification. Another advantage of studying with the ICB is the fact that you can study ICB courses part-time or even study them through distance learning. One of the biggest advantages of taking the ICB distance learning courses is the fact that you can work full-time while you study. Working while you study can help you to earn the money to pay for your studies instead of paying a lot of money and not being able to work. This already takes some strain off your bank account.

How Much Does an ICB Course Cost to Study?

The ICB courses do not have a fixed amount. This is because you pay per subject that you are studying. There is an ICB registration fee when you first sign up with the ICB and then you pay per subject. The ICB fees often change so it is also important to make sure that you have the latest information. As an example, if you study the National Certificate: Bookkeeping you will need to study the following subjects:
  • Bookkeeping to Trial Balance
  • Payroll and Monthly SARS Returns
  • Computerised Bookkeeping
  • Business Literacy
At the time of writing, the ICB registration fee is R350, and the fee per subject is R675.  This means that to study the National Certificate: Bookkeeping would cost you R350 + R675 + R675 + R675 + R675 which is a total of R3050. This is not such a high amount to pay for an entire qualification. There are other fees for things like your exams, remarking your results and more but fortunately, these fees are generally only paid in cases where they are absolutely necessary. There are, however, also other ways that can make studying an ICB distance learning course cheaper.

Other Money Saving Methods

Choosing the right training provider can also save you money. Some training providers also offer more flexible payment plans. Skills Academy, for example, allows you to pay monthly for your studies instead of paying the full amount in one single payment. Another way that Skills Academy helps to make the strain on your bank account easier is by offering a service where is you don’t study, you don’t pay. What that means is that if you know that for a month you can’t study due to work or other responsibilities, you don’t pay for that month. You can pause your studies so to speak. Of course, there are terms and conditions to that so you will need to speak to them if you choose to study through them and need to do this.

In Conclusion

As you can see, the ICB courses are a great alternative to other more traditional study methods and it can be much easier on your bank account. Written by: Clifford Ekron Last Updated: April 16, 2019