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Business & Management

ICB Certificate in Bookkeeping Level 2

This online course provides a solid foundation for gaining bookkeeping skills that are essential to business and offers industry-standard certification through ICB, the world’s largest bookkeeping institute.

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Level 2 / ICB Certificate / OSC57

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Online study
Paper study
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over 12 months and £ deposit

over 12 months and £ deposit


Course summary


Course support

12 months expert tutor support


24 hour access

Unlimited Submissions



Fully accredited course


Awarding body

Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Course introduction

Successful Bookkeeping is a fundamental part to the smooth running of any business. Ensuring that financial transactions are processed efficiently is key to financial stability and therefore the demand for suitably qualified bookkeepers cannot be understated.

Undertaking the Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping course is the necessary first step to receiving credibility in this field, as it enables you to become an assistant bookkeeper under supervision.

A successful pass in this qualification will also allow you to become an Affiliate Member of the ICB and use the designated letters AfICB after your name.

The course itself covers everything from payment methods to understanding how to use a computerised accounts package. It is designed to instil basic competence in recording day to day financial transactions as well as preparing you for the ICB Level 3 Certificate in Bookkeeping.

Please note:  Whilst studying your course you will also be asked to install the Sage software (your materials will tell you when to do this). From the point when you have installed the software you will have 6 months to complete the computerised section.

As part of this course package you will also receive:

  • FREE ICB 1-year Annual Subscription and Registration fee worth £78.00
  • FREE Sage 50 Accounts Level 2 software

Required knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course, however you should ideally have basic numeracy skills.


The assessment for this qualification comprises three online tests, which can be taken at home or at work. You must successfully pass all three tests in order to gain the full qualification. If you would prefer to study without the full ICB examination assessment, we can issue you with a certificate proving your completion of the course, following success in all the tutor marked assessments

Awarding organisation

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is the largest bookkeeping institute in the world. It is the main provider of industry recognised bookkeeping qualifications in the UK and offers a wealth of specialised bookkeeping related qualifications at different levels and the award of grades of membership that recognise academic attainment, working experience and competence.

Course modules

Unit 1: Underpinning Knowledge

  • Understand the importance of adhering to a code of Professional Ethics
  • Understand the basic differences between the structures of different types of businesses
  • Understand the importance of legislation that applies to bookkeepers
  • Understand the basic elements of a contract
  • Understand the Accounting Equation
  • Understand the concept of reporting on a cash basis for income tax purposes
  • Identify the various methods of payments and receipts to and from a bank account
  • Understand the need for bank security
  • Understand the basic accounting concepts

Unit 2: Business Documents

  • Understand the purpose and range of business documents
  • Understand the need to accurately prepare business documents for goods supplied
  • Understand the need to check business documents received

Unit 3: Ledger accounts and the division of the ledger

  • Understand the purpose of, and make entries into, the ledger accounts
  • Use a set of control accounts in the ledgers
  • Enter transactions into control accounts from the relevant books of prime entry

Unit 4: Books of prime entry

  • Understand the purpose of, and make entries into, the books of prime entry
  • Explain how the books of prime entry integrate with the ledgers
  • Entering invoices and credit notes into books of prime entry
  • Preparing sales day book, sales returns day book, purchase day book and purchase returns day book
  • Prepare an opening journal entry for a business
  • Prepare a journal entry to record purchase of a fixed asset

Unit 5: Accounting for VAT

  • Understand the process of dealing with and accounting for VAT in the ledgers.
  • Learning the difference between the following levels of VAT:
  • Standard rate
  • Reduced rate
  • Zero rate
  • Exempt of VAT
  • Outside the scope of VAT
  • Extract the VAT from a VAT inclusive amount
  • Correctly account for input and output tax in the ledgers including amounts that are VAT inclusive
  • Explain the significance of debit and credit balances in the VAT accounts
  • Understand how VAT is calculated and entered into the books of account for the following types of invoices:
    • Invoices to customers and from suppliers outside the EU that are zero rated
    • Invoices to customers and from suppliers outside the UK but within the EU that are (a) not registered for VAT in their own country, and (b) registered for VAT in their own country

Unit 6: Making and receiving payments

  • Understand the use of an analysed cash book
  • Record income and expenditure into an analysed cash book
  • Understand the purpose and need to record petty cash
  • Understand the purpose and use of the 2 and 3 column cash books

Unit 7: Trial Balance

  • Understand the purpose and use of the trial balance.
  • Prepare a trial balance from the ledger accounts
  • Understand what to do if the trial balance does not balance
  • Open a suspense account where applicable to account for any imbalance

Unit 8: Use a computerised accounts package

  • Health and safety of using computerised systems
  • Set up new business accounts
  • Processing Nominal Ledger and Subsidiary Ledger Accounts
  • Generate reports for trial balance, audit trail, nominal account transactions
  • Generate reports for bank account transactions and sales and ledger transactions

Learner support

This course offers 12 months tutor support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.


What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and, therefore, you can study anytime, any place, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a full-time job, or other commitments, that won’t allow them time off to study.

What do I need to do to get started on a course?

You'll need to be able to commit the required time to your studies. We recommend that you choose a course you think will interest you, and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, please call our helpline free on 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy now’ button against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone, call 0333 3445 690 and speak to one of our expert course advisors.

How does the distance learning/home study method work?

The course operates through a study pack and access to your own personal tutor. Once you have chosen your course we will send you your study pack, which you will be required to work through before completing the course.

Depending on the course you have chosen, you will either be required to complete assignments and submit these for marking as the course progresses and/or be required to sit an end exam. The end exam could be in the form of multiple choice questions, or be an invigilated exam at a registered test centre.

Your completed assignments will need to be sent to your tutor for marking/assessment, you will then receive written feedback and guidance. It may be possible to submit your assignments by email, however you will need to check this with your tutor. Please be aware that your assignments will be maintained by NCCHL for moderation and audit purposes.

These requirements will always be listed on the course description page, so please refer to this for details of what is required for each individual course.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from 6 weeks to 12 months to complete your course.

The duration of the course is largely down to you though. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

How quickly will I receive my course material?

We guarantee that you will receive your course materials within 5 days of purchase, but for many courses we would anticipate that you will have to wait no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study pack within our stated period.

How much will it cost?

The cost is largely dependent on the type of the course. The longer the course is the higher the cost will be, due to the size of the study pack and the nature of the qualification.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that there may be additional fees required should your course have an external assessment, such as A Levels, ICB qualifications etc. To clarify, please speak to a course advisor.

What support will I receive?

You will be allocated your own personal tutor who can be contacted via e-mail, telephone, fax or post for help and advice on any aspect of the course.

Many courses require that you submit work to your tutor during the period of study and your tutor will assess your work and pass comments back to you. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please be aware that officially the tutor support provided with the course is for a period of 12 months, although if you need longer let us know and we’ll endeavour to extend that.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit an invigilated exams at a registered test centre. You will need to organise and pay for the examinations yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be available from the centre who are delivering the qualification.

If in doubt, please email ‘’, NCC can then discuss or put you in touch directly with the course provider.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Yes, there are no geographical limits to where you can study.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows. But we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is though that if your circumstances change you can always take a break and come back to your studies.

Additionally, discounts are available if you buy more than one course at the same time.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 12 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

No, we provide everything you need to pass your course.

How do I enrol?

Once you have chosen your course, you can either purchase the course online which will enrol you, or you can call our helpline on 0333 3445 690 who will sign you up for the course and arrange to have all your learning materials sent to you.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you can simply return the goods within 14 days and we will send your money back in full for the majority of courses (excluding postage and packaging) or you can choose another course that you feel would suit your needs and ambitions better.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Our online courses are completed through our online learning system after receiving login and access instructions. You will not receive any course materials through the post. The paper based version is posted out in a binder to your home or place of work and requires completion of a portfolio of work that is submitted to your tutor for marking.

Where can I find your Equality and Diversity Policy?

All NCC policies and procedures can be provided on request from NCC directly by emailing or calling 0333 3445 690.

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