There are many options for people wishing to pursue a career in book-keeping in Ireland, there are a multitude of courses available at all levels of entry for the aspiring student. People come to book-keeping for a variety of reasons; they may wish to attain a new skill for using for their own small business, to give themselves an employable skill in business or to update existing managerial or financial skills. There are a number of benefits to choosing a book-keeping course, one of the main ones being a flexibility that comes with the position with working from home and flexible work hours often available.
Something that people often ask or have some confusion over is the fundamental difference or the distinction between a bookkeeper and an accountant. The main difference is, a book-keeper’s main tasks are the organising, collecting and updating of data connected to the business financial activity, The accountant then takes that information and uses it for financial purposes on behalf of the business.
A book-keeping course can be a stepping stone to an accounting qualification, as experience in this area can often help people determine if they want to develop in a financial environment.
The most prevalent skills in this type of career could include: attention to detail, mathematical ability, organisation, ability to multitask, trustworthiness, customer service, problem solving.
Globally projections over the next 10 years show an actual decrease in employment of book-keepers due to technological advancement and automation. In Ireland however projections over the next 5 years actually go against this trend and show a small increase of 3.9%. The salary range for bookkeepers can vary quite significantly depending on a number of factors but in general terms is cited as being between €20,000 and €39,000 per year
Two of the main terms you will come across with regards to certification or accreditation are ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and AAT ( Association of Accounting technicians). The main difference between the two resides in the name, the ICB is geared towards candidates interested in a career in bookkeeping. With AAT you can move through the different levels all the way to accountant, or you can also practice at a bookkeeping level, The AAT qualification is possibly more geared towards employment and the ICB towards self employment.
Let’s take a look at some of the courses available at the different levels and by the different accreditations that are available in Ireland currently.
Pitman Training offer a wide variety of courses for qualifying at different levels of bookkeeping such as foundation and advanced award with AAT, foundation and advanced Diploma with AAT, Bookkeeping modules 1,2 and 3 and also a quickbooks online course for those already familiar with manual accounts.
CMIT offer a book-keeping course over distance learning accredited by ABC awards. Students have 6 months to complete the course working according to their own schedule. This course provides the applicant with the skills to manage the business accounts or books. It is created to provide the applicant with an understanding of bookkeeping and accounting practices in the workplace
ICB Level 5 Certificate in Bookkeeping Courses are available through a number of institutions, for example..
- Malahide Community School, Co Dublin
- St Colmcille’s Community School, Dublin 16
- Gorey Community school, Co Wexford
The ICB Level 5, accredited by ICB is is suitable for anyone who would like to work in an accounting role in small to medium enterprise ; for applicants who want to become self employed a book-keepers, for people in positions of authority such as management who wish to understand the finances of their small business, and book-keepers who are already practicing, or have experience or knowledge but would like to complement this with a qualification.
To proceed to this course candidates need to have an understanding of double entry book-keeping and its place in modern business, enter transactions into a bookkeeping system, produce an initial trial balance, reconcile sales and purchases ledger balances against the relevant control accounts, reconcile the bank account, and be able to identify and correct errors present in the system.
To qualify for the course candidates must complete three assessments online, the first two pertaining to the double entry system and the third using software to set up the trial balance.
Scoil Mhuire Community School, Clane, Co Kildare offers a QQI Level 5 in Bookkeeping Manual and Computerise
Career Academy.ie offer a 10 week bookkeeping course certified by the ICB, this course is online and there is 6 months to complete the course.
Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) offers a certificate in Payroll techniques, A blending learning and distance learning option is available. Award is QQI level 6 and the course covers the operation of all the systems such as USC, ASC, PAYE and PRSI. Employment law prevalent to payroll function is also featured. They also offer a Practical payroll online course over 2 days for people involved in payments through PAYE system
Kilroys College offers The Self employed accounting and taxation course, another distance learning option which accepts enrolments all year round. It covers the upkeep of accounts and making returns, with sample forms being supplied and practice of the completion of these forms during the course.
For more information on all the above and for a full listing on all bookkeeping courses available in Ireland check out business and accounting courses in Ireland on Findacourse.ie