ICB Level 3 Bookkeeping and Accounts

Become a fully qualified bookkeeper with this ICB accredited level 3 qualification and either gain employment as a bookkeeper or set up your own bookkeeping business.

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A great bookkeeper is at the heart of any successful organisation. If you have a head for figures and think you could keep a steady hand on the ledger, then ICB Level 3 Bookkeeping and Accounts adds to the knowledge you’ve already gained in Level 2. Completion of ICB Level 3 Bookkeeping will allow you to gain ICB membership.

After completing this ICB Bookkeeping course, you’ll be fully qualified to gain employment as a bookkeeper or to set up your own bookkeeping business. That’s because we’ll teach you all the fundamentals: how to produce a VAT return, control the sales and purchase ledgers, how to produce final accounts for different types of businesses such as partnerships and not-for-profits, and more. 

Even better, we’ll show you exactly how to use Sage One, one of the most commonly used accounting software packages in the UK, AND we’ll give you six months of free access. This course is clear, intuitively structured, and talks you through all the tricky terms and different types of legislation you’ll need to be familiar with as a bookkeeper.

ICB Bookkeeping Level 3 is studied online, in your own time and at your own pace, and did we mention that after you complete this course, you can officially add the letters ‘MICB’ after your name? Fancy!

What you'll learn

Unit 1 - Topic 1: Underpining Knowledge

Throughout the first part of this course, you’ll learn the importance of adhering to a code of ethical principles as a bookkeeper, and when to take appropriate action if you suspect unethical behaviour has taken place. Moving on, we’ll teach you the legal differences between business structures, and the main accounting concepts that apply to each. You’ll also study the various accounting standards that are applied when producing year end accounts, and the different VAT schemes that are available. Lastly, we’ll run through the details of submitting VAT returns under HMRC’s Making Tax Digital regime, and we’ll also cover the importance of being able to clearly communicate information.

Unit 2 - Topic 2: Reconciliation of Accounts and Correction of Errors

We’ll guide you through the process of reconciling debtors’ and creditors’ control accounts, and writing off a bad debt. We’ll also cover correcting errors in accounts when they occur, identifying different types of errors, and using suspense accounts.

Unit 3 - Topic 3: Reconcile and Produce a VAT Return

Moving on, we’ll teach you how to reconcile the VAT account, and complete a VAT return.

Unit 4 - Topic 4: Calculate and Post Adjustments to the Accounts

In the fourth topic, you’ll discover how to account for the disposal of fixed assets. You’ll also examine the need for adjustments to the accounts, such as accruals and pre-payments, and how to post them. Additionally, we’ll teach you how to provide the bookkeeping entries for revaluation of assets.

Unit 5 - Topic 5: Produce Draft Final Accounts for Internal Management Purposes

Next, we’ll show you how to prepare a set of final accounts suitable for internal management purposes, and how to calculate and post relevant amounts to appropriate profits as required. You’ll also discover how to adjust the capital share of partners, and examine complete partnership profit allocations.

Unit 6 - Topic 6: Interpretation of Financial Statements

Throughout the final topic, you’ll discover the importance of interpreting financial statements for internal management purposes, including ratios and benchmarking. You’ll also learn how to analyse and interpret financial statements, and prepare a cash budget.

Unit 7 - Exam Paper M4 – reconciliations and final accounts of a sole trader
  • Underpinning knowledge
  • Reconciliation and correction of errors (customer and supplier reconciliations, bank reconciliation, correction of errors including the clearance of a suspense account balance)
  • The calculation of summary figures for control accounts
  • VAT Returns (cash and standard VAT returns only but including EU transactions)
  • Posting adjustments including disposal and acquisition of fixed assets
  • Revaluation of assets
  • Final accounts of a sole trader (profit and loss account and balance sheet)
Unit 8 - Exam Paper M5 – final accounts of a partnership
  • All of the requirements for paper M4 but set in a partnership scenario plus:
  • Underpinning knowledge
  • Ethical considerations
  • Underpinning knowledge of the legal requirements for a partnership
  • Final accounts of a partnership including the appropriation account and production of partners’ current accounts
  • Calculations and bookkeeping entries to record a change of partnership (partnership ratios, goodwill, the effect on capital and current accounts etc.)
Unit 9 - Exam Paper M6 – final accounts of a not-for-profit organisation
  • All of the requirements of paper M4 but set in a not-for profit scenario plus:
  • Underpinning knowledge regarding not-for-profit organisations
  • Understanding the different requirements of a chart of accounts for such an organisation
  • Understand the concepts of the different forms of income for not-for-profit organisations including a subscriptions account
  • Posting adjustments including the subscriptions account and disposal and acquisition of fixed assets
  • Final accounts of a not-for-profit organisation
Unit 10 - Exam Paper M7 – Management accounts of incorporated businesses
  • Final accounts including adjustments for a limited company (internal management accounts format only)
  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Calculation and interpretation of ratios
Unit 11 - Exam Paper M8 - Level 3 External Assessment

Extra info

Awarding Body


Specialising in Bookkeeping courses, The ICB need no introduction, they are the biggest institution of its kind in the world. Effortlessly and professionally maintaining the high standards of bookkeeping as a profession.

Course Outcome

Successful achievement of this qualification will allow you to apply for Member status, the second tier of the ICB. You will be able to work as a Bookkeeper and you will also receive an official certificate of completion from the ICB. Read more about the ICB.

How is this course assessed or examined?

At the end of each unit, you’ll be given an assignment that will be marked by your personal tutor. You’ll also need to pass exams to gain this qualification – M4, M5, M6, and M7 can all be taken via the ICB portal at home.

Finally, you’ll take the M8 exam, which is a synoptic assessment covering all aspects of bookkeeping. You can take the exam in a local Pearson Vue test centre, which is often in the same building as local driving test centres. Alternatively, you sit your exams remotely from home. This M8 exam will be a mix of multiple-choice and data-entry questions. Exams are chargeable at £75 per exam, at the time when you wish to sit them. You’ll need to pass all your assessments to complete your qualification.

Entry requirements

You need to have the ICB Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping or its equivalent before enrolling on this course.


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Should I study Bookkeeping OR Accounting?

Bookkeeping is an element of accounting. It’s quicker to get qualified, meaning it’s a faster route to kick-starting a new career. However, you don’t have to choose one or the other. You can study both bookkeeping and accounting simultaneously, or you can become a qualified bookkeeper first, and then expand your skill set by studying an accountancy course later. Since all our bookkeeping and accountancy courses are online, you can even fit your studies around your work.

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What opportunities are there, after I’ve completed my online bookkeeping course?

The demand for bookkeepers is expected to keep rising. As a result, there will always be opportunities for talented and certified individuals.

Ensuring you are technically competent is vital, given the rise of lots of new bookkeeping and accountancy tools that are disrupting the marketplace. The majority of these tools are designed and developed to make your life easier. With new technologies such as automatic receipt recognition, so as to avoid time-inefficient tasks like entering bills and receipts manually.

Options include working ‘in-house’ – where you work directly for one company; working for an accounting agency – where you’re responsible for multiple companies. or working for yourself – on a contract or freelance basis.

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Why study bookkeeping and accounting with Oxbridge?

At Oxbridge, we pride ourselves on our high standard of accounting and bookkeeping courses, the quality of which is reflected in our high pass rates.

Our specially designed and developed distance learning courses will result in industry-recognised qualifications from leading and respected awarding bodies.

We’re award-winning! Courses are a substantial investment, both in time and money. It’s important that you find a provider that aligns closely with the ICB.

You’ll therefore note that we’ve won multiple awards for our Bookkeeping courses, at the annual ICB Luca Awards. The Luca Awards are like the Oscars of the bookkeeping profession and allow us to demonstrate our commitment to providing top-quality online bookkeeping courses.

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ICB Bookkeeping courses online

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB) is the world’s largest bookkeeping organisation and awarding body. ICB helps set the standards of Bookkeeping as a profession through their range of well-established qualifications.

We provide a range of ICB courses, teaching you everything you need to kickstart your career in the finance industry. Why not invest in our ICB course bundle, covering bookkeeping, accounts and payroll?

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Why choose to study bookkeeping and accounting courses from home?

Education is becoming more and more versatile every day; students can learn in a way that best suits them and fits their lifestyles.

By enroling on an online accounting or bookkeeping course, you can study whenever you feel like it – it doesn’t matter whether you’re a night owl or an early bird. Online learning is also great for people who need to fit their learning around a full-time job or family commitments.

Plus, if you hit a snag or don’t quite understand something, you can book one-on-one time with your experienced designated tutor to help you get things back on track.

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