ICBUSA is brand new to the US. The goal is more than just to give a certification to bookkeepers. Education, technology and job positions are rapidly changing in our industry, and
that requires a changing of the guard. That is what ICBUSA is bringing to the table: A fresh new perspective of the community, bringing the respect and professionalism that has been lacking in the bookkeeping industry. The Redevelopment of the American Bookkeeper is here, and the revolution starts now.
ICB was founded in the United Kingdom by Garry and June Carter back in 1996. The very evident problem was that bookkeepers were performing the day to day work without any oversight from a governing body. The lack of education or a support system was perpetuating a lack of productivity in the industry. The small businesses that the bookkeepers were working for had no concept of standards in the quality of work when it came to preparing financial information. The lifeblood of the country was being viewed through rose colored glasses.
So ICB was born to elevate the bookkeeping profession. Garry and June began their nonprofit membership organization to create an independent certification which recognizes the diligent work that bookkeepers perform. Twenty years later, ICBUK has grown to more than 40,000 members across the nation. ICBUK bookkeepers are held up to strict compliance legislation for which ICB is a government-appointed supervisor.
ICB’s first expansion outside the UK was to Australia in 2006, where Garry and June appointed Matthew Addison as CEO. In Australia, the government wanted to allow only qualified accountants to complete their Business Activity Statements, but ICBAU successfully convinced them to let ICB bookkeepers to become BAS agents, and ICBAU became the first bookkeeper organization to be a BAS certification body.
Fast forward to today and ICB now has members in 110 countries, with 160,000 + members worldwide. And I have the great honor of bringing the high levels and standards of the ICB bookkeeping profession to the United States.
In the past, bookkeepers in the United States have not had an excellent reputation regarding a quality of work or recognition. So much that the entire country tries to avoid the term “Bookkeeper”. We call ourselves Accounting Professionals, Trusted Advisors, and Technology Consultants. However, we cannot discard the name, because the people and the community we service - the small business owners - refer to us as “bookkeepers” and imagine lowly tasks that can "be done by anyone” sitting at the receptionist desk while they answer the phone.
While the US is in the dark ages regarding what the job requirements are for a bookkeeper, the world has forced us into becoming superheroes of technology. No slowing down as we are learning how to value bill, use cloud software, and integrate solutions that link data into our accounting software. The entire time, we are still reconciling accounts for the business owners that need to know their account balances in real time.
ICBUSA has entered the marketplace to help raise the standards of certification across the nation, create a combined community that offers educational support, training, networking, and technology certification that will begin to elevate the profile of the bookkeeper into the world to which it belongs. An ACTUAL profession. So when people say Doctor, Lawyer, or Accountant they should also say Bookkeeper: ICBUSA will require significant education and work experience to obtain our certification. ICBUSA is also bringing a brand new technology standard into the community.
ICBUSA is a community and independent certification resource for the American Bookkeepers. No longer are we going to sit back and watch as the accounting industry wipes away the job of the bookkeeper. ICBUSA will re-develop the bookkeeper through tough educational requirements. We will validate what we have known in the past. That the bookkeeper is a smart, intelligent and dynamic person in the life of the small business community. Gaining independent certification in core accounting principles is the next step for bookkeepers to elevate themselves into their future job positions. Combine that core education with technology certification and helping members to grow, and the US will finally be able to join the rest of the world in recognizing that the bookkeeper is here to stay.
Additionally, this is not just another membership. ICBUSA is a lifestyle change. We don’t just accept anyone that can pay a fee and say that they are part of our organization. We test you, and we require references and a code of ethics. Be prepared to show us your knowledge upon joining. Be prepared to be active. By applying ICB standards, we can help you grow your practice and elevate the profession. That requires commitment, networking, education, and community. Join us today to become part of the revolution. We want bookkeepers and community leaders to grow together, helping each other out along the way. We also want to encourage members to have an active lifestyle to ensure a healthy work/life balance and are introducing exclusive member benefits to enable you to do this. As we grow, we want feedback from our members to make sure we are providing solutions for specific problems. ICBUSA is your community and it will be a representation of the best solutions for you.
WHO’S LOOKING OUT FOR THE BOOKKEEPER?
The CPA's of the US have figured the formula out. Compliance work is not as profitable as it has been in the past. Bookkeeping combined with technology is very lucrative. The CPA's have a fantastic membership organization that looks out for their members: the AICPA. They look out for THEIR members, the accountants and the CPA's. Let me ask you: Who looks out for the bookkeepers? Help ICBUSA raise your voice and stand up for your profession.
We are the ICBUSA .. welcome to your new family, and the next generation bookkeeper.