There are a number of learning options available and these are briefly discussed below.

Delivery type Description Advantages Disadvantages
Face-to-face delivery


The traditional classroom or face-to-face instruction is when the instructor and the students of an educational institution are in a place devoted to instruction and the teaching and learning take place at the same time.
  • You can ask questions.
  • You can discuss issues with fellow students.
  • There is ample opportunity for social interaction and support.
  • You have access to on-campus student facilities.
  • If you cannot keep up with the rest of the class, you will have to schedule extra classes, which could cost you extra money.
  • Due to time constraints in class, the lecturer cannot answer each and every student’s questions.
  • You will have to carry your textbooks to class every day.


Distance learning is a method of studying in which lectures are broadcast or lessons are conducted by correspondence, without the student needing to attend a school or college.
  • You can usually also set your own pace of study.
  • It is your decision as to when and where you study.
  • It doesn’t matter where you live – you can gain a qualification from anywhere in the world.
  • As with a full-time qualification, students may find that they gain useful, transferable skills, such as planning and research.
  • A distance learning course often costs less than a full-time programme.
  • Distance learning requires self-motivation
  • Distance learning does not give you direct access to your instructor.
  • Distance learning is isolated.
  • Distance learning requires you to have constant, reliable access to technology.
  • Distance learning does not offer immediate feedback.
  • Distance learning does not always offer all the necessary courses online.
  • Distance learning may not be acknowledged by a specific employer.
  • Hidden costs.
  • Distance learning must be accredited.
  • Distance learning does not give students the opportunity to work on oral communication skills.


Online learning is education that takes place over the Internet. It is often referred to as “e- learning” among other terms. However, online learning is just one type of “distance learning” – the umbrella term for any learning that takes place across distance and not in a traditional classroom.
  • No need to travel, saving both time and money.
  • Whenever and wherever you like: early morning, while commuting or eating, during work breaks or in the evening. At home, in coffee shops, or on the train. Take a break anytime to give your mind a short rest.
  • Online learning usually includes pre-recorded videos.
  • No need to buy textbooks although some have optional texts.
  • You can speed up videos during easy parts, and slow them down to understand more difficult concepts.
  • You can pause videos while writing notes or re-watch them as often as necessary. Many courses also provide transcripts for their videos. If an interactive transcript is provided, you can click on a relevant section of the transcript to watch that part of the video.
  • If videos or transcripts can be downloaded to your device you will then have unlimited access to them.
  • In courses with dynamic discussion forums you can discuss issues with fellow students from all around the world.
  • Lack of accreditation and low quality.
  • Little or no face-to-face interaction.
  • More work.
  • Intense requirement for self-discipline.
  • Even more intense requirement for self-direction.


Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods. It requires the physical presence of both teacher and student, with some elements of student control over time, place, path, or pace.
  • Round-the-clock access to training resources.
  • A personalized training experience.
  • Better communication and collaborative learning.
  • Track participants’ skill and performance development.
  • Cost-effective training strategy.
  • The technology challenge – Infrastructure.
  • The technology challenge – Mentality.
  • Pace of advancement.
  • Negative impact on teachers – Overwork.
  • Negative impact on students  – Cognitive load.
  • The plagiarism and credibility problem.


Self-studying, which involves studying without direct supervision or attendance in a classroom, is a valuable way to learn, and is quickly growing in popularity among parents and students.
  • Choose your own pace, materials, methods, everything is up to you.
  • Less stressed about failing in front of another person.
  • You don’t pay the teacher.
  • Its neither location constrained or time-bound.
  • Can take place from the comfort of anywhere.
  • Cheap or free.
  • You set the pace.
  • You can do it at any time.
  • No self-discipline.
  • No face-to-face interaction.
  • Lack of flexibility.
  • Lack of input from trainers.
  • Slow evolution.
  • Good e-learning is difficult to do.
  • Lack of transformational power.
  • No peripheral benefits.


Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training


If you have achieved your ICB qualification, congratulations! But this is only the first step. What are you doing to enhance your employability? When recruiting staff, the employer will look at more than just your qualification, they will be trying to see if you have the required competencies to fulfil the role, and also whether you will be a good fit to the company culture and values, how can you show this?

a. Job shadowing/Volunteer experience: `

We understand not everyone will have working experience straight after studying, but what have you done to gain exposure to the working world during or after your studies? In your CV you should list any job shadowing or volunteer experience you have had.

b. Leadership roles during school:

If you were ever a class representative or prefect in school, list this in your CV too! This says a lot about your leadership ability.

c. Extramural activities:

When you are not working or studying, how do you spend your days? What are you passionate about? Are you a nature-lover or book worm? You can note that too!

d. Any additional courses:

What are you doing to improve your professional development? If you have noticed that your admin skills are not very good, why not do a course to learn new skills? There are many online sites which offer short courses to improve skills, such as Linkedin Learning or Udimy, and this shows employers that you are invested in your own development. If you are also a member of our sister company ICBA, then you will have free access to our webinars which you also help your continuous professional development (CPD). Being a part of a membership body such as the ICBA also shows your credibility to employers so if you are not yet a member, check out the website today!

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

a. Dress to impress

It is important to look your best on the day of the interview, even if the company does not have a formal dress code, you want to stand out from other candidates. Look professional!

b. Arrive early

Anticipate traffic and the worst-case scenario, ensure that you arrive at least 15 minutes early to the interview. This also gives you a chance to have a look around and get an idea of the company culture, how do the staff interact? How does everyone behave? Being on-time also makes a good first impression.

c. It is ok to be nervous

Nerves are expected at an interview, arriving a bit early and being very well prepares can help a lot. This is why I suggest making all your notes in your notebook, so that even if you are a bit nervous, you can refer to your notes. Take a deep breath, it is ok!

d. Preparation is everything!

Have I mentioned this enough?

e. Remember to smile and show good body language

Again, you want to make a good and lasting impression, ensure that you show good body language and a positive attitude before and during the interview.

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

If a company has requested an interview with you, congratulations! This means that they have seen something in your CV that they like and would like to know more about you. But this is also an opportunity for you to get to know the company!

Preparing for interviews is very important and something that the company will be impressed by, this is something that can set you apart from other candidates. Get a notebook ready to take some notes on the following, and take the notebook with you to the interview! You can refer to the notes you have made during your discussion which will show the company you are well prepared.

Firstly, do your homework on the company:

  • Ensure you have a good understanding of their business: the goods and services they offer (have a look at their website, Facebook and other social media pages and make some notes for yourself)

Secondly, make sure you have a good understanding of the position you are applying for:

  • Ask for a copy of the job description before the interview if possible
  • Go through the job description (or google a job description of a similar position if not available) and make some notes on the duties: if it involves customer service, why would you be good at fulfilling the function? What prior knowledge or skill would help you in the role? It is important to think of this before the interview as you will be more prepared to answer questions relating to why you have the potential for the position.

Thirdly, make sure you prepare some questions to ask your interviewer:

  • This helps to show you are well prepared but also will help you get more information about the company and position.
  • Try to stay away from questions relating to terms and conditions of employment, i.e. salary or working hours, the company will bring this up when the time comes.
  • Have a look at this link for some great questions to ask your interviewer:

Lastly, you need to be prepared to answer a few questions, here are some examples of questions I typically ask candidates:

  • Tell me a bit about yourself?
  • What do you know about our company and why do you want to work here?
  • What do you know about the position and why do you think you have the potential for the position?
  • Tell me about your previous positions and the experience you have gained?

I can go on and on but you get the idea, if you would like to prepare some more questions you can also google some examples, here is a link for more info:

Insider tips from our Head of HR and Training

This is very important as it is the company’s first impression of you, so you need to make sure it is a good one!

1. CV layout

I like a CV which is concise and to the point. Try to keep it 1 – 3 pages maximum. I do not think that you need to include copies of all your certificates, ID documents, etc. I would suggest stating your qualifications in the CV and that your transcripts or certificates are available on request.
Nowadays, there are many websites where you can download CV layouts for free, simply google free CV templates and choose a template which appeals to you, here is an example:
I also like a CV which has a small professional photo of the candidate, take note, professional! I think that a CV stands out when I can see the person who is applying for the position, then you are not just another piece of paper.

2. What to cover

In general, a CV should include the following information:
a. Your personal details, i.e. name, date of birth, nationality, your residential area, drivers license if applicable, languages, and most importantly, contact details!
b. Short bio/introduction of the self, experience and intention. For example, I am an X professional who has recently completed my X qualification. I have experience working in the X industry and am passionate about X.
c. I would then suggest listing your working experience, starting from the most recent. Ensure you include the company details, your title and a breakdown of your duties, the period of service and any achievements while in the position.
d. Next, I would suggest listing your education, starting from your highest qualification down to Matric, where applicable. You should also list the period or dates that you studied and the name of the institution where you obtained your qualifications.
e. Skills: list the soft skills and technical skills which you possess, i.e. do you have great communication skills? Computer skills? If so, which computer programs or platforms? i.e. MS Office and maybe you have been trained on a particular payroll software package T list that here!
f. References: it is important to list contacts which potential employers can contact regarding your experience and performance. Ideally, this would be your direct supervisor at your employer or a leader in your community, i.e. Principal from your school, who can vouch for your character and work ethic. Sometimes school leaders will help by writing you a reference letter to send to prospective employers, this helps to support your credibility.

3. Please, no spelling mistakes!

Spell check, spell check and spell check again. And once you have spell checked for the last time ask someone you trust to read through your CV to ensure your writing is free from any errors. Remember, this is the company’s first impression of you, and you want to make it a good one.

4. The importance of truthfulness and evidence

I believe very strongly about this section, and this is not only about the implications of lying on your CV (which you should not do!) but more specifically, being able to back up statements on your CV with concrete facts and justifications. For example, if you say you have great time management skills, why? If someone asked you why in the interview, would you be able to explain? You should be able to!
For every statement you make on your CV, you need to be able to back it up with a story or explanation as to why you say so. If you cannot, then maybe it should not be on in the first place.
Therefore, if you list multitasking or interpersonal skills on your CV, make sure you make some notes in your notebook about times during your studies or previous work experience which you needed to multitask or demonstrate your interpersonal skills to get the job done. A good way to do this is by explaining what was the situation or problem, what did you do that demonstrates your skill, and what was the outcome.

5. Applying to jobs online

a. You often need to create profiles on these platforms, a (professional) profile picture will make your profile stand out!
b. Ensure the information you insert matches your CV and is kept up to date
c. Make your cover letter personal to the position you are applying for, i.e. if you are applying for a customer service position, rather than stating I am applying for the position stated I the advert (which I see quite often) take two minutes to write that you are interested in the customer service position, and why, from the information you have read in the advert, you believe you are a great candidate for this position. The cover letter needs to catch the recruiter’s eye and I can easily spot the difference between a cover letter which is copy and pasted, vs one which the candidate has personalised to the position.
d. It’s tough out there! You may need to apply for 20 jobs before you get called for an interview, be prepared for this and keep trying. Do not give up!
e. If you have applied for positions online ensure you check your emails daily and keep your phone on you, if a recruiter tries to contact you and you only respond a week later, it may be too late.

Working for yourself or starting a business can be a terrifying idea. The risks, commitment, sacrifices and sheer determination involved could be enough to turn away even the strongest of Entrepreneurs.


Out of the top ten people on last year’s Forbes 400 list, seven of them founded and built the businesses that made them as successful and wealthy as they are today. This is where starting a business could take you.

#1 Bill Gates – Microsoft

#2 Jeff Bezos –

#3 Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook

#5 Larry Ellison – Oracle

#6 Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg LP

#9 & #10 Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Google


The first step to achieving growth as an Entrepreneur is having a unique business concept, but that’s just the start. In order to realise the potential of your startup idea, you’ll need to be able to build an effective, efficient business around you, meaning you need to be a Project Manager, strategist, people manager and business analyst all in one.


What are the key responsibilities of an Entrepreneur?

A foolproof way to learn how to be a successful Entrepreneur is to look at the mistakes of startups that have failed before you. Many small businesses fail in their formative years, with almost 45% of companies closing their doors within five years of opening them.


Leading causes of startup failure are:

  • Not solving a true market problem
  • Running out of capital
  • Hiring the wrong team
  • Getting outplayed by competitors
  • Pricing your product or service incorrectly

In order to ensure your startup succeeds, you’d need to be confident in your ability to deal with the responsibilities that entrepreneurship requires of you. Your skills and tools would need to evolve to serve your market niche and help you develop a sustainable business plan to fill your gap.

Key responsibilities of an Entrepreneur include making an impact in the following three areas:

  • Generating and identifying new business opportunities to capitalise on
  • Navigating the legal environment with starting a business and planning accordingly
  • Developing an effective marketing plan that is best suited to your organisation


Business strategy
  • Defining the overall organisational goals, values and purpose of the business
  • Conducting competitor research, internal and external SWOT analyses to construct a  competitive advantage
  • Implementing, evaluating and adjusting strategies to ensure business sustainability


Cost management
  • Compile reliable budgets that can be used to accurately report and estimate costs for inventory management
  • Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of outsourcing investment recovery
  • Apply financial insight and ensure a business has attainable and maintainable goals


What is the career path of an Entrepreneur?

When pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, you have the ability to choose your own career path. You could be both the founder and CEO of your company, such as Bill Gates of Microsoft. You could choose to start a business and then find a CEO to run it for you, like Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp did in the early days of Uber. You could also follow in the footsteps of Forbes 400 #3, Warren Buffett, and fund multiple startups with other investors, acting as stakeholders in those companies while their values grow.

The self-made entrepreneurs featured on the Forbes 400 2016 list are worth a total of $1.6 trillion, with 35% of that net worth being found in technology companies and 25% found in finance and investment businesses. Other notable industries include media and entertainment, fashion and retail, real estate and energy.3

The question is: which is the best industry to start a business in?

  • Tech
  • Finance and investments
  • Media and entertainment
  • Fashion and retail
  • Real estate
  • Energy


What is the potential salary for an Entrepreneur?

No two entrepreneurs experience the same business process, meaning no two entrepreneurs have comparable salaries. Your salary is entirely up to the decisions you make and how well your startup performs.

To figure out what you should be paying yourself, you need to look at your business’s revenue and your personal needs and make a decision about what you deserve to get paid.

Make use of pay information sites like Salary, Glassdoor and Payscale to compare your pay to people in similar positions and locations to ensure you pay yourself what you deserve. If the business can’t afford to pay you after deducting operating costs, hold off on your salary but consider marking it as a debt the company owes you, to be paid in the future.

What are the education and training requirements for an Entrepreneur?

Depending on the industry you wish to enter into or the type of product you wish to offer, you could require anything from a college certificate or a Bachelor’s Degree to a Doctorate and multiple certifications.

This is why Entrepreneur, Shannon Smuts believes online business courses are the best option for Entrepreneurs looking to achieve real-time business goals.

Jeff Bezos held a Bachelor of Science from Princeton when he started, while Bill Gates didn’t even finish his studies at Harvard before dropping out in his second year to start Microsoft.

No matter your level of education of qualification, there are key skills you need to be a successful entrepreneur:

  • Business strategy
  • Business management
  • Project management
  • Commercial law
  • Business analysis
  • Cost and management accounting

Take a look at the ICB’s Entrepreneurship Programme here.


Applying for a  job online can be daunting. 

Here are 10 quick checks to do before applying for one.


1. Is your CV fully up-to-date?

The CV you complete is what employers will ultimately see, so make sure it is comprehensive and up to date.


2. Have you written in full sentences with the audience (prospective employers) in mind?

Too many times we see a “one CV fits all” approach from applicants. Tailor your CV to highlight the specific skills the employer/recruiter will be looking for on your CV.


3. Have you included enough detail, without being long-winded?

An online CV that you complete is not an abridged version of your full CV. It should contain enough detail to showcase your skills without being so long that the reader loses interest.


4. Have you completed all your previous employment history?

There are up to 12 available spaces to complete previous work history on the RecruitMyMom CV. Starting with the most recent, include all relevant work experience in your CV.


5. Have you explained the gaps in your CV?

It is okay to have working gaps on your CV provided you can explain why they exist.


6. Have you checked for spelling, grammar and upper/lower case errors?

If a job specification asks for “attention to detail” or “excellent in English” these errors can immediately disqualify you. Download a grammar app such as Grammarly to ensure you get it right.


7. Are your employment references from previous employers and do they include telephone numbers or contact email addresses?

References should not be colleagues or family unless specifically requested.


8. Have you looked at your final CV?

When one looks at the final CV it is easy to spot errors.


9. Apply immediately!

Having a completed CV enables you to respond quickly to your perfect job which ensures your CV is at the top of the applicants’ list.


10. Have you thought about how to write an excellent motivational letter when applying for the job?

The motivational letter should not be vanilla. It must show that you have read and understood the requirements of the role and taken the time to explain why you should be considered.



Are you currently freelancing as an accountant or thinking of working for yourself? Navigating a freelance career can be stressful and can leave you feeling uncertain, particularly if you don’t know how to market your services and build on your experiences. Here are a few tips to help you accelerate your professional journey and market your skills as a freelance accountant:



Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) include start-ups and small companies that can’t always afford the big financial services firms. Think corner shops and fledgling companies. These enterprises need accountants too. As a freelance accountant, this is a great market to tap into. Make yourself visible to younger, smaller businesses and target your service towards this gap. A good start is by offering free assessments to the small businesses. This will help them get a sense of what you are offering and how it can benefit their business.



It can be hugely beneficial to network with other freelancers, both formally and informally. A popular online freelance network called Upwork (formerly called Elance) matches freelancers with freelance jobs. This site allows you to build a profile, market your skills, and find work online.



Given the many recruitment agencies out there, it could be worth your while to sign up with at least one of them. Specify that you’re a freelancer looking for short-term contract work. This will help you build up a portfolio, broaden your experience, and maintain a stream of work. Also, consider BAN (Business Accounting Network), which is a franchise structure of accounting professionals working for themselves.





Build a website for yourself. There are many free platforms available if you don’t want to pay for one, and there’s always the option of outsourcing if you do. Your website should outline your services and let people know how to contact you, at the very least.



Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and that it reflects the very best of who you are, what your experience entails, and which skills you have to offer. Needless to say, you should fully familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of LinkedIn.



A professional Facebook page can be helpful too. This makes you accessible and can go a long way in building up a client base. Be sure to include testimonials from satisfied clients and keep your page professional and updated. It should have a distinctive feel from your personal Facebook profile and should focus solely on marketing your business.



When your freelance career starts really taking off, you could explore the option of growing it even further. Consider the possibility of elevating your individual freelance business to a small consultancy firm. This would entail building your brand, probably recruiting a small team, formalising your company, and possibly continuing your education through additional bookkeeping and accounting programmes while maintaining business operations.



Thinking of studying a financial programme? Fascinated by economics, business or bookkeeping? While rewarding career paths, the financial world is in its nature very competitive. Finding a good job – never mind a job you’re passionate about – can be tough! As a result, it’s more important than ever to have the right credentials behind you. Attaining an ICB qualification not only adds a professional, accredited business qualification to your CV arsenal, but makes you more employable and indispensable. A reputation spanning decades, opens up doors and places you in a league of professionals. Can you afford not to stand out?

Here are 4 Reasons why you can’t afford NOT to have an ICB qualification:

1. Recognition – both locally and abroad

We’ve been there, done that! 87 years of experience as an Independent External Examination Body means we’ve earned our stripes in the industry. Why does this matter? Recognition and reputation are important. We’ve established ourselves as a leading Financial and Accounting Accreditation Body offering relevant, high quality financial knowledge. This in turn has led to positive relationships with top- tier industry leaders and recognition with professional bodies (CIMA, ACCA), employers and graduates across the country and the world. Your ICB qualification sets you apart in a pile of CV’S, in an interview room, or in the line up to a promotion. Hello employment!

2. Attainable Success

It’s no secret – graduation rates are low in South Africa. Completing tertiary studies can be challenging, and sometimes downright overwhelming. We understand this and use study methodologies that give you the best chance of succeeding. Our courses are broken down into different levels, with each level working towards your final qualification. These easy-to-manage study chunks make completing your qualification more achievable as you’re able to build your knowledge incrementally. The result? A higher chance of attaining success and that shiny graduation photo, of course.

3. Credible and Accredited

Fake colleges and qualifications are real! Fly-by-night, “diploma mills” have been circulating in South Africa, promising the world and delivering the opposite – unaccredited degrees and empty pockets. You’ve been warned.

With the ICB, you can sleep easily with the knowledge that your qualification will always be credible and accredited. All our training providers are the real deal – accredited colleges are registered with DHET (Department of Education and Higher Training). As an appointed Quality Assurance Partner for QCTO, we are authorized to conduct examinations on a number of registered qualifications that are on the NQF. You won’t be taken for a ride-ever.

4. Flexible Study Options

Life happens. Situations change! Don’t be forced to give up on your dreams as a result of the unexpected. The ICB is flexible and have a range of different study options to suit your unique needs and circumstances. Fit your studies around your life and study on your own terms – whether this is full time, part time or distance learning. ICB courses are also structured in a way that allow you study at your own pace or pick up where you left off. How’s that for academic freedom?

Looking to study a reliable, accredited, finance qualification? Take a look at our list of programmes to find the perfect one for you.

Bookkeeping is a continuously growing profession and provides fantastic career opportunities for those who have a mind for numbers. If you are planning on working in bookkeeping, there are a wide range of attributes and professional skills you will need to prepare yourself for a bookkeeping job.

A bookkeeper’s duties are to be across all accounts, including tracking the comings and going of money, paying bills on time on behalf of the business and keeping track of accounts received. As a bookkeeper, your role is to ensure all employees get paid regularly and ensure the business’s financial records are accurate and up-to-date. If you are interested in knowing how to become a bookkeeper we have prepared all you need to know.

Should I Become a Bookkeeper?

Some of the character traits required to become a bookkeeper include:

  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Numeracy accuracy and diligence
  • Good computer skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Patience and dedication

For individuals who like solving problems and enjoy mathematics will be perfect for this profession. When it comes to bookkeeping there are two main types of bookkeepers, freelance bookkeepers who work from home and employed bookkeepers who work in an office environment. Therefore being able to work both independently and as part of a team is an important skill.

A Day in The Life of a Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers usually work in small to medium sized businesses across various industries, and the variety of tasks will be dependent on the size of the business. In larger companies, these responsibilities may be divided among a number of bookkeepers. Whereas, in a small business, a bookkeeper may be required to provide a wider range of activities. Daily tasks may include:

  • Recording the financial transactions of a business in bookkeeping software.
  • Arranging payments of accounts.
  • Receiving and processing invoices for payment and receipts to debtors.
  • Processing payroll and maintaining employee records.
  • Calculating profit and loss.
  • Carrying out bank reconciliations.
  • Checking figures and reporting for accuracy.
  • Reporting any irregularities in data to management.
  • Producing balance sheets, income statements and other financial documents.


If you feel this is the career for you – read more about the ICB’s Financial Accounting Programme.

Adapted from: