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Certified Bookkeeper, CB Certification: Details on Examination and Certification for Certified Bookkeepers
If you’re looking to improve your career in accounting, obtaining an accounting certificate is an excellent first step. Accounting certificates can expand your accounting knowledge and increase your proficiency in a specific area of the accounting field.
Introduction to a Certified Bookkeeper Certification
Bookkeepers are accounting professionals in charge of recording and tracking a company’s various daily financial transactions, such as its expenditures, profits and losses, and cash flow.
Unlike many other accounting jobs, bookkeepers aren’t required to have a college degree. Although this makes bookkeeping an attractive career choice for those who don’t have a college degree, it has also led to a lack of uniformity among bookkeepers in terms of training, skills, and knowledge. Certification programs such as Certified Bookkeeper (CB) address this inconsistency by providing uniform bookkeeping training that meets a high professional standard.
- Earning your Certified Bookkeeper Certification:
- Improves your bookkeeping knowledge and training
- Increases your professional credibility and assures employers that you have received quality and professional training as a bookkeeper
- Improves your job opportunities and distinguishes you from other bookkeepers in the job market
Steps to Certified Bookkeeper Certification
In order to become a CB, the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), which issues the credential, requires that you:
- Pass a four-part certification exam.
- Sign the AIPB’s Code of Ethics.
Submit evidence of relevant work experience. If you have worked as a bookkeeper full-time, you’ll need to provide proof that you worked a minimum of two years; if you worked part-time or as a freelancer, you’ll need to submit proof that you worked at least 3,000 hours. You have three years from the time you pass the CB exam to fulfill the work experience requirement.
Details of the Certified Bookkeeper Exam
Earning the CB credential requires passing a four-part exam. The first two parts are computer-based, multiple-choice tests administered at any Prometric Test Center, and the last two parts are at-home workbook tests that you submit to AIPB for grading.
In order to register for the test, you must first complete and submit the AIPB’s Application for Certification. Once your application has been approved, you have one year to complete any part of the exam. If you don’t complete any part of the exam at this time, you will have to re-register.
As of 2011, the nonrefundable registration fee is $25 for AIPB members and $60 for non-members.
The content of the four-part exam is as follows:
- Part One (at Prometric): Adjustments and Error Correction
- Part Two (at Prometric): Payroll and Depreciation
- Part Three (workbook): Inventory
- Part Four (workbook): Internal Controls and Fraud Prevention
Though you are allowed to schedule the tests in any order you like, the AIPB recommends that you take Part One before scheduling Part Two.
You receive your test scores immediately after taking Parts One and Two of the test. If you score below 75 percent on any part, you must take that part again. You can schedule any additional test retakes as early as 14 days after you fail the test, but must wait 30 days to retake the exam. If you don’t pass every part of the exam within three years, you must reregister and take all parts again.
Preparing for the Certified Bookkeeper Exam
The AIPB offers many self-paced and helpful study aides to prepare you for the exam, which are available for purchase on their website. This includes workbooks containing practice questions on each part of the certification exam.
Maintaining the Certified Bookkeeper Designation
Maintaining a certification is a process that follows a three-year cycle, during which time you are required to obtain 60 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. You will receive details about how to fulfill this requirement upon certification.
If you don’t earn the required 60 CPE credits within the three-year period, you will lose your CB certification.
Governing Board Information
The Certified Bookkeeper® credential is issued by:
American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers
6001 Montrose Road Suite 500
Rockville, MD 20852