Like all professions, there are good ones and not so good ones.

There are bookkeepers with decades of experience but no school degree, bookkeepers with school degrees but no experience and everything in between.

Bookkeeping has never been regulated in Canada. In an effort to bring some standardized requirements and code of conduct to the bookkeeping profession, the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada (IPBC) was born.

Becoming a member of the IPBC is voluntary and it is not as widely known as CPA Canada, which is a required membership for designated Certified Professional Accountants.

There are four tiers to earning the designation of Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) with IPBC. Below I have highlighted some (but not all) of the requirements needed to climb through the tiers and become a CPB.

Tier One: Apprentice. You must have a minimum of one year of Canadian bookkeeping experience, pass the exam and you must have an accounting software certification.

Tier Two: Intern. You must have a minimum of two years of Canadian bookkeeping experience (one year as a Tier One member), pass the exam, you must have maintained your accounting software certification and you must have earned a minimum of 5 Continuing Education Credits (CECs)

Tier Three: Technician. You must have a minimum of three years of Canadian bookkeeping experience (two years in the previous two tiers), pass the exam, you must have maintained your accounting software certification and you must have earned a minimum of 10 CECs.

Tier Four: CPB. You must have a minimum of four years of Canadian bookkeeping experience (three years in the previous three tiers), pass the exam, you must have maintained your accounting software certification and you must have earned a minimum of 20 CECs.

To maintain your CPB, amongst other things, you must maintain your accounting software certification and earn a minimum of 20 CECs every year.

Anybody can call themselves a “bookkeeper” but only those that have proven their skill set and are truly committed to the profession, can call themselves a Certified Professional Bookkeeper! This is, in part, why I chose to become a member of the IPBC and earned and maintained my designation as a CPB.

For more information about IPBC check out their website at https://www.ipbc.ca

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