Essential Book-keeping

This home study course covers all the core elements of book-keeping, ensuring you have the knowledge you need to keep on top of your finances, whether for a business of your own, to boost your skills for your job or simply to manage your own money more effectively. You’ll cover all the key elements, including double-entry book-keeping, VAT, ledgers, wages and salaries, and balance sheets. Completing this course will prepare you for an exam leading to a qualification from a number of awarding bodies, including the Institute of Certified Book-keepers. Full details of the course can be found below.

Would you prefer to pay for your course by instalments? Please see the ‘How to enrol’ section below for details of our low cost, interest free finance available.


Course fee£350.00
Registration fee£55.00

Entry requirements

No previous experience is needed. Please check all requirements with the awarding body before you begin.

Hours of study

As a guideline, you should allow for approximately 60 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 12 months from the date of enrolment.

Exams and assessment

Seven assignments
This course will help to prepare you for one of the following qualifications, for which you will need to sit an exam:
IAB Level 2
ICB Level 2
NEC will register you with ICB within 6 weeks of enrolment. If you would prefer not to be registered, please contact us to discuss this when you enrol.

Additional information

Your course is delivered online through learn@nec, so it’s important that you have access to a computer and the internet. We recommend that your computer is using one of the following operating systems and browsers to improve your experience of using learn@nec:

Operating systems:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OSX 10.7 or later
  • Google Chrome OS
  • Android 4.4 or later, using the Chrome browser
  • iOS 6 or later, using the Safari browser


  • Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mozilla Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari 6 or later
  • Internet Explorer 10 or later (excluding IE11)

learn@nec may work on other operating systems and browsers with some restrictions. You can see full details of the system requirements by clicking here.

How to enrol

How to enrol
For this course there are two ways to enrol with NEC:

  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

How can you pay?
It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or spread the cost with our finance offer. To pay in instalments, you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:

Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

Deko is a trading name of Pay4Later Ltd who act as a credit intermediary. They are registered in England and Wales (company number 06447333) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 728646). For more information please go to or visit

Module 1: Introduction to book-keeping

  • Introducing book-keeping
  • Principles of double-entry book-keeping
  • Accounts
  • Debit and credit
  • A simple business venture: the cash book

Module 2: The accounts books

  • Bank and cash records
  • The ledger
  • The day books
  • VAT records
  • Business documents
  • Memorandum items
  • Wages and salaries
  • Stock records
  • The journal

Module 3: Using the accounts

  • Calculating profit: the trading and profit and loss account
  • The trial balance
  • The balance sheet
  • Accounts of clubs
Including area code and country code (if outside of UK)

Essential Book-keeping Course Sample

Thank you for your interest in this course.

Please fill out your details below, and you will receive an email containing a link to download the course sample.

What our students say...

"I chose to study by distance learning because of the flexibility of the study patterns. I am a teacher and have periods where I am very busy at school but during the school holidays I have time to study. Distance learning gives me the opportunity to study at times when I'm free to do so. The course materials are clearly written and very well explained, my tutor is very supportive and provides extensive and positive feedback on my assignments."
— Robert Blythe