Before qualifying for certification, members must have obtained a minimum of three years of full-time practical Bookkeeping experience where they have demonstrated the skills and knowledge acquired in the academic program. Members are expected to have been involved in most of the Bookkeeping functions. Ideally, full- function Bookkeeping experience is the goal.
Employment experience may be obtained before, during or after completion of the academic requirements. Members will be required to complete an Experience Evaluation Questionnaire to verify work experience. For members starting a new career, it is recommended that practical work experience be obtained while the academic program is undertaken.
In order to become Certified, you must currently be working full-time as a Bookkeeper.
At times, while seeking full-time work, some Bookkeepers may engage in part-time work. Other Bookkeepers prefer to work part-time because of other commitments or by choice. This experience is certainly valuable, especially if the member is taking the prescribed courses in the academic program.
However, three years of full-time work experience in Bookkeeping is required in order to become Certified. Consequently, part-time employment would necessitate a longer time period to meet the equivalent of the three-year work requirement.
Work experience may be obtained through self-employment. It must be on a full-time basis or otherwise meet the part-time experience requirement. Self-employed bookkeepers also need to verify the work experience requirement.
This is usually done by supplying a representative list of clients who can attest to the length and quality of service provided. In addition, any Chartered Professional Accountant who is directly familiar with an individual’s work can verify the experience requirements.
Foreign Bookkeeping methods can be similar to Canadian methods; however, at the same time, they can be quite different. Employers do require facility in local practices. Sufficient foreign experience may possibly receive a one-year exemption from the three-year requirement. Consequently, foreign Bookkeepers are required to obtain an additional two years of full-function Canadian Bookkeeping experience.
Many bookkeepers have years of past experience but have been out of the work force for a number of years. In such cases, it may be advantageous to take some required courses to refresh and update your knowledge. CIB may offer credits directly for certain courses in Level I and II. Alternatively, you could have a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) service completed by your local Community College to determine your proficiency in any area.