Welcome to the latest in an ongoing series of entrepreneur interviews for The Small Business Blog. These short Q and A sessions are conducted by myself and feature some of the most exciting figures in the business world.
Our latest interviewee is Malcolm Trotter. Since 2001, Malcolm has been employed by the IAB (International Association of Book-keepers), a professional and awarding body in the accounting sector and he has been part of the SFEDI Advisory Board since 2001
What does the IAB do?
The IAB is unique in that it is both a professional body for bookkeepers and also an awarding body recognised and regulated in England by Ofqual. It is also a statutory supervisor under the UK Money Laundering Regulations 2007. The IAB is truly international, with members in approximately 60 countries. The IAB is known for its practical and professional qualifications in bookkeeping, accounting and payroll, both manual and computerised, with several granted exemptions by the UK chartered accountancy bodies – opening up complete progression routes to a range of financial careers including Registered Bookkeeper, Chartered Accountant and Payroll Professional. Holders of comparable qualifications from other recognised bodies are also welcome to apply for IAB membership.
This year the IAB is celebrating its 40th anniversary. What are some of the biggest achievements of the association in recent years?
- The IAB is a key partner in the Growth and Innovation Fund project, addressing the financial skills needs in micro and small businesses, creating bookkeeping and payroll apprenticeships and improving the skills of unemployed people
- A key supporting partner in the ‘Get Mentoring’ initiative, funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and led by SFEDI, which has successfully trained over 15,000 mentors to support new businesses
- By working with the Financial Skills Partnership, the IAB has led the work creating the Bookkeeping units of the QCF in England, and similarly with the Payroll units, with the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals
- Offering support to young entrepreneurs accessing Start Up Loans, with the aim of ensuring they have the necessary financial skills to succeed, access to training and accredited qualifications and the support of a qualified and regulated IAB bookkeeper
- Representation of bookkeepers at national level including the HMRC Employment Consultation Forum and the Tax Agent Strategy
- International export of the IAB’s Ofqual accredited qualifications enabling the IAB to equip those in developing economies with the essential financial skills in their businesses, and to improve individual career prospects and progress
How did the IAB celebrate its 40th anniversary?
The IAB has been celebrating its significant achievements during the past 40 years with a series of events which were attended by our UK and overseas members, students and accredited centres. All the events took place in London across 20th and 21st June and included:
- Awards Reception at the House of Commons hosted by the IAB President and MP Fabian Hamilton which saw our international and UK top centres being awarded for their hard work and dedication in offering IAB qualifications
- Annual Members Conference which included speakers from HMRC and The Pensions Regulator
- International Development Meeting which featured presentations on qualifications and member benefits
- Gala dinner at the prestigious One Great George Street which allowed us to honour our Finance and Small Business Award winners
How important are bookkeepers to a business?
Bookkeepers are hugely important to any business and help it to function on a day to day basis by providing essential services including assisting with cash flows, preparing financial statements and preparing and completing VAT returns. It’s a false economy not to employ a bookkeeper. Their skills and qualifications are the cornerstone of any successful or viable business. Fully trained and regulated bookkeepers are an asset to any business and their importance shouldn’t be overlooked. Our President Fabian Hamilton recently acknowledged how valuable a bookkeeper called Ken was to his business.
He said: “He was absolutely critical to the success of the business. He was an utterly reliable lay preacher. He would come in two days a week and make sure the books were up to date. Vat returns, reconciliation, paying PAYE and National Insurance were all part of his job. It was tough but I was very glad I had Ken.”
Big thanks to Malcolm and the IAB for taking the time to participate!