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Sage and IAB back software certificate

15th Dec 2010
Editor at large AccountingWEB
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Business software house Sage has teamed up with the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB) to offer a nationally recognised certificate in computerised bookkeeping.

When a Sage business partner approached the IAB with the idea earlier this year, the association was very receptive. “It’s what we’ve said we needed for years,” said IAB chief executive Malcolm Trotter at this year's top Centre awards ceremony at the House of Commons on Monday.

Under the scheme, students using Sage as part of their IAB course in computerised bookkeeping will be able to register for a Sage certificate on the back of the IAB qualification to show that they have attained a nationally recognised standard.

Registration entitles students to a fully functioning copy of Sage 50 Accounts, plus detailed guidance notes from Sage and the IAB on software tasks linked to the syllabus, and the underlying concepts behind the processes, Trotter explained.

Sage, the UK accounting software market leader, cemented its position by developing a strong following among training colleges that use its software. Until now, explained Sage education manager Ian Cox, there hasn’t been a way to show that the user has achieved a nationally recongnised standard of competence.

“Desktop accounting software is part of every modern office, but there has never been any benchmark. Now we’re on a path where a candidate can produce a certificate to prospective employers that has real value,” Cox said.

Strengthening its position in the training sector will do Sage no harm and Cox said the company was discussing similar moves with other bodies. But the computerised bookkeeping certificate wasn’t about protecting the company’s market share from smaller Cloud accounting rivals as much as “helping hundreds of thousands of users to get more out of their existing software”.

“We know our software isn’t being used properly and that many people are merely scratching the surface. Others use it quite competently but don’t have the bookkeeping or accounting knowledge to underpin that. Often the answers to key questions about the business – how much they owe, how they are doing – are in front of them in the software and they don’t know it. The standard will ensure they are able to answer those questions and improve their employment prospects,” Cox said.

Replies (3)

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15th Dec 2010 12:10

Good marketing Sage ....

However, shouldn't education of any type be supplier agnostic?

It doesn't matter whether it is Microsoft trying to steal a march on their competition by partnering with schools on Word & Excel or Coca Cola in primary schools (trying to hook them young) - http://www.essentialaction.org/spotlight/CokeSchool.html

To teach vulnerable elements (anyone wanting to learn) that there is only one proprietry approach is not a good thing. Naturally it is supplier nirvana to be able to influence students in their formative stage - but is it ethical?

The crux of the matter is '.. Sage, the UK accounting software market leader, cemented its position by developing a strong following among training colleges that use its software ..'

One trusts that the IAB will offer a level playing field to any other software provider wishing to partner with them or offering a choice of certifcates in Sage, Xero, Pegasus, e-Conomic, KashFlow etc ...just to demonstrate no bias

It is just a pity that in an area where ethics is deemed to be such a driving force the IAB is keen to be so partisan by favouring one software supplier over another

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By BigBadWolf
15th Dec 2010 13:30

Oh dear!

The IAB have sold out to SAGE ...what a shame!

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By frauke
16th Dec 2010 15:27


The IAB course in computerised bookkeeping can be done on ANY software. 

Sage and no other software provider has offered this as an extra benefit for students as the article says - as people who do use Sage, do not use it to its maximum and Sage felt this was one way of providing an oportunity to IAB students to have an extra certificate to prove they were properly Sage trained.  

I for one, have found so called "Sage experts" set up Sage for businesses, only to get it completely wrong, and this is something Sage seems to recognise does happen too often!  

And no, I'm not an Accountant that would normally recommend Sage, but understand the reasoning behind what they are doing.  Its a shame other software companies don't do the same. 

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