I’m biased as I’m an Ambassador with Ideal Schools and promote better bookkeeping throughout the UK as part of my role.
Ideal Schools are a Glasgow based distance learning provider and offer both ICB and AAT courses. (I think you get a discount if you mention my name to Brian but not sue if that is still a thing). I qualified with ICB through the Ideal Schools route and I have also put my staff through their training. It works for us.
You are ALWAYS learning new things so factor in a lot of learning that you rarely get compensated for. This last year in particular has been a nightmare for Bookkeepers because there has been such a lot of non-chargeable time learning the new legislation changes to support clients during Covid-19.
Although you don’t need to be qualified to offer bookkeeping (or accounting for that matter but that’s another gripe of mine) I’d say you do benefit from having a professional body behind you as the support they offer is invaluable.
Remember to advise your insurance company if you offer bookkeeping as it’s not always covered unless you specify.
Hope that helps. Michelle