Bookkeeping is something that requires one to be good at numbers while being determined to focus. While freelance bookkeepers and even accounting students can take free bookkeeping courses to improve their skills, entrepreneurs can do the same to learn how to manage their business accounts without digging deep into their financial statements with the motive to handle the financial management tasks as a bookkeeper.
If you prefer a systematic approach to improve your skills, these courses can turn out to be better than reading the information in parts no the internet.
In this article, I have discussed nine best bookkeeping courses (some are free while some are paid) that can help you understand how to track income and expense, read financial statements & reports, manage business capital, and much more.
Before going any further, let’s discuss the outcomes of the courses in brief.
The Learning Outcomes
Once you complete the courses, which we will discuss shortly, you would become able to;
- Recognize and understand the relation between accounting equation & double-entry bookkeeping.
- Record transactions (using the double-entry bookkeeping system) in the appropriate ledger accounts.
- Apply the numerical skills which are required for bookkeeping and accounting.
- Make a balance of ledger accounts (at the end of an accounting period).
- Trial balance
- Balance sheet
- Profit and loss account
Kickstart or Boost Your Bookkeeping Career With These Free Courses.
Free Bookkeeping Courses
AccountingCoach is run by Harold Averkamp, an MBA and CPA, who has also worked as an accountant, consultant, and accounting instructor. It is way more than just an educational website.
The free online bookkeeping course offered by AccountingCoach is called Bookkeeping Training, containing 20 modules, including accounting basics & principles, charts of accounts, payroll accounting, depreciation, stockholders’ equity, etc.
Note that, to acquire a certificate for completing this course, you must register yourself as a PRO+ (membership with a nominal fee) member.
Learn.Org is an excellent platform that allows you to search for free bookkeeping courses online through recognized groups, such as;
- National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)
Here you can simply enter a website and get direct access to free training courses.
- National Bookkeepers Association (NBA)
Register yourself with NBA for the Understanding Bookkeeping course for free.
- US Small Business Administration
This government agency offers introductory courses on accounting through their platform – Online Learning Center, which covers basic bookkeeping rules and procedures, with centric focus on business-related bookkeeping.
FutureLearn offers a combined course named as – Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting. The topics, apart from bookkeeping, in this study include financial accounting and reporting, balance sheet, double-entry, and other essential numerical skills. Though the course is free for everyone, to test what will learn and to get a certificate of achievement, you’d need to upgrade to the paid version.
One can complete this course in 4 weeks, having 3 hours of sessions a week.
4. Open University
Another free introductory course on the list is offered by the Open University’s online platform – OpenLearn. The course offers 8 hours of study at a basic level, but enough to learn a lot. The entire course is in written format, which would also be available to download. This course grabs much attention as you’d get a statement of participation once you complete the free course.
Topics like double entry and the balance sheet, double-entry, and the profit and loss account, and essential numerical skills are major modules this course covers.
Dave Marshall, from The Bean Counter, is offering a little more than accounting and bookkeeping courses – tutorials, games, and quizzes. The main free bookkeeping course is titled – So You Want To Learn Bookkeeping.
The course is typically divided into two parts, and you don’t need to register for a paid membership. That means you get free access to all study materials through the course website. However, to study offline, you may need to purchase CD versions of the course or eBooks.
Paid Bookkeeping Courses
Obtaining a bookkeeping certificate online can boost current professionals’ career prospects. Bookkeeping certificate courses are also perfect for accounting aspirants and those who require basic bookkeeping knowledge to work in other industries.
The following are some of the paid bookkeeping courses.
1. The U.S. Career Institute
The U.S Career Institute is a private learning institute based in Colorado, founded by Westin Distance Learning, INC. In 1981.
With the message to Dream – Learn – Succeed, the USCI offers affordable online bookkeeping learning programs.
The entire course – Online Bookkeeping School – is available online and will be helpful to know the practical things to bookkeeping equations, closing the books, accounts receivables, corporations and nonprofits, computerized bookkeeping, and financial statements. The course span spreads over four months and doesn’t require any experience in the field.
2. The Lone Star College
The Lone Star College, which is formally known as the North Harris College, is a public community college near Houston, Texas. The college offers an Accounting Assistant/Bookkeeper Certified Program, helping students to prepare for a successful Certified Bookkeeper career. This is an excellent opportunity for all to complete the course quickly and get a certificate from Lone Star.
The course study also helps you understand the fundamental principles of computer skills required to be an efficient bookkeeper through EXCEL, QuickBooks, and other essential bookkeeping applications.
Udemy.com is an online learning platform which offers paid bookkeeping course. This course has two significant dividends for the study.
Under this, you’ll get to learn the basic yet essential terms & concepts of bookkeeping. This course can be beneficial for students, business managers, and owners to become more confident and successful.
Some of the topics of this course are as follows.
- The difference between Assets, Liabilities, and Equity
- The Five W’s of Bookkeeping
- The Fundamental Financial Equation
- Charts of Accounts
- Financial Reports
- The Top 10 Mistakes Small Businesses Make
- The Top 6 Tips for Good Bookkeeping
This section of the course provides more in-depth insights. It helps you understand how to manage day-to-day financial records, such as sales and purchases, maintain ledgers, calculate and prepare profit and loss statements, balance sheet, and VAT return.
Included Topics are:
- The basics of Debits and Credits
- How to make entries into:
- Purchase Day Book
- Purchase Returns Day Book
- Purchase Ledger
- Sales Day Book
- Sales Returns Day Book
- Sales Ledger
- Cash Book – Bank payments and receipts
- Petty Cash Book
- How to reconcile Bank account
- How to handle Nominal Ledger
- Create a Trial Balance
4. LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn’s Learning platform also offers the bookkeeping course where Jim Stice and Earl Kay Stice will take you through an educational ride into the four key steps of bookkeeping which are;
- Analyzing Transactions
- Recording the Effects
- Summarizing the Effects
- Preparing Financial Reports.
They provide thorough information on the critical components of a journal entry – Debits & Credits and essential aspects to consider while reviewing transactions. They also explain how accountants work to convert ledger information into financial statements and what role a computer application plays in supporting businesses with account management.
Deciding to study further, to gain more educational benefits can be a smart step.
As discussed above, taking any one of these courses would help you kickstart or boost your bookkeeping career.
I believe the above list would help you identify and choose the best bookkeeping course as per your learning requirements.