Top 7 Online Bookkeeping Courses

Accounting is one of the best careers in today’s job market. The demand for accountants and bookkeepers keeps growing as a result of the constant growth of small and medium businesses.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reckons that the job market for bookkeepers is quite reliable in the coming years with an average growth rate that’s better than most fields.

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Business Accounting Basics Course
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Accounting Debits and Credits Course
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Principles of Financial Accounting Course
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Bank Reconciliation Course
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Payroll Accounting Course
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Nonprofit Accounting Course
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Accounting for Depreciation with an Excel Model
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As new technologies emerge and revenue streams keep growing, you can’t expect the demand for accountants to decline any time soon.

If you wish to exploit the current gap in the job market but can’t enroll in a physical class because of a tight schedule, you can take an online bookkeeping course. Some of the online platforms offering accounting courses are free, while others will require a small fee.

Business Accounting Basics Course

online bookkeeping classes

Understanding the four basic financial statements, Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Statement of Retained Earnings, and Statement of Cash Flows, is key to evaluating companies for your investment decisions.

Pros

  • The best classes from the best professors
  • Learn through cool tools, videos, quizzes 
  • Take courses when you want and at your own pace

Cons

  • Add a Verified Certificate for $49 USD

Accounting Debits and Credits Course

About the concept: Debits and credits form the foundation of the accounting system. The mechanics of the system must be memorized. Once understood, you will be able to properly classify and enter transactions. These entries make up the data used to prepare financial statements, such as the balance sheet and income statement. While software has simplified entering daily transactions, debit and credit entries are always recorded in the background.

Pros

  • Understand Accounting Debits and Credits
  • Learn about Financial Accounting
  • Learn the Accounting Equation

Cons

  • None

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Principles of Financial Accounting Course

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Financial Accounting is often called the language of business; it is the language that managers use to communicate the firm's financial and economic information to external parties such as shareholders and creditors. Nobody working in business can afford financial illiteracy. Whether you run your own business, work as a manager or are just starting your career, you want to understand financial information and be able to interact with accountants, controllers, and financial managers. You want to talk business!

Pros

  •  Access to all videos.
  •  Access to all quizzes.
  • Access to all assignments.

Cons

  • Need Subscription

Bank Reconciliation Course

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Reconciling your bank account can be one of the most important things you do for your business. We'll help you understand why this is and how this one beautiful feature can help you set your business up for success.

Pros

  • Free 35 minute video
  • Free 3 part series videos 

Cons

  • Free Trial Only

Payroll Accounting Course

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This course prepares the learner with the basic knowledge needed to administer the accounting for payroll. We start with a brief overview of payroll accounting. Then discuss debits, credits, liabilities, and assets. We then walk through an example of recording journal entries for payroll transactions and accruals for a month. The material taught in this course will enhance the skill-set of the payroll practitioner looking to advance in his/her career.

Pros

  • Learn  liability and asset accounts for payroll transactions.
  • Discover how payroll practices impact the cost of operating a payroll organization.

Cons

  • Pricey

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Nonprofit Accounting Course

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Two essential issues are covered - the mechanics of non-profit accounting and the necessity of financial accountability. The outcome of this course is the development of an accounting policy manual for a nonprofit organization.

Pros

  • Understand basic accounting terms and principles
  • Understand the basics of good financial internal controls and safeguards.
  • Conduct basic trend and benchmark analysis with nonprofit organizations.

Cons

  • Pricey

Accounting for Depreciation with an Excel Model

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Depreciation Accounting for Fixed assets is usual activity and process for any accountant in his/her job, but things can get really tricky and difficult when there are numbers of assets and there are transactions like disposal, sale and purchase in mid-month/mid-year.

Pros

  • Understand impact of the sale of assets 
  • Understand on how depreciation and fixed assets accounting works

Cons

  • Pricey

7 Bookkeeping Courses You Can Learn Online

To get you started, here is a list of the best online bookkeeping courses.

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1. Business Accounting Basics Course

Accounting Basics is an introductory bookkeeping course that will help you understand the basics of financial accounting. You will be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to analyze various financial statements in different industries.

You will start by learning the different terms used in financial statements, and then proceed to create them. Some of the financial statements included in this course are income statements, statements of cash flows, balance sheets, and statements of retained earnings.

Business Accounting Basics takes your understanding of bookkeeping beyond the basic financial statements. It takes you through the building blocks of financial accounting and the various accounting cycles that give rise to each financial statement. You can also Check our Top Online Accounting Classes.


Learn Financial Statements


In other words, the course traces the origin of all the items found on the various financial statements and shows you how to record them. The course also equips you with the tools you’ll need to project the profitability of a business entity by analyzing its costs and revenues.

You can take this course regardless of your background in accounting. Second, you only need to be able to perform basic mathematical operations like multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division.  Also need to know how to work with percentages, algebraic expressions, decimals, and other basic statistical concepts.

There are tons of online platforms offering this course. EdX has been a benchmark for quality online education for years, hence the best platform to take an Accounting Basics course. With EdX, you will take the whole course in just five weeks. You’ll also have to sacrifice just three to five hours of your time every week for it.

2. Accounting Debits and Credits Course

After taking the introductory course on accounting basics, the next step should be enrolling for a course on Debits and Credits. Basically, this course teaches the double entry system used in the various financial statements.

The course begins by defining the key terms used in a double entry accounting system, like the terms Debit and Credit. It then takes learners through the mechanisms of the double entry system with special emphasis on the way the two accounting entries increase and decrease following a financial transaction.

Afterward, students are taught how to use the double entry system to make journal entries, and how those entries affect the numbers in financial statements.

Accounting concepts

You will also get to learn other accounting concepts like financial equations and their components. These equations guide all the journal entries arising from different financial transactions. The classification of journal entries is also covered in the course and it dictates where certain entries fall into the double entry system.

You can learn about Debits and Credits online through various platforms. Udemy is one of the best sites to take this course, Udemy also provide top free courses on their site. Hands-on guidance is provided by certified public accountants with tons of experience in the fields of accounting and education.

The course is offered free of charge and certificates are granted upon completion. Classes are taught using both online notes and tutorial videos to help you understand the accounting concepts.

3. Principles of Financial Accounting Course

Often referred to as the “language of business”, Financial Accounting teaches learners how to communicate economic and financial information to other parties like creditors and shareholders. To effectively express yourself in the corporate world, you should consider taking this course.

The course basically covers the essentials of financial accounting language. By the time you are done, you will be able to comprehend what the numbers on financial statements mean, and interpret them to decision-makers, managers, shareholders, and other interested parties in a company.

Knowing the language of business also forms a firm conceptual foundation for learners looking to get into advanced accounting. As with any other language, you have to practice regularly to achieve proficiency.

Accounting Principles

Accounting language aside, the Principles of Financial Accounting course covers other important concepts including the various accounting principles, accounting equations, income statements, statements of cash flows, and analysis of financial statements.

To take this course, you need to have prior knowledge of general accounting. Therefore, it is advisable that you take a course on basic accounting before you enroll for this course.

German-based International Business Management Institute offers this course on its website at a very affordable price. Upon completion of the course, all students receive certificates. Moreover, you are able to control and evaluate your progress, thanks to the self-paced e-learning application.

If you don’t want to pay for the course, you can consider Saylor Academy. They have a well-organized syllabus that allows systematic and progressive learning. However, the site does not offer certificates upon completion. But if you’re only interested in knowledge, then enroll for the course today.

4. Bank Reconciliation Course

Bank reconciliation involves balancing the amount of money available in an organization’s bank account so that it corresponds to what is in its general ledger cash account. A general ledger cash account contains all the cash transactions done within an institution.

A similar record is also kept by the bank, but it may contain extra items like deposits, service charges, and checks. At the end of each month, a bank statement is issued, showing all the financial activities done through the company’s bank accounts and the remaining balance.

Since busy organizations write hundreds—if not thousands—of checks every month, reconciling the company’s books to match the bank statements can be hectic. This is because some items in an organization’s cash account for a particular month may be recorded as transactions for a different month in the bank statement.

Examples

For example, a company may write checks towards the end of March, and deduct them immediately from their accounts. However, these transactions will most probably be recorded in the organization’s bank statement as transactions for the month of April.

The bank may also decrease the amount of cash in a company’s account without communicating the change to the company. An example is when a bank deducts service charges from an organization’s account towards the end of the month and withholds the information until the bank statement is issued the following month.

Learn To Identify Discrepancies in Bank Statements

Since discrepancies between the bank statements and the cash amounts in an organization’s books can have serious implications, adjustments are needed to report the correct cash amount. Students taking bank reconciliation courses learn how to make these adjustments and trace the origin of discrepancies between the two cash accounts.

You can learn how to reconcile accounts on Accounting Coach. Although they don’t have tutors, they provide students with easy-to-follow instructions, guidance videos, and illustrations. You can download the tutorial text in PDF format for free.

5. Payroll Accounting Course

Payroll accounting is a course that prepares students for the administration of payroll accounting at entry-level jobs.

It begins with a short overview of payroll accounting, where students learn basic accounting concepts like debit, liabilities, credits, and assets. The course proceeds to teach students how to make journal entries for various payroll transactions and accruing entries.

By the time you’re done with the course, you will be able to:

  • Define asset and liability accounts with respect to payroll transactions.
  • Define credit and debit in payroll entries.
  • Identify which payroll transactions fall under asset and liability accounts.
  • Comprehend the processes required for accurate payroll accounting.
  • Understand the impact of payroll practices on the operational costs of a payroll company.
  • Make payroll journal entries to be posted on the general ledger.

Affordable Price

Udemy offers a payroll accounting course at a very affordable price. The course is prepared by Illumeo Learning, an organization that is accredited to offer Continuing Education Credit in a number of courses such as Human Resource, Accounting, Finance, Auditing, and Treasury.

To qualify for CPE credit, you must take the course through the official Illumeo online platform and not through Udemy. You don’t need any background knowledge in accounting to enroll for this course.

For free payroll accounting classes, you may want to consider Bean Counter. Don’t let the cartoons on this site fool you, they mean business – serious business. They offer exemplary learning materials including notes, quizzes, tests, tutorial videos, and a little bit of humor to ease boredom.

6. Nonprofit Accounting Course

This course covers two critical issues – the mechanics of accounting for nonprofit organizations and the importance of accountability in financial reporting. The main goal of this course is to help students understand how to develop a manual for accounting policies used in nonprofit organizations.

It also enables learners to understand the difference between accounting and bookkeeping, as well as the ethical standards that govern financial reporting in not-for-profit organizations.

Other areas covered in this course include the various regulations that govern the operations of nonprofit organizations, the basics of financial safeguards and internal controls, interpretation of financial statements, and how to conduct benchmark analysis in such organizations.

You can take this course online from one of the best universities – Harvard. The course is offered through the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education and offers students the opportunity to learn at their own speed through a self-paced program.

7. Accounting for Depreciation with an Excel Model

Accounting for the depreciation of fixed assets is an important skill to have as a bookkeeper. Quite often, you will be required to adjust entries in the various financial statements in order to account for the wear and tear of fixed assets.

While this may sound like a straightforward task, things can get tricky when you have to account for the depreciation of numerous assets and transactions like mid-month sales and purchases. This is where accounting for depreciation using robust Excel depreciation models comes in.

This program will give you accurate calculations of monthly depreciation and help you forecast and budget for future depreciation of assets.

Learn Microsoft Excel Model

The course will also teach you how to use a Microsoft Excel model to account for depreciation, determine future rates of depreciation, and assess the impact of asset sales on the balance sheet and the profit and loss statement.

As always, practicing regularly will help you familiarize yourself with the various concepts of using this model.

Alison and Udemy are great sites to take this course. However, you must have prior knowledge of using Microsoft Excel and basic accounting of preparing financial statements. You also need to be familiar with the key terms used in accounting for fixed assets and depreciation.


What to Look for in an Online Learning Platform


The number of scam websites claiming to offer quality bookkeeping courses is alarming. As such, you should always do background research on an educational platform before enrolling. This is especially important if you have to pay for the course.

Pay attention to consumer reviews and affiliation to learning institutions. As a general rule, always go for learning websites that have some kind of affiliation with a university or a college. Alternatively, you can enroll at an online program of a renowned university for best results. However, this may cost you more as you are likely to pay more than an on-campus student.

For bookkeeping programs, there are specific credentials to look out for including the Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

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