You may have a number of reasons for wanting to study accounting principles. Online courses are a convenient way to improve your personal knowledge or pursue a career in accounting. There are unaffiliated online alternatives out there. Nonetheless, taking a university-sponsored course helps ensure you benefit high-quality services.

Each of these 7 online accounting courses is brought by accredited universities. All offer a unique opportunity to learn accounting principles. The list is in alphabetical order by university, without promoting the merits of any specific course. Each comes with free opportunities to enhance your knowledge of accounting principles.

1. University of Alaska Anchorage – Principles of Financial Accounting A101

The Principles of Financial Accounting – ACCT A101 is brought by the University of Alaska Anchorage. It is an introductory course perfect for bookkeeping or as a foundation to pursue an accounting degree. This accredited course carries 3-credit hours. Basic math is the only prerequisite. You may use mathematics placement scores in lieu of actual course credit.


  • You will learn how to record, analyze, and summarize all types of basic accounting transactions.
  • The course provides an overview of the basic asset categories used in financial accounting.
  • Principles of Financial Accounting A101 is taught from the perspective of an accountant but is useful for anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of accounting principles.

2. The University of California, Irvine – Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning

accounting task with professional woman checking numbers on a sheet

This is one of the online accounting courses that focus on a wider range of financial transactions. While it provides solid information to professional accounting aspirations, it is also a great tool for any type of personal financial planning. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning is free of charge through the OpenCourseWare Initiative at The University of California, Irvine. There are other financial planning courses online that might pique your interest.


  • The basic premise of this course is to provide everyone with free exposure to improving financial practices. It accomplishes this goal by teaching you how to understand basic accounting principles.
  • Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning lays a foundation for how to interpret risk management, understand taxes, and appreciate wealth accumulation and investment.
  • The course is available to the public. It helps promote a comprehensive understanding of how to manage your finances better.

3. Indiana University – Accounting and the Business Environment – A186

There are various online business-focused courses offered free by Indiana University. If you’re searching for well-rounded online accounting courses, Accounting and the Business Environment – A186 is a great starting point.


  • The course includes free access to a 14-lecture series. They cover accounting principles and ideas from basic transaction records to capital investments.
  • Accounting and the Business Environment expands the idea of accounting basics to address topics related to businesses directly.
  • Each video is short and simple. All you need to view any of the lectures is the Silverlight plug-in.

4. Kutztown University – Accounting 101: The Fundamentals

Kutztown University in Pennsylvania is another institution that has an extensive open learning curriculum with free online accounting courses. Their Accounting 101 format is actually broken down into three precise accounting categories. This makes the material useful to a wide array of individual student needs, including small business owners.


  • Accounting 101: The Fundamentals is broken down into three distinct lesson plans: Creating a Profit and Loss Statement, Preparing a Balance Sheet, and Preparing a Cash Budget. You can start them in any order you.
  • This is an appealing setup for small business owners who wish to address their own financial transactions.
  • It is also one of the better online accounting courses that provide a free overview of the requirements for a career as an accountant.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Introduction to Accounting

professional accountant bookkeeping online on laptop at a desk with calculator, glass of water

The official course title is Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting. It is part of the widely popular MIT OpenCourseWare Program. Even though it is free, the course will generate transferable college credits or a certificate for bookkeeper credentials.


  • The course is structured with two 1½-hour sessions each week. You will have access to materials throughout the course.
  • There is a mid-term and final exam. For access to this test, you must secure a passing grade to earn a certificate of completion or college credit.
  • All students who take Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting must participate in online discussions. They must also complete the written problem sets as indicated in the syllabus.

6. New Jersey Institute of Technology – ACCT 615 Management Accounting

This is a course offered through the New Jersey Institute of Technology by resident Professor Guillermo Ramirez-Rivera. The best way to access this course is through Coursicle. Like many online accounting courses, the focus of this syllabus is on the management side of recording financial transactions.


  • You will learn the foundation for accounting transactions and expand these principles into managerial accounting concepts.
  • ACCT 615 Management Accounting will teach you the skills you need to appreciate financial analysis from a management perspective. These are great skills for an entry-level bookkeeper or accounting assistant.
  • This 3-credit course has scheduled online sessions Tuesday through Friday.

7. The Open University – Introduction to the Context of Accounting

The Open University is another widely popular free learning environment that offers online accounting courses. Open University’s Open Learn platform is located in the United Kingdom, but available to aspiring students worldwide.


  • Introduction to the Context of Accounting begins by teaching you the primary objective of all accounting principles.
  • You will learn how to appreciate the different aspects of input and output as they relate to the accounting information system.
  • This is an excellent course for business managers who need to learn how accounting affects various aspects of data processing.


If you’re searching for the best selection of online accounting courses, starting with those hosted by universities is recommended. Accounting principles are taught using a rigid model for how transactions are recorded and analyzed.

These are 7 of well-rounded online accounting courses brought by respected universities. You can use the knowledge you will absorb to manage your personal finances, understand how to keep financial records for your business, or begin your study for a career as an accountant.

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