Online Class: Accounting & Bookkeeping 101 for Everyone

This online accounting and bookkeeping course covers the fundamentals of accounting with the newcomer in mind and includes an accredited CEU Certificate at successful class completion.

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Course Description

Unlocking the World of Accounting: An All-Inclusive Online Course

Welcome to a transformative journey into the intricate world of accounting and bookkeeping. In the modern business landscape, understanding accounting goes far beyond the simple act of balancing books. It's an art and science that informs how we view financial health, viability, and sustainability.

Course Overview:

This extensive online course, "Accounting and Bookkeeping 101", is meticulously crafted with the novice in mind. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur or a professional seeking to broaden your financial literacy, our course offers a comprehensive exploration into accounting, ensuring you grasp the essential foundations. Designed for those with little to no prior knowledge, our modules delve deep into fundamental principles, illustrated with rich examples to aid comprehension.

  1. Introduction to Accounting: Discover the indispensable nature of accounting and why it remains a pivotal skill in today's corporate landscape. For instance, did you know that according to recent statistics, over 80% of business failures attribute their collapse to poor financial management? Such insights emphasize why mastering accounting is crucial.

  2. The History of Accounting: Trace back to ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia and Egypt, unearthing the evolution of accounting. Learn how the needs of empires and the complexities of trade birthed the foundational principles we employ today.

  3. Fundamental Principles: From understanding terms like "revenue" and "net income" to dissecting the accounting equation, immerse yourself in the backbone of modern-day accounting. For instance, grasp how the accounting equation forms the basis for the double-entry system, a method used universally.

  4. Financial Reports & Their Insights: Dive into balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. For example, did you know that Apple's 2020 balance sheet reported a total of $143.8 billion in net receivables?

  5. Bookkeeping Mastery: Unveil the nuances of proper record-keeping, the potential pitfalls, and the best practices that ensure financial transparency.

  6. Advanced Topics: Delve into intricate topics like inventory management methods (FIFO, LIFO), asset management, cash flow intricacies, and more. Understand the profound impact of seemingly minor decisions. For instance, FIFO and LIFO can significantly alter reported profit, influencing stock prices and tax liabilities.

  7. Specialized Accounting: From payroll accounting, which ensures timely and accurate employee payments, to the rigorous world of audits that validate financial accuracy, delve into specialized realms that cater to specific business needs.

  8. Ethical Considerations: In an era where corporate scandals can cripple giants like Enron, understand the profound importance of ethical accounting practices and the role they play in ensuring long-term business viability.

By Course End:

Upon completing this course, you'll wield the knowledge and confidence to navigate the complex corridors of financial statements, ensuring you're never left in the dark. You'll understand the logic behind crucial business decisions, be it in managing cash flows, assessing profits, or even evaluating a company's long-term solvency.

Moreover, you'll be equipped with an invaluable skillset that enhances your professional trajectory, irrespective of your field. As stated by a recent Forbes article, "In today's data-driven age, understanding financial metrics is a non-negotiable skill, irrespective of one's role."

So, embark on this enlightening journey with us. Decipher the language of business, and unlock a world of opportunities. Enroll now and elevate your professional prowess!

Who is the target audience for this course?

This course is essential for any employee or manager whose job is impacted by what their company buys, sells, or profits from--which pretty much means everyone. Knowing accounting and bookkeeping isn't just for accountants, it's for anyone that is interested in management, sales, marketing, finance, or anyone interested in investing, running, or starting a business of any type. A successful business requires accounting. Improving a company's bottom line requires knowledge of accounting. Growing a business requires knowledge of accounting. This course will provide all the information you need to understand the fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping so you can help keep your company afloat financially.

Is accounting hard to learn if you're not good at math?

Accounting doesn't have to be difficult to learn even if math is not your strong suit. Because some accounting concepts may be difficult to understand for beginners at first, this course is specifically designed to help overcome these learning obstacles with skill-building lessons that explain concepts simply and incrementally. Yes, there is some math involved, but you probably already have these math skills so it's not something to worry about. Rather, accounting is a logical system of organizing and tracking inflows and outflows of money that may require a slightly different way of thinking about financial information than you're used to at first. But with a little patience and practice, it will all make sense.

What exactly does this accounting course include?

This course covers all aspects of accounting and bookkeeping by providing a general overview of need-to-know accounting and financial principles and then moving systematically to the details of each accounting and bookkeeping process. You do not need any accounting background to take this course. In fact, this course assumes you have no accounting or finance experience. The financial curriculum in this course has been greatly updated and refined based on student feedback to be as clear, concise, and easy-to-understand as possible. Since each lesson builds upon the previous lesson incrementally, the course aims to not overwhelm students with too many complex, financial concepts and confusing jargon at one time.

Is there an instructor available if I have a question or don't understand something?

Yes, Dr. Stojanovski is available should you have any questions regarding the course material. You can contact him directly using Class Email. 

Does UniversalClass offer more advanced accounting courses after this one?

Yes! If you would like to continue your accounting studies beyond this course, we offer several advanced accounting courses that you may take after successfully completing this course, such as Managerial AccountingUnderstanding Financial Statements, and Financial Analysis, as well as specific departmental accounting courses, such as Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Payroll Management.

What kind of certificate do I get if I complete this course?

This course offers a certificate of course completion that documents your contact hours and accredited CEUs in a downloadable/verifiable/shareable format if you purchase the CEU Certificate version of the class. You can put this credential on your resume in the Education / Professional Development section. You should include the course name, contact hours, number of CEUs, and date of completion. 

Course Motivation

Why is accounting important to understand?

Accounting is the most important part of any successful business. It records all profits, losses, credits, and debits. It tells you the state of the business in numbers, not words. It provides the most vital information you need to understand how your business grows, makes money, where the profit of a business goes, and what your cash flow is. In short, if you do not understand the basic principles of accounting, you cannot run a business, nor can you even hope to help a business grow and profit.  

If you work for a company and are currently managing any aspect of the company, or if you aspire to move up to management, then you need to understand what accounting is. Moreover, if you are an entrepreneur, or you ever plan to start your own business, you need to understand, at the very least, the basic principles of accounting.

This course is going to help you understand the basic principles of accounting so that you can read and understand the three main financial reports of a company: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement. Moreover, you'll know and understand the basic accounting equation and how to factor in debits, credits, inventory, and taxes, which will help you to make the right decisions to increase your company's wealth and profit.

In this course, we take everything in baby-steps. We assume you know nothing about accounting or any accounting terms. We strive to explain all accounting concepts in every day language, using real-life examples wherever possible. Additionally, we've set up the course so that you need to master all concepts in any given lesson before you can successfully complete the lesson and move on. As such, this course is built incrementally. You need to understand each previous lesson fully in order to understand the concepts covered in later lessons.

Learning accounting is like any new skill. There is a learning curve, and the skill needs to be practiced (or used in this case) in order for it to be effective. If you have access to your company's financial statements, please take the time to apply our examples to your company's financials. If you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, or plan to start your own business, copy our examples used in this course, using your own business relevant assets.

Those of us who are born as right-brain thinkers tend to be better at creative, imaginative, passionate activities. Then there are those of use who are left-brain thinkers--naturally adept at working with numbers, applying logical reasoning, and analytically solving problems.

Regardless of which category you fall into, the truth is that anyone can learn the basic principles of accounting and develop a knack for managing the financial aspects of a business. The upside of learning basic accounting principles is that, regardless of whether it is a large Fortune 500 company or a small entrepreneurial start-up, the same fundamental rules apply when working with the bottom line.

Empowering Your Financial Future: A Journey Through Accounting

In today's rapidly evolving world, understanding the fundamentals of accounting is more than just a skill—it's a catalyst for personal and professional success. From managing household budgets to navigating the complex financial landscapes of businesses, the ability to comprehend and apply accounting principles is invaluable.

Consider financial reports, balance sheets, and bank statements. These are not just documents but tools that, when mastered, unlock a world of financial clarity and control. For many, the intricate details of accounting may seem daunting, akin to learning a new language. But just as learning a foreign language can open doors to new cultures and opportunities, mastering the language of business – accounting – can transform your approach to money management.

For large corporations and affluent individuals, delegating these tasks to CPAs and bookkeepers is commonplace. But what about the rest of us? For the average person, acquiring a fundamental understanding of accounting is not just beneficial; it's crucial for gaining a competitive edge in life's financial game.

This course, "Financial Empowerment through Accounting," is designed to provide a comprehensive foundation in accounting, bookkeeping, and finance for those not necessarily pursuing a career in these fields. It's akin to a fitness program for your finances - self-paced yet challenging enough to ensure real learning rather than just a superficial overview.

Spread over 24 detailed lesson plans, this course aims to accomplish several key objectives:

  1. Fundamental Understanding of Accounting Concepts: Like the roots of a tree, these concepts form the base of your financial knowledge, supporting and nourishing your growth in understanding complex financial scenarios.

  2. Interpreting Financial Statements: Imagine being able to decipher a story from a series of numbers on a page. That's what financial statements offer – narratives about the health and prospects of a business, including your own.

  3. Enhancing Personal and Business Finances: This is where the theoretical meets the practical. Applying these concepts can lead to more informed personal financial decisions and strategies to bolster your business’s bottom line.

  4. Pathway to Profitable Entrepreneurship: Think of this course as a launchpad. It's not just about balancing books but about equipping you with the acumen to turn ideas into profitable ventures.

Moreover, understanding accounting places you firmly in the driver's seat of your financial journey. It's about taking the wheel, rather than being a passenger in your financial life. No more guessing where your money is going, no more unnecessary overdraft fees, and no more being at the mercy of financial uncertainties.

In our fast-paced, global economy, where time is a non-renewable resource, this knowledge is priceless. Enrolling in this course takes but a moment, yet the rewards extend far into your future.

Imagine this: You're no longer perplexed by complex financial jargon. Instead, you're making informed decisions, saving money, and spotting opportunities where others might see obstacles. Your newfound knowledge not only improves your personal financial health but also enhances your business’s profitability, paving the way for successful entrepreneurship.

This course isn't just an educational journey; it's a transformative experience that equips you with the tools to navigate the financial aspects of your life with confidence and expertise. It's an investment in yourself that pays dividends in the form of financial literacy and independence.

So, if you're ready to stop watching your hard-earned money slip through your fingers, if you're determined to take control of your financial narrative, and if you're eager to lay a foundation for lasting success, this course is your stepping stone. Enroll now and embark on a journey to financial empowerment that will last a lifetime.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.25 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(31,312 votes)

Introduction to Accounting: Why accounting is a necessary skill

Accounting is the "language of business." Great managers of any organization must know accounting fundamentals and have a solid understanding of how to read financial statements. Additional lesson topics: The Ultimate Guide to Accounting for Beginners; The Baby Steps to Learn Accounting 1 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: Tell me about yourself

The History of Accounting

Throughout history, accountants have made sizable contributions to the development of cities, trade, and industry, not to mention the formulation of the practice by which numbers came to represent wealth. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : History of Accounting

The Fundamentals of Accounting

Basic terms, Assets, Liabilities, Owners' Equity, Accounting Equation, Business Types, Bookkeeping, Auditing, GAAP 71 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Basic Accounting Principles
  • Assessment: Exam : Accounting/Bookkeeping Terms

Assets, Liabilities, and Owners' Equity

In this lesson, we will cover assets, liabilities, and owners' equity. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Assets, Liabilities and Owners' Equity

Financial Reports

This lesson covers basic information regarding financial reports. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Financial Reports

The Income Statement

This lesson explains what income statements are and determination of expenses vs revenue. Additional lesson topics: How to Prepare an Income Statement 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Income Statement

The Income Statement: Understanding Revenue, Expenses, Income, and Retained Earnings

Purpose of the Income Statement; How to read the Income Statement; What are Retained Earnings, Revenue, Expenses, Net Income, Income Tax, Cash Accounting, Accrual Accounting Additional lesson topics: Cash vs. accrual accounting: What’s best for your small business? 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Assets Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Determining Net Income

Worksheet Problems: Income Statement, Revenue, Expenses, Net Income

This lesson contains workbook problems to solidify your understanding of revenue, expenses, and net income. 80 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Income Statement Assignment
  • Assessment: Exam : Income Statement, Revenue, Expenses, Net Income

The Balance Sheet

This lesson includes the definition of a balance sheet and the pros and cons of off-balance sheets. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Balance Sheet

Worksheet Problems: The Balance Sheet

How to balance the fundamental accounting equation; Debits and Credits; "T" Accounting; Double Entry Accounting; Diagrams and Charts; Real World Example; Additional lesson topics: Balance Sheet 0 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video

Worksheet Problems for Accounting Equation, Debits, and Credits

Real world examples of debits and credits and how to balance the accounting equation. 95 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Credits, Debits, Balance Sheet, Double Entry Accounting

The Accounting Structure: A Closer Look

Recording Transactions; Source Documents; General Journal; General Ledger; Trial Balance 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Journals, Ledgers, Accounting Structure

Bookkeeping 101

This lesson describes the differences between bookkeeping and accounting and the responsibilities, liabilities, and certification available in becoming a bookkeeper. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Bookkeeping 101

Bookkeeping: Dos and Don'ts

This lesson details how to effectively record data and the mistakes to avoid. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Bookkeeping

The Accounting Cycle

Learn all the elements of the accounting cycle, from what occurs at the beginning of the accounting period to the generation of financial reports and an independent audit at the end of the accounting period. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Accounting Cycle Exam
  • Assessment: Exam : The Accounting Period, Accounting Cycle

Inventory, FIFO, LIFO, Cost of Goods Sold

In this lesson we'll learn about Inventory, First-In, First-Out, Last-In, First-Out, Cost of Goods Sold, and average cost of goods sold. 37 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Cost of Goods Sold
  • Assessment: Exam : Inventory Accounting

Cash Flow, Fixed Assets, Depreciation

Understanding positive and negative cash flow. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Cash Flow

Management Accounting

This lesson focuses on how financial reporting can be used to achieve sales goals and productivity. Additional lesson topics: Throughput Accounting 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Management Accounting

Cash Flow Management

This lesson addresses available working capital, cash flow analysis, and a well-balanced cash flow. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 19 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Cash Flow Management

Accounting Ratios: Liquidity, Solvency, and Profitability

This lesson discusses accounting ratios and profitability to financially analyze a firm. Additional lesson topics: Ratio Analysis 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 20 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Accounting Ratios: Liquidity, Solvency and Profitability

Asset Management and Asset Valuation

This lesson describes the accounting process of monitoring fixed assets and determining the current market value of a company's holdings. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 21 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Asset Management and Asset Valuation

Payroll Accounting

This lesson describes how to keep accurate payroll records, avoid mistakes, taxes due, and employee files. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 22 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : Payroll Accounting

The Audit

This lesson discusses the various kinds of audits, what to expected if audited, and the records needed. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 23 Video
  • Assessment: Exam : The Audit

Ethical Business Practices in Accounting

This lesson addresses the mandatory and accurate disclosure of profit and losses to investors of public companies (corporations) and the penalties for misrepresentations. 291 Total Points
  • Lesson 24 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Exam : Ethical Business Practices in Accounting
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify why accounting is a necessary skill.
  • Summarize the history of accounting.
  • Identify and describe assets, liabilities and owners' equity.
  • Recognize and compare the major financial reports.
  • Describe and create a company's Income Statement.
  • Compare and contrast a company's revenue, expenses, income, and retained earnings.
  • Solve worksheet problems involving income statements, revenue, expenses, and net income.
  • Identify the key elements of a Balance Sheet.
  • Balance the accounting equation and properly chart debits and credits.
  • Describe the key elements of bookkeeping.
  • Avoid the pitfalls of bad bookkeeping habits.
  • Describe the accounting cycle.
  • Define key terms: inventory, FIFO, LIFO, Cost of Goods Sold.
  • Summarize cash flow, identify fixed assets, and describe depreciation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of liquidity, solvency and profitability.
  • Summarize asset management and asset valuation.
  • Be apprised of key laws and procedures involved in payroll accounting.
  • Know what to expect in an audit.
  • Summarize ethical business practices in accounting.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Accounting & Bookkeeping 101 for Everyone
Course Number: 7550309
Lessons Rating: 4.25 / 5 Stars (31,312 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Last Updated: 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 3.2 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: UniversalClass Instructional Team
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "It was very helpful. I am in a new career and will soon experience all these concepts first hand. I will definitely use the material and will revisit chapters when necessary." -- John P.
  • "I enjoyed this course a lot, great learning tools and it helped me a lot. I really appreciated the experience and I liked the method of presentation. Thanks!" -- Kendall J.
  • "I liked this course very much. I found a lot of new and useful information for my life and work too. Also, I would like to thank my teacher Dr. Stojanovski for correcting and explanation of my mistakes. I thank you and your platform Universal Class and for this great opportunity to obtain a new skill. Wish you all the best!" -- Daisy M.
  • "My instructor was very collaborative and helpful. I am truly grateful for all that he did. He contributed greatly to my enthusiasm and success in this course." -- Anna N.
  • "This course was exactly what I needed and have already suggested it to my co-workers. I thought the instructor was very available and his format was organized and easy to follow. The assignments seemed always to directly reinforce the content of the lesson." -- Barb S.
  • "Instructor was very helpful and his feedback was really very fast. He gave me respond in about 24 hours or less. The most important - he not only correct me, but also explained some issues what first I understood incorrectly. He is really great." -- Ewa D.
  • "The professor was great with his communication, and must have repeatedly forgotten who I was since it took me so long to finish the course, but I was actually studying it every week. I have learned a huge amount in this time. I would recommend this instructor to anyone." -- John B.
  • "Thank you for this course, I learned a lot about it." -- Aracely H.
  • "The instructor kept in contact when I had questions and explained why the answers were incorrect." -- Robin M.
  • "I thought the instructor for this course was wonderful. She made everything easy to understand. You can always tell when you have stumbled across a great instructor when you take difficult course material and make it simple. Great instructors make learning enjoyable and I would definitely take another course from her!!" -- Kelly H.
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