Accounting & Bookkeeping 101 for Everyone

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  • 24
  • 29
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  • 28,378
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  • 32
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  • 3.2

Course Description

"Accounting & Bookkeeping 101 for Everyone" is a course that covers the fundamentals of accounting with the newcomer in mind. Accounting is more than just memorizing terms and procedures; it's a whole new way of thinking about finances. This course assumes students have no prior knowledge about accounting or finance, and delivers lessons and examples to build accounting skills. Specifically, this class addresses accounting terminology, revenue, expenses, net income, the accounting equation, debits, credits, and balancing the accounting formula, the accounting structure, the accounting cycle, journals, ledgers, the trial balance and more. It also guides students to learn how to read financial statements properly, and how to grab meaningful information from the balance sheet, income statements and cash flow statements.
After completing this course, you will have a solid understanding of accounting in today's world. By applying the concepts learned in this course, you will understand the processes behind Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, you will understand how and why financial transactions are documented, you will know what cash flow is and how to improve it, you will know what profit is, how it's interpreted, and what influences its growth. Moreover, you will know where the money in the company you work for, or own, goes. Learn accounting now and achieve a skill that is an invaluable (if not required) asset to your professional development.

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.

Understanding the basics of accounting can make the difference between success and failure in so many different areas of life.
Financial reports, balance sheets, reconciling bank statements – and the ability to create, interpret and implement them – are all tools we can't afford to ignore.
Large companies and wealthy individuals can afford to hire CPAs and bookkeepers to take care of the details for them. The rest of us, however, have to learn to master the essentials of accounting in order to get ahead in the game.
We might as well face it, accounting is the language of business. If we can't speak it, read it or understand it, should it come as any surprise that we aren't able to get ahead in the game?
Fortunately, there's no reason that you or your business should have to fall behind any longer. Enrollment is always open, so act now to start getting ahead. If you're in search of a course that will lay the basic groundwork of accounting, bookkeeping and finance for those of us NOT pursing a specialized career in any of these fields, this is it. It's self-paced, but the course work and assignments are intensive enough to prevent you from just "winging it".
The overall course is broken down into 24 lesson plans, all of which work together to achieve several very important goals and objectives.
  • You'll gain a fundamental understanding of accounting concepts.
  • You'll be able to both read and extract useful, practical information contained in financial statements and documents.
But, that's really just the tip of the iceberg. These goals and objectives further translate into some pretty impressive perks. For instance:
  • The knowledge you'll acquire will allow you to improve your personal financial situation.
  • It'll improve your business' or company's bottom line.
  • PLUS it helps pave the way to becoming not just a successful but a profitable entrepreneur.
And, more than that, you'll have gained a solid understanding of the role of accounting in today's economy and business world. Ignorance isn't an option – not if you're as determined to succeed as we think you are.
If you're tired of watching your money trickle away without any clear knowledge of where it's going; if you're through bouncing checks and wasting money on late fees; if you refuse to let your money take over your life, using you as a puppet – then what are you waiting for?
In our fast-paced global economy, time is money. But unlike money, when time's gone, it's gone. There's no getting it back.
Take back the control of your finances – personal and professional. Enrollment will take only a minute but the reward will last a lifetime. Knowing accounting will help you improve your own finances, improve your company's bottom line, and help start you on your way to becoming a profitable entrepreneur.
  • 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:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(26,960 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. 1 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Article: Business and Accounting
  • Take Survey: 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
  • Review Article: Accounting History
  • Complete: 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
  • Complete: Exam : Basic Accounting Principles
  • Complete: 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
  • Complete: Exam : Assets, Liabilities and Owners' Equity

Financial Reports

This lesson covers basic information regarding financial reports. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review Article: Accounting And Finance
  • Complete: Exam : Financial Reports

The Income Statement

This lesson explains what income statements are and determination of expenses vs revenue. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review Article: How to Prepare an Income Statement
  • Complete: 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 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review Article: Deciding between Cash-Basis and Accrual Accounting
  • 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
  • Review Article: Income Statement Template
  • Complete: Income Statement Assignment
  • Complete: 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
  • Complete: 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; 0 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Balance Sheet; Double-Entry Accounting

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
  • Review Article: Using Debits and Credits
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 2 Articles: Accounting Journals and Ledgers - Transaction Posting; Recording Transactions
  • Complete: 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
  • Review Article: Contingent Liability
  • Complete: 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
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 2 Articles: The Accounting Cycle for a Small Business; The Accounting Process
  • Complete: Exam : Accounting Cycle Exam
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 3 Articles: Perpetual vs. Periodic Inventory System; FIFO LIFO Inventory Valuation Methods; Inventory Accounting
  • Complete: Exam : Cost of Goods Sold
  • Complete: Exam : Inventory Accounting

Cash Flow, Fixed Assets, Depreciation

Understanding positive and negative cash flow. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Cash Flow Statements; Fixed Assets; Why Is Depreciation an Expense?
  • Complete: Exam : Cash Flow

Management Accounting

This lesson focuses on how financial reporting can be used to achieve sales goals and productivity. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Management Accounting; Throughput Accounting; The Evolution of Managerial Accounting Practices
  • Complete: 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
  • Review Article: Understanding Cash Flow Analysis
  • Complete: Exam : Cash Flow Management

Accounting Ratios: Liquidity, Solvency, and Profitability

This lesson discusses accounting ratios and profitability to financially analyze a firm. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 20 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Ratio Analysis; Types of Financial Ratios
  • Complete: 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
  • Review Article: Asset Valuation
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 2 Articles: Payroll Accounting and Examples; Prevent Payroll Errors
  • Complete: 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
  • Review 2 Articles: How to Prepare for a Business Audit; Audit Preparation
  • Complete: 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
  • Review Article: Corporate Governance
  • Take Poll: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Exam : Ethical Business Practices in Accounting
  • Complete: 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, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: Accounting & Bookkeeping 101 for Everyone
Course Number: 7550309
Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (26,960 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: College Level (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: Dr. Metodija Stojanovski
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "I thought this course was very well organized. It flowed very well from one lesson to the next and assignments corresponded well with each lesson. I liked the fact that the instructor broke accounting into small sections and put them in easy to understand lessons....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.
  • "I found the examples for the Accounting Equation, balance sheets, income statements to be very helpful....The course was excellent, a challenge at times, but an excellent tool to understanding basic accounting." -- Susan H.
  • "The lessons were very well put togethor and explained the material enthusiastically and in a way someone new to the subject could understand." -- George M.
  • "I loved this class!! I have no accounting background and I thought the content was right on target. I feel like I'm far more familiar with the basic principles of accounting than I was before. This is an excellent class if you're looking to familiarize yourself with bookkeeping/accounting. I highly recommend this course." -- Zonda H.
  • "The course was well planned and in language that was easy to understand." -- Doris G.
  • "The most helpful was defining the debits and credits and properly applying them to the ledger. I was very confused on some of the aspects of bookkeeping and accounting and it was explained clearly in terms I could relate to....Fantastic! Very helpful in day to day, not just academically!!" -- Annie W.
  • "Each lesson was well prepared and easy to follow. Also, being able to discuss with other students as well as the instructor was beneficial....I enjoyed taking this class and look forward to taking other classes in the future. Thanks to the professors for their time and effort in preparing this class." -- Martine W.
  • View More Testimonials...

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