Free Online Accounting Courses – Forbes Advisor

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Professionals looking to boost their finance skills may find it helpful to enroll in online accounting courses. There are several free course options available online, all provided by credible bookkeeping or accounting organizations.

You don’t have to be an accountant to reap the benefits of an accounting course. Anyone interested in the inner workings of a company’s finances would benefit from taking an accounting course. Small business owners and independent professionals also benefit from learning how to balance their books.

Why enroll in a free accounting course?

Free online accounting courses are affordable and accessible resources for continuing professional development. They allow accountants and other professionals to sharpen their skills, test their knowledge and demonstrate their mastery of various accounting topics.

Taking online accounting courses can also increase your competitive position in the job market. Although most employers don’t require applicants to show proof of their certifications, having them on hand can definitely increase your chances of getting hired.

An online accounting course can also prepare you to pursue an accounting certification. Again, most employers do not require accountants to be officially certified. But it doesn’t hurt to have a certification, especially if you’re just starting out in your accounting career. Additionally, you could increase your accounting salary potential with respected references.

If you want to hone your accounting skills (without breaking the bank), consider enrolling in one or more of the following free courses.

Free Online Accounting Courses


Cost: Free, but pro subscriptions are available for a one-time fee of $49 or $99.

Course description: This course is an in-depth exploration of key accounting topics, ranging from the basics of accounting to depreciation and adjusting entries. Each lesson begins with a multi-part overview of the subject. You can also participate in training quizzes for free. But if you want to revisit the flashcards or take a quick test, you’ll need to upgrade to the pro subscription.

Who benefits from this course? AccountingCoach courses benefit anyone looking to master accounting principles. These courses particularly benefit bookkeepers and accountants returning to the workforce, as well as small business owners who want to better understand their own finances. College students studying to become accountants will also benefit.


Cost: Free

Course description: edX offers a host of free accounting courses through the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Topics include Introduction to Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Financial Accounting, and Introduction to Management Accounting.

Classes are self-paced and last six weeks. You can expect to spend five to eight hours of lessons per week. No prior knowledge of bookkeeping or accounting is required to begin the introductory course.

Who benefits from this course? ACCA courses benefit anyone starting a career in business, finance or accounting. They also help experienced accountants and accountants hone their skills.

OpenLearn University

Cost: Free

Course description: OpenLearn’s Introduction to Bookkeeping and Bookkeeping explores the fundamentals of double-entry bookkeeping. The course begins with teaching practical numeracy skills, including equations and basic calculator skills. You will learn the basics of double-entry bookkeeping and how to prepare a trial balance. Finally, you will learn how to prepare two main financial statements: the balance sheet and the profit and loss account.

The course is asynchronous – meaning you go at your own pace – and lasts approximately eight hours. You will not have access to an instructor during the course.

OpenLearn also offers other accounting-related courses, such as business and financial accounting, understanding and managing risk, accounting fundamentals, and cash management.

Who benefits from this course? The OpenLearn University course benefits entry-level accountants who are just starting out in their careers. If you have more than three years of experience under your belt, you might find this course a bit too basic. But it might be suitable for college students studying finance, business, or accounting.


Cost: Free, or $100 to go ad-free

Course description: Alison offers a variety of free online accounting courses covering several financial topics. You can select courses in subjects such as Business Accounting, Effective Bookkeeping and Payroll, Trial Balance and Double Entry, and Bookkeeping. These courses teach students how to record and classify a company’s accounting transactions, as well as techniques for analyzing company performance.

Who benefits from this course? Junior and intermediate level finance professionals can benefit from these courses. Alison offers both introductory courses and more advanced topics, so you can choose your preferred course based on your level of experience. Finance and accounting students can also benefit from Alison’s introductory courses.

National Association of Certified Public Accountants (NACPB)

Cost: Free

Course description: NACPB offers several free resources to deepen your accounting skills. You can master bookkeeping, payroll, bookkeeping, QuickBooks, and tax terms with NACPB’s free dictionary, for example.

The NACPB also offers a one-hour live webinar every Wednesday. The webinar covers cutting-edge accounting technology, applications, processes, methods, procedures, and expert advice. Plus, you can explore the organization’s archive of the latest accounting news and updates, watch free accounting training videos, and take free certification practice exams.

Who benefits from this course? NACPB resources benefit anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of bookkeeping and accounting. They’re not exclusively for beginners, so seasoned pros may find them useful as well. Anyone who wants to take the national accounting certification exam should also take advantage of the NACPB’s resource library.

OpenCourseWare from MIT

Cost: Free

Course description: This course covers the basic concepts of financial and managerial reporting. It teaches students how to prepare reports that are suitable for their readers, not the accountants who prepare them. This course was taught in 2004, so note that some content may be dated. But you can still access all of the lecture notes for that course, most of which may still come in handy today.

Who benefits from this course? Students interested in launching careers in business, finance, accounting and management benefit from this course.


Cost: Free

Course description: FutureLearn’s bookkeeping for personal and business accounting course provides practical skills for balancing the books. This course teaches learners common accounting and finance terms, basic math skills, and how to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. It also teaches the concepts of profit and loss and how they lead to income or debt.

The course is not led by an instructor.

Who benefits from this course? This course is suitable for anyone looking for an introduction to bookkeeping and financial accounting. It’s also valuable for small business owners and independent professionals looking to gain more control over their finances. No bookkeeping or accounting experience is necessary to enroll in this course.

Oxford Home Study Center

Cost: Free

Course description: This course provides an in-depth exploration of essential accounting concepts such as payroll, journals, inventory, equity, assets and liabilities. By the end of the course, you will know the differences between cash and accrual accounting methods, basic terminology, and different accounting methods and rules. The course is asynchronous and lasts 20 hours.

Who benefits from this course? This course is ideal for people who want to start a career in accounting. It is marketed to unemployed people, but salaried professionals who want to upgrade their skills can also enroll.

QuickBooks support

Cost: Free

Course description: QuickBooks is popular accounting software used by millions of American businesses. As an accountant, having a solid understanding of QuickBooks and its services like Quickbooks Live is essential to maintaining a competitive edge. QuickBooks offers free step-by-step video tutorials to help you navigate the software. It also provides one hour webinars on various teaching topics free of charge.

Who benefits from this course? QuickBooks tutorials benefit beginners and seasoned pros alike. Anyone interested in learning more about managing business finances may find value in a QuickBooks crash course.

Donald E. Patel