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5 Best Free Accounting Courses to Learn Online (For Small Business Owners)

Looking for a way to learn accounting on your own time and at your own pace? Check out our list of the best free accounting courses online.

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If you’re a small business owner, you know that keeping track of your finances is essential to your success. But learning accounting can be daunting – especially if you’re trying to do it on your own.

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If you’re determined to do your own accounting, we’ve put together a list of the five best free accounting courses available online. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re looking to brush up on your skills, these courses will get you on the right track.

  1. Introduction to Financial Accounting on Udemy
  2. Financial Accounting in Excel – New Business on Udemy
  3. Mini Course on Accounting Skills for Business Owners on Udemy
  4. Introduction to Small Business Accounting Training Tutorial on Udemy
  5. Introduction to Finance and Accounting on Coursera

Let’s look at each of these courses in more detail.

Introduction to Financial Accounting on Udemy

Introduction to Financial Accounting on Udemy is a free course created by Tim Vipond. Tim is the CEO of Corporate Finance Institute, a leading provider of online financial modeling and valuation courses. 

This course is designed for beginners to accounting and covers the introduction to the building blocks and fundamentals of the accounting process. The course has four sections and these sections are divided into modules. Each module has objectives that need to be met.

What you’ll learn

Here is what you’ll learn from the four sections:

  • How to construct a balance sheet and include the key information i.e assets, liabilities, shareholders’ equity
  • How to buy and sell inventory and how to take a bank loan and pay interest
  • How to construct an income statement
  • How to record income and expenses, prepayments, accrued expenses, and depreciation
  • How to construct a cash flow statement
  • Free resources: Ebooks, Microsoft Office templates, and career resources 
  •  

By the end of the four sections, you should be able to:

  • Define terms such as prepayments and receivables
  • Explain income statement and balance sheet layout
  • Record transactions in a general journal
  • Prepare balance sheets and income statements
  • Explain how profit is different from cash
  • Prepare a cash flow statement using the income statement and balance sheet

There are seven quizzes to help you check your understanding as you progress through the course. 

Time to Complete

This course is a little over an hour long. This doesn’t mean you have to complete it in one sitting – you can pace yourself and come back to finish it later.

Financial Accounting in Excel – New Business on Udemy

Financial accounting in excel is a free course created by Robert (Bob) Steel. This course is designed for those who want to learn Excel fundamentals and components of the accounting cycle, and features workshop-style learning.

The course is divided into two sections: the introduction and the workshop. 

What you’ll learn

In the introduction section, you will learn about the course outline and be provided with the data needed to complete the workshop.

In the workshop section, you’ll learn how to set up a company worksheet, including inventory items, customer balances, vendors’ starting balances, and how to enter opening account balances.

At the end of the course, you’ll have learned about:

  • Excel fundamentals; including how to use the addition, subtraction, and sum functions
  • How to create credit and debit entries
  • How to create entries in the general ledger
  • How to record journal entries

This course is perfect for all skill levels, from business owners to accounting students.

Time to Complete

This course is 1 hour 51 min long.

Mini Course on Accounting Skills for Business Owners on Udemy

The mini course on accounting skills for business owners is a free course created by Adnan Hasbi, and is ideal for small business owners who want to understand the basics of accounting.

The course includes 17 videos divided into seven sections that cover various aspects of accounting typically encountered by small businesses, including types of entities, lingo, transactions, and fundamentals.

What you’ll learn

Here is what you’ll learn from each section.

  • Introduction: What is accounting, why learn accounting, and users of accounting
  • Different types of entities: The entities that a company should choose, Ie. sole proprietor, partnership, and corporation
  • Accounting lingo: Defining assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity
  • Financial statements: What are balance sheets and income statements
  • Accounting fundamentals: What are accruals and the concept of entity
  • Simple transactions: How to record transactions
  • The end: You get access to a course on money management

By the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of the accounting lingo, balance sheet, and income statement.

Time to Complete

The course is 39 min long and can easily be completed in one sitting. 

Introduction to Small Business Accounting Training Tutorial on Udemy

The Introduction to Small Business Accounting Training Tutorial is a paid course created by TeachUcomp, Inc. This course is for anyone interested in learning about small business accounting.

The course consists of 75 lectures divided into 19 sections.

What you’ll learn

Each section covers a different topic of accounting. The topics covered are as follows:

  • Introduction to accounting, types of business and financial statements
  • What is accounting,accounting methods, and a comparison between accounting and bookkeeping
  • Current and fixed asset accounts
  • Liability and equity accounts
  • Income and expense accounts
  • How to keep good records and setting accurate prices for products and services, 
  • How to identifying expenses and the double-entry system
  • Understanding accrual principle including accrued expenses and liabilities
  • Accounts receivable with a focus on debt
  • Accounts payable especially early payment discounts
  • Making basic purchases with cheque, credit, and cash
  • Reconciling bank accounts and making transfers and deposits
  • Depreciation and selling a fixed asset
  • What is needed to start a payroll, taxes, and tax liabilities
  • Financial statements including the profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows
  • Why create a budget and basics of a budget
  • Financial ratios and quality indicators
  • Where to find an accountant and small business administration and associations
  • Three tests with answers and a glossary of accounting terms

By the end of this course you will have a better understanding of financial statements, income and expense accounts, accounting terms, accounts receivable, accounts payable, liability and equity accounts, and payroll.

Time to Complete

The course is three hours long.

Introduction to Finance and Accounting on Coursera 

Introduction to finance and accounting is a free course offered by The University of Pennsylvania. The course has three instructors:

  • Jessica Wachter – A professor in Quantitative Finance and a Research Associate, since 2008, of the National Bureau of Economics 
  • Michael Roberts – A professor of Finance at the Wharton School and a researcher in banking and corporate finance
  • Brian Bushee – A professor of Accounting at the Wharton School and he is a Ph.D. holder from the University of Michigan 

This course is taught in English with subtitles in languages such as simplified Chinese, French, and Japanese to cater to foreign students.

The course is a specialization that covers the fundamentals of finance, and introductions to corporate finance and financial accounting. 

What you’ll learn

Here is what you’ll learn from the course:

  • Applications and concepts such as retirement savings, asset valuation, time value of money, auto leasing, mortgage financing, risk-return trade-off among others
  • How to value claims and make sound financing decisions
  • How to read and understand financial statements plus the grammar and language of accounting
  • Introduction to bookkeeping fundamentals, cash flow analysis, and accrual accounting
  • How to analyze key information in companies’ financial statements including assets, liabilities, debts, and long term investments
  • The difference between financial reporting and tax reporting

The course includes quizzes, homework, and excel spreadsheets to help you gain a better understanding of corporate finance and accounting through active learning.

Once you complete the course, you will gain skills such as accounting, decision making, cash flow analysis, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and learn accounting terminology. You will also earn a certificate after completing the course.

Time to Complete

The course can take one, three, or six months to complete. The course materials; videos, readings, and practice quizzes take 40 hours to complete. You have the option to choose how many hours you want to spend per week on the course.

The course is self-paced so you can complete it at your own convenience. 

Conclusion

The accounting courses outlined above range in topics and time to complete. Through these courses you will gain a complete understanding of various topics including accounting fundamentals, Excel, and financial statements.

Learning and practicing accounting can be time-consuming and expensive. That’s why Binery.co offers budget-friendly accounting services. You’ll have the help of professionals who will take the load off your shoulders and save you money in the process.

Binery’s services include unlimited transactions, invoice and receipts processing, monthly financial reports, monthly CFO reviews, government forms handling, and 24/7 accountant access. 

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