Learning from experienced tutors in a structured way has recently become a lot cheaper and more accessible. You now have a large selection of online bookkeeping and accounting courses, many of which are free of charge. Here’s a list of courses for accountants you may consider if you want to learn new skills or develop the ones you already have.
1. Finance and accounting courses from ACCA, NYFI and IIMBx
edX is one of the largest online education providers with many courses available at no cost. For accountants and business owners, edX offers 15 courses from:
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA),
- New York Institute of Finance (NYIF),
- Indian Institute of Management (IIMBx).
Some of these courses are free, such as ACCA’s Introduction to Bookkeeping, while others are priced at $89-$500.
2. Coursera’s accounting, financial, and business courses
Coursera has an impressive selection of accounting, finance, and bookkeeping modules. For example, you may consider specialisations that include a good share of accounting and financial topics.
In most cases, you get free 7-day access to the full course content in order to get a taste of what’s included or to complete some of the lectures if you’re a swift learner. Then it’s $79 per month to continue after that. The list of specialisations includes Business Analytics, Financial Management, Fundamentals of Accounting, or Financial Reporting.
3. Corporate Finance Institute
Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) offers five courses that you can access for free including Accounting Fundamentals, Reading Financial Statements, Fixed Income Fundamentals, Excel Crash Course, and Introduction to Corporate Finance.
Based in Canada, the CFI may be a relatively little-known institution, but its free courses are worth checking out. CFI is an education provider approved by the CFA Institute and CPA bodies. You can learn more about CFI’s instructors and certifications available with the paid courses.
4. Open University – Financial accounting and reporting
The UK-based Open University offers a 12-hour course on Financial accounting and reporting that is available free of charge. The course is intended for intermediate learners who can focus on definitions, accounting information, or financial statements. This offer is an adapted version of the 6-months course on Financial accounting priced at £1432.
5. Accounting Coach
Accounting Coach offers loads of resources on pretty much all accounting-related topics, such as bookkeeping, balance sheets, bank reconciliation, accounts payable, financial statements, and cash flow statements.
The self-paced course is offered in the form of reading materials (also as PDFs), tutorials, crosswords puzzles, and quizzes. In the Pro version ($49 one-time fee) you access more advanced resources, such as videos, flashcards, cheat sheets, and tests. Certificates of Achievement are available in the Pro Plus version ($99 one-time fee).
Created by Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA, the Accounting Coach has been available since 2003. To get a taste of the quality of materials, have a look at the Q&A section.
6. Learn Accounting For Free
The Learn Accounting For Free website offers a free introductory course for aspiring accountants, built in cooperation with Brigham Young University based in Provo, Utah. Resources include Introduction to Accounting, Financial Accounting, and Managerial Accounting depending on your level of knowledge.
Learners get access to video lectures with a sliding window, a glossary, and quizzes. Five lessons (13 hours of videos) are available free of charge, while extended modules are priced at $59. For $89, you can get Financial and Managerial Courses combined (75 hours of videos) with four bonus lessons.
7. QuickBooks Tutorials
If learning how to use QuickBooks is your goal, there are plenty of free materials you can use. Intuit offers over 50 videos with instructions on how to complete the most widely used QuickBooks tasks.
For more QuickBooks education, you can check out the Fit Small Business QuickBooks online training course. There are videos and detailed step-by-step instructions available to make sure you learn how to use QuickBooks the way you like.
8. Data analysis with Codecademy
If data analysis is what you’re after then perhaps this Codecademy Pro Intensive course for $199 is your best bet. You’ll learn about data visualisation techniques, data analysis, basic statistics, and some SQL that allows you to query databases. These skills are particularly useful for accountants and bookkeepers willing to play more of an advisor’s role in their companies.
You can also get exposed to basic data analysis using SQL in a free course from Codecademy, “SQL: Analyzing Business Metrics”.
9. Excel Exposure
There are loads of Excel tutorials and guides online so it may be difficult to pick the right one. We’d like to recommend Excel Exposure videos, which are both easy to understand and in-depth.
Reading list for accountants
Before (or after!) you take any of these courses, you may also consider checking our these excellent non-fiction books that every accountant should read.