Free Online Bookkeeping Tutorials for Non-Accountants

Bookkeeping tutorials online


There are many free bookkeeping tutorials online, but we thought we’d compile a list that of a courses that meet criteria that make them a good fit for busy freelancers and small business owners.

While you don’t have to know accounting or bookkeeping to use Flare accounting, knowing some bookkeeping basics can be empowering to small business owners and freelancers. Maybe you are just curious about bookkeeping terminology and want a reference, or maybe you have a question about accounting and you’d like an answer and some examples.

Though Flare does the heavy lifting of accounting for you while you do things like create invoices or reconcile bank transactions, any knowledge of finance you can acquire will make you a better business person.

The bookkeeping/accounting tutorials have to be:

  1. Free online bookkeeping or accounting course.
  2. Written for non-accountants.
  3. Self-paced.
  4. Well-organized with examples that support principles being taught.

Our List of Free Bookkeeping Tutorials Online

Accounting Coach
This free accounting education website has been teaching all things bookkeeping and accounting since 2003. With over a million visitors every month, Harold Averkamp, a CPA who worked as an accountant and has taught university-level accounting, created this amazing resource. The site touches on a plethora of accounting topics and has an outstanding dictionary of accounting terms that not only provide succinctly written definitions, but also link to relevant teaching topics. You can even browse over 1500 answers to accounting questions submitted by the website’s visitors. Each question is answered by Harold Averkamp, the website’s sole author. small business tip #023Get an Overview of Accounting Basics

Accounting Coach’s Accounting Basics is a 7-part series (part of the site’s free Bookkeeping Training course) that provides an excellent overview of bookkeeping and accounting principles. The tutorial uses the story of a “Joe” who has just started a new parcel delivery company. We learn accounting terms through Joe’s experience as a new small business owner.

My Accounting Course
Shaun, the site’s owner and sole writer, is a CPA. He created the free accounting course because he was frustrated by the complexity of accounting basics textbooks. Shaun wanted to provide an easy-to-understand resource for non-accountants. He did just that!
The course includes topics such as accounting terms, accounting basics, accounting principles, accounting cycle, financial statements and financial ratios. The course material is presented in a straight forward matter – just straight-up HTML – and has plenty of illustrative examples. Each section is organized into sub-sections that are easy to navigate. Check out the Accounting Basics section for a good overview. It has 17 sub-sections covering topics such as the accounting equation, account format, chart of accounts, asset accounts, liability accounts, equity accounts, contra account, revenue accounts, expense accounts, debits and credits, double-entry accounting, general journal, and trial balance. Phew!

So You Want to Learn Bookkeeping?
Don’t let the simplicity of self-proclaimed “bean counter” Dave Marshall’s website fool you. “So you want to learn bookkeeping” presents its bookkeeping tutorial simply with many examples. It begins with the ABCs of bookkeeping  (accounting terminology), and then covers the accounting equation (with many examples), debits and credits (with example transactions), recording transactions (chart of accounts), general ledger and journals, financial statements, and a review of concepts.

If that’s not enough, you can get dig deeper and find even more free bookkeeping tutorials including topics like Dave’s 7-lesson chart of accounts tutorial, special journals, and cash (petty cash, bank reconciliation, budgets).

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MoneyInstructor’s Basic Accounting and Bookkeeping Lessons
This free accounting tutorial has 14 lessons including and introduction, accounting concepts, the accounting equation and transactions, record keeping and the balance sheet, trial balance and financial statements, adjusting entries, depreciation, and financial statement analysis using various ratios.

U.S. Small Business Administration Introduction to Accounting
Pressed for time and want a quick overview of accounting basics? The SBA’s accounting tutorial will take you about 30 minutes. You can sit back and listen and watch the video tutorials, which provide an overview of accounting in simple language with examples. Course modules include: what is accounting?, financial statements, balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement.

Accounting MOOCs
You have to love MOOCs. What’s a MOOC? They are Massive Open Online Courses, often offered by very well-respected educational institutes, and, they are free! MOOCS require a little more dedication than many of the resources listed above, but are very accessible. MOOCS are for everyone and there are many courses offered that don’t require college-level prerequisites – just a desire to learn. Most MOOCs allow you to study at your own pace, though if you use the MOOC schedule, you’ll get more out of it, such as participation in instructor-led online seminars via chat or in student forums.

MOOCS are frequently instructed via video, PDF and other media, often have student boards and sometimes even chat for special instructor-led sessions. small business tip #024Try an Accounting or Bookkeeping MOOC

Though you don’t need to know accounting to use Flare, if you are a keener who wants to gain an understanding of accounting principles, check out Accounting 101 MOOC. This extensive, self-paced, free accounting course has 12 chapters (70 units and 13 tests in total).  The courseware has its own forum for interacting with other students. Bobbie Gershman, Professor of Accounting at the Woodbridge campus of Northern Virginia Community Colleges, presents the material by video and exercises material is from a fundamentals of accounting text book which costs under $20.

Don’t Care About Bookkeeping? You Don’t Have to with Flare

Flare accounting software for small business is nearly ready for a public beta launch and we’d like to invite you to be one the first to use our amazing, new online accounting software for small business owners and freelancers. Flare does all the accounting work for you while take advantage of time-saving and easy-to-use features, including: electronic invoicing and electronic estimates, expense tracking, small business budgeting and bank reconciliation. Flare also puts financial performance metrics front and center so you can really understand your business finances. Sign up today!

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