15 bookkeeping courses for beginners to develop your skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Learning how to manage business finances is an integral part of bookkeeping positions, providing the opportunity to effectively maintain your finances or find a job working as a professional bookkeeper. As a first step towards a career, bookkeeping courses offer the insight and knowledge necessary to complete basic finance tasks. Finding suitable training is an excellent first step if you're considering learning how to balance books for a business. In this article, we list 15 bookkeeping courses for beginners that you could consider to develop your skills.

What are bookkeeping courses for beginners?

Bookkeeping courses for beginners are classes that provide the foundational education necessary to find a job as a bookkeeper. As a role that requires professional knowledge of finances, calculations and financial compliance regulations, it's vital to seek expert training before looking for a job as a bookkeeper. Many small business owners that handle their in-house finances may also look for bookkeeping courses to improve their knowledge if they prefer not to hire a professional or outsource to an accountant.

The content of bookkeeping courses covers anything from the formats and templates that businesses use to create accounts to how often it's necessary for you to balance the books. Online classes allow access to new learning from anywhere at any time, with options for formal courses, online tutorials and eBooks to support your learning. By completing a bookkeeping beginner course, you can use your knowledge to find further training or improve your skills in bookkeeping for your purposes.

Related: Guide: what is bookkeeping and what do bookkeepers do?

15 bookkeeping courses for beginners

Bookkeeping courses are available in many different formats. For example, you could sign up to work in an eLearning environment with tutors and direct support or learn from online tutorials without additional input. Here are some of the bookkeeping courses to consider as a beginner:

1. The Accounting Coach

This online course covers various categories for accountancy, divided into individual sections, including debits and credits, charts of accounts and bookkeeping. As a free study guide, this website provides easy access to information as and when necessary to develop your skills or improve your understanding of specific topics. A paid option is also available for a one-off fee, including tests, PDF documents, videos, flashcards and certificates to print.

2. Free Bookkeeping Accounting

This video course is a YouTube-based series that provides access to practical, follow-along tutorials from Bookkeeping Master. This course includes 11 videos covering the essential skills for double-entry bookkeeping, general financial terminology, debits and credits and how to compile effective reports. An Ultimate Bookkeeping & Accounting Course is available after learning from the free video series to further your skills and experience in bookkeeping and accounting.

Related: A guide to the basics of bookkeeping (definitions and FAQs)

3. Alison

Alison offers thousands of free online courses covering many different topics, including bookkeeping. Both five-hour introductory and 15-hour diploma courses are available to learners, covering various parts of bookkeeping with the option to purchase a certificate once you finish. Topics that Alison's courses cover include the principle of accounting, double-entry bookkeeping, business accounting, petty cash and trial balance. A paid, ad-free version of Alison is also available for a fee, while complete access with ads is available to all learners.

4. Xero

Xero is one of the leading software providers for accountants and bookkeepers and provides plenty of resources to support businesses and individuals in learning bookkeeping. Tutorials are available online or in ebook format and include double-entry bookkeeping, types of bookkeepers, an explanation of what bookkeepers do and an introduction to the general topic. Many of these courses apply specifically to Xero software, which many businesses already use.

5. OpenLearn

OpenLearn is an online resource that is part of The Open University, providing different distance learning courses for free alongside the option to continue onto degrees. The OpenLearn Money & Business course contains eight hours of learning, including the numerical skills necessary for bookkeeping, how to use a balance sheet and how to create profit and loss accounts. Learners then have the option to continue onto paid training with a BA (Hons) in Business Management (Accounting) with the Open University to become an accountant.

6. Bench Accounting

Bench Accounting supplies multiple free online accounting and bookkeeping tutorials through their YouTube channel. Their series of small business resources cover many different topics, from the basics of bookkeeping for small business owners to how to read financial statements, providing clear instructions and visual guides to help you understand different areas of bookkeeping quickly. Bench also provides free Excel sheets for practice or use in small businesses to further enhance your bookkeeping knowledge.

Related: Bookkeeper vs. accountant: differences and similarities

7. Bean Counter

Bean Counter is an online resource that supplies quizzes, videos and written information to learn about bookkeeping under the name So you want to learn bookkeeping. This online course contains cartoon illustrations to illustrate different points and covers various topics, including language, accounting equations, general ledges, financial statements and general bookkeeping. A paid ebook is also available with all the course information in one downloadable document alongside freely available online resources.

8. edX

As an introductory course that The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants offers, edX offers a six-week course that covers five hours of learning per week to start a career in business, accountancy or finance. This training covers business transactions, how to run payroll and ledger accounts and how to create reconciliations. Completing this course is a recommendation for anyone looking to take ACCA exams, start a business or further study bookkeeping.

Related: What is cash flow management and why is it important?

9. FutureLearn

FutureLearn provides a Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting course, covering four weeks with three hours of learning per week covering all primary areas of bookkeeping. This free course includes numerical skills, double-entry and balance sheets, financial reporting and general accounting skills. Future Learn provides the option to upgrade for a one-off fee to access a certificate on completion of tests.

10. Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning provider with thousands of different courses, covering a wide range of topics and specialisations. Both free and paid-for courses are available through the platform, including options for accounting fundamentals and bookkeeping basics. For example, you could learn how to create balance sheets, cash flow statements and the ideal way to calculate the revenue for a business, with numerous courses available for specialised topics such as bookkeeping for self-employment.

11. QuickBooks

As another of the leading accounting software brands, QuickBooks supplies a wide selection of different learning resources to support small business owners and professionals in improving their skills in their software. For example, an introductory one-hour webinar provides the fundamentals for how to use QuickBooks for bookkeeping, with plenty of 'get started' tutorial videos and the option for membership or two-day paid classes to further your experience in the software and gain certifications to work with QuickBooks software as a hired professional.

Related: 7 QuickBooks alternatives to try for accounting needs

12. Udemy

Udemy provides hundreds of tutorials, classes and courses on bookkeeping and accounting, covering multiple specialist software options plus more general beginner classes. For example, Bookkeeping Basics Explained covers the essentials in finance, including reconciliation, trial balances, accrual entries and debits and credits, including an additional eBook. It requires three to five minutes per lesson. These classes are in a video format and, once you pay for them they remain available for a lifetime, with downloadable resources and a certificate on completion.

13. SBA Learning Platform

The Small Business Administration provides a quick, free 30-minute training course that provides a basic introduction to accounting. The skills you learn include basic cash flow and income statements plus tips for keeping your books accurate. At the end of your course, you receive a certificate of completion from the SBA. While the certificate may be less functional domestically, the course contents are still helpful as a free resource to learn about the basics of bookkeeping.

Related: A guide to small business accounting (the basics)

14. FinePoint Bookkeeping

This comprehensive YouTube channel provides plenty of video tutorials to learn how to bookkeep, including hacks and tips. The START series provides insight into how to become a beginner bookkeeper, with insight into different certifications and guidance on the differences between bookkeepers and accountants. FinePoint offers a paid coaching service if you'd like to open your own bookkeeping business, while all YouTube resources are available for free.

15. CPD Courses

CPD Courses offers a catalogue of different vocational online access courses, including options for accounting and finance to work towards certificates and diplomas. For example, the Certificate in Accounting and Finance QLS Level 1 provides a way to certify as a beginner bookkeeper, covering key reports, an introduction to accounting and details of the responsibilities for this position. CPD offers accountancy and finance courses of various lengths, ranging from 80 hours to 450 hours, depending on QLS levels.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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