certified bookkeeper online course

Are you a small business owner in need of financial expertise? No matter the size of your business, you can benefit from the insight and expertise of a top-notch bookkeeper. That’s where Infolearners comes in. Infolearners has developed an online digital courses program to help owners and managers of small businesses find a reliable bookkeeper that they can learn from.

A course in bookkeeping certainly can help if pursuing a career in the field, but it’s also worthwhile simply for taking care of the books for your small business or yourself.

Online courses vary in terms of the time commitment required and level of detail covered, but all of them should help you get started and improve your skills managing taxes, budgets, and personal finances.

We researched more than 30 different online courses and selected the best bookkeeping classes based on content, price, third-party ratings, and user experience to help you learn the ins and outs of the profession.

BEST OVERALLAccountingCoach, LLC


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AccountingCoach, LLC is our pick for best overall because it offers students the chance to learn the basics of bookkeeping for free. Plus, if you’d like to advance your learning, you have the option to get additional study materials and earn a certification of achievement with the company’s paid coursework at a relatively low cost, ranging from $49 to $99.Pros

  • Free materials and courses
  • Option to upgrade to paid classes that include video lessons, assessments, and an optional certificate of achievement

Cons

  • Certain features are available only with the company’s paid bookkeeping classes

AccountingCoach, LLC is a web-based educational platform founded in 2003 by Harold Averkamp. Averkamp is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and has more than 25 years of experience in the accounting field. The company offers a great variety of accounting courses, covering accounting basics, bookkeeping, financial statements, and more—all completely free, which is the reason it takes the top spot on our list. You can even take practice quizzes and solve puzzles for another way to learn, also at no cost.

Students have the option to upgrade to two paid options. PRO Access costs $49 and provides additional video courses, quick assessments, business forms, and more. Its features include access to study flashcards and tests with coaching included. The higher-tier PRO Plus includes all the features from PRO Access plus certificates of achievement for debits and credits, adjusting entries, financial statements, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, payroll, and more, all for $99. Both the $49 and the $99 are one-time payments that grant students lifetime access to all of the materials.

BEST FOR CERTIFICATIONU.S. Career Institute


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Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and offering personalized coaching and career support, the U.S. Career Institute is our top pick for getting a bookkeeping certification.Pros

  • Accredited by the DEAC
  • Students receive a bookkeeping certificate upon completion.

Cons

  • Cost of course changes based on payment plan chosen

With headquarters in Colorado, the U.S Career Institute was founded in 1981 and offers more than 25 career certificates across different industries, from healthcare to business. The institution has earned 4.8 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot based on more than 2,000 reviews.1

The U.S. Career Institute’s online bookkeeping course, designed to help interested professionals launch a bookkeeping career, offers four units covering the basics, from how to close the bookspayroll, and accounts payable to advanced accounting terminology, and more. The four-month course includes customized learning material, an e-book, assistance from an instructor, career coaching for graduates, and more. Once you complete the course, you can earn your certificate of completion. The certificate and the extra support the program offers make this a great choice if you’re looking for credentials to add to your resume.

The course price starts at $1,689 if you pay the full amount at once upon registration. If you pay on a monthly basis, the course costs a total of $1,889. If you decide to mail your payment, the class costs $1,989.

BEST FOR DISCOUNTSUdemy


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We picked Udemy’s “Basics of Bookkeeping” as best for discounts because it offers a detailed class taught by an experienced instructor at a list price of $74.99. However, discounts frequently are advertised and can save students as much as 80% off the full price.Pros

  • Experienced instructor
  • Mobile app available
  • Affordable
  • Certificate of completion provided

Cons

  • Covers the basic concepts and foundations of bookkeeping, but not how to actually perform bookkeeping

Udemy is a worldwide marketplace for online learning helping to connect all kinds of students with experts in their fields of interest. The company was founded in 2010 and to date it offers 155,000 courses.

The platform’s “Basics of Bookkeeping” is taught by Ron Trucks, an experienced small business coach and college instructor with more than 25 years of experience in the field. The course includes more than 50 videos and is divided into 11 sections comprised of a total of 48 lectures. Students can learn the basic foundations of bookkeeping from concepts and tools used, tracking expenses, reading financial reports, and more.

This course has had more than 15,000 students and is designed for customers of all backgrounds, whether you are a student, an entrepreneur, or if you just want to understand more about bookkeeping. You easily can buy the course online and get started right away.

The program’s list price of $74.99 frequently is discounted substantially, though the amount of those discounts varies from time to time. Udemy has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the course.

BEST FOR FUNDAMENTALSLinkedIn Learning


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We picked the LinkedIn Learning “Accounting Foundations: Bookkeeping” course for the best for fundamentals, based upon the short length of the class. Students can get an overview of bookkeeping basics in about one and a half hours from accounting professors from a top university.Pros

  • Great for beginners
  • Accessible on mobile, tablet, and desktop
  • Option to take more courses and earn continuing professional education (CPE) credits

Cons

  • Need to sign up for a LinkedIn account

LinkedIn Learning is a branch of LinkedIn that the professional network site added in 2016 and today offers more than 16,000 different online courses in seven different languages, with the topics taught by professionals in their respective fields.

LinkedIn Learning’s “Accounting Foundations: Bookkeeping” is our pick for the fundamentals because it packs a lot of expert advice in an approximately one-and-a-half-hour foundational bookkeeping course. You’ll get a quick overview of how bookkeeping works, with access to additional quizzes. Plus, you’ll learn to identify balance sheets, define journal entries, and get an understanding of how financial statements work, just to mention a few of the features. This class is taught by Kay Stice and Jim Stice, both accounting professors at Brigham Young University (BYU). When you take this course you have the option to advance to the next level, the 15-hour “Become a Bookkeeper” course.

You can register for the class directly on LinkedIn Learning for a one-time cost of $34.99 or sign up for a monthly LinkedIn Learning membership starting at $29.99 a month, with a one-month free trial. Or, if you prefer, you can get an annual LinkedIn Learning membership to lower the cost to $19.99 a month. For any questions about the course and LinkedIn Learning’s policies, you can reach out to the LinkedIn Learning hotline.

BEST FOR A CAREER IN BOOKKEEPINGPenn Foster College Inc.


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Penn Foster College Inc. offers the best course we reviewed to get started in the accounting field, with a comprehensive program that includes an overview of the tools used in the industry, preparing you to start your career as a bookkeeper.Pros

  • Provides an understanding of QuickBooks Online Plus
  • Get personalized coaching
  • Get a bookkeeping diploma

Cons

  • Monthly payment is more expensive than paying the full amount at once.

Founded in 1890 by Thomas J. Foster, Penn Foster College has been offering online classes since 2006 and is an accredited entity by the DEAC.

The program covers topics such as payroll, wholesale accounting, revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, financial reports, tools used in the industry, and more. For those who are serious about a career in bookkeeping, the class is taught by certified bookkeepers and offers a progress-tracking tool to measure your knowledge and where you are in the course.

To help you launch your career, you can join other bookkeeping students through the college student community portal to get peer support. At the end of the program, students should expect to have a full understanding of the main tasks of a bookkeeper and can start applying for jobs in the field. The total cost of the program is $669 if you pay the full amount upon registration, $844 with monthly auto-pay, and $875 if you choose to mail a monthly payment. 

You can enroll directly on their website by simply filling out the registration form, providing a method of payment. If you have any questions, you can call the school’s admissions hotline number from 10 a.m.–8 p.m. ET.

BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESSESCoursera


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Offered by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, this Coursera class is taught by top-ranked faculty and is tailored specifically to help small businesses understand their finances.Pros

  • Taught by a top educational institution
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Financial aid available

Cons

  • While the class is free if completed within the seven-day free trial period, Coursera charges a $49 monthly fee beyond the trial period.

Coursera is an education platform founded in 2012 by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, both computer science professors at Stanford, with all courses taught by experienced professionals from top universities or companies. More than 82 million people have signed up for courses on the site and more than 129,000 students have enrolled in this specific bookkeeping course, offered by the University of Virginia through the Darden School of Business.

Our pick as best for small businesses, the “Financial Accounting Fundamentals” class is tailored to help entrepreneurs and small business owners get a better understanding of how to keep track of their finances, from bookkeeping to preparing financial statements. This is a 14-hour video course that includes quizzes for each section to check your knowledge. You can complete everything on your own time and you don’t need prior experience in accounting. The class is taught by Luann J. Lynch, a professor of business administration at Darden with an MBA from Duke University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina.

You can get academic and technical support through the Coursera support team or the Coursera community.

Online Certified Bookkeeper Training Course

Bookkeeper

Earn bookkeeper certification online

Bookkeeping forms the backbone of every organization’s need to carefully account for its financial activities. It accounts for sales, purchases, and payments that flow through an entity. Bookkeepers are crucial to every organization and certified bookkeepers are the elite of their profession. This 100% online course will prepare you for certification by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB).


Job Outlook for Bookkeepers

According to PayScale.com, bookkeepers earn on average $17.37 per hour. Top bookkeepers’ earnings exceed $56,900.

CareerBuilder.com cites bookkeeping skills as highly transferable to financial supervisory, analysis, or managerial roles. The site calls bookkeeper an “ideal choice” for those who are motivated to keep organizations on track with regard to their finances.

Technology is highly relevant to the bookkeeper’s role. Mastery of bookkeeping software applications is the key to matching bookkeeping skills with expanding requirements for analysis, visual data presentation, and reporting that provides value-added to the traditional bookkeeper’s duties.


Certified Bookkeeper FAQs

What does the bookkeeper role involve?

Bookkeepers serve on the front lines of a person, company or organization’s financial health. Strong bookkeepers set up, deploy and manage systems that record the flow of funds into and out of an entity’s coffers. Using reporting tools and systems, bookkeepers help individuals and operational managers stay aware of and improve an entity’s financial status and performance.

Hasn’t technology replaced bookkeepers?

Technology has had a huge impact on the bookkeeping field. However, the bookkeeper’s underlying organizational skills and precise attention to detail are as valuable as ever to their employers and clients. Programs like QuickBooks® or Microsoft Excel® have widely replaced the manual entry functions of traditional bookkeeping. However, the organization, reporting, and use of financial data still rely heavily on human input and processing.

Is certification important for bookkeepers?

Certification in any profession signals to employers, colleagues, and clients that a professional is committed to the highest standards of excellence and accountability. Certified bookkeepers meet the AIPB’s highest standards for financial accounting, business practices and ethical conduct.

How do I become a certified bookkeeper?

To earn your AIPB Certified Bookkeeper designation, you must pass the AIPB certification exam and be able to submit proof of at least two years of full-time or 3,000 hours of part-time experience.

Is bookkeeping a good option for remote work?

Because bookkeeping relies heavily on technology and can be done almost entirely using digital tools, it is considered an excellent prospect for remote, contract, and work-at-home career opportunities.


Course Objectives

  • Prepare to take and pass the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) certification exam
  • Understand eligibility requirements, code of ethics, and maintenance requirements for bookkeeper certification
  • Apply the concepts of accrual accounting to transactions that span fiscal periods and trace the effect of accrual and deferral transactions
  • Record book and tax depreciation, using various methods of calculating depreciation
  • Perform basic payroll duties, including paying wages, handling payroll deposits, and reporting taxes
  • Know how to value inventory, record costs, make entries and report inventory on financial statements
  • Use basic internal controls to prevent theft, embezzlement, or check and credit card fraud by employees, customers, or vendors

Prerequisites

This course is designed for experienced bookkeepers with at least two years of work experience in bookkeeping or accounting.


Curriculum

Becoming a Certified Bookkeeper

Eligibility requirements, code of ethics and certification maintenance

Accruals, Deferrals and the Adjusted Trial Balance

Why accruals, deferrals, and other adjustments are made; recognizing revenues collected in advance and expenses after a prepayment

Correction of Accounting Errors and the Bank Reconciliation

When and where accounting errors occur and how they are discovered; finding and correcting errors on the unadjusted trial balance

Payroll

How to pay different types of employees; federal and state wage-hour law

Depreciation

The difference between book and tax depreciation; depreciation under GAAP

Inventory

General concepts of accounting for inventory; the perpetual, periodic, FIFO and LIFO methods

Internal Controls and Fraud Depreciation

How to prevent or spot theft of inventory and other non-cash assets by employees; preventing employee theft, embezzlement or fraud by hiring the right personnel


Instructors

Wade Lindenberger

Wade Lindenberger is a CPA with over 20 years of financial accounting and management experience in public accounting and private industry. He is currently Director of Finance and Administration for New Children’s Museum. Before his current position, he worked as the National Finance and Accounting Service Line Leader for Premier Alliance Group, a national professional services firm. Wade was also Director of the Finance and Accounting service line for the San Diego office of a global, publicly held professional services firm. He has previously served as an instructor for courses at Coopers & Lybrand and at the University of California at San Diego for the Extension Course and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Business.

Helene K. Liatsos

Helene K. Liatsos is business advisor and QuickBooks Certified Advisor with more than 25 years of experience. She consults for a range of companies, from travel agencies to startups. Her company Home Office Management Experts was awarded the 2004 Home-Based Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Helene holds a Bachelor of Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

15 Best Bookkeeping Certificate Programs

December 15, 2021 | Accounting.com Staff

Bookkeeping certificate programs provide critical career skills to aspiring bookkeepers and accounting professionals. Bookkeepers provide a valuable service to their clients by managing ledgers, balancing the books, and tracking income and expenditures. These professionals often take on different titles in their careers like administrative assistant and financial clerk.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 3% decline in job growth from 2020-2030 for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks. The BLS cites a shift toward automated bookkeeping services and cloud computing as reasons for the decline. However, these workers develop broad skills for similar accounting or finance occupations through bookkeeping certificate programs.

Bookkeepers now require more diverse, adaptable skills in the workforce. Earning a certificate can also prepare enrollees to pursue a bachelor’s degree, which could improve their employment prospects.

Bookkeeping certificate programs train students in the latest industry software and emphasize soft skills to prepare graduates for entry-level employment.

Continue reading to learn what to expect from bookkeping certificate programs, including application requirements, costs, and common courses. Updated annually, our list below ranks the nation’s best bookkeeping certificate programs.

Why Get a Bookkeeping Certificate?

Bookkeeping certificate programs can lead to stable careers in business and finance. Students who pursue bookkeeping courses online can earn a certificate in less time than it takes to earn a degree, and often at a lower cost. Bookkeeping certificate programs prepare learners for professional roles as bookkeepers, bill collectors, financial clerks, bank tellers, and administrative assistants.Higher Earning PotentialBookkeepers earned a median annual salary of $42,410 as of 2020.Broader Job ProspectsWhile employment projections indicate that the field will decline by 3% from 2020-2030, certificate programs prepare students for career opportunities beyond the field. Graduates can pursue similar roles that require analytical and consulting skills like financial clerk or administrative assistant.Faster GraduationSince many bookkeeping jobs do not require formal degrees, students can complete a certificate to quickly enter the field in entry-level roles. Most schools enable students to complete bookkeeping certificate programs online in less than one year.

Featured Online Programs

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Should You Get a Certificate or an Associate Degree?

Aspiring bookkeepers may wonder whether a certificate or associate degree best accommodates their career goals. Certificates and associate degrees share some similarities and differences. Generally, both include similar introductory bookkeeping coursework and offer online and in-person enrollment options.

Differences include the credit requirements, length, and cost of the program. Additionally, bookkeeping certificate programs and associate degrees often have different admission criteria, with certificates holding fewer and more flexible requirements. The following table outlines the similarities and differences of bookkeeping certificates vs. associate degrees in more detail.

BOOKKEEPING CERTIFICATEBOOKKEEPING ASSOCIATE DEGREE
LengthRoughly one yearRoughly two years
Minimum Credit Requirement20-30 credits60-65 credits
Course Topics (Sample)AccountingBusiness communicationsQuickbooks accountingSpreadsheet applicationsAccountingFinancial statement analysisQuickBooks ProBusiness tax forms
Admission RequirementsTranscriptsPotential SAT/ACT scoresHigh school diploma or GED certificateSAT/ACT scoresMinimum 2.0 GPAPotential general education prerequisites
CostRoughly $100-$800 per creditRoughly $10,000
FormatOnline or on-campusOnline or on-campus

What the Best Bookkeeping Certificates Have in Common

Each bookkeeping certificate program offers a unique experience. However, many top schools and bookkeeping programs share similar characteristics:

They are accredited.

Accreditation speaks to the overall quality of a school providing a certificate program for bookkeeping. All programs in our rankings come from accredited schools. Common accrediting agencies for bookkeeping certificate programs and schools include:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

They offer academic excellence.

Students seeking bookkeeping certification want to know the money and time they invest in a program helps them achieve career goals. The best schools ensure their faculty is suited to teach fundamental bookkeeping skill. They also help students can transition into entry-level bookkeeping careers or pursue further education.


They are reputable.

The reputation of a school and its certificate programs plays an important role in determining whether that school is a good option. Top bookkeeping programs have an excellent reputation with students, alumni, accrediting agencies, and faculty. This speaks to an institution’s dedication to student success. High retention and graduation rates also factor into a school’s reputation.


They are affordable.

Certificate programs offer affordable solutions for students who want a credential but don’t want to take on the expense of a full degree. Though bookkeeping certificate programs rarely offer financial aid, these programs often require fewer credit hours, which can lower overall costs.

What To Expect From a Bookkeeping Certificate

Most bookkeeping certificate programs offer inclusive admission requirements. Schools typically enable students with prior college experience to apply transfer credits toward certificate programs.

In some cases, students can enroll in bookkeeping courses online simply by submitting their official transcripts and paying the application fee.

While specific elements vary by program, most schools share some commonalities. Students can usually decide to attend classes online or in person. Online bookkeeping certificate programs may offer various schedules, including live or recorded lectures.

Most bookkeeping certificate programs require roughly 20-30 credits and take no more than two years to complete. Many online programs offer lower credit requirements and faster paths to graduation through accelerated schedules. Certificate programs generally do not include internships. The cost of a certificates ranges from $100-$800 per credit.

Application Process

Learning how to become a bookkeeper starts with finding a bookkeeping program. While schools vary, students typically follow common application requirements. Many online programs accept applications on a rolling basis, allowing candidates to begin bookkeeping courses throughout the year.

Some accelerated online programs only require transcripts and an application fee. Some bookkeeping certificate programs may require some prerequisites in basic computer skills.

Though most bookkeeping students apply to certificate programs after graduating from high school, most certificates do not specifically require a diploma or GED certificate. Applicants generally do not need bookkeeping experience to apply. Some schools hold minimum GPA requirements or require SAT/ACT scores from recent high school graduates.

Different Certificate Types

Schools offer several types of bookkeeping certificate programs. Students can often choose whether to study in person, online, or through hybrid learning. Online learning may offer greater accommodations to out-of-state or commuter students looking for accelerated bookkeeping certificate programs. Alternately, some learners prefer an immersive campus environment. Others may seek a combination of these learning styles in a hybrid format.

Within an online program, schools may feature synchronous or asynchronous learning options. Some schools alternate these course delivery types. Online students should consider the time-management requirements of their prospective bookkeeping certificate programs.

Certificate programs differ from certifications. While schools bestow certificates, private organizations award certifications through examination. Common certifications include Quickbooks and certified public bookkeeper (CPB) training. General bookkeeping certificates provide broad skills for entry-level jobs, but Quickbooks or CPB certification may lead to specific professional roles.

Popular Bookkeeping Courses

Bookkeeping certificate programs typically introduce students to accounting, business math, and Quickbooks applications. Core courses emphasize career training in bookkeeping, payroll, ledgers, journals, spreadsheets, and reports. Many programs include electives in economics, computer applications, and business administration. Some programs require general education coursework in writing and foundations courses.Principles of AccountingThis course introduces students to the basic principles of accounting theory and practice. Students learn bookkeeping and accounting methods for corporations, sole proprietors, and partnership-based organizations. Many foundational accounting courses require prerequisites in basic math, such as elementary and intermediate algebra.Quickbooks AccountingQuickbooks skills are essential in any bookkeeping occupation. Bookkeeping certificate programs typically emphasize Quickbooks or Quickbooks Pro coursework, sometimes requiring a two-part class in this subject. Tasks include setting up accounting records and recording transactions in the app.Business MathThis course trains students to apply advanced math concepts to practical problem-solving scenarios in accounting and business. Many business math courses follow minimum prerequisites in elementary and advanced algebra. Enrollees explore simple and compound interest, payroll, investment opportunities, and graphs and charts.Spreadsheet ApplicationsThis course introduces learners to beginner and advanced spreadsheet software and applications. Topics include range names, formulas, functions, and formatting. Students also learn to create and use macros, import and export data, and generate charts and templates. While not always required, some programs recommend that candidates have computer experience before enrolling.

How Much Do Bookkeeping Certificates Cost?

Students should consider several key factors that affect the cost of bookkeeping certificate programs. An student’s preferred school type, location, and financial aid eligibility may impact the cost of bookkeeping courses. Many online bookkeeping certificate programs help students reduce costs by charging in-state tuition and offering accelerated schedules.

A school’s public or private status, in-state and out-of-state tuition rates, and reputation can affect its tuition cost. Students generally pay more to attend private, nonprofit institutions. Additionally, most colleges assign higher tuition rates and fees to nonresidents.

Most students need financial aid to pay for any college program. Since certificates are shorter and often more flexible than a degree, most programs offer limited aid in the form of scholarships or grants. Many students qualify for federal student loans through the Department of Education, some of which they can apply toward postgraduate certificates or diplomas.

Bookkeeping Jobs and Salaries

Bookkeeping certificate programs can lead to many different accounting and finance careers. Graduates of bookkeeping certificate programs can pursue jobs as accounting clerks or bill collectors, among other accounting occupations.

The BLS’ projections indicates a decline in bookkeeping occupations. However, bookkeepers with administrative and technology skills can apply to various job opportunities within the field, including accounting clerk. Additionally, graduates of bookkeeping certificate programs may go on to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree on the path toward becoming an accountant, certified public accountant, or financial executive.COLLAPSE ALL EXPAND ALL

  • Bookkeeper
  • Financial Clerk
  • Accounting Clerk
  • Bill and Account Collector

EXPLORE THE ACCOUNTING CAREER GUIDE

Selecting the Right Certificate Program

Our rankings offer a great place to start searching for the right bookkeeping certificate program, but aspiring bookkeepers should consider other factors, including:AccreditationAll prospective schools must hold accreditation from regional or national accreditation agencies. Regional accreditation carries more prestige than the national form.Bookkeeping FocusTake note of schools that specialize in accounting and bookkeeping programs.Bridge ProgramsMany schools favor students who complete certificates toward earning higher in-house degrees.LocationEnrollees may prefer to complete their bookkeeping courses online or on campus.Required Admission Material/Test ScoresBookkeeping certificate programs generally offer flexible admission requirements for high school graduates.Competitiveness/Difficulty of AdmissionMost certificate programs accept applicants who demonstrate potential but may hold only minimal college or work experience.Program LengthMost bookkeeping certificate programs allow students to graduate in as little as one year.Student-to-Teacher RatioWhile some students thrive on personalized attention, others do not need a small class to succeed.Earning PotentialOnline bookkeeping certificate programs can lead students to entry-level positions as a stepping stone toward more lucrative roles.Cost/Financial AidCandidates can offset the cost of an online certificate with loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study programs.Read about undergraduate accounting certificates

15 Best Bookkeeping Certificate Programs

Explore our ranking of the best bookkeeping certificate programs. Our guide uses criteria like graduation rate, financial aid, return on investment, and acceptance rates to rank programs. Learn more about our methodology by visiting the link below.View ranking methodology hereCOLLAPSE ALL EXPAND ALL

  1. Harper CollegeLOCATIONPalatine, ILTUITION$$$$$
  2. Central Wyoming CollegeLOCATIONRiverton, WYTUITION$$$$$
  3. Raritan Valley Community CollegeLOCATIONBranchburg, NJTUITION$$$$$
  4. McHenry County CollegeLOCATIONCrystal Lake, ILTUITION$$$$$
  5. Moraine Park Technical CollegeLOCATIONFond du Lac, WITUITION$$$$$
  6. Triton CollegeLOCATIONRiver Grove, ILTUITION$$$$$
  7. Black Hawk CollegeLOCATIONMoline, ILTUITION$$$$$
  8. Illinois Central CollegeLOCATIONEast Peoria, ILTUITION$$$$$
  9. Lake Superior CollegeLOCATIONDuluth, MNTUITION$$$$$
  10. Fox Valley Technical CollegeLOCATIONAppleton, WITUITION$$$$$
  11. Northcentral Technical CollegeLOCATIONWausau, WITUITION$$$$$
  12. Riverland Community CollegeLOCATIONAustin, MNTUITION$$$$$
  13. College of DuPageLOCATIONGlen Ellyn, ILTUITION$$$$$
  14. Glendale Community CollegeLOCATIONGlendale, CATUITION$$$$$
  15. Pima Community CollegeLOCATIONTucson, AZTUITION$$$$$

6 Free Online Bookkeeping Courses with Certificates (2022 Edition)

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6 Free Online Bookkeeping Courses with Certificates

A great way to start your bookkeeping career is by taking free online bookkeeping courses with certificates offered upon completion. 

Online bookkeeping courses can teach you the basics of how to record and report financial information for businesses. These courses can also give you confidence by allowing you to test your skills and gain hands-on experience.

In this post, we’ll review 6 free online bookkeeping courses, most of which offer a certificate upon completion. We’ll also help you navigate through questions commonly asked when getting started with bookkeeping.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

FreshBooks Partner Program

OpenLearn University

Small Business Administration (SBA) 

Alison

AccountingCoach

edX Courses

Frequently Asked Questions

Wrapping Up

More Resources on Small Business Accounting

1. FreshBooks Partner Program

FreshBooks is a commonly used software among freelancers and small business owners. 

Learning accounting software like FreshBooks is a must nowadays. This is because many business owners have traded spreadsheets for accounting software as a way to make their lives easier.

If you’re a bookkeeper or accountant new to FreshBooks, joining the free partner program is the fastest way to learn the software and to get access to the FreshBooks accounting certification. Learning to use FreshBooks enables you to reach more prospective clients and grow your firm.

When you join the program, you get access to ongoing skills training, tools, resources, dedicated support, and personalized education. You can also be added to the partner directory where you and FreshBooks customers can be matched up. 

2. OpenLearn University 

OpenLearn University offers a variety of free finance courses, including a free 8-hour long course called Introduction to Bookkeeping and Accounting. This course helps you understand the fundamentals of double-entry bookkeeping and how it relates to the balance sheet and the profit and loss statement. Other topics that OpenLearn covers include managerial accounting, how to do accounting for organizations,.and essential numerical skills that you’ll need as an accountant or bookkeeper. 

OpenLearn University offers interactives, videos, and text for all types of learners. Their accounting courses range from 2-20 hours and are grouped into level 1, level 2, and level 3 for your convenience. 

With an OpenLearn profile, you can easily track progress, take quizzes, and earn a statement of participation or a badge of completion. 

3. Small Business Administration (SBA) 

The Small Business Administration offers a free and quick 30-minute training course introducing you to accounting. Upon completion, you get a free PDF course completion certificate with your name on it from the SBA.


Some topics SBA covers include cash flow statements, income statements, and bookkeeping basics such as keeping accurate books.

4. Alison

Alison hosts a variety of free accounting and bookkeeping video training courses, including courses on sales and purchases, basics of accounting, payroll basics, and software.

Although it’s not free to get a digital certificate (the cost is roughly $25), it is free to share your learner record or learner achievement verification as a way of demonstrating that you’ve completed the course and passed the assessment. You can show off the completed course on LinkedIn.

A limitation of the free version of Alison is that you’re exposed to ads, but you can upgrade for less than $100 to have all ads removed.

5. AccountingCoach

AccountingCoach offers self-paced courses to help you learn bookkeeping fundamentals and to grasp key concepts better. The site is run by Harold Averkamp, who was an accounting instructor at the university. The site is known for the way Harold simplifies the explanation of complex topics. 

AccountingCoach also has a useful search bar to look for specific topics. Although they do have two paid options, they also offer free lessons. 

The free option gives you access to the text version of topic explanations and a handy quiz to test what you’ve just learned.

Upgrading your plan for a one-time fee of either $49 or $99 gives you lifetime access to 27 training videos on bookkeeping basics and financial statements. You also get access to visual tutorials. 

A negative aspect about AccountingCoach is that although the courses are free, you do have to pay a one-time fee of $99 for the pro plus membership to get all 10 certificates of completion.

The 10 certifications they offer are:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements 
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting

6. edX Courses 

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) offers free courses on edX. One example is the free Introduction To Bookkeeping introductory course that takes roughly 30-48 hours to complete. 

They offer a suggested timeline to pace you, but ultimately, it’s flexible and you can move due dates around to better fit your schedule. Although it is self-paced, courses do end at specific dates, which means that the course will no longer have an active discussion board, some links may no longer work, and you can no longer upgrade to get a certificate. 


EdX’s Introduction To Bookkeeping will help you feel more confident about your knowledge surrounding double-entry accounting. Some specific topics covered in the syllabus include the trial balance, types of business transactions, and ledger accounts. 

Once you’re done with the introductory level course, you can move on to the free intermediate bookkeeping course covering topics such as reconciling control accounts and the cashbook.

ACCA also offers additional quizzes for free to self-assess your underlying math skills, which are critical for accounting. They also offer free quizzes to help you self-assess your general knowledge and prepare for the ACCA exam. 

Unfortunately, to get a certificate for this learning program, you will need to become an ACCA student, which costs roughly $150 per year. You’ll also have to pay the relevant test fee, which is about $100. Some tests are held in person while others are computer-based.

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