The Best Free Online Bookkeeping Courses

Whether you own a small or a large business, bookkeeping is an essential component in maintaining your finances. Businesses that require access to reliable information need to keep accurate and authentic bookkeeping transaction logs. 

This helps them make accurate lending and investment decisions. Some of these businesses include government institutes, investors, and financial institutions.

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In this article, we will talk about some of the best free online bookkeeping courses that you can enroll in to kickstart your career in the field of bookkeeping. 

What Is Bookkeeping?

When businesses sell their products, earn money on them, and spend that money, it needs to be recorded. Bookkeeping is the process of recording, classifying, and organizing all such financial records and transactions.  

Accurate and effective bookkeeping involves an understanding of the company’s basic accounts. Bookkeepers compile the list of assets, liabilities, and equity to create the company’s chart of accounts and balance sheets.

Some small business owners choose to do their own bookkeeping. However, larger businesses with more complex financial transactions hire qualified bookkeepers to take care of recording their financial transactions.

Bookkeeping vs Accounting

Bookkeeping and accounting may sound similar but they are different in many aspects. In accounting, an accountant uses the books prepared by the professional bookkeeper to create yearly account statements.

In a way, bookkeepers are the information providers for accountants. The transactions they record are used by accountants to create financial statements and models. 

These statements must align with the national accounting standards of each country. The accounting standards generally specify the way transactions are to be measured and presented in financial statements. 

Bookkeeping is also more of a technical concept that is usually straightforward. However, accounting is more subjective and is handled case-by-case.

Types of Bookkeeping

There are two main types of bookkeeping systems. Bookkeepers and accountants use these systems to create financial statements and prepare company books in accordance with federal regulations.

Single-Entry System

A single-entry system is suitable for small businesses or sole proprietors. Small businesses do not have complicated transactions, that’s why this system works best for them. 

A single-entry system records any cash sales and business expenses. It is important to have a cash book to keep a track of account activities and payments.

Double-Entry System

This type of system is suitable for companies that have complex transaction systems. For double-entry systems, businesses may use bookkeeping software like QuickBooks or Xero. This software tracks loans, keeps inventory, and processes payroll and accounts payable.

Bookkeeping Skills

Bookkeepers must have basic math and computer skills. Most bookkeeping clerks need some level of post-secondary education to do their job. Many learn additional skills on the job.

However, there are some basic skills that are required for any entry-level bookkeeper position. Some of these skills include math, computer skills, and knowledge of spreadsheets and bookkeeping software.

Bookkeeping Courses

If you are new to the world of bookkeeping and want to advance your knowledge and skills in the field of bookkeeping, keep reading. The quickest way to become a bookkeeper is by taking online bookkeeping courses. 

Below are the best and completely free bookkeeping courses that will help you start your bookkeeping journey.

Bean Encounter offers bookkeeping and accounting training free of charge. Once you sign up for Bean Encounter, you can get free access to lessons, tests, quizzes, lectures, games, and more.

The instructor is a small business consultant, a bookkeeper, and a college teacher. The skill tests he offers are great for personal evaluation. You can also find some of his recommended bookkeeper certification courses on other sites.

His approach is laid back and fun. You will find a variety of comics and cartoons on his site which will add to the fun of learning.

This website offers a variety of free resources. Enrolling in this course will help you learn:

  • The basics of double-entry bookkeeping
  • Basic bookkeeping terminology
  • The fundamentals of debits and credits
  • How to compile basic bookkeeping reports

The website also offers some new online courses that are also free. These include:

  • Lesson 1 – An Introduction to Bookkeeping
  • Lesson 2 – Basic Bookkeeping & Accounting Terms
  • Lesson 3 – Double Entry Bookkeeping Basics
  • Lesson 4 – Using and closing T Accounts
  • Lesson 5 – Financial Statements

This site is run by Sam Morton, who is a qualified and experienced accountant with his own accounting practice. His website offers free training courses and tutorials for accounting software, such as Sage, QuickBooks, Xero, and Excel.

This introductory course offered on Edx is available for free and is offered online. It is great for beginners as there are no prerequisites to enroll in this course. This course will help you gain knowledge and understanding of double-entry bookkeeping, including an introduction to common business transactions.

This course is designed for those interested in starting a career in business, finance, or accountancy. If you study business or finance in school, this course is also perfect for you. 

For those of you who are planning to launch your own start-up, this course will provide all the essential financial and accounting information you need to start strong.

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Some of the topics covered in the syllabus include:

  • Types of business transactions and documentation
  • The duality of transactions and the double-entry system 
  • Payroll
  • Ledger accounts
  • Reconciliations
  • The trial balance

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA, is the author of all the instructional content on, AccountingCoach PRO, and AccountingCoach PRO Plus.

AccountingCoach offers free educational material for understanding introductory accounting and bookkeeping. The free website contains explanations, quizzes, Q&As, and more for 30 major topics. Some of these include:

Accounting Basics

Debits and Credits

Accounting Equation


Financial Accounting

Balance Sheets

Accounts Payable

Payroll Accounting

Conclusion: Ensure You Know How to Keep a General Ledger

Whether you are a small business owner or a student, learning bookkeeping will be an excellent way to take a step further in this field. Even if you already know the basics of bookkeeping, enrolling in some of these courses will help you gain additional knowledge and skills needed to step up your game. 

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