What free resources can I use to learn the basics of accounting for my small business?
Developing and maintaining comprehensive accounting processes for your business can be time-consuming. However, there are a variety of free online resources, (not to mention our own guides), that can help you to learn the basics of accounting, refresh your skills and give you a decent head-start.
The following is a list of some of the best free online accounting resources, all of which include pearls of wisdom from experienced tutors and professionals across the globe.
Learn Accounting For Free
Created in collaboration with Brigham Young University in Utah, this website provides a variety of introductory courses designed for aspiring accountants. Resources include:
- Introduction to accounting
- Managerial accounting
- Financial accounting
Five lessons, which equates to 13 hours of video content, are free of charge and learners will be provided with access to comprehensive video lectures, glossaries and quizzes. Additionally, extended courses can be purchased for a one-off fee. Visit here.
A valuable resource for both beginners and professionals, Accounting Coach, provides access to more than 1,000 different accounting lectures. Founded in 2003 by a professional accountant, Harold Averkamp, the website has been specifically designed to make learning both easy and enjoyable. In addition to the extensive program of lectures, there are also a variety of crossword puzzles and practice questions.
Some of the lessons delivered by Accounting Coach include:
- The basics of accounting
- Balance sheets
- Standard costing
- Payroll accounting
Feedback from online instructors is immediate, and there is also a facility for learners to ask questions, where learners will receive quick responses. Visit here.
MIT Open CourseWare
Forming part of MIT’s ‘massive online open courses’ (MOOC) experiment is the MIT Open CourseWare. The course allows learners to benefit from material that would otherwise be inaccessible without a substantial student loan. There are several different accounting courses available, created by respected professors at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. The courses available include:
- Management Accounting and Control
- Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting
Learners will benefit from lecture notes, individual assignments and examinations. As you begin to work through some of the more complex courses, the value of being able to see both the details and the bigger picture will become evident. Visit here.
If you are planning to use QuickBooks for your business accounting needs, their website provides free access to more than 50 instructional videos. These will teach you all you need to know about the most popular QuickBook tools and understanding the basics. Visit here.
The Open University
The Open University is committed to delivering high-quality distance learning opportunities for all. The Open Universities Money and Management section provides free access to a variety of accounting courses for learners from all walks of life.
Education through a combination of lectures, videos and course materials include:
- Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting
- Financial accounting and reporting
- Organisations and management accounting
- Influences on accounting regulation
Academics teach lessons on Coursera from a variety of respected institutions. Brian J Bushee delivers the ‘Introduction to Financial Accounting’ course, which runs for ten weeks. As an example, the detailed syllabus includes:
- Balance sheets
- Cash flow
- Deferred taxes
- Working capital assets
Lessons are taught via a combination of case study videos and interactive lectures. Short homework tasks and individual examinations then support the teaching. Visit here.
Once you are familiar with the basics of accounting, it might be time to explore tools which can help your day to day processes. Find out more about how Soldo can help you with your business expense management here.