Learn accounting and bookkeeping with these online and distance learning programs. Subjects covered include: fundamentals of bookkeeping; financial accounting; book-keeping basics; accounting technician; and more.

Up-to-date and accurate financial records are an essential for a successful company. Online bookkeeping courses are one of the most flexible ways for aspiring professionals to prepare themselves for careers in accounting, bookkeeping and other important behind-the-scenes roles in the business world.

Skills learned in online bookkeeping courses

Accounting programs and bookkeeping certification often vary in their exact curricula, but a few core skills tend to persist across a large percentage of online bookkeeping courses. Here are some of the central concepts that students can typically expect to learn:

  • Creating balance sheets and financial statements
  • Keeping accurate payroll, purchasing and receiving records
  • Recording assets and liabilities
  • Using multiple methods to determine value of on-hand merchandise
  • Performing end-of-month asset calculations
  • Organizing revenue and expense transactions
  • Improving bookkeeping efficiency and accuracy with built-in features of MS Excel

These career training programs typically also include a general education component consisting of courses in communications, mathematics and the natural sciences.

Bookkeeping skills in the workforce

Graduates from bookkeeping or accounting programs online often discover their skills have potential applications in multiple positions in the corporate world. Accounting or auditing clerks, for example, whose primary responsibilities include entering revenues and expenditures into accounting programs and checking reports for accuracy, use bookkeeping skills almost exclusively.

Full-fledged accountants typically need a bachelor's degree to satisfy employment requirements, and some go on to potentially increase employability by pursuing work as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Accountants use bookkeeping skills as well as an extensive knowledge of tax law to perform deep analysis of account books and other financial records for companies, government agencies and law enforcement personnel.

Other business and financial professionals, like financial managers and financial operations executives, also make use of the skills taught in bookkeeping programs. Candidates for these positions also typically need a fairly advanced level of education in business administration, but having the kind of solid financial foundation provided by online bookkeeping courses can give students a head start on the finer points of business finance.

Why choose online bookkeeping certification courses?

Taking bookkeeping certification courses online can be an effective way for working professionals to enhance their skill set. A number of the skills needed by professional bookkeepers can be taught just as effectively online as in a traditional classroom, and the time and location flexibility of online classes can help fit continued education into a busy work or family schedule.


"Accountants and Auditors," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm

"Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/Office-and-Administrative-Support/Bookkeeping-accounting-and-auditing-clerks.htm

"Bookkeeper Training," Penn Foster Career School, http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/accounting-and-finance/bookkeeping-career-diploma

"Certificate in Bookkeeping," Pace University, http://www.pace.edu/continuing-professional-education/certificate-bookkeeping

"Major: Accounting Technology and Bookkeeping," The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-accounting-finance-accounting-technology-bookkeeping

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