Bookkeeping and accounting are both essential business functions. However, hiring an employee or independent contractor to manage them often costs more than new small business owners are willing to pay. Fortunately, online bookkeeping and accounting courses can help you quickly acquire the skills you need to manage your company’s finances yourself. Let’s review five of the best options to consider. 5 Bookkeeping and Accounting Courses for Beginners Compared CourseCostPrimary Content FormatTime to CompleteAccounting Coach - Bookkeeping TrainingFreeTextVariableFree Bookkeeping Accounting - Bookkeeping and Accounting BasicsFree (premium course for £85)VideoVariableUdemy - Bookkeeping Basics #1$89.99 (discounts available)Video and text4.5 hoursUdemy - Bookkeeping in QuickBooks Online99.99 (discounts available)Video and text4.5 hoursLinkedIn Learning - Accounting Foundations: Bookkeeping$39.99 per month or $239.88 per year subscription (free trial available)Video1 hour and 39 minutes Recommended Bookkeeping And Accounting Courses There’s a surprisingly extensive library of bookkeeping and accounting courses online. We looked for the following qualities when narrowing the options down and selecting our recommendations: Beginner-friendly - You don’t need prior financial expertise to understand these courses. They can take you from zero bookkeeping and accounting knowledge to basic proficiency in financial management. Aimed at business owners - These courses are for business owners who want to learn bookkeeping for their own company’s needs rather than someone looking to launch a career as a bookkeeper or accountant. Accessible and affordable - You don’t need to spend much money or time to complete these courses. You should be able to access them for less than $100 and finish them in a day. Positive reputation - These courses consistently receive high ratings and positive reviews from previous customers. Let’s look at the courses we selected in more detail to help you decide which one is the best fit for you. 1. Accounting Coach’s Bookkeeping Training Accounting Coach is a website created by Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA, who’s worked as a university accounting instructor, professional accountant, and consultant. It has thousands of positive testimonials and offers free, text-based courses to help you learn the basics of bookkeeping and accounting. If you enjoy self-guided learning, Accounting Coach’s free content is ideal. It presents lessons through the story of a person starting a new business, making it readily digestible for small business owners. If you like the site’s material but want a more guided experience, you can upgrade to AccountingCoach PRO for $49 or PRO Plus for $99. That will give you access to additional resources, including video lessons, flashcards, and cheat sheets. 2. Free Bookkeeping Accounting Free Bookkeeping Accounting is a website created by Samuel Morton, the owner of a UK-based accounting practice. It offers a dozen free courses on various topics related to bookkeeping and accounting. In addition to the basics of financial management, they cover introductions to accounting software like Quickbooks, Xero, and Excel. The courses primarily present information through videos of slideshows and Excel demonstrations with the instructor’s voiceover. In addition, each one comes with notes summarizing critical concepts and defining key terms. If you enjoy Samuel Morton’s teaching style and want a more condensed course that combines his best bookkeeping and accounting content, you can pay £85 for his Ultimate Bookkeeping & Accounting Course. 3. Bookkeeping Basics #1: Understand the Fundamentals This course was created by Ron Trucks, an experienced small business coach and instructor at Jefferson College. Hosted on Udemy, it's part of the platform’s curated collection of top-rated business courses. It has received an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from 4,862 people and has helped over 20,000 students. The course includes 4.5 hours of video, 54 downloadable resources, and various assignments to help entrepreneurs navigate the financial aspects of being a small business owner. It covers topics like how to separate your personal and business finances, the different types of financial accounts, and how to create basic financial statements. It costs $89.99, but Udemy often provides discounts. 4. Bookkeeping in QuickBooks Online This Udemy course was created by Calvin Lee, CPA, CA, MBA. He’s a top-ranked instructor at the Schulich School of Business at York University and an accountant with experience serving large Fortune 500 companies. The course has received an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from 1,791 people and has helped 18,000 students. It includes 4.5 hours of video content, one article, and five downloadable resources. These give small business owners everything they need to know to do their bookkeeping in Quickbooks Online, one of the most popular accounting software products. That includes showing you how to select a subscription plan, set up your chart of accounts, connect your checking account and credit cards, record journal entries, and generate financial reports. It costs $99.99, but it's often discounted. 5. Accounting Foundations: Bookkeeping Hosted on LinkedIn Learning, this course was created by Earl Stice and Jim Stice, two accounting professors at Brigham Young University. It receives an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars from 4,059 people and has helped over 193,000 students. The course covers bookkeeping basics like how to analyze transactions, record their effects, and prepare financial reports. It also explains the components of journal entries, general ledgers, and financial statements. It includes one hour and 39 minutes of video content, which is primarily footage of the instructors lecturing and infographics highlighting the most important details. You must have a LinkedIn Learning membership to access it, but the platform has a one-month free trial. FAQs Bookkeeping involves recording and organizing your business’ financial transactions. Bookkeepers are typically responsible for things like making journal entries, performing bank reconciliations, and documenting details of the business’ activities. Accounting involves analyzing and utilizing financial data in more sophisticated ways. That often includes creating financial statements, studying them to inform business decisions, and using them to prepare and file tax returns. Bookkeeping certifications are valuable when you want to offer bookkeeping or accounting services to other businesses. They help you demonstrate your expertise to impress a client or employer. Business owners who want to understand bookkeeping to manage their own books don’t need to worry about certifications. Focus on learning the practical skills you need to navigate your business’ finances. Doing your own bookkeeping is a good way to keep your costs down and familiarize yourself with the financial side of being a small business owner. However, it’s time-consuming, and you’ll probably outgrow it eventually.Once your business has gained traction and you can afford the expense, consider hiring a bookkeeping service. You can get expert help for less than the cost of a full-time employee and free yourself to focus on more valuable activities.