Can Bookkeeping Be Self Taught? (Solved & Explained)

Can Bookkeeping Be Self Taught? (Solved & Explained)

Are you looking for a Bookkeeping role or thinking about starting your own Bookkeeping business and wondering, can Bookkeeping be self-taught?

In this article, we will discuss topics related to teaching yourself bookkeeping.

So can Bookkeeping be self-taught?

Yes, Bookkeeping can be self-taught, ideally through a reputable course. There are many online courses for self-teaching. It will help to have some base knowledge of Bookkeeping or Accounting though. 

You also do not need to have a degree to be a Bookkeeper. Some Bookkeepers only have high school qualifications.

But having a Bookkeeping qualification will help you understand Bookkeeping and also help land a Bookkeeping job.

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Accounting Bubble Gum

So now I have answered the main question, let’s review some easy ways to learn bookkeeping online and explore the main queries relating to bookkeeping.

What Is The Easiest Way To Be Self-Taught Bookkeeper? 

To become a self-taught bookkeeper, there is plenty of free accessible material online available to learn bookkeeping without the need to get a college degree.

And if you are wondering what is the best way to learn bookkeeping if I don’t have an accounting background, the simplest way is through investing time learning through online courses. 

There are many bookkeeping courses available, but I thought I’d highlight a few of the best below.

1. Financial Accounting Fundamentals

Rating 4.8 Stars
Beginner Level
106,318 already enrolled

This Coursera course, offered by the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, is taught by top-ranked faculty and is designed specifically to help small businesses understand their finances.

Pros Cons
  • Taught by a firm specialising in financial software, including Quickbooks 
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online
  • Financial Aid Available
  • 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.

This course is ideal for those starting up or wanting to run Bookkeeping for small businesses.  

Financial Accounting Fundamentals teaches you how to perform bookkeeping but also how to prepare, read and understand financial statements.

This enables students to be able to draw basic conclusions about a company’s financial health.

This is a 14-hour video course with quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.

You can complete everything on your own time, and you don’t need any prior accounting experience.

The class is taught by Luann J. Lynch, a professor of business administration at Darden with an MBA from Duke University and a PhD from the University of North Carolina.

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

Learn More

2  Intuit Bookkeeping Professional Certificate

Rating 4.4 Stars
Beginner Level
6,613 already enrolled

In this Coursera course, students will learn the basic bookkeeping concepts and accounting measurements.

You’ll gain a foundational understanding of accounting principles and an introduction to QuickBooks Online through hands-on practice working with real-world accounting scenarios.

After completing the course, you will be prepared to take the Intuit Certified Bookkeeping Professional exam.

With successful completion of the exam, you will be qualified to apply for a position as a bookkeeper.

Pros Cons
  • Taught by a firm specialising in financial software, including Quickbooks 
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Shareable Certificate
  • 100% online
  • Financial Aid Available
  • 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.

This course is ideal for those wanting to launch their career in bookkeeping and gain the professional skills you need to succeed in the bookkeeping field.

No degree or prior experience is required.

A comprehensive 4-month course (suggested pace of 4 hours/week), you will come out fully equipped to perform Bookkeeping.

This is a 14-hour video course with quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.

You can complete everything on your own time, and you don’t need any prior accounting experience.

The class is taught by Intuit who is a global technology firm that creates financial software for consumers including those who are self-employed and own small businesses.

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

Learn More

3. Intuit Bookkeeping Basics

Rating 4.5 Stars
Beginner Level
8,393 already enrolled

In this Coursera course, you will be introduced to the role of a Bookkeeper and learn what Bookkeeping professionals do every day.

Pros Cons
  • Taught by a firm specialising in financial software, including Quickbooks
  • Seven-day free trial
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Flexible, with100% online
  • Financial Aid Available
  • 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.

This course is ideal for those seeking an understanding of what Bookkeeping is all about.

Including an introduction to the role of a bookkeeper and gaining an understanding of how to use the accounting equation and double-entry accounting.

This is a 16-hour video course with quizzes at the end of each section to test your knowledge.

The good news, you can complete everything on your own time, and you don’t need any prior accounting experience.

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

Learn More

4. edX

edX has partnerships with top universities such as Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley.

There are more than 100 bookkeeping-related courses you can choose from.

Many of the courses available are self-paced and led by an instructor. edX has introductory accounting courses as well as advanced courses.

Both free and fee-based accounting courses are available with the paid courses generally ranging from $49 to $249.

You can obtain a certificate for the free courses by paying an average fee of $150.

5. Online Universities

Various respected universities offer online bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The University of Phoenix offers certificates and degrees in more than 100 programs including bookkeeping

Western Governors University, an online university, offers degree programs in various fields including business.

The business program consists of a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in accounting.

6. YouTube

The keyword “bookkeeping” garnered more than 1.2 million hits.

There are short training courses offered by Executive Finance. CPA Strength has more than 90 training videos covering accounting essentials.

The videos are short – mostly less than 15 minutes each.

Alanis Business Academy has 100+ accounting training videos, most for less than 20 minutes.

Additionally, Johnson County Community College has Accounting 1 and Accounting 2 class videos that you can access.

7. Entrepreneur Courses 

If you are interested in starting up your own bookkeeping business and not sure where to start. Coursera has some terrific courses to help you start up a business from scratch. 

How to start up your own business

Michigan State University offers a course on “How to start up your own business”, guiding you through the steps necessary for successful business creation including mindset, ideation, planning, action and strategy.

Learn More

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology offers this “hands-on course” that leads the students through the entire process of creating a start-up from an idea. 

This course guides the learner through a series of tools and methods that help take an idea and make it happen. Takes approx 6 months to complete 

Learn More

Is Bookkeeping Hard to Learn? (Solved)

Bookkeeping is not hard to learn, so long as you are comfortable with basic arithmetic, attention to detail, working with spreadsheets, and using basic accounting software (Quickbooks, etc). 

If you are not very strong in these areas, that’s okay. Areas, where you are not strong, can be improved through self-learning.

Nowadays, there is plenty of free and online material available (keep reading below)

How Long Does It Take To Learn Bookkeeping? (Must Read)

Studying bookkeeping can take anywhere between 3 months to 3 years depending on the length of the course.

That can be learned through an online course or a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting which will take up to 3 years.

Online courses take a matter of weeks depending on how many subjects you take on.

Alternatively, learning bookkeeping on the job takes anywhere between 6-12 months depending on the complexity of the role.

Related articles refer to these links

If you don’t have an Accounting background the best way to learn Bookkeeping from the ground up is through easily accessible online courses, starting with Bookkeeping 101.

Hard Being a Bookkeeper? (Must Read)

Being a bookkeeper is not hard, you do need to have an eye for detail, be comfortable with basic maths, numbers and have integrity. 

You also need to understand the basics of bookkeeping and be confident with an eye for detail in recording and tracking financial expenses on a daily and monthly basis.

Once you learn how to transact, bookkeeping is not a difficult job. It can be learned on the job, through self-study, or a formal college degree programme. The arithmetic required in bookkeeping is also not difficult. You can work as a bookkeeper if you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Do Bookkeepers Need To be Good At Maths?

To be a bookkeeper, you do need to be comfortable with basic maths. Basic maths such as addition, subtraction, and division.

There is no requirement to have advanced mathematics skills or knowledge.

Do I Require Certification To Practice Bookkeeping?

You don’t require certification to practice Bookkeeping.

However, having a Bookkeeping certification can help you land a job.

So some bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks become certified.

For those who do not have postsecondary education, certification is a particularly useful way to gain expertise in the field.

The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation, awarded by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, shows that those who have earned it have the skills and knowledge needed to carry out all bookkeeping tasks.

Including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.

For certification, candidates must have at least 2 years of full-time bookkeeping experience or equivalent part-time work, pass a four-part exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

The National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers offers the Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) certification.

To obtain the certification, candidates must pass the four-part Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination.

This examination is used to test a candidates competency which is useful in being able to demonstrate to potential employers (and even for your peace of mind) you have the competency and skills to perform Bookkeeping

What is Quickbooks, Do I Need To Learn It?

Quickbooks is software that replaces traditional paper-based journals and spreadsheets.

Quickbooks automates many aspects of bookkeeping by calculating sales tax, tracking products and automatically updating transactions in the register, customer and vendor journals.

Quickbooks is not the only accounting, bookkeeping software on the market, however is very popular with small and medium-sized businesses.

With many small to medium businesses using Quickbooks knowing how it works may help you land a Bookkeeping role or be used if starting up your own business from home.

Learning how to use Quickbooks can be a challenge for those who do not have knowledge of bookkeeping systems or have limited knowledge of accounting.

If you’re not strong with bookkeeping or bookkeeping systems not to worry, the good news is there is plenty of material online.

For example, Udemy offers affordable courses such as “Quickbooks Desktop Basic to Advance Training Course”

So how much time does it to self learn Quickbooks?

Courses take anywhere between 8 hours to 12 hours. Courses can be taken via webinar or self-paced reading.

It might also be useful to demonstrate the ability to use Quickbooks by being certified.

Courses are provided with certification or exams costing around $150.

Final Thoughts

It has never been easier to self-teach yourself bookkeeping, with a huge amount of material online at an affordable price.

With any course, to be the successful best start of learning and mastering the basics, including understanding the terminology.

Depending on your level of Bookkeeping knowledge this may involve introductory Bookkeeping courses such as Bookkeeping 101.

Hope you have enjoyed this article, for further information about bookkeeping see below

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