Can You Teach Yourself Accounting?

Can You Teach Yourself Accounting? How to Be a Self-taught Accountant

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Accounting Bubble Gum


So you have Google can you teach yourself accounting by yourself, maybe because you are curious about accounting and want the learn more about it.

Or you may want to pursue a career in accounting, and not wanting to spend the time or hard-earned money on a course.

So can you teach yourself accounting?

Yes, you can self-learn the basic principles of accounting from books and online courses. It will take some time and dedication. You may struggle with some of the concepts and principles. But you can teach yourself the basics of accounting.

If you are thinking you can teach yourself accounting to be employed as an accountant.

I have bad news for you. Most organizations will only hire accountants with an accounting certification.

But this is not to say you shouldn’t at least apply (nothing ventured nothing gained).

Accounting Bubble Gum

So, now I have answered the main question, let’s explore other questions relating to teaching yourself accounting.

What is the easiest way to be a self-taught accountant?

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

1. MOOC List

Massive open online courses or MOOCs are arguably the most revolutionary aspect of free online education.

Some MOOC trainers might charge an amount for testing or issuing a certificate or collegiate credit but the materials of the course are free.

MOOC List is a search engine designed specifically to display courses from online learning platforms.

These platforms include the likes of Coursera, edX, FUN, FutureLearn, OpenClassrooms, and some of the top universities.

Most of the courses have definitive start dates which make it easier to find the ones that are most suitable for you.

Some of the best accounting courses on the MOOC List are:-

Introduction to Accounting – Offered by the University of British Columbia. You can set your pace for the course, and obtain a certificate for a fee.

Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination – A five-week course offered by West Virginia University. It is led by an instructor, and you can acquire a certificate for a charge.

Accounting for Business Decision Making: Measurement and Operational Decisions –

Offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. It’s a four-week course, and you will be guided by an instructor. You can avail of the certificate for a fee.

2. Alison

Alison is a great easy-to-navigate online learning provider. The course pages include an informative description, predicated outcomes, estimated execution time as well as recommended skill level for successful completion of the course.

The courses are free but you will have to pay a fee to acquire a certificate or diploma designation.

Alison courses have a certificate, diploma, and learning path designation with the required time commitment growing for each level.

Currently, you can choose from 24 accounting courses available on Alison.

The courses cover various topics including accounting theory, cash accounting, control, and cash monitoring, etc.

3. Udemy

You can find 385 courses related to accounting on Udemy.

The courses include topics such as cash accounting, finance fundamentals, investment accounting, Microsoft Excel, and accounting for entrepreneurs.

You can opt for a foundational, intermediate, or advanced course.

There is a $200 fee for most of the courses, but some are available for $100 as well.

4. edX

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

There are more than 100 accounting 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. Coursera

Coursera offers 250+ accounting courses. Some of the available courses are the introduction to financial accounting, business and financial fundamentals, and finance for non-finance professionals.

The courses are available at the certificate, specialization, or degree level.

The average time to complete a course in four weeks and the cost is usually less than $100 including the certificate.

The specialization courses range between $39 and $79 per month and take four to six months to complete.

The degree programs take one to three years to complete and can cost up to $25,000.

6. 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 accounting.

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.

7. YouTube

The keyword “accounting” garnered more than 1.7 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.

What are some tips to self learn accounting?

1. Learn to organize and prioritize

The most important thing to learn any subject effectively is organizing and prioritizing.

This is especially true for accounting as you will need to manage time, retain bulk information, be detail-oriented.

You will also need to improve your problem-solving skills

2. Keep up with recent developments

As with everything in recent times, there are constant changes and shifts in accounting.

Be sure to stay on top of the updates and trends in accounting in general as well as online courses.

A steady focus on your side will help you stay as informed as possible.

When you are self-learning accounting, don’t shy away from additional research especially on complex topics so you can reduce the risk of mistakes.

3. Don’t break the momentum

Often when you learn a new skill, it’s difficult to stay on track if you aren’t consistent with learning and working.

Accounting is possibly one of the most daunting fields, and it will be difficult to keep up if you stray from a routine.

That’s not to say don’t take breaks but scheduled breaks are safer to avoid breaking momentum.

Whenever you feel undermotivated, remind yourself of your goals and continue to put in relentless efforts.

Resilience is an integral part of mastering a skill including accounting.

4. Be comfortable with technology

Familiarise yourself with essential accounting tools such as Microsoft Excel. You will need tech skills to be a good accountant.

Keep up with the technology developments in fintech. If you have an affinity for technology, expand to the following areas which are often sought after by employers:

  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • QuickBooks
  • Data Analytics
  • Business Intelligence Software
  • Risk and Compliance
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Cloud-based Accounting

Final Thoughts

The initial learning of accounting can be challenging but the end result is usually well worth it.

You have a number of options to self-learn, courtesy of the vast Internet.

Your learning would never truly stop as it’s a growing field with a lot of potential for professional growth.

On the dull days, the earning potential can certainly serve as a light at the end of the tunnel.

Accounting is a great choice for you if you enjoy methodical work and have a penchant for perfection in every detail.

Hope you enjoyed this article, for more article relating to accounting please see below