15 Best Online Accounting Courses of 2023 (Free & Paid)
Financial accounting is an essential component of any business. Accounting skills are highly marketable and increasingly sought after by both small businesses and large corporations.
Accounting skills are not only essential for accountants. Business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs can take simple accounting courses to learn bookkeeping basics to help them better manage their financial books and businesses.
Getting and maintaining accounting skills requires you to undertake courses that can often feel like a daunting task. Thanks to the internet, you do not have to attend a physical class to take accounting skills. You can simply enroll in accounting courses on top online course platforms like Teachable, Udemy, and Coursera.
Several online accounting courses provide you with all the necessary accounting knowledge you need to enjoy a flourishing career.
These online accounting courses allow you to take course lectures, work on assignments, write examinations, and participate in discussions with a globally-diverse range of students within your own schedule.
In this article, you will learn about 15 of the best online accounting courses.
Let’s get started.
Best Online Accounting Courses of 2022
1. Introduction to Financial Accounting by Wharton, University of Pennsylvania (Coursera)
Best Free Beginner-Level Online Course
The Introduction to Financial Accounting course offered by The University of Pennsylvania proves to be the best option for beginners.
- Course Content: This Coursera course provides beginner-level training that helps students acquire technical skills in financial statement analysis, as well as learning how the financial reporting process is affected by accounting standards and managerial incentives.
- Accounting Skills and Knowledge: Upon completion of the course, students possess ample knowledge on reading statements of cash flows, income statements and balance sheets. This knowledge remains applicable to real-world business challenges.
- Flexible Schedule: This financial accounting course from The University of Pennsylvania is applicable as a beginner level certification to multiple specializations or professional certificates programs. Through the Coursera online learning framework, you enjoy flexible deadlines and an easily shareable certificate.
- Course Duration: Introduction to Financial Accounting course takes approximately 13 hours to complete, and is accompanied by five videos (spanning a total of 73 minutes), 3 materials for reading, and 2 quizzes.
- Languages: This course is offered in English (with subtitles in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Chinese (Simplified), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, Spanish, Japanese).
Enrollment into the Coursera program is free.
2. Financial Accounting Fundamentals by University of Virginia (Coursera)
Top Online Accounting Course that Serves as Foundation Course for 4-Part Coursera Program
The Financial Accounting Fundamentals course is provided by the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. This Coursera program helps you to understand the fundamentals of financial accounting.
- Course Content: This Coursera course presents you with concise videos, the financial records of small businesses, and a personal activities guide, with these learning materials and processes dedicated to guiding you through the recording, preparation, and analysis of important financial statements.
- Accounting Skills and Knowledge: Completing the course grants students the skills in using journal entries, preparing and using t-accounts, and identifying how the three common financial statements (balance sheets, income statements, and statement of cash flows) work hand in hand, among others.
- Core Coursera Course: This course serves as one out of four required in completing Coursera’s “Entrepreneurship: Growing Your Business Specialization” program.
- Language: The Financial Accounting Fundamentals course is available in the English language (with Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, and Spanish subtitles available).
- Flexible Workload: You enjoy flexible schedules, deadlines, and easily shareable certificates through this beginner-level Coursera program.
- Course Duration: This fully online accounting course takes approximately 14 hours to complete and is accompanied by 16 videos spanning a total of 108 minutes.
Enrollment into the online accounting course is free.
3. Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization by University of Illinois (Coursera)
Excellent Online Accounting Course that Implements Practical Application Methods
Dedicated to both managers and entrepreneurs, this accounting program from the University of Illinois trains students in the application of principles surrounding financial statements and how these affect business decisions and goals.
- Course Content: This Coursera specialization offers basic but fundamental knowledge on both financial and managerial accounting. Students learn how to generate financial statements required for external evaluation (financial accounting) and are also taught the information and analytic tools and techniques required by both managers and accounting employees to make important internal evaluations and decisions (managerial accounting).
- Accounting Skill and Knowledge: In pursuing knowledge of these two accounting processes, you are trained in the creation, interpretation, and analysis of crucial accounting statements. Additionally, through the capstone solution, you apply the fundamental knowledge gained from the course to practical cases. You apply knowledge to a new business setup, helping to create a business plan, forecasts, and budgets needed for decisions made by owner and manager, employees, and external parties.
- Flexible Workload: Just like other Coursera programs, the learning schedule and deadline remain flexible. You earn a shareable certificate upon completing the course.
- Language: This online accounting course is taught in the English language (with subtitles in Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, Spanish).
- Course Duration: The course takes approximately 6 months to complete (with a suggested pace of 4 hours per week). As a specialization course, Coursera automatically subscribes you to the full specialization program.
Enrollment into this online accounting course is free.
4. MicroMasters® Program in Accounting by Indiana University(edX)
Successful Candidate Become Eligible To Apply For IUB’s MS in Accounting Program
The MicroMasters Program in Accounting is a course offered by the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. This course is dedicated to beginners or individuals who wish to improve their understanding of accounting as relating to investments, banking, and corporate management.
- Course Content: Provides students with three graduate-level courses covering three fundamental areas of accounting. These include teaching on financial and managerial accounting as well as income tax.
- Accounting Skills and Knowledge: Engaging in this program means students apply to gain knowledge of how firms measure and report the financial position and financial performance in balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flows. This course also teaches you how firms make critical strategic decisions using accounting information as well as the impact of income taxes on firms, their capital structure, strategies, and after-tax profits. You gain knowledge to thrive as a certified public accountant (CPA), account manager, or auditor, and completing the course makes you eligible to apply for the MS in Accounting program.
- Course Duration: This accounting program takes 12-36 months, and comes through 10 Courses.
- Course Requirement: Requires an undergraduate bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university, a recommendation from professional or academic contact, and TOEFL for international students only.
The tuition fee to enroll in this program costs $21,000, however, financial aid is available, with all federal financial aid benefits and restrictions applied.
5. Introduction to Finance, Accounting, Modeling and Valuation (Udemy)
Best Selling Accounting Course on Udemy
The best-selling accounting program on Udemy, the “introduction to Finance, Accounting, Modeling, and Valuation course helps you understand important areas of accounting and finance from a beginner level without any prior knowledge or experience needed.
- Course Content: This online accounting course trains you on how to value companies using different valuation methods and on how to analyze financial statements using several financial ratios and formulas.
- Accounting Skills and Knowledge: Specifically, this Udemy course gives you a chance to identify the best modeling practices to create your own financial statements, recognize the role macroeconomics plays in modeling, and pinpoint the different resources to research financial statements of public companies. You are also trained in the creation of a forecasting model from the financial statements, the derivation of a target price of a stock, and given knowledge of the financial metrics used to determine the health of a company.
- Course Duration: This course comes as 17 sections taught through 61 lecture videos spanning a total of 259 minutes.
The accounting course is available at a one-off price of €59.99 and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
6. Online Fundamentals of Accounting Certificate Program by Northwestern University
High-Cost Online Accounting Course that Trains Students In GAAP-Certified Practices
Designed for small business owners as well as entry-level financial and cost accountants, the “Fundamentals of Accounting Certificate Program” trains you and business professionals in the crucial practices of accounting.
- Course Content: You are trained in financial reporting, cost accounting, and taxation through a series of four courses centering on financial accounting, managerial accounting, income tax, managerial cost accounting, and forensic accounting.
- Course Requirement: To take up the course, you require an official transcript showing a bachelor's degree or higher, a statement of purpose, and a current resume or CV.
- Accounting Skills and Knowledge: Participants are trained to understand practices that comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in areas of cost classification and activity-based costing systems. This course also emphasizes individual income tax at the Federal level.
Students make payments per course, with each course relevant to one unit and each unit priced at $2,115 each. A $125 technology fee is additionally charged for online courses and financial aid is also available to students.
7. Completing the Accounting Cycle by UCI (Coursera)
Highest Course Level for 3-Level Coursera Program
The UCI accounting course offered through Coursera is the third and final Coursera course in its “THe Accounting Cycle Specialization” program.
- Course Content: This online accounting course comes with specific topics aiding students’ learning on adjusting entries, closing entries (with a focus on the adjustment to retained earnings), and the preparation of income statements, retained earnings statements, and balance sheets. Participants are trained on the procedures for recording closing entries and on how to make the post-closing trial balances.
- Flexible Schedule: As a characteristic of Coursera programs, the course presents you with flexible schedules and deadlines as well as easily shareable certificates given to you immediately after its completion.
- Course Duration: This online accounting course takes approximately 10 hours to complete and serves as the final stage of the 3-level Coursera program; Introduction to Financial Accounting: The Accounting Cycle Specialization.
- Language: The English language remains the only language used and you are equipped with three videos spanning a total of 9 minutes, 2 materials for reading, and 2 quizzes for exam preparation.
Enrollment for this course is free.
8. Financial Accounting by Brigham Young University (Udemy)
Top Online Accounting Course that Provides Great Learning Experience and Transferable Credits To Multiple International Universities
Dedicated to undergraduate students and entrepreneurs, the “Financial Accounting course” from Brigham Young University, as its name implies, teaches you the basics of financial accounting. The course is taught by Norm Nemrow, a recipient of a teaching award from the President of the United States.
- Course Content: This accounting course is a part of a five-course program hosted on Udemy by BYU which all build on each other. You, however, have the option of independently signing up for the individual program for which you are credited with 6-credit hours. Credits transfer to any higher institution of your choice worldwide.
- Course Duration: This “Financial Accounting” course from BYU comes as 12 sections taught through 60 lectures and spanning a total of just over 25 hours.
Brigham Young University offers its online accounting course through Udemi for a one-off price of €64.99. You also enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee.
9. Accounting: Principles of Financial Accounting by IESE Business School (Coursera)
Beginner-Level Foundation for Multiple Coursera Programs
From the IESE Business School, this accounting course offered through Coursera presents participants with knowledge on accounting essentials and the interpretation of financial statements for analysis and decision-making.
- Course Content: Knowledge gained from this course also serves as an ample foundation for further development of accounting skills to take on more sophisticated accounting and finance tasks on your own. The beginner-level IESE accounting course is part of multiple programs, remains applicable to multiple specializations or professional Certificates programs, and contributes to your progress in learning the “Foundations of Management” and “Think like a CFO” specialization programs from Udemy.
- Course Duration: This online accounting course takes approximately 12 hours to complete.
- Language: English language (with Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Italian, Vietnamese, German, Russian, English, and Spanish subtitles). This course is also accompanied by 11 videos (totaling 67 minutes), 7 materials for reading, and 3 quizzes.
Enrollment into this course is free.
10. Becker CPA Review
Best Option for CPA Exams, Unlimited Tests, AI-Powered Learning Assistant
The Becker CPA Review course is customized for you, providing you with award-winning AI technology to aid your learning. This online accounting course recorded a 94% student pass record in the attempted CPA Exam sections in 2020.
- AI Technology: Becker's Adapt2U Technology examines your current knowledge of accounting and presents you with personalized review sessions tailored to your learning needs.
- Course Content: A proficiency badge feature in the learning scheme tracks your level of knowledge around certain sections and key concepts in accounting. You have access to an unlimited number of practice tests through Becker's vast database of multiple-choice questions, as well as a team of instructors to provide you with comprehensive CPA Exam prep sessions.
- Learning Style: Users enjoy exclusive SkillMaster videos with step-by-step tips and strategies, 1-on-1 live tutoring sessions, and live online classroom options. Lectures also come in the form of in-person sessions and Becker offers you simulated exams for preparation and partnership with the AICPA.
Becker’s CPA review course is available to you through three different plans.
- An Advantage plan that gives you 24-month access to it and costs $2,399.
- A Premium plan that gives you unlimited access, virtual scheduling classrooms, and coaches, and costs $2,999.
- A Pro plan that additionally comes with up to 5 1-on-1 academic tutoring sessions (one hour each), a 1-year bonus CPE subscription, and in-person classroom scheduling options, and costs $3,499.
11. Accounting: From Beginner to Advanced (Udemy)
Best Online Accounting Course that Spans All Levels of Accounting Expertise and Needs
The “Accounting: From Beginner to Advanced” course from Udemy presents you with a comprehensive syllabus covering virtually every crucial thing you need to know about accounting.
- Course Content: This online accounting course trains you on how to prepare financial statements, identify specific items on financial statements, analyze business transactions, and gain useful knowledge about debits and credits, accounting regulations, and the accounting cycle. The course’s knowledge base does not stop there. You are additionally trained on preparing trial balances, accounting for accounts receivable, preparing bank reconciliation, and inventory accounting techniques including FIFO, LIFO, and average cost accounting. Topics on depreciation, amortization, and disposal of assets, as well as investments and bonds, are not left out.
- Schedule: The course is made up of 15 sections taught through 86 lectures and remains a great option for students, business owners, accountants, bookkeepers, and candidates for the CPA exam.
You have access to the course by paying a one-time fee of €59.99.
12. Financial Learning Library by Kaplan Financial Education
Most Comprehensive Library of Multiple Accounting and Finance Related Courses
Forming a part of Kaplan’s online accounting CPE courses and formerly known as the SmartPros Advantage, the Financial Learning Library is a collection of 381 courses aimed at training students and participants on different areas of accounting and finance.
The library contains courses for different levels of professionals; from entry-level accounting personnel to finance professionals to CFOs.
- Course Content: Being a comprehensive course, Kaplan’s Financial Learning Library teaches students on accounting processing best practices, COSO/internal control, financial accounting subjects including best practices, accounting issues, and reporting issues. It also teaches fraud prevention, detection, and reporting, IFRS, integrated reporting, financial statement preparation, and analysis. The library also includes courses and materials on auditing, ethics, finance, information technology, taxes, and business management, among a lot of other important professional subjects.
The whole library is available for a one-time purchase fee of $499.
13. Online Accounting Associate Degree
Top Online Accounting Course that Includes Training in Business Law and Economics
The Accounting Associate Degree offered by USCI trains you on accounting principles, workplace psychology, economics, business law, small business management, and tax accounting.
- Flexible Schedule: With no dedicated class schedules, you study at your own pace and also enjoy access to instructors through your phone or email address.
- Learning Style: Customized learning materials are provided to you as well as the knowledge and skills you need for employment and the preparation for advanced industry certifications.
USCI’s Associate in Accounting degree program is priced at a monthly fee of $139. This fee includes access to instructors, all your learning materials, and career support.
14. Bookkeeping Program at Penn Foster College Inc.
Affordable Online Accounting Course that Includes Training In the Use of Accounting Software Programs
The online Bookkeeping program offered by Penn Foster College is made up of eight courses providing you with the basic knowledge and skills on general ledger and journal, assets and liabilities, revenue and expenses, and a lot more.
You are trained on improving your study skills and techniques before being introduced to the roles of a bookkeeper.
- Course Content: Penn Foster College’s online bookkeeping course also teaches you about assets, liabilities, owner's equity, revenue, expenses, and the creation of financial reports. Payroll, inventory, and wholesale accounting are included in the curriculum. You also learn about end-of-month and end-of-year accounting procedures, a bookkeeping project for practical knowledge application, and the operation and utilization of accounting software such as QuickBooks and FreshBooks.
The cost of undergoing this course comes in three different forms.
- A one-time “Pay In Full” purchase plan costs $699.
- A monthly autopay plan costs $799.
- A manual monthly mail pay plan costs $909.
You save $210 on the “Pay In Full” plan and $110 on the monthly autopay plan.
15. Become a Bookkeeper (LinkedIn Learning)
Excellent Online Accounting Course that Comes In Two Parts and Gives You Practical Financial Reports to Work on
The Become a Bookkeeper course is a 2-part, MBA-level program on LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) dedicated to business managers, analysts, and entrepreneurs. It is offered by professors of Brigham Young University.
- Course Content: This course provides knowledge on financial statements, the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows using real-world examples and aims at improving the crucial decision-making of participants. The actual financial reports of Microsoft and Walmart, among others, are made available to students for study.
- Accounting Skills and Knowledge: Students are additionally made to understand assets and liabilities, financial statement interpretations, journal entries, and the preparation of financial statements. You are also trained in different aspects of financial accounting, including the methods of financial ratio analysis, areas of improvement and risk, cash flow analysis, forecasting financial statements, and business valuation, among others.
- Course Duration: This online accounting course lasts for 6 hours 20 minutes.
Both parts of the LinkedIn Learning course are available after one-time purchases of $34.99. You enjoy one-month free trial access to it.
Online Accounting Courses FAQ
An online accounting course is a series of online class sessions, delivered through video or written material, through which participants gain knowledge in pursuit of certain accounting-related certifications or the certifications themselves after passing certain examinations.
Spanning different levels of professionalism and accounting expertise, online accounting courses are offered through different online study platforms by different universities or certifying bodies. They give you sufficient knowledge in both the fundamental and more advanced aspects of both financial and managerial accounting.
The cost of online accounting courses majorly depends on the platform through which it is offered. For example, looking at our list, all the courses offered through Coursera are available to you for free while courses offered through Udemy cost an average of $70.
Courses offered directly by Universities tend to cost a whole lot more, with prices going as high as $21,000.
Although courses remain accessible for as long as 36 months, participants are typically required to commit an average of 10 hours to complete the whole online course.
However, for some more advanced courses, you may be required to commit as much as 25 study hours over their duration.