Businesses across the world look for accounting professionals to meet their auditing and bookkeeping needs.
Regardless of whether you're a small business owner or a professional seeking employment in an established organization, it's imperative to brush up on your accounting skills and keep yourself updated with the rules of the game.
This includes staying on top of technology trends, particularly for accountant jobs in the fintech sector, where standards and procedures change by the year.
Suppose you're an accountant working in a large organization like the Big 4. In that case, you will be expected to stay updated with every innovation in the accounting field and corporate finance standards and procedures.
If you work in the government sector, you will be expected to be aware of all local, state, and federal laws regarding your profession. What is accounting without the rigors of staying updated with financial laws, rules, and regulations?
Keeping up to date with new practices and constantly upgrading your accounting skills can be hard. Thanks to the internet, it's very much possible to acquire new skills and tap into all kinds of accounting resources.
Additionally, online education has revolutionized learning, adding an interactive twist to it and taking away the constraints of classroom learning.
If you're not sure how to tap into online accounting learning, this article will show you some of the best resources you can find online, including both free and paid courses.
Some of these are led by professors from the best accounting schools. No matter where you're situated, you can access a multitude of resources to learn advanced or beginner accounting from the comfort of your home.
So, without further ado, let's look at some of the best accounting resources available online for you:
MOOCs, or massive open online courses, are free portals and websites that offer budget-conscious individuals with courses belonging to various disciplines.
They've transformed the online education scene in the past few years and have grown exponentially in the number of students they serve as well as the number of courses they offer.
The best thing about MOOCs is that they're free, and while some trainers might ask for a small fee while issuing a certificate or collegiate credit, the course in itself does not cost a dime.
There are tons of MOOCs available for free learners, but you can access a MOOC search engine like the MOOC List to search by course type and starting date.
However, keep in mind that MOOC List only features courses with definitive start dates that fall within the next 30 days.
We've reviewed a few Open CourseWare MOOC programs from some of the best accounting schools that online learners can access to get top-notch accounting training:
MIT Open CourseWare
The MIT Open CourseWare allows just about anybody to access the university's lectures without formally enrolling in the university.
Individuals can use the best accounting resources and lectures, right from the esteemed professors at Sloan School of Management.
Some of the courses available on the site include Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting and Management Accounting and Control.
NJIT Open CourseWare
The New Jersey Institute of Technology also offers users access to its training lectures and accounting resources through its Open CourseWare website.
Its main accounting course, Acct 615, created by Dr. Asokan Anandarajan, is a crash course in basic accounting concepts.
Besides that, it offers other accounting courses dealing with accounting laws and regulations, analysis of financial statements, internal decision-making, transfer pricing, and performance measurement.
All in all, there are 17 video lectures interactively stylized for online learners.
The Open University
The Open University offers accounting lectures virtually for all learners through its Money and Management section.
The lectures embedded within this section are extensive, covering the complete range of accounting, from basic subjects like Introduction to Accounting to complex topics like Management Accounting and Development of Financial Practice.
Alongside lectures, users can access other related videos and course materials on the website.
Alison is another excellent avenue for online education, including accounting courses. Although every course here is free, students will have to pay a fee at the time of certification.
It's very easy to navigate courses, with every course page featuring a course description, duration, and the necessary skill level required to complete it.
Students can obtain a certificate, a diploma, and learning path designations, graded by time duration, respectively.
As of now, there are 24 accounting courses available on Alison, ranging from topics such as accounting theory, business, and merchandising transactions, receivables and payables, and cash accounting.
It's certainly among the best accounting resources for online learning.
Udemy is considered the largest online learning platform globally, and it would be hard to dispute that claim.
Udemy has the most extensive accounting courses compared to other paid online learning platforms, with over 385 courses with topics like cost accounting, bookkeeping, investment accounting, finance fundamentals, and accounting for entrepreneurs.
Learners can choose their courses from three difficulty levels:
Udemy is a paid platform, and you will need to pay to access each course. However, the course fee is usually less than $200, with many costing under $100.
edX is a joint venture between MIT and Harvard, started in 2012 as a collaborative online platform and featuring partnerships with more than 90 top learning providers.
Among these providers are some of the most esteemed Ivy League colleges like Harvard and the University of Texas.
There are above 100 accounting courses on this site, and all of them are quite extensive in their study scope.
Learners can opt for both self-paced and instructor-led courses, choosing from introductory classes to more advanced ones for professionals.
Although most accounting courses on edX are paid, it is possible to find a few free ones. The fee for most courses hovers between $49 and $249, but if you want a class that grants a certification, you will need to pay an additional fee, typically around $150.
This website is probably the most appropriate online learning accounting resource for students and professionals, as it is solely dedicated to accounting.
Founded in 2003 by Harold Averkamp, an accountant himself, it features over 1000 lectures on wide-ranging accounting concepts. The website is designed to be engaging and make learning fun for accounting enthusiasts.
Lectures on this site cover all kinds of topics like balance sheets, payroll accounting, standard costing, and accounting equations, to name a few.
The website is interactive, allowing users to pitch queries and gain answers instantly on blog posts.
Learners will be presented with practice questions, puzzles, drills, and instant access to trainers who can immediately offer feedback.
Accounting enthusiasts can find a wide array of free courses about accounting, with the lessons prepared by some of the most qualified professionals and academicians from top universities.
The lectures on Coursera are designed to be interactive, replete with case study videos, followed by homework exercises and short examinations.
Some of the best names in the accounting field can be found here, such as professors from Wharton School of Business who have lent their skills for Coursera's Introduction to Financial Accounting course.
Each course lasts ten weeks and covers topics such as balance sheets, cash flows, capital assets, and taxes, among many others.
It's easy to discount YouTube as an avenue for fun videos, but it can prove to be a great resource for educational lectures and training.
There are countless guides and video tutorials for individuals looking for accounting knowledge, and even a basic search for accounting can yield over 1.7 million results.
Some noteworthy YouTube channels for accounting-related tutorials include:
- CPA strength: Includes more than 90 tutorials, covering all the basic topics for those just starting with the subject
- Executive Finance: Features some handy training videos for accounting novices and offers an excellent way for individuals to gain some foundational knowledge.
The best part about these channels is that their videos are short and not framed in a typical lecture format, making it easier for them to stay engaged.
However, if you want something more formal, you can find numerous videos from colleges and universities that upload their accounting class lectures online.
Some of the best accounting schools and universities have started offering online certifications, diplomas, and even degrees.
The most highly rated online accounting degrees include those by the University of Phoenix.
Furthermore, other universities like the Western Governors University offers bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting online.
Finding The Platform To Learn Accounting
With such a plethora of accounting lectures, resources, and courses available online, it can be hard to find a training platform that suits your learning needs.
To make the search easier, you can examine your goals and ask yourself why you're looking to learn accounting.
Regardless of where you stand in your career, understanding your goals can help you choose the right course and learning path for yourself.
Also, dedicating time is imperative for online courses, and you must be able to allocate the necessary time needed to take a class.
If you have limited time, a self-paced course can be better for you, as it allows you to learn anytime and anywhere, while a class taught by an instructor requires punctuality.
Despite all that, it can still be hard to wade through different learning platforms and scope out the right courses for yourself.
By signing up with Superprof, you can access several qualified accounting tutors who can sit down with you and set forth a learning path that suits your needs.
Also, the liberty to select timings and dictate how you want the course to proceed lies with you!