Teach Yourself Basic Accounting with Accounting Coach
If you are planning on going into professional accounting as a career, you are going to need an Associate’s Degree in accounting at a minimum. The responsibility placed on an accountant for even a very small business is just too important for an employer to hire someone without formal training and a credential of competency.
But what if you don’t want to go into accounting professionally, but you need to learn the basics? Perhaps you are…
- A small business owner who needs to know how to keep accurate, standardized records to reduce the amount of time and money spent on professional accounting services at tax time.
- A manager who wants to learn how to read and understand financial reports so that you can make better business decisions.
- Interested in becoming a bookkeeper, which requires many of the same skills but less formal education than accounting.
- Trying to get ready for the Financial Accounting CLEP® examination.
- Struggling in a college accounting course, and need a supplemental study program.
- On the fence about a career in accounting and want to see if it’s something you might enjoy, without the expense or commitment of a college course.
As a student in a bachelor’s-level program in accounting myself, I have the advantage of being able to compare beginners’ courses available for home study with college-level courses taught by professional teachers and accountants. I’ve also worked at my college as a paid tutor in accounting (as well as economics, writing, and the Microsoft® Office suite), so I’ve seen first-hand what kinds of approaches do and don’t work for teaching this complicated, often confusing subject.
Before I began my degree program, I tried learning the basics of accounting from the books available at my local bookstore, and I failed. Looking back at those books (which are now collecting dust on my bookshelf), I can understand why they didn’t help me: they glossed over complex issues and used vague language in an attempt to cram too much information into one paperback book. Even after acing my college-level accounting classes, I wouldn’t even try to use those books for a refresher–they’re just too badly written.
I’m glad to say that I finally found a beginner’s course that I can actually recommend to people who want to learn the basics of financial and managerial accounting at home. It’s called Accounting Coach, and it’s put together by an excellent teacher named Harold Averkamp. Harold is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a college professor, so he has lots of experience in both teaching and applying accounting principles.
Simply put, Accounting Coach does a better job of explaining the principles of accounting in clear, concise, and understandable terms than any book I’ve read on the subject. The course covers both Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting, the equivalent of two college level courses. The textbooks I used for each of those courses cost me over $130 a piece! So, when I say that the course is really worth at least $260, I want you to understand that I’m not just pulling that number out of thin air. The course really does contain that much information.
Of course, I wouldn’t be recommending the course if it cost $260. Textbooks are a prime example of price-gouging if ever there was one. Accounting Coach, on the other hand, is incredibly inexpensive. If I hadn’t gotten a chance to read the material myself, I would never have believed that such an awesome product could be so cheap…
[Cheesy Infomercial Voice] But Wait–There’s More! 😉
No, seriously. It’s not just a book. Harold has recorded over four hours of video seminars to help you see the principles he teaches more clearly, and has included an additional eight Flash tutorials. The course also comes with practice exams for the principles of financial accounting, managerial accounting, and bookkeeping. It comes with a printable dictionary of accounting terms, and a condensed “cheat sheet” booklet that puts the most common references into an easy format. The coolest part, though, is probably the 50+ crossword puzzles, 50+ word searches, and 30 word scrambles. Yeah, it’s kind of silly, but working games into the course like that really helps to reinforce the terminology and concepts by appealing to the kid in all of us. And if all that weren’t enough, Harold has also included 87 common business forms in both PDF and Excel format so that you can practice the concepts as you learn them, or even use the forms in your own small business.
I highly recommend the program to anyone who wants to try learning the principles of accounting on their own. It really is the best program I’ve found outside of my college-level instruction, and it’s an absolute steal at $49. And if you do try it out and find that it doesn’t live up to your expectations, Accounting Coach even offers an unconditional 90-day money back guarantee on the program. You just can’t go wrong!
Disclaimer: This review contains affiliate links for Accounting Coach. While I have tried to be impartial in my review of the program, I want readers to know that I do receive a commission on sales of the product when it is purchased through these links.