Are you looking to learn more about accounting? Many professionals find that once they enter any specialization in the world of business, at least entry level accounting knowledge is necessary for fully comprehending financial concepts. Some find themselves at a loss for where to begin. Should they start schooling again to gain an accounting degree? Should they wrack the brain of a coworker after work hours to understand more accounting terms?

In 2024, there are several helpful and accessible options to obtain entry-level qualifications in the field, some more beneficial than others. Here are the best ways to learn accounting in 2024:

YouTube Videos

The first mentionable source for accounting education is YouTube. A vast array of knowledge is available to be viewed at the user’s leisure, and many reputable professionals share relevant information frequently. YouTube can certainly provide a wealth of information, but it can also be an untrustworthy source if not properly vetted.

What are the benefits?

  • YouTube caters to many learning styles. If the viewer is more visual, helpful graphics are available. If the viewer desires more of a classroom setting, lectures can be found on YouTube. The user’s preferences in an instructor’s tone, speed, and animation are often readily met on YouTube.
  • Generally, content on YouTube is entirely free to viewers. This creates an excellent resource for those who have a smaller budget for their accounting education.

What are the downsides?

  • Unvetted sources can lead to faulty accounting information. Even if a creator has displayed their content on YouTube, this does not affirm their authority to speak on the subject at hand. They might be a novice as well, and then the blind might be leading the blind. Make sure to research a YouTube content creator before you trust their information.
  • A YouTube viewer must possess much self determination to continue vetting content creators and focusing on retaining knowledge through helpful videos. No quizzes, interactions, or deadlines are present to assist the viewer with the learning process.

Online Accounting Courses

Another option for entry level accounting education comes in the form of online courses. Many educators now offer courses online for those who want to begin or continue their education in accounting. Not all courses are created equal, but a great place to start is our Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis Course. Any professional who is looking to learn the basics of accounting in a feasible manner should complete this course to improve their knowledge on entry level accounting.

Still, this method of learning accounting comes with its pros and cons.

What are the benefits?

  • Some courses include accreditation. Our courses include accreditation with the NASBA, meaning our educational information has already been vetted and approved by a highly respected authority. No need to worry about faulty sources or inadequate information!
  • Courses can be more interactive. Online courses can provide informative videos, charts and graphics as well as pauses to let the student test their knowledge of the subject as they go along. This assists with retaining information and truly getting the most out of the course.
  • Online courses can be a stepping stone to another degree. If a professional isn’t sure that they want to step into an entirely new qualification, an online course is a valuable way to become comfortable with the information at hand and see if a new degree would be beneficial or interesting to them.

What are the downsides?

  • This method of learning doesn’t cater to every learning style. Again, self motivation is necessary to continue working at an online course and coming back to the course to learn regularly.
  • Some courses can be more costly than others. For learners with a smaller budget, it can be more difficult to justify funding an expensive course to continue their education.

Accounting Degrees

Yet another avenue for learning basic accounting in our current day and age is through gaining an actual accounting degree. This can seem to be a huge undertaking for some, but also extremely beneficial in the long run.

What are the benefits?

  • Typically, more formal education contributes to a higher salary. Your current employer might be more apt to increase your wages if you devote yourself to a new degree increasing your expertise to help them succeed. Whether online or in-person, an accounting degree can prove very valuable to both the employee and the company they work for.
  • Online and in-person degrees are incredibly accessible, no matter your current degree status. Educational loans are readily available, depending on your budget and timeline.

What are the downsides?

  • Accounting degrees can be pricey. Many cannot afford the cost of going back to school, or go into more debt for another certification. Check with your employer to see if they could fund part of a degree you might find interest in.
  • Gaining a new degree is a time commitment. Some do not have the flexibility at their stage of life to commit to starting and finishing a new degree.

These three options to build your accounting knowledge are all valuable for different personalities and life stages, but you might still be wondering where you should begin. If you need a cost-friendly, vetted, and readily accessible place to start, our Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis is a great place to start. You’ll be introduced to entry-level accounting and gain a better grasp of the concepts and terms involved.

Are you looking to advance your career in Finance?

Our Financial Analyst Career Track will build up your knowledge to properly interpret performance results and conduct a thorough financial analysis, with tons of practical examples and exercises. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned professional, our courses let you upskill at your own pace. Start your learning journey now!