A small business owner taking an online bookkeeping course.

Where To Find Online Bookkeeping Courses

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by L. Kenway BComm CPB Retired

Published May 2010 | Updated June 6, 2024

What You'll Find In This Chat

✔ online bookkeeping courses ... some are free and/or have affordable fees, while others require an investment in yourself;

✔ study aids, bookkeeping test, and fun online bookkeeping quizzes;

✔ formal study program in Canada; and

✔ how to become a certified bookkeeper in Canada and the U.S.

Are you searching for where to find online bookkeeping courses ... and bookkeeping training?

This website, Bookkeeping-Essentials, offers free online bookkeeping training. The training is presented as a series of casual chats geared to small business owners working from a home office.

... but what if you need more bookkeeping training than I offer here?

In this chat I explore online bookkeeping courses that appeal to me. I've decided to use a question and answer format ... so fill up your water jug and let's take a look.

FYI, some of the bookkeeping courses I found were not actually online ... but you sign up online ... and the bookkeeping course material is mailed to you ... and consists of CDs and/or binder with course notes.

Jug of Lemon Water

Q: What online bookkeeping courses should you take as a business owner to learn more about bookkeeping and what it means for your business?

A: If you are a new business owner, CRA offers live webinars with recordings and transcripts found in their video gallery. They also do live seminars in communities throughout Canada ... all for free. The webinars have been archived for viewing at any time; just search for Business video gallery.

My site offers free training for the home-based bookkeeping owner who does their own books. It assumes you know a little bit about bookkeeping. In developing this site, I have tried to keep it casual ... but full of practical tips to help with your everyday bookkeeping dilemmas. 

You will find basic bookkeeping tools and free resources such as:

  • common bookkeeping entries
  • month end procedures
  • accounting and bookkeeping checklists
  • my five top bookkeeping tips
  • basic bookkeeping training on how to:
    - self assess your own bookkeeping accuracy; and
    - read the financial statements you produce

Basic Canadian tax deductions and tax planning opportunities are now found on my sister site Bookkeeping-Essentials.ca. Information is broken down to:

More Formal Bookkeeping Training

You may find that you need more formal bookkeeping training than what CRA offers ... or my site provides. Here is an affordable solution ... in terms of your time AND your money.

Dawn Biz Logo

Hidden Profit Academy (formerly Best Small Biz Help) no longer offers the excellent, affordable video series called The Solopreneur's Lifeline . You can however find Dawn Fotopulos's book, "Accounting for the Numberphobic: A Survival Guide for Small Business Owners."  She focuses on, "Are you making any money?".

Her blog is still available as well. Dawn's blogs talk about actual bookkeeping as opposed to how to read your financial statements. For example her article, "6 Numbers that Drive the Success of Your Small Business" is a good read.

I haven't read her book but did watch her introductory video series. She is an Associate Professor of Business at The King's College and her blog, BestSmallBizHelp.com was award winning. Dawn Fotopulos is an engaging speaker. She knows how to teach and her lectures are not boring!

While exchanging e-mails with Dawn in 2010, she let me know that "we just got named as one of the top ten small business websites by CommuniquePR out of Seattle. We're pretty excited about that ...".

Bookkeeping-Essentials.com was listed as a small biz resource back in 2010. Dawn explained that "we don't list everyone, just for the record. Your niche is important and there are few people really doing the job as you are."

Find out a bit more about Best Small Biz Help in the U.S. section of "The Bookkeeping Resources".

On the Hidden Profit Academy website, Dawn now offers her course Small Business Made Easy. It requires an investment in yourself and your business.

Principles of Accounting.com is not really an online bookkeeping course. It is a bit more formal and more like an online introductory accounting course.

It is a free online textbook that covers financial and managerial accounting. It is very comprehensive and if you take the time to work through it, it would be similar to taking an accounting course at university.

Each chapter has 3 study guides which tests for goal achievement ... fill in the blank ... multiple choice. There are also problems, checklists of key concepts and key terms.

Some chapters have a link to preview the global edition. I'm guessing this would be the textbook revised to reflect IFRS instead of U.S. GAAP ... but I'm not sure as I couldn't find any notes as to what was different about this edition.

Each chapter has a video you can play to hear a free lecture on the topic by the author Larry Walther, Ph.D., CPA, CMA.

You can also download and print the pdf files for your own individual use ... so you can work away from the computer. WOW is all I have to say!!!

Q: What resources are available to study for a bookkeeping certification exam or to improve your bookkeeping training?

A: If you are a studying to take your bookkeeping certification, I found two sources that may help you achieve your goal. Both of these sites have online bookkeeping courses and/or training.

I like both of them because they have fun quizzes and great practice exams you can take to self-test your knowledge. Taking them helped me determine where my bookkeeping training weaknesses were ... so I could devote more study time to those areas.

The other thing I like about these online bookkeeping courses, is that I can study at my leisure from home.

Here are one of my favorite sites for practice bookkeeping tests:

BeanCounter Bookkeeping Help

Interactive Bookkeeping Tests and Games

Dave Marshall's website, The Bean Counter uses interactive tests and games to keep the learning fun and light hearted. This U.S. website even offers a tutorial on Basic Canadian Payroll.

Visit my Online Bookkeeping Shoppe to find my review of this awesome, fun bookkeeping website ... or

Click here to go directly to The Bean Counter website.

Please do NOT take these as recommended or endorsed study material by any association or educational facility. They are simply some of the online bookkeeping resources I found that I used to study for the Certified Professional Bookkeeper exam (I got 90%) ... and they are my recommendations for basic, informal, affordable bookkeeping and accounting training.

For more formal training materials, see the bookkeeping certification resource information that is coming up next.

I am a compensated affiliate and earn a commission if you purchase any of these products through The Online Bookkeeping Shoppe.

Purchasing these products through my website helps support this site and enables me to publish free articles for your business. That makes it a WIN-WIN-WIN for you, me, and them.

If you go directly to the sight (instead of clicking a link from here) to make your purchase, Lakeshore Bookkeeping does NOT earn a commission.

Good To Know

Certification vs Certificate

To understand the difference between obtaining a degree/diploma as opposed to a professional certification, think about other professions.

Someone does not automatically become a professional engineer just because they have a degree in engineering. Lawyers who obtain a law degree can't practice law until they are accepted into the bar association. Accountants do not become certified just because they majored in accounting at university.

Bookkeepers are NOT certified just because they completed a bookkeeping program through local community colleges. It does however demonstrate a knowledge of the course content undertaken.

Q: What Canadian online bookkeeping courses could you take to improve your bookkeeping training ... and have fun doing it?

A: The bookkeeping industry in Canada is not regulated at this time. Therefore, I have gathered the following information about programs that help to professionalize and increase the quality of bookkeeping in Canada.

While many colleges throughout Canada have bookkeeping diploma programs ... some of which have online bookkeeping course offerings ... I will not be discussing them here.

  • A Canadian company, The Knowledge Bureau offers on-line bookkeeping courses towards certification as a Distinguished Financial Advisor (DFA). Graduates of the accredited institution are licensed to use the designation if they maintain a minimum of 12 hours of professional development annually. There are two bookkeeping certification choices:
         ✔ certified bookkeeping specialist; or
         ✔ tax services specialist.

    In my opinion, this online bookkeeping program differs from college based programs in that graduates must meet continuing professional development to maintain their licence. Most college programs have no further requirements upon completion of their program.

  • Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB) program sold its assets to CPB Canada in 2022. Now CPB Canada offers as an academic program partnered with Canadian Community Colleges ... not an association ... and may or may not include online bookkeeping courses.

    The diploma results in achieving a non-certified technical or apprentice level status. Visit their website for information on their educational partners.

  • The National Payroll Institute (formerly the Canadian Payroll Association) offers a certification program. You can choose between the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) or the Certified Payroll Manager (CPM).

    They also offer web seminars. This online training provides easy access to continuing your professional education.

    The NPI has been representing employers’ payroll interests since 1978, through its mission of payroll leadership through advocacy and education and its values of community, professionalism and authoritative knowledge.

Q: What Canadian online bookkeeping courses could you take to  improve your bookkeeping training?

A: I put together some information for both Canadian and US bookkeeping certification associations.

Also, AIPB has finally come into the 21st century. They now offer AIPB courses as e-books and offer online courses. See bookstore.aipb.org for more information. GAAP for small privately owned businesses is very similar between Canada and the U.S.. The AIPB courses would be very useful training and provide you with excellent reference guides going forward. The best part is they are AFFORDABLE. Book courses are priced in the $29 to $69 USD range; online courses range between $175 and $495. Pricing is usually $10-$20 less if you are an AIPB member.

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