Free vs Paid Bookkeeping Courses: The Difference Explained
Bookkeeping knowledge is incredibly valuable whether you’re good with numbers or struggle with basic accounting. Being able to accurately keep track of your personal or business transactions and analyse them can help a lot when it comes to legal and tax processes.
Free Bookkeeping Course
For those who are looking for an understanding of the bookkeeping basics, a free online bookkeeping course is a great option! Free online bookkeeping ‘courses’ are often made up of a series of video tutorials that go over the entry-level information needed to start your financial transaction records.
These include “What are” videos on critical components such as:
As well as “how to” videos on:
It’s important to remember; however, that these courses are limited in their ability to help students one-on-one. Furthermore, participants don’t finish these free courses as qualified bookkeepers ready to enter the workforce.
So whether a free course is what you’re looking for, all comes down to the intention of use.
Paid Bookkeeping Course
Paid bookkeeping courses cover an extensive range of finance skills. Some more general qualifications like a Certificate in bookkeeping or a Diploma in bookkeeping or accounting cover all the necessary knowledge and bookkeeping skills needed to enter the workforce into the financial industry.
In-depth training of all the core competencies and bookkeeping software programs are included within the structure of the courses.
These can lead to employment as a:
There are also program and skill-specific courses for those who already have bookkeeping or finance knowledge and want to hone in on a particular area of expertise, such as payroll accounting or particular program software training.
What’s important to remember is that paid courses are provided by registered education providers and have the authority to provide nationally recognised certification for your efforts.
This increases your chances of finding employment or, being trusted with financial services within a business operation compared to completing a non-recognised, free course.
Bookkeeping is the:
Of all financial transactions within a business or as an individual. Payroll, bank reconciliations and liaising with both clients, accountants and business management are also all part of a bookkeepers’ responsibilities. Bookkeepers also help put together financial reports for business owners and accountants to help maximise business activity and therefore, profit.
Keeping track of finances, whether you’re a multi-employee business, sole trader, or looking at personal finances, can significantly assist with financial wellbeing in the long run. Professional bookkeepers continuously need to ask themselves “can we do this better?” to ensure all transactions have value and purpose of helping the business or individual grow and thrive.
Bookkeepers also need to be well acquainted with bookkeeping systems such as:
To name a few. These systems assist with accurate and automatic transaction recording, reconciliations of invoices and bills, payroll and the creation of financial reports. Even those who wish to keep track of personal finances can find value in these systems.
Why Study a Course?
Studying a bookkeeping course is valuable for several reasons. Everyone deals with finances to some degree daily, and everyone needs to declare tax at the end of the financial year. Bookkeeping knowledge can teach you new skills to assist with these processes and allow you to understand the true financial health of either a business or your personal accounts.
For those looking to:
- Gain a better understanding of their personal finances
- Start bookkeeping for a small business or side hustle operation
- Develop their finance skills Gain a basic understanding of accounting systems
- Keep a general ledger
A free bookkeeping course could be a 0-cost way to achieve these goals! Just remember that these courses require: self-discipline to study and learn the materials, independence (there’s minimal teacher support) and organisation (many of these courses are not structured.)
Depending on your intentions for studying bookkeeping, both free and paid courses have their value. For 0 cost, basic bookkeeping can be explained and assist with future personal financial endeavours.
Whereas, paid courses can provide in-depth, structured learning and provide recognised certification for your time and effort.