Accounting-Courses

Best Accounting Courses ranked by Bankers (2020)

In Finance Courses & Certifications by Gaurav SharmaUpdated On:

Accounting-Courses

Accounting is the language of business and you need to speak this language if you intend to do well in any finance or general business role. Accountants are not only the record keepers of financial and business transactions, they are also responsible for making that data available for decision making, taxation and governance/ control purposes.

With automation, the role of the accountant has become more strategic. Accountants don’t just enter numbers into a ledger, they turn that data into meaningful and usable insights. Its’ also far more important to ensure accuracy because the penalty for failure can be quite high. With ever increasing regulatory and compliance burden, accountants have to really master the compliance and regulatory aspects of their jobs as well.

What to look for in an Accounting Course?

  1. Does it meet your specific goals? Accounting is a rather expansive filed with professionals like CPAs, CCAs to managerial and tax accountants. You must define your career goals before you go on.
  2. Will it actually help your career? There is no point in an accounting certification from some no-name provider because it will not add any value to your CV. Building your CV and making sure you get shortlisted, is the first and biggest hurdle that you must overcome.
  3. Is it the best quality course out there? There are hundreds of accounting courses other there – I looked. The vast majority of them are not worth your time. I have handpicked the best ones form the top providers and trusted universities.

Based on all these criteria and more, these are the Best accounting courses and certifications available online.


1. Financial Accounting Professional Certificate form the New York Institute of Finance

Why take this course?

  1. An excellent course suitable for learners at skill levels. The New York Institute of Finance is a century old institution that specializes in financial education and training and this course reflects that pedigree. The course is expertly delivered by industry veterans and contains a healthy mix of theory and real-world insights.
  2. The first few modules lay the groundwork by exploring basic accounting concepts and how income/ cash flow/ sales/ inventory are measured, how transactions are recorded, and the idea behind accrual accounting etc.
  3. From there, you move on to more detailed accounting concepts like deferred taxes, liabilities and interest, assets and depreciation, equity, free cash flow, investments, pensions accounting, stock options etc. The coverage is quite comprehensive and covers most practical aspects of financial accounting. You will spend dozens of hours on this course learning the finer intricacies of all these topics.
  4. At the end of the course, you have to complete the exam for earning the professional certificate. Use this opportunity to add some solid brand value to your CV and adding a NYIF professional certification to your LinkedIn profile. You are not just learning, but also building a stronger Resume for accounting and related roles.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Should take around 30-35 hours depending on your skill level.
  • Offered fully online and on-demand. Complete at your own pace.
  • The best accounting certification available online and the one with the most brand value for finance roles.

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2. Fundamentals of Accounting from the University of Illinois

Why take this course?

  1. This accounting course from the University of Illinois is designed more for business owners, managers, bankers and other personal who have to heavily rely on account for decision making and achieving business goals. At the end of this sizeable offering, you should be able to create, interpret, analyse financial statements and the role accounting plays in the process. On successful completion, you get a shareable certificate.
  2. This entire accounting specialisation is conveniently divided into a number of courses that take you through each aspect. The first one is company position. The aim here is to understand where the company is at via a thorough analysis of its balance sheet. This will include understanding all the components of the balance sheet, recognizing all the items that are typically found there, and even interpreting real world balance sheets.
  3. The next area of focus is company performance. This is a more advanced topics as you try to ascertain the performance of the company by looking at its financials statements.
  4. You then move on to accounting for business decision making. Business decisions are only as good as the data used to make them and that is where accounting comes in. You not only look at operational decision making but even strategic ones and applying controls. What accounting information is useful for decisions making, how to go about collating it, how to measure and evaluate decisions and so on.
  5. The whole thing is capped off by a capstone project. You are essentially required to use all that you have learned in the context of a realistic small business. You must look at tits daily operations form an accounting perspective, compile all the relevant information and figure out how to communicate it to decision makers.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Should take around 80-100 hours depending on your skill level.
  • Offered fully online and on-demand via Coursera’s excellent eLearning platform.
  • Recommended for managers, entrepreneurs, finance managers, bankers and other decision makers who use accounting data.

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3. MicroMasters Program in Accounting from Indiana University

Why take this course?

  1. This is more than a course – it’s a comprehensive instructor-led MicroMasters program offered by Indiana University to teach you accounting in all its glory. This is a comprehensive course and it will require you to commit around 9 months to learning and mastering this topic.
  2. The course is divided into three main topics each of which will take you about 3 months. The first is financial reporting where you’ll learn how to measure, record and report important business transactions, how to prepare and analyse financial statements like the balance sheet and income statement, and an understanding of accounting laws.
  3. the second topic is managerial accounting and corporate control Here the focus is more understanding internal measurement system, basic terminology of managerial accounting, how to analyse information to make decisions, analysing costs and budgets, applying economic models and so on.
  4. The last topic is taxes and decision making. Getting taxes right is quite important and here you explore the finance tools used by business and even individual to maximize after-tax wealth and earning, federal income tax laws and other accounting standards.
  5. Completing all of these will earn you a MicroMasters Program Certificate and this will undoubtedly go a long way towards achieving your career goals in any accounting or related profession.

Summary

  • Time to Complete: Instructor led course with specific dates and deadlines. Will take you around 9 months.
  • Offered fully online via edX – a prestigious eLearning platform.
  • Recommended for dedicated accounting professionals and finance managers, including those involved in taxation and managerial accounting.

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About the Author

Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav started his career as a Corporate and Investment Banking intern at Citi in 2009 and eventually ended up as an Associate Director at Standard Chartered Bank’s Wholesale Banking division a few years later. By 2016, Gaurav was consulting FinTech start-ups in London with product development in the institutional banking space. He also advises mid-market Private Equity/ Asset Management firms and Banks in North America and Europe with investments in the financial services and FinTech sector. Gaurav writes on topics ranging from European Union banking regulations and FinTech to Blockchain startups and the inevitable rise of our AI overlords! He has an Engineering degree in Computer Science and an MBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. He is also a Certified Financial Risk Manager.