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AccountingCoach.com is a website that offers free information on various topics related to accounting. It’s a vast resource aimed at beginners, small business owners and also those interested in pursuing a career in accounting or bookkeeping. The typical small business owner wanting to learn how to better manage their books may find the material in the AccountingCoach website a bit too technical or slightly advanced for their needs, though.
The website itself is simple enough to navigate. As seen in the screen shot above, there are a few main topic areas:
- Accounting Topics
- Test Yourself
- Pro Materials (paid access only)
For the small business person, the “Accounting Topics” section is the part that may be a bit too detailed. This is where you’d go to get a full grasp of the key principles of accounting. The 32 topics are grouped under two main headings: a) Financial Accounting and b) Managerial/Cost Accounting. Most people who would like to get an overview of the subject can start off by covering the 25 topics under “Financial Accounting”. Although written in plain and simple language, the material still feels a bit too theoretical in some places to be understood immediately by the average person.
The section more applicable to the small business person is the “Bookkeeping” section, which is composed of 6 free training courses. These are:
- Introduction to Bookkeeping
- Debits and Credits
- Chart of Accounts
- Balance Sheet
- Income Statement
- Cash Flow Statement
The training doesn’t show you how to do bookkeeping but rather teaches you the principles and terminology used in bookkeeping. So, like the “Accounting Topics” section, more theoretical than practical. However, it’s all material that would be of great benefit for the small business person to understand.
The “Dictionary” section is a fantastic resource. It’s a complete A-Z of accounting and bookkeeping terminology that should be a bookmarked resource for anyone working with financials.
AccountingCoach has supplied videos to make things more interesting. However, many of these video tutorials are still pretty text-heavy and feel like PowerPoint presentations, making them a bit challenging to sit through at times. You’ll also find quizzes, Q&A and even crossword puzzles. These certainly help to make the learning the subject of accounting a bit more palatable and sometimes even fun, which is normally not a word people would use to describe the field of accounting.
There’s also a MEMBERS AREA (called AccountingCoach Pro) that charges a one-time payment of $ 49 – with no recurring fees – that offer the following extras on top of what’s already offered for free:
- 4-plus hours of seminar videos covering the basics of bookkeeping and understanding financial statements
- 1,500-plus pages of self-study materials covering various topics in PDF format
- 1,600 online exam questions covering bookkeeping, financial accounting, managerial accounting, financial ratios and various other topics
- 87 business forms in Excel and PDF format
- Flash tutorials covering 8 accounting topics
Is it worth becoming a lifetime member?
Considering an average college course costs roughly $ 2,000 or just under $ 10,000 per semester for an average 5-course (or 15-unit load) in a typical community college and $ 15,000 or more per semester in a private university in the U.S.; and a professional consultant (ex. legal, accounting, management, etc.) charges $ 80/hour or more for their time, AccountingCoach’s one-time $ 49 investment for lifetime access to their entire library of materials (with a 90-day money back guarantee for good measure) is a pretty good deal. If you’re an aspiring bookkeeping professional, it can be a useful database to have around that you can refer to again and again. But for the small business owner, though, you may want to look elsewhere especially if you’d like something more practical.
You could say that AccountingCoach.com is pretty much like a virtual school with the professor on hand to help you learn at your own pace. If that’s your take on the site, then you’re not too far off the mark, as the founder of AccountingCoach – Harold Averkamp – taught accounting in university for over 25 years. He is clearly passionate about the subject and his site is a comprehensive database of accounting topics. No surprise then that when you type “accounting education” in your browser’s search window, AccountingCoach.com is the first one that shows up in the search results.
Although AccountingCoach.com may try to be the ultimate one-stop resource for all things accounting, it’s probably better suited for people who are considering getting into the field of accounting as a professional, either as a bookkeeper or accountant. Business owners may find the AccountingCoach’s presentation style a bit too dry and academic, pretty much like what you’d find in a classroom with an instructor who clearly knows what they’re talking about but doesn’t know how to make the material – or their style of teaching – lively enough to incite the audience’s interest.
As a small business owner who needs how to use Accounting on a practical day-to-day basis, you may find AccountingCoach a bit too static for your needs, or a bit similar to learning how to do your own books by going through an accounting dictionary. Perhaps you may want to look at other websites like www.dwmbeancounter.com – which will be covered in a separate review – before plunking down the $ 49 (which isn’t a terribly huge amount considering what you’re getting) and spending countless hours wading through the information to learn how to manage your books better.
Resources for Learning Small Business Financial Resources
At Small Biz Doer we’re compiling a list of websites where you can learn small business financial resources.
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