How To Learn Bookkeeping


We show you how to learn bookkeeping the easy way. There is a flaw in the modern text book teaching of bookkeeping which causes students difficulties during the early stages of learning a subject which is very easy.

Why Many Students Fail Unnecessarily

Some time back I successfully applied to become a part-time bookkeeping tutor for an established international training school. When I received my briefing on the course content I was told they were most concerned with the number of students leaving the course after the second lesson.

These students, usually a mixture of office workers and people running their own businesses, had paid a lot of money to join the classes. The school offered a money-back guarantee if not successful after attending the full course, so leaving early they were losing a lot of money.

The classes would commence with about ten or twelve students and very often only three or four stayed on to complete the twelve weeks’ study.

From commencing the tutoring I was determined to keep my classes together and regarded every student lost as a personal failure. Fortunately, by changing the sequence of the lessons I had very few leavers. What was causing the problems in a subject which I can assure you can be very simple to master?

How Can I Say This Subject Is “Simple”?

I left school at sixteen with just two exam passes and started work as a junior clerk within a large multi-national business. Some years later when I accepted the job as a part-time tutor my day job was as an accountant within a FTSE100 company, responsible for reporting the accounts of subsidiary businesses in Italy, Finland and the United States of America.

The Culprit

The second lesson of the course I was to teach introduced “The Accounting Equation” and students were required to learn the rules that apply to the Accounting Equation. This is the culprit that was frightening away the students. If they had to learn all these rules in lesson two what was the remainder of the course going to contain? They were deciding that the subject was beyond them, after all most had no practical experience to relate to.

If you have already come across the Accounting Equation, you will know the difficulties this must cause with students who have only just started the subject. Look up The Accounting Equation on YouTube and most of the video lessons are horrendous. There are 50,000 Google searches under The Accounting Equation every year!

The Solution

I mentioned earlier that I left school with just two exam passes so I was certainly not bright enough to learn the rules applying to the Accounting Equation. In fact when I started teaching I had not heard of the Accounting Equation. How had I reached a top accounting position without reference to this formula which most tutorials now consider to be the backbone of accounting?

The solution and the one I successfully taught to my classes for a number of years was to take a practical approach to the subject and this begins by acknowledging there are only two ways of trading – you either buy or sell your goods/services and payment is made immediately OR you buy or sell your goods/services on the agreement that payment will be made or received within a set time period.

You will learn from my free bookkeeping tuition that every account can be likened to the letter T, having one side to the left of the central stem and one side to the right. The left-hand side is known as the debit side and the right-hand side is the credit side.

When transactions take place with payment being made or received immediately we record these transactions in our account called the “Cash Account”. There are two simple rules for recording in the cash account – monies received are entered on the left (debit) side of the cash account and monies paid out are entered on the right (credit) side on the cash account.

When transactions take place and payment is to be made by an agreed future date we open accounts in the names of our supplier or customer. There are two simple rules covering these transactions. The people (customers etc.) owing us money are our debtors and we debit their personal accounts. The people we owe money to (suppliers etc.) are our creditors and we credit their personal accounts.

To summarize, there are only two methods of doing business and we have just two simple rules for each.

To view the full content of our free bookkeeping course included within Click Here

You will note that I include reference to the Accounting Equation as the very last item in the course.

Guide To Learning Bookkeeping

My tip to anyone considering learning bookkeeping or accounting is to commence by studying my free, easy to learn course and then, assuming you agree with me that this study was relatively simple you might go on to study for a qualification through local classes or online tuition.

A favoured line of study is to take the Association Of Accounting Technicians (AAT) bookkeeping examinations. The Foundation Certificate in Bookkeeping will take between six and twelve weeks to complete and the following Advanced Certificate in Bookkeeping about twenty weeks. The advanced certificate can be used as a route to professional AAT Bookkeeper status (AATQB) which is recognised worldwide.

For information and to obtain a syllabus you can visit the AAT website here.

You will find many of the subjects contained in the syllabus for the AAT Foundation Certificate have been covered in the free bookkeeping course included within this website.

Bookkeeping, accountancy packages and website creation are all skills sought after throughout business and are excellent subjects to study at any stage of your career. The subjects will enhance your job prospects and are vital areas of knowledge when starting or running a business of your own.

If you have a fascination for learning about website creation and the importance of the related hosting security and site loading times we have an interesting insight under Small Business Website Advice.

Should you have any comments or questions regarding this article please include them below and I will be very pleased to respond.


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