Accounting Lessons & Help
Welcome to Free accounting lessons! In these lessons, we’ll cover the major concepts introduced in most college accounting courses. These are perfect for students looking to review for a class, or anybody else looking to brush up on their accounting skills. Start at the beginning with a history of accounting, or dive into topics like financial statements or budgeting.
Introduction to Accounting
Did you know that we had accounting before numbers even existed? Do you know what accountants really do? Read this brief history of accounting, as well as a quick overview of what accounting means today.
Basic Financial Statements
When a company needs to deliver financial information to outside parties, they use financial statements. Learn about different financial statements in this lesson, as well as the accounting processes used to create them.
Journals and the Accounting Cycle
In order to create financial reports, accountants use a sequence of procedures called the accounting cycle. Learn about the accounting cycle and basic bookkeeping activities in this lesson.
Accruals and Deferrals
Accruals are recorded before money has actually changed hands. In deferrals, money has changed hands but no revenue or expense has been recorded. Learn how to record these in bookkeeping in this lesson.
Reporting Financial Results
Once you’re familiar with the accounting process and the accounting cycle, you can prepare financial reports. This lesson walks you through how to prepare financial statements. How do you close the books at the end of the year? Read on to find out.
If you sell retail products to customers, you’re engaged in merchandising. This lesson explains how merchandisers, or retailers, handle inventory and manage their inventory accounts..
Financial assets include cash, accounts receivable, and short term investments. In this lesson, learn how to define these different assets and how they inform a company’s financial analysis.
Inventories and Cost of Goods Sold
Different companies have different kinds of inventories. Read on to learn how companies categorize and sell their inventory. Other important concepts include average cost, turnover, and inventory estimation,
Fixed Assets and Depreciation
This lesson explains how to calculate depreciation expenses. Why do assets depreciate and how do you record that? Learn about amortization, depletion, depreciable costs, and more.
Liabilities are similar to debts and can be classified as either current or long-term – due in one year or in more than one year. Read this lesson to learn about different types of liabilities and how they are calculated in amortization tables.
Stockholders’ Equity and Managerial Accounting
What is the difference between financial accounting and managerial accounting? How are corporations created and how is stock issued? This lesson answers these questions and covers more concepts related to managerial accounting and stockholders’ equity.
Income and Changes in Retained Earnings
A retained earnings account is used to accumulate a company’s earnings and to pay dividends to stockholders. Why do people invest in a company to begin with, and how do companies report to their stockholders? Read on to learn more.
Statements of Cash Flows
Statements of cash flow (also called cash flow statements) define the inflows and outflows of cash exchanged through customers, investing, and financing. Read this lesson to learn the two ways you can present the statement of cash flows: the direct and indirect methods.
Financial Statement Analysis
Investors, creditors, and other parties want to analyze a company’s financial statements. But how do they do that? This lesson explains how to read and understand financial statements in order to make important decisions.
Managers deal with operating information, the information related to the operation of a business. Learn how this information is used in management accounting. This lesson also covers accounting cycles, manufacturing costs, and more.
Job Order Costing
When jobs (or batches) are different from other jobs, accountants use a job order costing system. Job order costing is a cost accounting system used in businesses such as auto repair shops.
Unlike the job costing system, process costing is used in manufacturing processes to trace costs. When and why do you use process costing? Read this lesson for an answer, and more information on different costing and inventory systems.
Cost-Volume-Profit analysis can be used to answer questions about a company’s profitability. This lesson will walk you through CVP’s three-step process. Read through some example problems, and try our quick quizzes to test your knowledge!
In accounting, managers can face complex decisions. Incremental analysis (IA) is one way for managers to approach these problems in a simplified way using variable accounting concepts.
Every business needs a budget, and managers need to cover their regular operating costs every month. Learn how managers prepare operational budgets in this lesson.
Standard Cost Systems
All products have a standard cost – what it should cost to make. Standard costs are used by managers to create production budgets. Read this lesson to learn how budgets are created in a standard cost system.