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Program Details

Bookkeeping Course Details

Our online Bookkeeping program consists of seven courses to help you gain the knowledge and skills relevant for a career in finance. Learn the basics of the general journal and ledger, assets and liabilities, revenue and expenses, and more — online, and at your own pace.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The program goal for Penn Foster's Bookkeeping Career Diploma program is to prepare graduates for an entry-level career as a Bookkeeper via several distance learning courses.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Compile/produce Financial Statements, with attention to detail, from Accounting records for organizations.
  • Understand employment opportunities in many industries, including firms that provide accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services; federal, state, and local governments; and schools.
  • Demonstrate basic math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge necessary to become certified in areas of bookkeeping by being able to carry out all bookkeeping tasks, including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.
  • Apply proper procedures for controlling an organization’s financial documentation and guard against misappropriation of organization’s funds.
  • Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Apply proper procedures for receiving, and recording cash, checks, and vouchers in compliance with federal, state, and company policies, procedures, and regulations.

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
This lesson will allow you to take the first step toward becoming a bookkeeper by learning the basic accounting equation.

Objectives:

  • Identify the initial steps in the accounting equation.
  • Explain the purpose and components of a balance sheet.
  • Explain and apply the accounting equation.
  • Prepare a balance sheet.
  • Define the terms assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity, and explain how they apply to accounting.

Additional Course Materials:

Supplement: A Glossary of Accounting Terms

This lesson will provide you with the information you need to work with balance sheets, the general journal, and the general ledger.

Objectives:

  • Explain the journal’s function in accounting.
  • Identify the components of the journal.
  • Record the opening entry in a journal.
  • Identify the components of a ledger.
  • Explain and use the steps for posting an entry.
  • Post items in the ledger from the journal.
In this lesson, you’ll focus on the balance sheet classifications of assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity. You’ll learn how to use the double-entry bookkeeping system and the proper way to debit and credit accounts.

Objectives:

  • Prepare a chart of accounts.
  • Identify asset, liability, and owner’s equity accounts.
  • Analyze and prepare journal entries.
  • Post entries from the journal to the general ledger.

Additional Course Materials:

Workbook One

Learning Aids:

  • Account Analyzer
  • How to Use Your Account Analyzer

This lesson examines the activities that affect owner’s equity accounts and how such accounts react.

Objectives:

  • Debit and credit revenue accounts and expense accounts based on their relation to the owner’s equity section of the accounting equation.
  • Analyze, organize, and post transactions by determining what accounts are involved, classifying them into asset, liability, revenue, or expense accounts, and then determining how the transactions affect the accounts used.
  • Explain the purpose of a trial balance and prepare a trial balance.
This lesson focuses on the income statement, balance sheet, and activities that take place at the end of an accounting year.

Objectives:

  • Prepare a worksheet.
  • Prepare an income statement.
  • Prepare a closing balance sheet and compare it with an opening balance sheet to determine the period’s changes.
  • Distinguish between temporary and permanent accounts and explain the roles they play in the accounting cycle.
  • Close the accounting records to summarize the activities of the period.

Additional Course Materials:

Workbooks Two and Three

This lesson details the importance of cash management and how to carefully document cash transactions. You’ll also learn about payroll accounting, different types of deposits, proper check writing, and how to reconcile a bank statement with the checking account.

Objectives:

  • Prepare and balance cash receipts journals and cash disbursements journals.
  • Open a business checking account.
  • Deposit to and withdraw from the business checking account.
  • Reconcile all cash and checking account activities.
  • Compute and prepare employer-withheld payroll taxes.
This lesson will enhance your knowledge of accounting systems. You’ll learn about accrual accounting and how it differs from accounting for cash. You’ll also discover the critical role that an accurate inventory system plays in a business’s success or failure and the two major systems used with inventory.

Objectives:

  • Calculate accrued interest and record adjustments for interest revenue.
  • Apply and compare the three methods for determining the value of the merchandise in inventory.
  • Enter transactions in the cash receipts journal, and post entries to the general ledger.
  • Discuss accrual accounting.
  • Define inventory accounting, and discuss the two major inventory systems.
  • Determine the cost of merchandise percentage, estimated cost of ending inventory, total monthly sales, estimated gross profit, cost of sales, and estimated end-of-month inventory balance.
This lesson will allow you to apply what you know about ledgers and accounts to the wholesale industry. You'll discover some new items that are more strictly related to the wholesale industry — like cash discounts, trade discounts, and sales allowances. You'll also take a look at promissory notes.

Objectives:

  • Compute the balance on sales invoices.
  • Enter purchase invoice transactions in the purchase invoice register and the accounts payable ledger.
  • Compute the interest on notes payable.
  • Enter sales invoice transactions in the sales register and the accounts receivable ledger.
  • Compute the balance on purchase invoices.

Additional Course Materials:

Workbooks Four, Five and Six

Supplement: How to Read an Income Statement and a Balance Sheet

This lesson will provide a more in-depth look at a company’s assets. You’ll discover the accounting activities that occur at the end of the month, and you’ll learn the necessary procedures that bookkeepers and accountants carry out at the end of the fiscal year.

Objectives:

  • Manage all assets in the accounting process through valuation, amortization, depreciation, asset retirement, and adjusting book value.
  • Calculate end-of-the-month adjustments and enter them in the ledgers.
  • Complete end-of-the-month accounting procedures such as balance the journals, post the amounts to the ledgers, and balance the ledgers.
  • Prepare end-of-the-month accounting reports such as the worksheet, the income statement, the balance sheet, and schedules.
  • Prepare a year-end worksheet and determine the necessary adjustments.
  • Prepare a year-end income statement, balance sheet, and a post-closing trial balance.
This lesson will increase your knowledge of computer operating systems such as Windows® XP, Windows Vista,® and Windows® 7.

Objectives:

  • Apply the basic functions of the most commonly used Windows® commands.
  • Identify the procedures to start software programs and shut down the computer at the end of your work session.
  • Customize your computer to suit your individual needs.
  • Use the Windows® Help and Systems Tools feature to solve computer problems.

Additional Course Materials:

Workbook Seven

This lesson focuses on the most widely used spreadsheet program, Microsoft® Excel.® You’ll learn how to perform numerical calculations, create charts, organize lists, access data, create graphics and diagrams, and automate tasks in Excel.®

Objectives:

  • Use the basic elements of Excel.®
  • Create and use simple and complex formulas and functions.
  • Incorporate useful charts and graphs.
  • Add, delete, sort, and layout table data.

Graded Project:

Microsoft® Excel®

This project will allow you to put the knowledge and skills you’ve gained throughout the program to practical use. In this project, you’ll maintain the accounting records and prepare financial statements for a sole proprietorship. Although the basic procedures will remain the same, you may be required to adapt the skills you’ve obtained to suit the specific needs of your employer’s specialized business. The project includes ledgers, business papers and checks, journals, and the narrative of transactions. The project must be completed manually.

Additional Course Materials:

Supplements:

  • General Ledger
  • Subsidiary Ledgers
  • Journals
  • Documents and Forms

Additional Details

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered in the Penn Foster Program. Prospective students should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where they plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in this Program. Click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.
Penn Foster Career School Accreditation Details
Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

DEAC
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Penn Foster Sample Lesson

Sample Bookkeeping Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Bookkeeping course would look like.

Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
Students must also have access to Microsoft® Excel® to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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offer ends 3/7/17

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