Bookkeeping Program Details

Our online Bookkeeping program consists of eight 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 distance learning courses.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Explain financial statements, with attention to detail, from accounting records for organizations
  • List 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
  • Describe how 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 its funds
  • Describe how to use 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
  • Create financial reports using QuickBooks online to complete bookkeeping tasks, ensure accuracy in receiving and recording payments, handle banking transactions, and monitor business accounts
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • 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.

In this course, you'll develop the necessary skills to ensure your success in the program. You'll learn how you can improve your study skills, so you're able to use a number of tools that will help you to be successful. You'll then learn the basics of bookkeeping and the roles of a bookkeeper.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Identify skills needed to be a confident and independent online learner
  • Analyze the purpose and importance of balance sheet, bookkeeping, and their components in accounting

In this course, you'll begin to learn the basics of bookkeeping. You'll learn what books are kept to track how an individual or business earns and spends money. You'll also learn about the three major components of bookkeeping: assets, liabilities, and owner's equity.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the various functions of journal and ledger entries in accounting
  • Analyze the reporting procedures of various transactions in the general ledger

Learning Aid: Account Analyzer

In this course, you'll start by learning how to set up revenue, expenses, and trial balances on standard bookkeeping forms. Then, you'll learn how to create various financial reports, including financial statements, ending balance sheets, and closing entries.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Analyze the importance of revenue, expenses, and trial balance in the accounting equation
  • Identify the elements and strategies associated with financial reports

In this course, you'll learn about accounting for cash and payroll accounting, accrual accounting and inventory, and wholesale accounting.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Analyze the various accounting transactions of cash, banks, and employee payroll
  • Show the calculations of accrual accounting, cash sales, and the recording of merchandise inventory
  • Categorize the components of wholesale accounting and the methods used in evaluating them

This course begins with a look at company assets, and then covers end-of-month and end-of-year accounting procedures. Then, you'll learn how to operate and utilize Windows programs, which you'll use throughout your Bookkeeping career as you keep electronic forms and records.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Distinguish between the various accounting activities and procedures used in maintaining ledgers and worksheets

Microsoft® Office 2019 allows people to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and databases. This course will cover how to use MS Excel®. In this course, you’ll then study how to use MS Excel® to organize and format data, including charts, formulas, and more complex tables. Finally, you’ll complete a computer applications graded project, which will test the skills acquired in Excel®.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Identify how to create various Microsoft® Excel® documents
  • Produce a thorough Microsoft® Excel® 2019 spreadsheet

This course is designed to help you develop an understanding of computerized accounting in conjunction with the QuickBooks software. Throughout this course, you'll work with QuickBooks, inputting data and transactions, viewing financial reports and statements, and more.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Explain the basic functions of QBO
  • Describe how to enter and track banking and business transactions
  • Summarize how to perform accounting for payroll and inventory in QBO
  • Prepare financial reports using QBO reporting processes

Textbook: Computer Accounting with QuickBooks Online
Learning Aid: QuickBooks Codes

This course will apply everything you've learned in your Bookkeeping program. The graded project in this course will require you to call upon all of the skills you've learned to this point to complete a financial record. Be sure to revisit previous courses as needed to make sure you're prepared for this project.

By the end of this course, you'll be able to:

  • Complete bookkeeping activities based on the knowledge learned throughout your program

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 College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

DEAC and SARA Accreditation Logos
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A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

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Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

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.

laptop sample lesson graphic.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account 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 macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.