Bookkeeping Essentials


The Bookkeeping Essentials program is for students who want to begin a career in bookkeeping. The program consists of three four-week courses; there are no prerequisites. Each course is held online using Canvas, Penn State’s learning management system. For each of the courses, students will complete four hours of work each week (16 hours per course). Courses should be taken in order.


Upon completion of the Bookkeeping Essentials program, students will be able to create meaningful journal entries, close out their books at end-of-month or end-of-year, and analyze financial statements. They will be able to:

  • Understand bookkeeping basics and recording journal entries
  • Define debits and credits
  • Understand month-end procedures
  • Write general ledger transactions
  • Understand closing procedures
  • Prepare a financial statement
  • Understand how to prepare books for a new year

Who Should Attend?

This program is appropriate for individuals who want to sharpen their understanding of the basics of bookkeeping terminology, procedures, and processes.

Course Descriptions

The Bookkeeping Essentials program consists of three 16-hour courses offered in succession. Courses are delivered in an online asynchronous format. Upon completion of all three courses, students will be awarded a Continuing Education Units (CEUs) certificate based on a standard of one unit per ten (10) hours of classroom contact.

ACCTG 5250: Understanding Debits & Credits

This course teaches the method of double entry bookkeeping and the process of recording debits and credits. Students will learn how to identify, analyze and record transactions using journal entries. Students will learn about the accounting equation and the 5 categories involved in bookkeeping for every business. They will learn to create a chart of accounts that matches the needs of business. (16 hours)

ACCTG 5251: General Ledger & Month‑End Procedures

In this course you will learn how to post journal entries to the correct general ledger accounts impacted by each transaction, make sure your general ledger balances at the end of each month by preparing an unadjusted trial balance, determine errors when you don't balance and how to determine correcting entries, verify debits and credits equal with an adjusted trial balance, and perform monthly bank reconciliations. (16 hours)

ACCTG 5252: Closing Procedures & Financial Statements

This course shows you how to use a worksheet to prepare the financial statements after the final month end of the year, closing your books, and preparing them for the next accounting period by journalizing and posting closing entries. (16 hours)

Logistics and Registration

ACCTG 5250: Understanding Debits & Credits

Dates: June 3–June 30, 2024
Times: Online: Asynchronous via Canvas with two sessions via Zoom on
June 3 and June 17, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Cost: $550

Register for ACCTG 5250

ACCTG 5251: General Ledger & Month-End Procedures

Dates: July 1–July 28, 2024
Times: Online: Asynchronous via Canvas with two sessions via Zoom on
July 1 and July 15, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Cost: $550

Register for ACCTG 5251

ACCTG 5252: Closing Procedures & Financial Statements

Dates: July 29–August 25, 2024
Times: Online: Asynchronous via Canvas with two sessions via Zoom on
July 29 and August 12, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
Cost: $550

Register for ACCTG 5252

Cost for completing the program: $1,650 (all three courses). Register for all three courses at the same time and receive a 20% discount. Contact us at 570-675-9253 for the coupon code.

Participants who do not want to take the entire sequence are welcome to take just the course(s) that interest them.

For more information, contact Continuing Education at 570‑675‑9253 or [email protected].