If you have ever felt like you wanted to learn more about finance and accounting, but don’t have the time or money to enroll in a college course, there is now an answer for you. Learn Accounting Free is an online platform that allows users to take a preliminary accounting class, Introduction to Financial Accounting, for FREE. Three additional courses are offered, at nominal pricing, which continue to expand on financial accounting, as well as managerial accounting.
Currently, the lessons do not come with open access to accounting support (only tech support). They do, however, include extensive practice problems, with step-by-step instructions on how to solve them, practice tests, and a huge glossary of terms and definitions to help people learn. The video lessons are informative on their own, but also provide “hint” and “walkthrough” as additional videos to assist in solving problems for each lesson, if you are having trouble with the concept.
Signing up for the free course is easy. Only basic information is necessary to open an account and immediate access is granted to the course. An introductory video explaining how to use the system is offered up front to assist students in being able to fully take advantage of everything offered on this platform. As it is explained, accounting is the “language of business,” and the videos and coursework definitely break down the meaning of this language. One very useful feature that is provided is a glossary button which you can click on terms from the lesson to get a definition. If there is a word within the definition that you don’t know, you can click on that word to be taken deeper into the definition.
While the courses offered are currently not eligible for professional CE credit, or officially affiliated with any accredited university, the courses have been developed by Professor Norm Nemrow, who taught accounting at Brigham Young University 1991-2011. Upon deciding to retire, he recorded himself teaching accounting and made the lessons available to schools around the country. They are currently used in a multitude of universities, and even Harvard University recommends the course to its incoming business students.
In the future, the company, Business Learning Software, Inc., hopes to create a forum for people to ask questions and get answers, and possibly even expand the types of courses offered into other business related areas. They have even spoken to other professionals about donating their time and expertise to developing courses in order to keep this company’s online learning format accessible to anyone for free by keeping costs low.
The thing most remarkable about this company, though, is far more than just offering an accounting class for free. Nemrow, who was a successful business man in the private sector, has made it his life’s work to teach accounting to others for free. During his tenure at BYU, Professor Nemrow volunteered his time, allocating 100% of his salary to be reinvested into the school’s endowment fund. This website is an extension of the idea that accounting is the “language of business” and it is applicable to everyone, not just those who choose a career in the financial field. In order to be an informed consumer, it is important to know accounting and finance basics.