Bookkeeping Essentials Certificate

Overview of Bookkeeping Essentials

This non-credit Bookkeeping Essentials Certificate 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 entirely 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 Certificate 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 non-credit program is appropriate for individuals who want to sharpen their understanding of the basics of bookkeeping terminology, procedures, and processes.


Cost for completing the three-course program: $1,650. 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.

Bookkeeping Course Descriptions

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

Understanding Debits & Credits (ACCTG 5250)

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)

  • Dates: June 3, 2024 - June 30, 2024
  • Delivery/Time: Online - asynchronous via Canvas with two Zoom sessions: June 3 and June 17 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $550


General Ledger & Month‑End Procedures (ACCTG 5251)

In this course, you will learn how to post journal entries to the correct general ledger accounts impacted by each transaction. This course will show you how to make sure your general ledger balances at the end of each month by preparing an unadjusted trial balance. You will learn how to look for errors when you don't balance, and how to determine correcting entries.  After posting correcting entries and/or adjusting entries, you will verify debits and credits equal with an adjusted trial balance. This course also teaches the stops of performing monthly bank reconciliations. (16 hours)

  • Dates: July 1 through July 28, 2024
  • Delivery/Time: Online - Asynchronous via Canvas with two Zoom sessions: July 1 and July 15 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $550


Closing Procedures & Financial Statements (ACCTG 5252)

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

  • Dates: July 29, 2024 through August 25, 2024
  • Delivery/Time: Online - asynchronous via Canvas with two Zoom sessions: July 29 and August 12 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $550


Note: The University reserves the right to cancel courses due to insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances.