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Introduction to Accounting and the Accounting System

Learn the essentials of accounting to develop practical skills and knowledge to use in the workplace or for your own business.

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 4
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Explore basic business documents to understand accounting fundamentals

Accounting is vital for any business. It helps you keep an accurate record of all financial transactions to understand how the organisation is performing.

On this four-week course, you’ll gain an introduction to the fundamentals of accounting. You’ll explore all basic business documents, transactions, and learn how to record them in ledger accounts.

You’ll also learn to identify types of business entities and the differences in expenditure to ensure you understand the key components of accounting.

Learn how to do double-entry bookkeeping

You’ll be introduced to double-entry bookkeeping – a globally-recognised method of accounting for financial transactions.

From underlying concepts to applications of the rules, you’ll gain a solid understanding of double-entry bookkeeping and how you can start using it in practice.

Understand how to prepare a trial balance and financial statement

Delving into the accounting process, you’ll learn how to understand business transactions, record them in ledger accounts, and prepare a trial balance and financial statements.

This knowledge will also help you understand the difference between management and financial accounts, and the purpose each serves.

Guided by the specialists at Kaplan, you’ll finish the course with a sound understanding of accounting and the accounting system, and how you can use this knowledge in your context.


  • Week 1

    Introduction to accounting

    • Welcome

      This is an introduction to the first of four courses which make up the Complete Practical Bookkeeping ExpertTrack.

    • The fundamentals of business, accounting and the financial statements

      This activity will talk you through some vital information which will help improve your understanding of business, accounting, financial statements. The rest of the course will build on this fundamental knowledge.

    • Accounting systems - business transactions & documents

      The purpose of accounting is to record and classify transactions. Let's look at the need for these to be recorded in a comprehensive way and which documents relate to which type of transaction.

    • Accounting systems - books of prime entry

      This activity will explain the purpose and content of the books of prime entry and also where they fit in, in the overall accounting process.

  • Week 2

    Accounting for transactions - basic principles

    • Welcome

      Welcome to Week 2 of the course where we will look at double entry bookkeeping.

    • Introduction to double entry bookkeeping

      This activity will introduce the concept of double entry bookkeeping.

  • Week 3

    Ledger accounting and double entry bookkeeping

    • Welcome

      Welcome to Week 3 of the course where we will look at ledger accounting and double entry bookkeeping.

    • Ledger accounting

      This activity will introduce the idea of maintaining ledgers as part of the accounting system.

  • Week 4

    Ledger accounts to the financial statements

    • Welcome

      This step welcomes everyone to the new week where we will complete the process of creating a set of financial statements.

    • Ledger accounting - balancing off the ledger accounts

      This activity walks through the process of closing off a ledger to extract final balances for each account.

    • Preparing a trial balance

      This activity walks through the process of preparing a trial balance from ledger accounts.

    • Preparing the financial statements

      This activity will cover preparing a set of financial statements.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Compare the different types of organisations and how each type operates.
  • Compare the different types of accounts a business will produce.
  • Identify different documents, how they relate to various transactions and understand the information contained within.
  • Discuss the theory behind and use double entry bookkeeping.
  • Demonstrate double entry bookkeeping by applying it to practical examples.
  • Calculate the profit or loss that a business might make in the year.
  • Define common terms used in accounting including capital income, capital expense, revenue income and revenue expense.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone wanting to learn the basics of accounting and double-entry bookkeeping.

You could be studying at college or university and would like some help with these topics or you may have gained double-entry bookkeeping knowledge years ago and want to use this course as a way to brush up on your skills.

This course will also be useful if you would like to learn how to maintain accounting records for a small business, starting with the very basics. You may also be interested in pursuing a career in accounting or business, or you already work in an accounts department.

Who developed the course?


Kaplan UK is a leading international provider of educational and career services. Building on a rich heritage of more than 50 years of training accountants and financial professionals, Kaplan UK serves more than 48,000 students a year, both based in the UK and from overseas, who train for AAT, CIMA, ACCA and ICAEW qualifications.

  • Established

  • Location

    London, UK

About this ExpertTrack

Gain vital bookkeeping know-how and skills to use in any business venture with this practical approach to managing finances.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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