Accounting for Everyone Week 1

WELCOME

Thanks so much for joining the Accounting for Everyone Bookkeeping course.

Welcome to the first lesson. This lesson is fairly short on purpose as we do not want to overwhelm anyone. Let’s get going…

Accounts

Everything is an account! It is the single most important thing to understand in accounting. Forget categoriessub-categoriesclasses and any of the other terms you may have heard. Later you will understand why, but for now it is enough to know that we have already simplified double-entry accounting: Everything is an Account. Period.

So, what exactly is an account? It is a way of tracking money. Examples we all know are bank accounts, credit card accounts, deposit accounts etc. If a business has a fleet of vehicles they will almost certainly open a diesel or petrol account at their local garage. But for the rest of us, we rarely think of an expense like ‘petrol’ as an ‘account’. But that’s the point. In the world of accounting, everything is an account, whether it is a bank, petrol, sales, loan, VAT, depreciation, stationery, telephone, rent, profit and loss etc. They are all accounts.

The second most important thing to understand is that there are no special accounts. Every account does the same thing. It records the flow of money. There are conventions for naming accounts, for example, accumulated depreciation account (enough to put anyone off!), but once you understand that all accounts are the same, it will really help you get your head around the subject. To summarize:

  • Accounts track the flow of money
  • Accounts have a meaningful name
  • Accounts have a balance (which shows how much we have, how much we owe, how much we have spent, how much we have earned etc.)

So, what do we do with these accounts? First we need a place to show them. And that place is called the Chart of Accounts. It is a list of all the accounts used in a business. A list of accounts is great, but it also needs some structure so it makes a little more sense.

Accounts Structure

The most basic structure of a set of accounts is to group them into assets and liabilities. But before we explore what that means, here is a vital lesson on business: Always remember that there is ‘business’ and there is also the ‘owner of the business’. They are separate entities. There is you, and there is your business. If you become (or are) a bookkeeper or an accountant, the separation is exactly the same: You and your bookkeeping/accounting business. There are 2 reasons you need to understand this:

  1. (the first reason is a digression, but an important one) If you understand this concept, you can make better business decisions. You can look upon your business as something separate and remove the ‘personal’ side of it. This is a good thing to do. We are not talking about important issues such as customer service here, we are talking about being able to decide whether an investment in the business is good or not for the business. For example, a member of staff is causing issues. If you take it personally, you may not want to deal with it because you like the person. If you understand it is a decision for the good of the business and not yourself, you will almost certainly do the right thing. So what exactly has that got to do with accounting?…
  2. Accounts are split into groups. The basic groups are assets and liabilities:
  • Assets are things the business owns (e.g. a vehicle, premises, computer and other equipment).
  • Liabilities are things the business owes (e.g. loans, overdrafts, tax). The emphasis here is on the business.

Now, the important bit. The business also owes the owner of the business something. This is called Equity. If you want to see what the business is worth to its owner, look at the equity in the business.

OK. How do we show these groups? The most common way to see them is to look at a balance sheet. And what exactly is a balance sheet? It is a list of accounts split into groups, the most basic of which may consist of Assets, Liabilities and Equity.

Summary

We know that the core element of any bookkeeping/accounting system is an account. We know all accounts are the same (there are no special cases). We know all accounts record the flow of money. We know we need to structure these accounts into groups to represent what the business owns and what it owes.

Tasks

There are 2 important things to note about an account:

  1. Its name
  2. Where it is placed in the account structure

Task 1: Write out a list of accounts. They can be of any type you like, bank, sales, expense. What matters is the name. Give them a name that exactly matches what it is they do. For example, ‘Bank’. As soon as you see the word ‘bank’ you know what it does. In the real world, you may name it after your actual bank (e.g. HSBC or Barclays). Another example is Consultancy Work. Does that mean money you have received from consulting work you have done, or is it an expense for consulting work you have had done for you? Try renaming it  Consultancy Sales. It’s all in the name! Hint: if you are already in business, just look at all the things that either cost you money, that you receive money for doing, where you store your money or where you get money from. These are your accounts.

Task 2: Structure your accounts into Assets and Liabilities (forget Equity for the moment, equity is just another liability of the business).

Next Week

  • Task answers and explanation
  • How does the Equity group fit into all this?
  • More on structuring accounts

If you liked this first part of my course, please share it by clicking on the links below. Help a friend. Thank you.

NOTE: If you have NOT registered, please Go Here. If you HAVE registered please see your email for your login details.

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Accounting for Everyone Week 1 4.91/5 per 22 votes
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    388 thoughts on “Accounting for Everyone Week 1

    1. Frances Anderson

      Thank you for this course I need it to brush up on my accounting skills. When you forget the basic you forget the most important part.

      Reply
    2. Nicola Cocks

      Hi, I am currently working in a school as Acting Bursar and even though I have a strong finance background I do need to brush up my book keeping skills, I am so glad I came across this course as I feel this will help me immensely and also help boost my confidence in the long run.

      Many thanks

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Welcome Nicola. It will definitely give you that. Knowing how accounting works is a pretty rare skill these days as most now rely on computers (and get totally stuck when something unusual pops up).

        Reply
    3. Susan

      I’m really glad there is a course structure like this online – - I’m looking forward to learning and getting to work in the next 12 weeks. Will there be a certification given at the end of the 12 weeks?

      Thanks!
      Susan

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Great stuff Susan, great to have you here. The certification option is part of the Fast Track. See how you get on, then you can choose whether to take it or not.

        Reply
    4. Myra Mendoza

      Hi! Looking forward to finish the whole 12 week course to hopefully refresh my knowledge in accounting and learn new or different terms e.g. From where I studied accounting, we used Capital instead of Equity. I really wanted to go back in this career but don’t know where to start. I suppose I have to start from the beginning as it was more than 19 years ago and from a different country. So, thank you for this free course. Cheers!!! :)

      Reply
    5. Min Xie

      hello,I studied ACCA -Association of certified chartered accounting 6 years ago in Ireland and came to Canada after. couldn’t find same rate pay here so I left the career. I didn’t really study keepkeeping or payroll at all but I figure out it is not difficult to do it base on qualification,now I am bookkeeping my husband restaurant from last 2 and half years with excel sheet only without anybody help, except for search from google. I love the way you teach online and I will take few more weeks courses before I decide whether I will go for fast track. am I able to change by the end of course? do you have some payroll course too?

      Reply
    6. Michelle Hill

      HI I really enjoyed the first lesson,
      Can I confirm that I can switch to the fast tracked course if I wish.
      Also this is a new area for me and I was thinking , do you do other courses that continue on from this one to enable us to become fully qualified bookkeepers etc.

      Sorry about the questions
      Many thanks

      Michelle

      Reply
        1. Michelle Hill

          Many thanks for your reply,
          I can confirm I have now gone down the fast tract route and am now hooked, this course is great.
          thank you also for the link I shall have a look at that.
          I am really enjoying this course,
          thank you
          Michelle

          Reply
    7. Edward Marteye

      First of all, thanks for introducing this System. I did Accounting far back in 1975 in which I took RSA (Royal Society of Arts) Stages 1 & 2 Bookkeeping and Accounting, but unfortunately never work with it. I’m at the moment a Truck Driver which involve a lot of physical. And due my age I wonder how long I’m going to hang in there, and therefore, need something to backup in case I’ve a change of profession. Once again I say thanks.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Thank you so much Edward. You can’t go wrong with a bookkeeping career. More and more people are becoming self-employed globally (UK went from 3.7 million businesses in 2010 to around 4.8 million today (2014), so there will never be a shortage of work.

        Reply
        1. Kenneth

          Thank you for wanting to teach me about bookkeeping/accounting. I really do have a genuine love for accounting, and trying to seek a career in accounting. Right now I’m a college student majoring Business Administration starting out on my associates degree. As you can see, I’m moving in the right direction at this point. I do hope to get something out of your course.
          Again, Thanks.
          Kenneth A Rawls Jr.

          Reply
    8. Charlene Dowbekin

      Hi Quentin
      I’ve just started this course I’m a stay at home mum with 3 boys 3 and under and want to get a career under my belt before the youngest (23weeks) is in school (so I have a while yet) this is going to sound like a dumb question but I want to make sure I have the correct understand for task 1, I have the understanding that everything that either costs or pays is an account ie: groceries, nursery fees, rent, electric, work(wages) am I on the right line of understanding?
      Many thanks

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Charlene, YES you are. That is exactly it. How detailed you go is your choice. For example most small businesses have an account named ‘Stationery’ that records all of their office sundries (eg. paper, pens, printer ink, envelopes etc.) or you could have all of them as separate accounts (far more work, but a clearer understanding of costs). The golden rule is keep it simple. Congratulations on taking this first step.

        Reply
    9. Rose

      Hi Quentin -

      I have been working as a bookkeeper for the last 6 years; I am taking your course now because I just want to make sure I’m not missing something, somewhere. I suppose I’m doing it more as an edification that I DO actually know what I’m doing and because I’m tired of losing jobs because I’m not a CPA (yet.)

      In short, I’m doing this because #1) I want to go step by step, #2) I want to use it as a ‘refresher’ course, and #3) I want to learn!

      Thank you for offering this course. What happens if I want to go from free to option #3? Can I change horses in the middle of the stream easily? Please let me know.

      Thank you again,

      Rose

      Reply
    10. Quentin Pain Post author

      Welcome Merry. You sent me a question by email, which I replied to, but your email service is not accepting replies, so I will post your question here for others to read:

      Q: I buy fabric for my sewing business, but I am wondering if fabric is really an asset?

      A: Yes it is. The business owns it and that is the acid test. We cover how to account for stock that you buy later on in the course.

      Reply
    11. Ricardo

      Muchas gracias por compartir sus conocimientos y experiencia, me siento muy feliz de haber encontrado su curso. Reciba un saludo desde Venezuela. Sur América.

      Reply
    12. Felicity Dunn

      Very Interesting. I am enjoying starting to learn about this but im not sure about how to do the task.. I dont suppose there is someone who can point me in the right direction? Do we just need the names of the accounts, or the actual lists.
      for example: for ‘Bank’ would the account be the bank statements? or everything that appears on the statements?
      Can you tell i have NEVER done this before haha :)
      Thanks in advance if someone can help xXx

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hey Felicity, welcome on board. Your question is a good one. The first task is just a list of account names. It is a list of labels of things you want to track. So ‘Bank’ is good. We get into transactions very shortly :)

        Reply
    13. Darlene Van Meter

      I have done some sort of bookkeeping for years at the various jobs I have held, and have used a few different software programs. It has been a long, long time since I took a basic accounting class in school, and I really want to have a working knowledge of what current bookkeeping software is doing, so that I can really be able to confirm the reports. All the calculations are no longer with paper and pencil, yet I do not like to just assume that the program is correct. Although, this is not a software class, per se, I will learn things that I have either forgotten or never really knew. And I will be able to understand what the reports are saying, and correct any errors. Thanks so much for this information.

      Reply
    14. Fiona

      I’ve just started working from home and I’m struggling to get my head around the bookkeeping I need to do. I’ve a young son so not a lot of time each week to spend learning a new skill on top of trying to keep the business going. I thought I had it worked out but then realised half the information I’d need for a tax return was missing from my files. I’m really hoping this course helps.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Fiona, this course will absolutely help you. I struggled to understand the concepts for years. It’s why I wrote the original book back in 1998. Nothing existed that explained this in simple terms. So I dug really deep into the concepts and figured out the logic. It was some kind of weird labour of love really, since at heart I am more of a musician than an accountant!

        Reply
    15. Patricia Krahn

      Thank you for this free information. I have actually done bookkeeping in an accountants office a few years ago, but I moved. I am now at a point in my life where I need to supplement my single income and have decided to do Freelance Bookkeeping in the evenings and on weekends. I am over half way through the Accounting/Bookkeeping Course with ICS Learning (on line/at home). I just need a little more confidence to get started. I am currently an Administrative Assistant (doing mainly accounts receivables and posting accounts payables. I think this is the just boost to give me more confidence as I know once I get that first job I will feel great. I know I can do the work. Right now I am only comfortable doing the A/R, A/P, Bank Recs and GST here in Alberta. I am able to print out and read the reports from Simply/Sage Accounting also. Thank you again. I know I will benefit. Trish

      Reply
    16. Albert K. Leabah

      Thank very much. your course is easy to understand and I am very glad that i have started.

      Reply
    17. Candace

      What…? How in the world is the wealth of knowledge free? I just completed week one in about 20min. I’m excited, focused, adrenaline is rushed, BUT I’m still wating for the catch.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Welcome Candace. There is no catch. If you want to access everything in one go and download the E-book, then there is a paid option. The choice is yours though.

        Reply
    18. Lynne Shepherd

      Hi

      I love how this is so easy to understand. I work in an accounts office but really wanted to refresh my knowledge and so far this has been great, can’t wait for the second part.

      Reply
    19. Kelly

      I have just finished the first week of the course and feel great to beable to get new skills to help run our family business cant wait for week 2

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Mohamed, thanks for your comment. Yes there is a paid version that includes the course book so you can get it all now. See the SPECIAL OFFER button on the top right.

        Reply
    20. NGOSSAN

      It really very good .It looks like i was face to face a teacher. It’s well explain and simple to understand.
      I will recommend to someone.
      Well done.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Yes it is Helena. There is also a paid option where you can access everything in one go and get a copy of the course book. But it’s not necessary. It’s there for people who want to fast track through this.

        Reply
    21. Jodi

      Thank you for this course. It was just what I was looking for since I am the new bookkeeper for my husband’s lawn care business and I had no idea how to keep books :)

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Willy Alim, the course is delivered every 7 days for 12 weeks. So the link should arrive in your email inbox exactly 7 days after you registered. Check your spam folder if you don’t see it the first time.

        Reply
    22. Willy Alim

      Thankyou so so much that you give me the opportunity to join your free bookeeping/accounting courses, since I was laid off collectively and intend to open my own business. I am gratefull that there is still a good man like you. God bless you and your family. Bye

      Reply
    23. Sharon

      I have taken several bookkeeping courses and so far you have explained in simple terms anyone can understand. I am looking forward to the next task.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        You will certainly be well prepared to understand the subject Alison. Gaining experience with real businesses is the next step, so look for jobs that include training and perhaps the possibility of gaining certification from established bookkeeping or accounting institutions.

        Reply
    24. peter

      hi

      am up to week 6 and starting to struggle!!

      shouldn’t the Trial Balance on page 78 ( download) be positioned after Servicing on page 79 ?

      didn’t seem to follow the format of the previous exercise ….

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Peter, the TB is just there to help you see the balances taken directly from the 5 transactions and ignoring the bank, which is what you will be working out as you do the tasks. It only exists in the book versions of the course to make it a little easier. Apologies if it confused. Keep going. You are doing great to get to this point.

        Reply
    25. Sheli Rising

      I enjoyed the first part of your course. I have taken bookkeeping through a 10 month schooling program and graduated with honours, but that was quite some time ago. I have been working in accounting departments for quite some time, so I understand the concepts of bookkeeping, but I have been out of work for the past three years and I really need a “refresher” on things. Your course is very straight forward and easy to understand. I am looking forward to continuing, and maybe doing my own bookkeeping business someday…… Sheli

      Reply
    26. henri

      Are we going to be sent lesson two in the second week or it is already on the website. cause i checked and didnt see any lesson two on the website. this was very helpful. Im planning on starting a business and this will help me alot

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Henri, the lessons are sent out exactly one week from the previous one, so you should get an email shortly.

        Reply
    27. Emma

      Hi, I have recently become disabled and have mobility problems, I have just recently had to leave work through ill health. I am not someone who can just sit about not doing anything. my husband has his own window fitting business and i do his book keeping and send them off to an account each year.
      I am very interested in getting some knowledge and qualifications so I would be able to do all this work myself and in the long term become a qualified book keeper or account.
      I am hopeing that your 12 weeks course will give me an insite into this.
      Thanks Emma

      Reply
    28. Tom B-B

      A nice easy step into accounts thank you I look forward to the next instalment.
      I have no doubt it ill get too difficult lol but I will have a go

      Tom BB

      Reply
    29. Mihaela

      hello i just want to ask after i finished the course, will i take some certificate that i’m finish this course thank you

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Mihaela, we are working on certification. There will be a small cost, but it should be available soon.

        Reply
    30. Mandy Archer

      I want to thank you for this opportunity , currently I’m looking at starting my BA in accounting but this will be an excellent tool to get me started.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        That’s great to hear Mandy. My course will help you a great deal. Welcome and please tell your friends about it.

        Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        The only certificate worth having is one from a recognised organisation such as the IAB or ICB James.

        Reply
    31. James

      Can any one direct me to any website which offers free bookkeeping courses with a certificate.

      Nice work on this website

      Reply
    32. Abdinoor Ali Khansoy

      I am 53 years of age and wish to conduct my own business but before starting the occupation I decided to attend an accountancy course. In my first lesson I have learnt the real meanings of Assets,Liabilities and Equity . Well, it is brilliant course from your free accountancy institution. I am gratefull and anyone shall appreciate the free bookkeeping.

      Regards
      Abdinoor

      Reply
    33. Ahmad Sanders

      HI My name is Ahmad Sanders.
      I just signed up for your course. Im so excited about and would like to move up at my job. Once im done taking this course, do i still need a accounting degree to get a job? or could i get certified by taking a class after your course to become certified?

      Thanks

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Ahmad, thank you for taking the course. It all depends where you practice. In the UK you do not need anything to be a bookkeeper other than registering under the Money Laundering act with HMRC as a bookkeeper. You also need to register yourself with them as a business too. But you can also get certification from a number of different organisations including the IAB and ICB both of which are dedicated bookkeeping organisations.

        Reply
    34. Karl Van Gool

      Tahk you so much for sharing your experteese with us, although I am helping somewone with there books I am certanly looking forward to this course.
      I am disabled but find it hard to find work, therefore if I get on with this I may pay out and take a paid courser so I can start up on my own? If that is possible?
      Thank you again.
      respectfully
      Karl.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Yes that is perfectly possible Karl. Take a look at my mini course on starting a bookkeeping business in the side panel on the right. It should help you quite a bit.

        Reply
    35. Ray Hewett

      I already have Home Accountz. Will that be adequate to use with the 12 week course rather than installing the Business Accountz 90 day trial?

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Ray, yes absolutely. You won’t be able to do the VAT, but you will be able to do most other things. Glad to have you here.

        Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Maggie, use this course to help pass your exams on the courses offered by organisations such as the IAB who do issue certificates.

        Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Craig, exactly 1 week after you sign up for the course. Check your email spam folder if you don’t see it. Make sure you white list my email address [email protected] so you don’t miss any weeks.

        Reply
    36. michael warren

      very helpful, trying to sort out the accounts and books of a friend who has started up in business, course will be helpfull

      Reply
    37. Marie-Brigitte Souci

      Dear Mr Pain,

      Thank you for the free offer. I apologise for not responding promptly to your correspondence.

      I am engaged in the course to refresh and glean some elements for my own business.
      Again thank you for your generosity and sharing your knowledge which I find extremely easy to follow.

      Yours sincerely,

      Marie-Brigitte Souci
      @ HBOS – Executive Administrative Consultant

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Raquel, no, this course is not certificated. It is there to help you understand the logic of double-entry bookkeeping so that you are better prepared should you wish to become a certified or chartered bookkeeper or accountant.

        Reply
    38. Oliver Lugtu

      yes! it so nice to have a free online lesson like this, thank you for extending your hand helping people specially for those less fortunate and cant afford to learn in school.

      but after reading the intruduction or the first part, it so confusing on how to proceed on the next step lesson theres no any instruction, sorry for asking because this my first time doing an online lesson like this. thank you and god bless.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Oliver, you will get an email with the week 2 password exactly 7 days after week 1, and so on. Thank you for joining.

        Reply
    39. Savvy Lady

      Quentin: Honestly my dear, YOU are a life saver!
      Last year I had a whole module in my Office Admin college course on Bookkeeping – I was lost! My textbooks over-complicated everything, and I’m not so sure my instructor could explain much better.
      My biggest struggle was understanding ‘assets and liabilities’.
      Within a few minutes of reading your material – I GET IT!
      I love how you keep it simple – no technical jargon.
      Thank you and I look forward to next week :0)

      Reply
    40. LaShawn

      It’s truly a pleasure to have a resource such as this offered for free. The matter of fact and common sense approach, after just one lesson, has been a God send.
      Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Constantinos, there is no certificate associated with this course at the moment. The course will help you complete any other certificated course though by showing you the logic of bookkeeping. So think of this as a way to speed up your learning and understanding of double-entry bookkeeping. You will find it extremely valuable.

        Reply
    41. Gary Fillary

      i have been making it up as i go along, but now i have started this course things should start to make sense to me and our accountant

      Reply
    42. stella lehola

      I have now finish reading wk1 and I understand the difference between what business owns and owes so far so good starting again reading wk2.

      Thank you again.

      Stella

      Reply
    43. Denise Oakley

      I am in business and have struggled with my accounts for 3 years. I am doing the course to hopefully make it easier. Lesson 1 was easy to understand and I have learned something that I hadnt grasped before! So I am I hopeful that by the completion of the course I will be able to complete my Tax return much easier. Thanks for the free course X

      Reply
    44. Oscar Gutierrez

      My first time studying online, I am 68 and I find this course easy to learn so far, I can”t wait for the next lesson, I love it.

      Reply
    45. Sithembiso Mataba

      The course is very good and gives one basic grasp of bookkeeping. i cant wait for my next course. I hope I will get a certificate to prove I have done it.

      Reply
    46. Mary

      Very self explanatory. Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to learn bookkeeping as I’m starting a new job, school’s bookkeeper.

      Reply
    47. Gary

      Being a sole trader was a relative doddle – being a small Ltd Co is painful… as is my accountant. This course contents cover what I was asking him for help with – the foot dragging to get anything like this sort of clarity and information has been frustrating, to say the least. But for Week 1 – so far, so good…. I think. :)

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Well done Gary. By the time you finish you will have a very deep grasp of what bookkeeping actually is, and that will help you get clarity from your accountant as you will be able to ask the right questions.

        Reply
    48. stella lehola

      thank you for my first lesson I will be reading it again I now know the different terminology.

      stella

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Thank you Stella. Bookkeeping is fairly simple, once you know how it works, and that is what you are going to learn here :)

        Reply
    49. mumtazulhaq

      I have done a city and guilds bookeeping and accounts course and i am going to sit for aat level three in september this on line course is really helpful for me keep it up once i pass do i get a certificate or not kindly advise by email
      Many thanks
      M Haq

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Mumtaz, there is no certificate at present although we are looking into this. What you will get is a very good grounding in bookkeeping and accounting. Thanks for joining the course.

        Reply
    50. tammy

      I know nothing of bookkeeping. I’ve done the 1st and 2nd task and find it easy to work with. Looking forward to doing this course.I really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

      Reply
    51. Wendy

      I’ve always been very unsure about accounting and have believed that its something that I should leave to others who can understand that sort of thing. Now I’m realising there’s hope for me yet! Thank you.

      Reply
    52. Kym E

      I’ve taken accounting before, but have been in need of a refresher. This course seems a lot simpler than when it was explained to me in college. Thanks for offering it for free.

      Reply
    53. Akoya

      This first lesson was very easy to understand and follow through with. I look forward to next week.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Nazma, thanks for joining my course. Please place your question here and I will get to it.

        Reply
    54. Ashwani Chadha

      I will react with two words. “So simple” I have been trying to understand and go for education in Accounting. Hitherto, I could never gain confidence. Now, after reading your introductory chapter on the concepts of accounting, I am fully confident that I will be able to understand bookkeeping and accounting. Acknowledge my thanks conveyed from the core of my heart.

      Reply
    55. Danette Coke

      Hi There
      First lesson so clearly explained and easily understood – great that a course like this is available! Keep up the good work

      Reply
    56. Jo Ann

      Our bookkeeper left and I’m going to be handling that side of our business. I’m so grateful that I found your site and looking forward to the lessons that follow.

      Thank you so very much

      Reply
    57. Kim Jackson

      I couldn’t believe how quick and easy the first week of the course was looking forward to week 2 .Thanku

      Reply
    58. Willie Green

      New to bookkeeping so looking for simple understandable introduction. Good start and good explanations.

      Reply
    59. Charlie

      Hi there,
      Just to clarify, things you ‘do’ to earn money, like cleaning or something, are they classified as assets? Or does assets literally only refer to material ownership?

      Thanks :)

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Welcome to the course Charlie. Assets are mostly ‘material’ things. When you ‘do’ something to earn money you are trading your time for money. Your time = income. Money = assets. Keep going with the course, all will be revealed.

        Reply
    60. Brian Harris

      Hi Quentin,
      I have never done book keeping in my life before, and want to learn as I am planning on setting up my own Business shortly and will obviously need to keep books for the tax man etc. So your course is going to be really useful to me. I have found Part 1 extremely helpful and easy to understand. Looking forward to part two.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Great stuff Brian. Starting your own business is an amazing thing to do. All you need is persistence (a good product and understanding your customers is also pretty important too).

        Reply
    61. Carol Perry

      I have just requested to join your course but your email went into my junk box before I realised and it was deleted, could you please resend it and this time I will be more careful. Carol

      Reply
    62. Graham

      This is great, I actually feel for the first time that I have read something about accounts and firstly not been bored rigid by it and secondly understood it. Thank you, I can’t wait for the second lesson.

      Reply
    63. Christopher Holmes

      Quentin: I like how you explain how everything is an account just difference in names explain the account type, but all are the same. Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Christopher, yes, understanding that everything is an account is simple but so important, and I know it gives people the confidence to explore further.

        Reply
    64. cynthiacrawford

      Good Morning, Quentin Pain,The vital lesson learned about busines as a separate entity was qualitative.:)

      Reply
    65. Syeda

      I’ve recently started a business, but have been really bad at keeping any account records and was dreading having to pay thousands to an accountant to sort it out for me (I can;t afford to at this stage anyway!). Hopefully with this course, I can be more confident in doing it myself. It was a great first week intro.
      I’m curious to know, is there even more in the book than will be online?

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Syeda, the book adds answer grids to make it easier to complete each section. It also includes the answers as screenshots from Business Accountz if that software were used to complete the course.

        Reply
    66. Sherri

      Hi Quentin, I read through Week 1 and I was pleased it confirmed what little knowledge I already know about Bookkeeping. Very simple, but definitely to the point, which I like. I’m looking forward to Week 2. Thank you for offering this free course to increase my knowledge as a beginner.

      Reply
    67. Misgana

      Dear Quentin,thank you very much for replied me Promptly. Everything is sorted now. I can’t thank you enough for providing us the free 12 weeks bookkeeping course. God bless you. I read week one and I’m looking forward to week two. Many thanks.

      Reply
    68. Neil Wightman

      Thanks for showing me yet another way to understand the basic concepts of bookkeeping, I am looking to the next lesson.

      Reply
    69. Lana

      Good day, Quentin. Thank you for explaining it so easy yet thoroughly. I remember when I did accounting in school, even though I was an A+ student I always thought they made it boring and too complicated than it actually was.

      Reply
    70. Jd

      Just read through the first lesson.You have a good way of putting things over. I have done bookkeeping many years a go and many tutors were poor in putting the subject over.

      Reply
    71. Nicholas Beia

      Today I’ll read (Accounting for Everyone Week 1) and will say my comment as soon as I completing it. first of all I am just an intermediate english learner and I’m so thankful for your free online bookkeeping that I am now currently studying. Truly have no money and no sponsorship at this time so I’m searching for some kind of educational free online courses that suit my capacity. Thanks for your online bookkeeping course.
      I’ll be touch.
      Nicholas Beia.

      Reply
    72. Carol

      Hi, I am enjoying week 1. I do not have a business so cannot write up the task for this week. I am looking to go into bookkeeping as a career and am pleased that I have found your website as hoping it will help me to further my career. Should I do a pretend list for my task?

      Reply
    73. Mabel

      Thank you so very much I have done Bookkeeping courses twice before with the home learning programmes and didn’t finish them bkoz I didn’t understand, but with yours it’s so simple judging from this. I am going to finish my course this time and thank you so much. God bless you.

      Reply
    74. Lynette

      Thank you, This is most informative and to the point. I am going to enjoy the rest of the course, I just know it.

      Reply
    75. Chloe Barnes

      Great stuff- I am sure this is just what most people are looking for.
      Bookkeeping can be a daunting task but you have made it a really interesting read.
      I can’t wait for next week!

      Reply
    76. PK Typing Services

      Great thanks, looking forward to the next one. I do all my own accounts and ask an accountant to do the tax return, I am doing everything correct up to now so exciting to see what is next in store. Thank you :)

      Reply
    77. heidi

      loved this as it opened my mind up and also made me make my mind up thats this is the career i want to take can’t wait to find out if i do actually have a understanding of this already or is it all in my mind

      Reply
    78. Geraldine Richardson

      Awesome. I think that I am really going to learn something this time. I’ve took accounting but got lost in the shuffle. First week great. I am looking forward to next week. Thanks.

      Reply
    79. Nonna

      This is simple explanation of accounts. I’m happy to finding your course.
      Thanks! I looking forward to Week 2.

      Reply
    80. Jane

      Thanks everso much for this. I have never done bookeeping before but this is a nice, simple way of explaining it. I have got caught up in so many scams recently and lost so much money trying to work from home that it’s refreshing to find someone who is actually genuine!

      Thanks again and i’ll be in touch should there be anything I don’t understand.

      Jane

      Reply
    81. Emma

      I’ve been working in bookkeeping, self taught, for many many years, and never quite got the picture, but now, thanks to this, the mist is clearing, thank god you had the insight to strip away all the fancy wording, it’s like deciphering a code for me… looking forward to the next one :)

      Reply
    82. Nicky

      The lesson was very straight forward and easy to understand, look forward to next week. Doing college course and struggling hope this course will help me understand college course better.

      Reply
    83. Ana

      Dear Quentin
      congratulations for such a good job, i was reading the very first lesson and the way it is explained, it sounds easy to follow, even logical. I am happy to have found your course online and i really looking forward to receiving the next lesson.

      Reply
    84. Jilly

      I am really afraid of accounting but being a secretary decided to try this as a back up, I understand the first lesson really well, explanatory and simple. I just hope that the rest is as easy. I think once a week is too little, I will forget all about the first lesson by next week.

      ^^j^^

      Reply
    85. Trevor Jones

      Aaah,What a refreshing change! Plain,understandable language at last. Enjoying myself already..thanks!

      Reply
    86. Bruce

      I am at ease with what is to come in my college courses. Your definitions honestly put aspects of the course into easy to understand perspectives for me. Looking forward to the next lecture. Thank You! Bruce.

      Reply
    87. marjan

      thank you for 1st lesson, you’ve made it sounds interesting, I’ve found it very logical & easy to follow. looking forward to 2nd lesson.

      Reply
    88. Emma Jackson

      First impressions good! Easy to follow and straight to the point, very encouraging! Thank you

      Reply
    89. Amanda

      being more of a arty person i thought i would be bitting off more than i can chew …. but well so far so good, looking forward to next week!

      Reply
    90. Avril

      Thank you Quentin
      It is easy to follow and so far simple to understand
      I like the idea of homework as it helps to reinforce the points you have made. Hoping I can stay on track with next week’s lesson
      x

      Reply
    91. Harry

      Thanks Quentin
      The way you presented using simple words that explains the lesson is very enjoyable I’ve just went through the 1st lesson even it was a bit short, but it was very helpful looking forward to receive future lesson.
      Thanks again it’s much appreciated

      Reply
    92. Delphine

      Really simple and interesting course. I am doing a sandwich course in france to become a good accountant but i want to be better at what i am doing, the problem it’s time and explanation. I know accountancy in france but not so much in uk (i always lived and studied in france). I know the difference between an accountant and a bookeeper (i thing it’s not explained here or i missed it…) but in france we use the same word for these two different “activities”. As i am working in a big company, i am wondering if an international chart of account can be created and be used for everybody.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Delphine, yes it is perfectly possible to create an international chart of accounts, but a set of accounts should be created for businesses on an individual basis so they can track and manage the things that are important to their business. Some general chart would carry far too many accounts and is likely to cause confusion to a bookkeeper.

        Reply
    93. janny

      Love the way you simplify things. I borrowed a guide to accounting book and the first few chapters confused the heck out of me. Needless to say I didn’t finish reading it. Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Cheers Janny :) I found the same thing and that’s exactly why I created this course. Really glad you appreciate it.

        Reply
    94. Mark Allan

      Very basic and simple and very short. Terms i have heard before but the explinations where good and brought the terms into “the real world”. With some admin background i have found the begining to easy but hopefully it will become harder as the weeks progress.

      Reply
    95. Maria Adams

      Hello Quentin
      You have saved my brain from liquidation!(excuse the pun)I was made redundant in November and have only had 8 weeks temp work inbetween. I’m an accounts clerk,primarily purchase ledger and I’ve been applying for jobs daily, but it’s tough out there,the house is spic and span,but the weather is horrible.
      So I thought I’d brush up on accounts, some of the websites were rubbish but I’m glad to say yours is great and its free and I’m so looking forward to the rest of the course. Bring on the forum

      Reply
    96. Terri Randall

      Thank you so much for this free training. I am starting my own business as a virtual assistant and need a refresher in the area of accounting. It has been a few years since I have had a roll in any area of bookkeeping. I look forward to the next lessons. Thank you again!
      Terri

      Reply
    97. Andrea

      Hi Quentin,
      I am new to accounts and bookkeeping and I have found the first week informative and the tasks easy to do, hope this course helps with doing my partners bookkeeping.
      thanks
      Andrea

      Reply
    98. Tammie

      Hello Quentin,
      Thank you for this lesson. I am in the process of starting a payroll processing company and I am very excited to get this up and running. I know all aspects of payroll and filing and depositing payroll taxes, but I have no accounting knowledge. I would like to add bookkeeping into the services I offer so this is a hugh step to helping gain the knowledge I need to get this up and running. I am also taking accounting course through a school so I can be as successful as possible.

      Thank you again.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Good to hear from you Tammie. This will certainly help you with your course. Hopefully you will be top of the class :)

        Reply
    99. dylan munalula

      Hi quentin,
      This is good stuff,i would rather understand the whole 12 week package than memorise and right now am focused.

      I appreciate accountz just from week 1,it has actually been designed to make me know bookkeeping and practise.I recommend it to all my friends…..Thanks quentin

      Reply
    100. Jessie dsouza

      Hi Quentin,

      This is an excellent course. Because of my tight schedule, I’m able to read the first week’s lesson just today and I’m going to read the second week’s lesson tomorrow.

      Thanks,
      Jessie

      Reply
    101. noel

      Hello Quentin

      It has been a good beginning for me who has no knowledge on what accounting was all about. I hope it will go this way till the end.

      thanks

      Noel.

      Reply
    102. Vahid

      Hi quentin,
      This is fantastic. A week is too long to wait for the next lesson. Is it possible to receive the future lessons any quicker?
      I will recommend this to all my friends.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Vahid, thanks for your comments :) I may produce an Ebook of the whole course at some point. One thing I am definitely doing is starting a forum here. This will cover a number of subjects:

        1) Bookkeeping
        2) Starting and growing a business
        3) Internet marketing (so you can grow your business fast)

        The poll on this site shows the vast majority are in the above categories, so hopefully everyone will find it useful. And the cost of this? well, free of course :)

        Reply
    103. Brian

      Hello Quentin
      Thank you very much for sending accounting for everyone, I use Accountz Home version of your software and wonder if it is advisable for this course if I were to download a trial version of business accounts.
      My work for SSAFA FORCES Help is purely voluntary and I doubt if would be able to afford the full version of the software, this course will prove very beneficial as our local treasurer who is 78 will be retiring shortly, and I will ‘shadow’ him for a while.
      I enjoyed the gentle week one introduction am not sure whether I have to send my answers to you or just keep them on file.
      Kind regards

      Brian CrawfordWilson
      Assistant Divisional Secretary
      SSAFA FORCES HELP – Sedgefield Division
      17 Harebell Meadows
      Woodham Village
      Tel: (01325) 321101
      http://www.sssafa.org.uk

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Brian, a very warm Welcome to you and SSAFA. I am not sure if you meant to post all your contact details here. It not, let me know I will edit it out for you.

        Yes, Home Accountz is very suitable for this course. It is a self-assessment course, so each week you also get the answers to the previous week. If you have any questions, post them here. Shortly I will be opening a dedicated forum on this site, where all the members are free to join in and help each other.

        Reply
    104. Helenne

      Hi there!!
      Thanks for the first week. I am looking forward to the other 11. I have done my AAT course but wanted a refresher course in accounts and this is brill to do that. Thanks

      Reply
    105. wanjiku

      I haven’t got a clue of what accounts is all about, but interested to find out. If it interest me hoping to take up some courses. Introduction seems okay so far, waiting to see what week 2 will bring.

      Reply
    106. lucie

      I found it easy to understand, the only thing is ‘the charts of account’ I can’t seem to find it? If it is possible to print something like that off how would I do it? I’m very much looking forward to next wk.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Thanks Lucie. I have just added a link to the front page that lets you download a 12 week trial of Business Accountz software. It runs on all platforms (eg. WIndows and Mac) and will show you a Chart of Accounts and the structure amongst other things. I will add a link box to the right hand side shortly so you can grab it direct from here.

        Reply
    107. Marie

      Thanks for week 1, nice and simple. I’m trying to make sense of our charity accounts package on Sage (what a headache!) I’ve run off a print out of the ‘Chart of Accounts’ and labelled them assets and liabilities, wonderfully most of them matched the list I’d made as Task 2 (hurrah). However I had listed ‘Bank Account’ as an asset but the Chart of account showed it under ‘Current Liabilities’ (more headache!). Why would it be there or is that week 2? Thanks

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Hi Marie, Many thanks for your lovely comment. The only reason to place a bank account into current liabilities would be if it was generally always overdrawn. The assumption is that for most people the bank will have some money in it, and so will be placed in current assets. When drawing up a balance sheet, the bank can be switched to either side depending on its balance on the day the balance sheet is drawn up.

        Reply
    108. Mohun

      Thanks Pain, I didn’t have any pain to understand. Looking forward for the difference of LIABILITY N EQUITY and how to put them in my account.

      Reply
    109. Gayla

      First week’s course was self-explanatory. Thank you for the opprotunity to start this process. I’m looking forward to next week’s lesson already.

      Reply
    110. Clair

      Thank you very much for week 1. I enjoying reading the information and it got my brain working again! Looking forward to week 2.

      Reply
    111. Roxanne

      I think this is really good, I’m keeping it all to read in the evenings. I am not currently training in accounting. I wanted to take a look at this to decide if I want to spend my money on accounting, and descover if its right for me. So thank you very much.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Thanks Roxanne, Sarah, Katarzyna, Lisa and Monika. Your comments and others on here are truly appreciated.

        Reply
    112. Katarzyna

      Thank you for the course. I like it.Very simple explanatin of Assets, Liabilities and Equity.I can’t wait for week 2

      Reply
    113. Monika

      Very clear, simple and precise explaination of Assets, Liabilities and Equity. Good start! Looking forward for week 2.

      Reply
    114. Smith

      Very good start. Made plain things that had often puzzled me. Looking forward to the next lesson. I have just replaced my desktop PC (Windows XP)with a laptop (Windows 7). I was told that QUICKEN does not work on Windows 7. So I have moved my family accounts from QUICKEN to HOME ACCOUNTZ. I am hoping that this course will support my attempts to keep my family accounts on HOME ACCOUNTZ.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Yes it will certainly help. Home Accountz is aimed at personal finance rather than business, but the principle is the same.

        Reply
    115. KAREN

      ur right week #1 is very short it really makes u understand alot wow i did’t understand until i put things down on paper

      Reply
    116. Rob

      Hi Quentin, I am grateful for the gentle start to the course! My bookkeeping needs are quite small so I hope this course will demystify the subject for me!

      A Merry Xmas and a hopefully more prosperous New Year!!

      Rob

      Reply
    117. Leiana

      Thanks Quentin. I have just finished my papers, and am waiting for my real estate salesperson’s license. The thought of the book keeping involved has been hanging over me like a black cloud, but after receiving Week 1 of your course, I’m feeling much better about it all. I’m looking forward to the rest of the course, and have every confidence that my business will be all the more successful because of it. BTW, Christmas Greetings from Aotearoa (New Zealand); it’s gonna be a hot one!

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Happy Christmas and Holidays to everyone :) Glad you feel more confident Leiana, and greetings from the UK to Aotearoa. One of my ambitions is to visit the Turnbull museum in New Zealand, where there is a mass of stuff relating to Gideon Mantell and his son (Gideon was a Victorian palaeontologist who discovered the first herbivorous dinosaur, Iguandon). Maybe you can find me a house to rent there ;)

        Reply
    118. Victoria

      Hi, Thanks. Week 1 is just what I need to get me started, short and simple, easy to understand. I am hoping the 12 week courses will help me decide whether to bite the bullet and study for a qualification in book keeping. So far so good.

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Thanks for your comments Peter, Neville, and Bissy. Peter, I am sure you will be delighted as you get more into the course.

        Reply
    119. neville

      thank you very much am finding this very understandable, i did accounting up to high school and a bit study on it. am doing this course to now really get into it, so looking foward to be well equiped for the market. thax again looking fwd to 2 lesson. nevy

      Reply
    120. Hellen

      I am currently doing a bookkeeping coure at college which cost over £600. I’m trying to get my head round it but it’s all new to me and I feel like I’m struggling and worried I wont pass my exam in January. I have just done week one of your course, it’s very straight forward. Nicely broken down, I feel more confident to continue my college course.
      Thank you.

      Reply
    121. Julie

      Hi Quentin, just want to say thank you for making this course available to everyone for free. I have just started week 1 and look forward to progressing through the course in the coming weeks. Keep up the good work.

      Reply
    122. Tina Hardwick

      Just read Week 1 – I can see I am going to enjoy this – everything broken down into simple concepts with plain simple terms that make it very easy to understand but without ‘dumbing down’. Looking forward to the rest of the weeks

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Thanks all. I am delighted you are finding the course OK. It does get more intensive as we go along, but my main concern was that I would not leave anyone behind. Your comments are really appreciated.

        Reply
    123. Claudia

      This is certainly a nice and easy start. A good way of not scaring students.I am looking forward to the next weeks.
      Thanks

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        Yes Patrick they are. The course covers most of the world. If a business owes money, the account is called ‘Accounts Payable’ in the US. In the UK it is called ‘Creditors’ or ‘Trade Creditors’, however, that is dying out and terms like Accounts Payable are becoming the norm everywhere. But remember: there are NO rules about naming accounts (only conventions), as you will soon understand as the course unfolds. Understanding things like this will put you above your peers :)

        Reply
    124. Peter

      Week One certainly simplifies the concept of accounting; looks like I’ll actually enjoy the course! Small criticism, not enough to get my teeth into. Can I have weeks 2 and 3 now? :)

      Reply
    125. claire

      I am hopefully starting my business in april & i thought this was perfect opportunity to learn about book keeping in advance. Very well explained first part..looking forward to week 2 :)

      Reply
      1. Quentin Pain Post author

        That’s great news Claire and congratulations. Running your own business is life changing – and actually pretty easy. I will be adding some great marketing stuff to this site very shortly including a whole new section on building your site and how to get and build your customer/client list. If you are servicing a local market, I can show you exactly how to succeed and beat your competition. And with 6 months to go, that will be very easy to achieve. I hope you enjoy the rest of this course, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

        Reply
    126. lizzie

      This is interesting. I am actually looking forward to starting as a book keeper. I really believe this will take me through and build my confidence in practise. Thanks. looking forward to the next lesson.

      Reply
    127. Jaime

      Thank you! My husband and I have started a business and I am the official “bookkeeper” and know nothing about it;) this is Great so far! Nice and clear, the way I need it!

      Reply
    128. Quentin Pain Post author

      Thank you Marie, Crystal and Catherine. Week 2 will give you a lot more information and tasks to do.

      Reply
    129. Marie Holland

      I read the first week I am currently a bookkeeper and I am in business, however I thought it was very well wrote and you can cleanly understand what the meaning is for.
      I am taking this course to brush up on my skills and for the workin lesson one I thought it would actual be a lesson but I am looking forward on the second lesson.

      Thank you for making things better for accountants and bookkeepers…..

      Reply
    130. Christine

      You should have been a teacher – it looks as if you might actually be able to make accounting seem interesting…… ;)
      I look forward to Week 2.

      Reply
    131. Vicky

      Hi,

      It is reaaly good. It helps me to understand more clearly.

      But I did not get the week 2 course. It appeared the same as week one.

      Reply
    132. Marilyn Barrie

      You weren’t joking about week 1 being very short – However, the way you explain things makes it really easy to understand. Looking forward to the next lesson, a week is going to be too long to wait though!!!

      Reply

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