Accounting for dummies: Where to go when you need help

6/6/2014

Accounting is a complex subject that typically requires several years of study in order to earn a degree or certification. Aspiring accountants enrolled in conventional classes may find that they often need help outside of the classroom. For some students, this means purchasing additional materials, seeking one-on-one tutoring sessions, or arranging meetings with the professor. However, many students are increasingly turning to the internet to find help with important accounting topics. In fact, some students may eschew traditional classrooms altogether, choosing to pursue online accounting classes instead. The internet is home to a wide variety of affordable and flexible resources that cater to different learning styles. 

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Accounting for dummies may be easier to find than you think 


One of the internet's greatest assets is its convenience. You don't need to get in your car to access quality resources online. You can do so from your own home. What's more, you do not need to sift through stacks of books in order to find the information that you need. You can find accounting help with a simple query on a free search engine, such as Google or Yahoo. Of course, you will have to narrow down the search results on your own. The more specific the search criteria, the more likely you are to find a manageable number of helpful resources. For example, if you know that you are looking for entire accounting courses or just a bit of help with a particular topic, you can make your search more specific, and ultimately more effective. This is an important point to consider, because the internet is vast, and you don't want to waste your time digging through an excessive amount of websites. 


 How to find online accounting courses 


There are several ways to begin your search for an online course. If you are looking for a specialized accounting course, such as governmental accounting or tax accounting, you need to include that information in your search. You will also want to add whether or not you are looking for a free or a paid course. Some online accounting courses are indeed free, but you may find that paid courses offer higher quality course materials and superior instruction. When looking for a paid course, try to find reputable companies and institutions that have been reviewed by previous students. The more positive reviews you can find, the more likely it is that the company or institution offers a positive learning experience. 


Situations that do not require accounting courses 


In some situations, you may find that you do not need an entire course worth of material. For example, you may already be well versed in a variety of accounting practices. However, you may need some specific accounting homework help from time to time. In this case, you can take advantage of internet resources that require far less commitment than a class. In fact, you may be able to find the specific answers that you are looking for in a matter of minutes, provided you know how to search for the proper resources. 


How to find general accounting help 


If you want to find some general help, start with the same approach you would take if you were looking for online courses. Enter a specific search query that includes the accounting topic and whether or not you are looking for a free or paid resource. You can also specify whether you are looking for videos, one-on-one tutoring, message boards, study guides, homework answers or printable worksheets and problem sets. Unlike accounting classes online, most of these resources are free. For example, you do not need to pay for any instructional videos that you find on YouTube. However, if you do plan on paying for a particular resource, you should do so from a reputable company that has customer support services.  

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How to learn about local regulations of accounting services 


It's important to have an understanding of legal rulings on accounting practices. However, learning the law in one place won't get you very far. Laws governing accounting change from one locality to the next. The good news is that there is a variety of resources available online that can help you find information on local laws regulating accounting services. Many states publish legal accounting practices on government websites. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on a state government website, you can always do a search for local laws governing accounting practices. Even if the search terms are particularly obscure, you will likely be able to find something on accounting message boards, where up-to-date information is often shared. 


How to test your knowledge of accounting 


There are many internet resources that allow you to test your knowledge of accounting. Some websites offer accounting exams and practice tests. The popular accounting for dummies series offers short quizzes and interactive problem sets. Of course, if you are enrolled in an online course, you will have assessments on a regular basis. If you are working with a private tutor, make sure that the tutor evaluates your work as often as possible. Most states post requirements for accounting certification on their websites, and you should be able to find everything you need to prepare for a state test on the internet. Some states may even offer practice tests or sample questions. 


If you play your cards right, you can get all the help with accounting that you need without ever stepping foot in a bookstore. The internet is chock full of convenient resources that are accessible at any hour of the day. If you are looking for accounting classes, you can find them online. If you are looking for local accounting regulations, hop on a search engine. If you need some homework help, or you have just a few basic questions about an accounting concept, there are instructional videos, one-on-one virtual tutors and message boards, and they are all available online. Specific search queries and a preference for reputable companies will help you find the best results. Most online resources are free or low cost, and they often require little in the way of commitment.

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