Overseeing the general ledger - a record of financial accounts - is the central responsibility of bookkeepers in businesses and organizations. Those needing to build their skills in this area have several online training options, including certification. Some programs are offered fully online, while others are offered in hybrid formats that include some on-campus classes.
General Ledger Training
Students seeking general ledger training can find several distance learning options at community colleges, four-year universities and private online career schools. Some schools offer individual training classes that teach students how to work with a general ledger, but it's also common to gain this skill through a bookkeeping certificate program. These programs may award college credit or be offered as a non-credit option from schools' continuing education departments.
There are usually no special admission requirements for these programs beyond having a high school diploma or GED, although some students who have a college degree may opt to earn a certificate as a way to quickly gain bookkeeping skills to supplement their education or change careers. The time it takes to complete a distance learning program in this field ranges from just a few months to around a year. Graduates may be eligible to pursue the Certified Bookkeeper credential from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.
Program Information and Requirements
Students enrolled in online general ledger training typically log on to a school's virtual classroom environment to retrieve assignments, lectures and handouts. Discussion boards and class chat rooms may be available to allow distance learners and instructors to interact. Some online courses -- particularly non-credit offerings -- are self-paced and allow students to complete requirements as it fits their schedules. While there are several fully online bookkeeping programs out there, some schools do use a hybrid format which combines online and campus-based classes.
Online general ledger courses can be found as part of accounting and financial reporting training. In these courses, students are instructed on creating and retrieving balances and budgets. They work with profit and loss sheets, learn how to balance accounts and interpret cash flow sheets. Online learners also explore typical troubleshooting solutions and errors in general ledger entry reporting. Online general ledger training can range from one general course to several courses in specialized areas such as reports, journal entries and codes.
Like those offered on campus, online certificate programs provide students with the ledger and accounting skills needed to pursue entry-level careers in small to mid-sized companies. Distance learners are trained in double-entry bookkeeping, preparing financial statements and payroll, as well as how to track accounts and receipts. Specialized training in computerized accounting applications is provided as well. The certificate curriculum includes online courses such as the following:
- Tax depreciation
- Computerized accounting
- Accounting principles
- Business communication
For students who need to learn to oversee the general ledger, there are several undergraduate options available. Some focus specifically on general ledgers, while others are broader and provide instruction in a wide range of skills that bookkeepers need for success in the field.