There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

In smaller organizations, the bookkeeper is responsible for all accounting activities, including paying employees, billing customers, accounting for inventory, and issuing financial statements. This calls for a broad range of practical accounting knowledge. The Comprehensive Bookkeeping Guidebook fills this need by describing all aspects of the bookkeeper position.

The course is split into two parts, the first of which addresses the general system of accounting, how transactions are recorded, and how financial statements are constructed and interpreted. In the second part, we'll cover the mechanics of bookkeeping for specific functional areas, including billings, collections, cash receipts, accounts payable, inventory, fixed assets, and payroll. You'll also learn about the reports that must be made to the government that are related to payroll and income taxes.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Sep 5, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Cite the responsibilities of the bookkeeper

 Chapter 2

  • Recognize terms and concepts associated with financial accounting, noting applicable accounting frameworks and underlying accounting principles
  • Recognize the nature and flow of the accounting cycle, identifying types of transactions cycles, source documents, and the purpose of journal entries

 Chapter 3

  • Recognize the structure of the chart of accounts, identifying the most common accounts used
  • Identify the situations in which different chart of account structures should be used, recognizing issues relating to the reduction of the chart of accounts

 Chapter 4

  • Identify types of ledgers and subsidiary ledgers, noting the characteristics of each
  • Recognize the format and information contained in the general ledger, citing the uses to which the trial balance can be put

 Chapter 5

  • Recognize the steps involved in closing the books and tolls used to review the financial statements, identifying the intent of a closing activity and key closing activities an organization is likely to need

 Chapter 6

  • Identify the different formats in which the financial statements can be presented, noting the purpose and accounts used on each statement, sources of information, formulas, and classification of line items

 Chapter 7

  • Identify ratios that can be used to interpret the information in the financial statements, noting the components of each type of analysis as well as the resulting financial impact applicable limitations

 Chapter 8

  • Identify controls used in the processing of billings, cash receipts, payables, expense reports, petty cash, and payroll, recognizing their purpose, benefits, and resulting impact

 Chapter 9

  • Identify the documents used in the processing of credit requests, billings, and communications with customers, noting their proper usage and intended purpose
  • Recognize the responsibilities of staff involved in the sales and collection process

 Chapter 10

  • Recognize the processing requirements for cash payments and credit cards
  • Cite the responsibilities of the parties involved in cash and credit card processing, identifying causes of errors and improvements that can be made
  • Note the mechanics and purpose of the bank reconciliation

 Chapter 11

  • Recognize the reconciliation process for procurement cards, identifying forms that can be used as a part of the reconciliation as well as situations in which procurement card billings can be called into question
  • Identify the types of reimbursements allowed on an expense report and the reimbursement rules related to expense reports
  • Identify the purpose and elements of a petty cash system

 Chapter 12

  • Identify types of inventory tracking systems, noting their characteristics, calculations, and proper accounting
  • Cite methods available for estimating the cost of ending inventory and determine the ending inventory given a set of circumstances

 Chapter 13

  • Recognize key concepts and terminology related to fixed assets, including classifications, accounting, capitalization limit, base unit, and measurement
  • Cite the purpose depreciation, identify key concepts and methods used in calculating depreciation, and determine the amount of depreciation of an item given a set of circumstances
  • Note the depreciation rules related to land and land improvements

 Chapter 14

  • Recognize the classification, accounting, and reconciliation for debt, identifying the underlying cause of a loan balance difference in the records of the borrower and lender

 Chapter 15

  • Identify government forms associated with payroll activities, noting their purpose and usage
  • Identify the different types of pay cycles, noting key differences between each
  • Recognize the methods for calculating gross pay and determining income tax withholdings
  • Recognize the accounting for payroll transactions such as benefits, charitable contributions, garnishments, and student loans

 Chapter 16

  • Recognize when payroll tax deposits should be made, how to remit the funds, related reporting requirements, and the rules associated with tax remittances including applicable penalties and interest
  • Note how the FUTA tax is calculated, when deposits should be made, the timing of payments, and reporting requirements

 Chapter 17

  • Recognize the forms used by the different types of businesses to report their income tax liabilities, identifying the characteristics and usage of each applicable form
  • Note the loss recognition by partners in a partnership

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