Program Outline

Instruction Sets
Your accredited online learning program includes seven Instruction Sets designed to take you step-by-step through the knowledge and skills you'll employ in your new career in Bookkeeping.

Here's how it works
You receive the first course as soon as your enrollment has been accepted, and other courses will follow as you complete your exams.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer and high-speed Internet in order to complete your program with Penn Foster.

Here is an overview of what you'll learn and the order in which you'll access your lessons:

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal: The program goal for Penn Foster’s Bookkeeping Career Diploma program is to prepare graduates for an entry-level career as a Bookkeeper via several distance learning courses.

Program Outcomes:
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Compile/produce Financial Statements, with attention to detail, from Accounting records for organizations.
  • Understand employment opportunities in many industries, including firms that provide accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll services; federal, state, and local governments; and schools.
  • Demonstrate basic math and computer skills, including knowledge of spreadsheets.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge necessary to become certified in areas of bookkeeping by being able to carry out all bookkeeping tasks, including overseeing payroll and balancing accounts, according to accepted accounting procedures.
  • Apply proper procedures for controlling an organization’s financial documentation and guard against misappropriation of organization’s funds.
  • Operate computers programmed with accounting software to record, store, and analyze information.
  • Apply proper procedures for receiving, and recording cash, checks, and vouchers in compliance with federal, state, and company policies, procedures, and regulations.

Instruction Set 1

Starting Your Program
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages; access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers; and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.

The Accounting Equation
Assets, liabilities, owner's equity, and the accounting equation; preparing a balance sheet.

Workbook One

Supplement: A Glossary of Accounting Terms

Instruction Set 2

The Books of Accounting
The basics of the general journal; the basics of the ledger, including the T account, the chart of accounts, and opening a ledger account.

Assets, Liabilities, and Owner's Equity
Account balances for asset accounts, liability accounts, and owner's equity accounts; footing and balancing the ledger; analyzing a transaction; posting to the general ledger.

Learning Aids:
• Account Analyzer
• How to Use Your Account Analyzer

Instruction Set 3

Revenue, Expenses, and Trial Balance
Another look at owner's equity; permanent and temporary accounts; normal balances.

Workbook Two

Financial Reports
Worksheets; how to prepare an income statement and a balance sheet; closing steps for expense and revenue summary accounts; balancing and ruling the books at the end of the year; temporary ledger accounts; permanent ledger accounts; the general ledger; the accounting cycle.

Workbook Three

Instruction Set 4

Accounting for Cash and Payroll Accounting
How to account for cash and where to keep money; the proprietorship; computing employee earnings; keeping records for the government; employer-paid taxes and paying payroll taxes.

Workbook Four

Accounting Systems
Accrual accounting; the importance of inventory accounting; posting to the general ledger and other business records.

Workbook Five

Wholesale Accounting
Accounting procedures for wholesale sales, discounts, sales returns, and allowances; maintaining the accounts receivable ledger; recording cash, credit, and C.O.D. purchases; maintaining accounts payable ledger; promissory notes and interest-bearing notes.

Workbook Six

Supplement: How to Read an Income Statement and a Balance Sheet

Instruction Set 5

Assets and End-of-the-Month Activities
Accounting procedures for long-term tangible and intangible assets; amortization and depreciation; the end-of-the-month accounting procedures.

Workbook Seven

Introduction to Windows®
The role of Windows® as the computer's operating system; Windows® commands and functions; customizing your computer to suit your needs; Windows® Accessories; help screens and system tools.

Instruction Set 6

Microsoft® Excel
Creating and modifying a worksheet in Excel; working with charts in Excel.

Graded Project: Microsoft® Excel

Textbook: Microsoft® Excel

Instruction Set 7

Bookkeeping Project
Maintain the accounting records and prepare financial statements for this sole proprietorship. Includes ledgers, business papers and checks, journals, and the narrative of transactions. Project must be completed manually.


Online Library and Librarian
Students in Penn Foster Career School have access to an online library for use during their studies. Students can use this library to do the required research in the courses they complete or can use it for general reference and links to valuable resources. The library contains helpful research assistance, articles, databases, books, and Web links. A librarian is available to answer questions on general research-related topics via email and to assist students in research activities during their studies with Penn Foster Career School International.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.

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