Accounting fundamentals course overview

This free 2-part accounting fundamentals course will guide you through the accounting process. We explore the layout of the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. We will demonstrate how to prepare financial statements from scratch. This free accounting course is an essential building block required for performing financial modeling and other types of wall street financial analysis.

Free Accounting Course Online

Constructing an income statement and balance sheet

In the first module of this free accounting course, we explore the layout of the balance sheet and income statement, how transactions are recorded and how to prepare these statements. By the end of this module, you will have a solid understanding of how to construct a balance sheet and income statement.

  • Explain the format of the income statement and balance sheet
  • Define various financial statement terms (e.g. accounts receivable, prepayments, etc.)
  • Record financial statement transactions (e.g. invoicing, raising equity, buying inventory, etc.)
  • Prepare a simple income statement and balance sheet

Accounting Courses online free

Constructing a cash flow statement

In the second module of this free accounting course, we explore the layout of the cash flow statement and explain the differences between the cash flow statement and the income statement. By the end of this module, you will have a solid understanding of how to construct a cash flow statement.

  • Outline the format of the cash flow statement
  • Explain the difference between profit and cash
  • Prepare a simple cash flow statement using the balance sheet and income statement

Free Accounting class

More Accounting Course Details

This online accounting course incorporates a wide range of applied exercises and case studies. Sophisticated search and navigation tools allow you to go at your own pace while pop quizzes test what you have learned. The course also includes two PDF reference guides – a financial statements glossary and an accounting factsheet. These can be used while taking the course and can be downloaded to your computer for future reference. This is the ultimate accounting crash course to prep for wall street careers!

Who should take this free accounting course?

This free online accounting course is designed for anyone who wants to review the fundamentals and building blocks of the accounting process.  This class will also be useful for professionals who work in finance and want to review the concepts required for financial modeling and valuation in CFI's later courses.

What You'll Learn


Accounting Fundamentals Course

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Approx 2.5 hrs to complete


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Path to Certification

Prerequisite Courses

5 courses from beginner to intermediate level.


Core Courses

9 courses from beginner to intermediate level.


Elective Courses

Take 3 out of 9 courses at an advanced level.


Get Certified

Submit your FMVA®️ checklist and order your certificate.


Join Our Community

Get access to the Global Corporate Finance Society.


How the Certification Works

FMVA® Financial Analyst Certification courses are offered 100% online, allowing you the flexibility to start the financial analyst program anytime and learn when it’s most convenient for you.
Students must complete all core and elective courses (12 in total) and demonstrate mastery of the topics through successful completion of course materials, quizzes, and assessments.
Within 48 hours of program completion, your Blockchain Verified FMVA Certification will be emailed to you.

What Our Students Say

Godwin Mumba
Cash Flow
The tutorials are so easy to understand. Excellent work
Ahmed Fathi Sallam
Accounting Fundamentals
An impressive course and the materials too
Before finding this institute, I had no idea where I would start without paying student loans( which I can NOT afford right now). When I came across CFI, i couldnt have been more pleased with just the Accounting Fundamental Certificate i received a pay raise immediately along with a promotion. Now that i know how and what to look for, the company did not mind paying me for it. WIN -WIN I can t wait to complete all the free courses and then im on to get my FMVA Certificate by New Years 2020. Its part of my vision and CFI is how I will get there!! Thank You CFI my family and I really appreciate these courses and the start I need to follow my dreams!
Quinten Stewart
Excellent coverage of concepts and basics
This is a fundamentals course, but reminded me of all the items that a non-acctg person needs to have some remedial understanding of before truly understanding the impact to the P&L and Cash. Good couple hours worth of instruction and understanding.
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Nelson Daliwe
I found this course when I really needed it. I am a young and fresh entrepreneur with no formal business training. I needed to know how to compose a Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Cash Flow statement. I learnt so much in so little time. I really love how this powerful information has been packaged. Anyone can do this course, no matter how busy or time tight. Simply the best.
Akram Fadhel
I have benefited a lot from this course, thank you very much.
Ye Htut
A very nice explanation and well built interactive exercise.
Deepesh Mahajan
A refreshing experience for studying and helpful in developing insights.
arushi singh
It was an excellent learning .As a new learner you can learn as much as you can. Thank you CFI for this opportunity.
Mark Sweeney
This is bar far the best learning tool for me, very visual with great examples and explanations.
Andriette le Grange
This course is really up to date and easy to understand. As a qualified professional I would recommend this course should you want to understand the basic principles.
Daphne Matiza
Great tutorials, detailed and easy to follow! Great exercises too, very helpful
Amber Li Wen Tee
To be honest I like the way CFI conducted the accounting fundamentals in few organised parts and sections which is far more efficient and better than how i learn in my uni lecturer. The content is absolutely relevant, detailed, simple and clearly represented to students who are still new in accounting course. I do think that CFI has perfectly tailored the students need with its learning objectives as well as learning content. Thank you very much. *P/S: TBH I have better learning experience here compare to my uni lecturer XD
Mwansa Chilekwa
Its the best decision I ever made in a very long time. I a studying this course alongside my MBA-Finance program. I can seem to have enough of it! The material is so easy to understand and digest. I wish I had known about Cgi earlier. True value for money. Thanks CFI.
I obtained accounting degree five years back, going through Accounting Fundamentals was great. What I appreciate most is that, the course materials are sufficient, free and top quality. I did know there are Professional Accounting Institute that offer free quality courses until I visited CFI website. God bless you.
Affia Affia
The accounting fundamentals gives an overview of accounting principles, recording ,classification and reporting of transaction to reflect a true and fair view of the business performance, sources of funds, applications and net worth. It mirrors the whole activity of the business entity and management performance.
Asifshareef shareef
Its very informative and basic knowledge for Financial Accountants
Benjamin Chilambe
Very informative
Omar Fatouh
clearly presented and systematically structured.
Amna Khan
It's a good course for both beginners and for someone refreshing their concepts. It's easy to follow and the exercises were quite good! P.S I couldn't give 5 * ratings as my browser was acting up :(
Jude Selorm Eastwood
very intuitive and in-depth
Lourdes Corazon L. Santos
This course stimulated my interest in learning more about accounting. I learned a lot and it is very easy to understand and follow. After doing all the exercises, I am pretty confident that my accounting proficiency increased. Thank you very much. You are the best. I hope you give more free courses and certificates. Thank you thank you.
Phuong Nguyen
Very insightful and straightforward
Vivek Srivastava
Nice work
Taimur Zulfiqar
Excellent course on fundamentals of Accounting. The lectures are excellent in quality and contents, really enjoys a lot and its a five star course ......CFI is the best institute for corporate finance training and i am recommending everyone who wants to start career in corporate finance. I would like to thank CEO Tim Vipond for his support, cooperation and quality of learning at CFI.
Chizhim E. Adikema
Great course for non-finance professionals
Robert Koskey Kipkemoi
Great Course.
Reynaldo Jose Alvarado Ramos
Excellent course
Philip Oduro Annor
Thanks to CFI for the opportunity give me to broaden my knowledge on the three key financial Statements. But I would kindly ask if additional and more practical questions are added to course and test Thanks
Fumane Chabane
I have learned a lot through this course, i am willing to do as much as I can to improve my knowledge in this field of Accounting. Thanks to CFI
Gideon Adunola
It was a well detailed and understandable.
Elizabeth Francess Yombo
Accounting Fundamental is a stepping stone to the field of Accounting
Sardor Shermatov
I really enjoyed this course! It helped me to refresh my knowledge in a quick and entertaining way. I suggest everyone not to skip quizzes and exercises. Best of luck to CFI! Regards, Sardor
lawal taofeek
The Accounting fundamental short videos and quizzes were the best way to explained in a simple way even a layman could understand.thank you so much
Adeniyi Ajani
Nice course, straight forward and direct on point. Most importantly it is easy to understand and apply.
Saroj Kumar
Suprb explanation. keep up the gud work
satya ch
Haitham Omar Mahmoud
it is a great course and it was amazing
Greysen West
Good refresher for a finance guy who let some of the pesky accounting details fall by the wayside whilst focusing only on ratios & analysis. Can't wait to take more!! CFI is tremendously beneficial with a high level of ease of use.
Anwar Khan
Well defined step-by-step guided course this will give more knowledge to the learner Regards, Anwar Ahmed Khan
Shashank Hegde
Contents of balance sheet i.e. Assets equities and liabilities
The videos are awesome, very educational and informative. Exercises provided, though simple, cut across all the topics and open the brain.
Olubode Samuel
The course is very good and useful
Ignatius Henry
I have an MBA and I am currently working on an MS in Finance, and I am very happy to say that the skills I learned from this accounting course not only solidified my current understanding of the material, but it also enhanced and added to my current knowledge. There are hands-on exercises via Excel as well as exams that you must pass to earn your accredited certificate--a certificate that CFI will back up for employers. The certificate is also worth credit from multiple institutions, such as the CFA to name one. I'm happy. This product is worth much more than what I paid, too. Excellent work CFI!
Zassala Nicolau
This is a Fantastic Course of Accounting Fundamentals...
julian prescod
This course was very informative.
Gary Brent
Great material you can do in your own time!
Keletso Lame Moipoledi
I really enjoyed studying this course. Material is so simplified and easy to grasp, I'm even encouraged to take up another one
Teka Derick Tikum
Good for accounting beginners. Reach your skills to draw up a good account.
david rogers
This course is a great introduction to the 3 Financial Statements. The course easily extends from the basic concepts of the 3 financial statements into working examples. The course wraps up with you having a working knowledge of what aspect of financial accounting each financial statement addresses. What I found very useful was how the course relates the Balance Sheet to the Income Statement. The second half of the course then illustrates -- with many intuitive demonstrations --, how the more complex Cashflow Statement is derived from the first two financial statements. I found the delivery of the course, with its short videos and extensive illustrations, made learning sessions very light and easy. The course notes that are in the process of being supplied with each course, makes for very handy review sessions. After undertaking the accounting fundamentals, I purchased the full suite of Corporate Finance, and find the various courses fascinating. I thought this course matter would be too opaque to a newbie, but am experiencing it to be very learnable in its succinct short videos format. 5 stars
The courses made concepts easy to understand and the exercises are very good and simple practices of the material. I wish CFI had classes for the CFA exam.
Mauricio Adrián Chacon Mora
A simple way to learn: theory, example, and practice.
Sweta Rani
As I don't have any background related to accounting, this course helped me get acquainted with some of the terms and concepts. Fundamentals have been explained very clearly with examples which help in fast learning. Thanks!!
Richard Kwame Ahuntor
I really learned a lot from this course
Kumar Srijan Singh
This course is very helpful for beginners in the field of accounting and finance. CFI thank you for your support and I will highly recommend others for the course.
Very good
Ma. Lourdes Barangan
Nice module and it's very helpful.
Using short and understandable definitions, the course guides through the concept easily and the least you know you get all the information that is necessary throughout the course. Excellent course.
Hassan Javaheri
As a beginner in accounting, it was a very useful course. Thank you guys.
Jay Savla
Seemingly difficult concepts explained in a very simple, understandable and interesting manner. Really helpful!
Ajit Singh
The visualization used in the course was very good. The pace was good and the examples focused on the core topic. Good one.
Lendora Thompson-Saunders
Great refresher for a seasoned accounting professional.
This course is fruitful as far as the accounting field is concerned. Its simple but of high value and it is enriched with basic fundamentals of accounting. Distance and finance is not a barrier you can learn wherever you are.
Emmanuel Babarinde
It was good time spent on this course, I have an improved knowledge about the fundamentals of accounting now. Thanks.
dinakar yarramilli
It's really helpful and informative.
Alicia Narine Paul
I enjoyed this course because it was easy to understand
Kashaf Morrow
The first exercise in the balance sheet prep calculates depreciation before this is covered in the course. All exercises need to be reviewed for consistency. The course content however is very clear and concise and a good introduction to accruals method of accounting
David Sams
Very good introduction to accounting fundamentals
Yves Seybel
Easy to follow, clear examples and plenty of exercises to work on.
Wavell Van Wyk
The course very informative and very practical
Ajay Mangal
As an accounting professional I found this course a refresher of my knowledge of accounting fundamentals. Explained in an easy to understand way, even for a non-accounting person.
Better than i expected. I now have a better understanding and a solid foundation. thank you.
Richard Hastings
Good base level of accounting. Doesn't get in to too much unnecessary accounting jargon and its intricacies. The word doc's used for Part 1 examples are a little clunky though.
Stanislav Boyadjiev
Very useful and simple financial accounting course, with good exercises!
Rishad Reza Nur
My experience taking this course is very impressive. The course has provided the basic platform of understanding accounting with minimum effort and minimum time, even if you're not from a business background.
Barrack Mandela
Yousif Nasir
Swan Aung
Accounting Fundamentals is useful for business.
Jared Blum
Great review of key accounting concepts required for financial analysis and building a financial model. This is like an accounting 101 course condensed into a few hours.
Mukesh Kumar Genolia
Michael Collins
Really good level of detail and explanation. The exercises are really useful.
Zach Allwright
Overall, This course was excellent! I enjoyed the process and extracted great value from the content even from an intermediate level student.
Barbara Alvarez
This course presents the layout of the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Great way to learn how to prepare financial statements from scratch. Scott Powell is an excellent instructor! Highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of accounting.
Sarah Lawson
This course was better than most accounting courses I took in school and a great refresher for my new job in AP. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants a free course that's super easy to follow

Frequently Asked Questions

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FMVA® Financial Analyst Certification

Become a Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing all required courses in accounting, finance, modeling, Excel, presentations, and strategy. From beginner to advanced courses you will have the complete training you need to become a world-class financial analyst.


From $497.00
CFI Self-Study Bundle & FMVA® Certification
Buy Now
From $847.00
CFI Full Immersion Bundle & FMVA® Certification
Buy Now