The 5 Biggest Problems with Bookkeeping Training

5 biggest problems with bookkeeping training

The 5 Biggest Problems with Online Bookkeeping Training – finding a training course that’s “fit for purpose” is key

Anyone working in finance knows that getting an excellent grasp of double entry bookkeeping is vital, as it underpins everything in financial accounting. It’s therefore really important that the bookkeeping training you choose is “fit for purpose” e.g.

  • you need to be sure that what your new trainees learn is going to translate to the workplace
  • that the chosen study method is appropriate to your/your trainees needs
  • and that the training is good value for money

Online bookkeeping training is continuing to grow

As online training continues to grow in popularity, more students (or employers of those students) are turning to online bookkeeping courses to gain the skills they need to succeed in the accountancy profession. While online bookkeeping courses can offer convenience and flexibility, they also come with their own set of challenges…

Online Bookkeeping Training trends

World Economic Forum

Bookkeeping Training Problem 1:
Limited interaction

One of the most significant challenges of online bookkeeping courses is the limited interaction between students and trainers – with a traditional College course, much can be gained from peer learning and obviously the trainer is there to help anyone who gets stuck!

Bookkeeping Training Problem 1

A few downsides of a college course are that classroom sessions are strictly timetabled – I know from my ‘stand up teaching’ days, that if a student misses a session, it can be a real challenge for them to catch up!

Also, everyone learns at a different pace, so there is a danger that some students struggle to keep up whereas those faster-paced students may get bored waiting for the rest of the group to be ready to start the next learning topic.

While some online learning platforms can offer real-time messaging and chat features (if enrolling on a timetabled course e.g., weekly online sessions) they cannot replace the value of face-to-face interaction in a traditional classroom setting.

Students may find it difficult to ask questions, clarify doubts, or receive feedback, which can hinder their ability to learn and develop their skills.


Of course some online learning offers no tutorial support – a benefit of this is that there is no timetable to stick to i.e. students can work through the materials at their own pace.

A downside is that students must be highly motivated and organised; additionally, if there is something they are really struggling to understand (no-one ever says that getting your head around the double-entry concept is easy!), there is no-one there to help them.

Bookkeeping Training Problem 2:
Poor quality of material

The quality of the course materials can vary widely among online bookkeeping courses. Some courses may not provide the depth of knowledge or skills necessary to succeed in the finance world, while others may offer outdated or irrelevant information.

This can make it challenging for students to find high-quality online bookkeeping courses that provide the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their careers.

The old adage goes that generally, “you get what you pay for”, so opting for a very cheap online bookkeeping course may not be the right decision to make in the long run.

When choosing an online bookkeeping course, you may find that doing some detailed research will end up in time being well spent, e.g.

  • If the course is costly (more than most other providers), are you just paying for the brand name?
  • What does the course entail e.g. what level of depth does it go into – will it be sufficient for your needs?
  • In what form are the learning materials – will they suit your learning style? Some providers may provide a ‘taster course’ so you can try out the materials to ensure they will suit you. Definitely a good idea to ask – you may even find that the world of accounting is not for you, so this would be a cost-free way of finding out!

Bookkeeping Taster Course

Bookkeeping Training Problem 3:
Limited practical experience

Online bookkeeping courses may not provide enough practical experience or real-world scenarios to help students develop their skills in bookkeeping.

Without hands-on experience, students may struggle to apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations, which can hinder their ability to be successful in their careers.

When doing your research, other questions to ask could include:

  • Who is the course writer(s)? Do they have a recognised accounting qualification – what experience do they have e.g. do they work closely with employers in the accountancy field?
    It may be hard to find this out with a very large approved training provider, but the smaller ones should be able to answer this question for you.
  • Finding a course that includes a ‘case study’ may help here – some courses will teach you the bookkeeping concepts, but it can be a useful exercise to follow this up by working through a comprehensive case study that goes through the whole bookkeeping process (e.g. starting with invoicing) right through to preparing a set of accounts (e.g. Profit & Loss Account and Balance Sheet).

Bookkeeping Training Problem 4:
Lack of credibility

Online bookkeeping courses may lack credibility, particularly if they are not accredited by professional bodies or recognized by employers in the industry.

This could make it difficult for students to find employment or advance their careers e.g., employers may be reluctant to hire candidates who have completed online courses that do not have the same level of credibility and reputation as traditional classroom-based courses.

So, a first question to ask here would be:

  • Is the training provider ‘approved’ with one or more recognised accounting awarding bodies e.g. AAT, ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA? As we all know, anybody can write anything these days, whether or not they know much about the subject matter!


AAT Find a Training Provider website

Bookkeeping Training Problem 5:
Technical difficulties

Technical issues with online platforms or internet connectivity can affect the quality of the learning experience and hinder students’ ability to access and engage with course materials. Poor video or audio quality, slow internet speeds, or other technical difficulties can make it difficult for students to engage with the material or participate in online discussions effectively.

No internet connection

Again, a good idea here would be to ask your chosen bookkeeping training provider to give you access to a bookkeeping taster course to see how well it works for you.

To conclude…

While online bookkeeping courses can offer convenience and flexibility, they also come with their own set of challenges:

  • Limited interaction
  • Poor quality of material
  • Limited practical experience
  • Limited credibility
  • Technical difficulties

These are some of the most significant challenges that students may encounter when pursuing online bookkeeping courses.

It is important for students/employers to carefully evaluate online courses before enrolling to ensure that they are getting the high-quality education and practical experience they need to succeed.

Get Bookkeeping Training from a credible AAT/ICAEW approved provider today!

We’re an AAT and ICAEW approved training provider, so, with such a vast array of online courses to research, why not save time and try The Balancing Act, which includes a comprehensive mix of online learning alongside a hard copy case study and end of course assessment?

You’ll find that our competitively priced course is a great way to develop accounting trainees with the right attitude and aptitude!

Or, for more information please give us a call on 01392 244048 or get in touch with us here

Prue Deane



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