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eWorkshop: Accounting essentials


Key discoveries

  • Accounting concepts and jargon - in plain language
  • The essential elements of a good purchasing process
  • How to create financial reports to track project transactions
  • How to check project financial records for completeness and compliance

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Download or print the course description here

Course code: ES8e

This online course builds the skills and confidence of project staff to work with financial information in their everyday work.  It covers the basics of financial accountability, including the language, systems and processes for tracking financial transactions from purchasing through to financial reporting.

The course is run over four weeks and is fully supported by expert trainers.  There are no 'real time' sessions or webinars, so you can complete the weekly readings, individual tasks, and group activities at your own pace.  The coursework will take around five to seven hours each week, depending on your pace of learning and previous knowledge.

Read more about our eLearning approach here


Course costsEarly booking
Standard booking
Individuals, and non-profit organisations with less than £1m income220275
Non-profit organisations more than £1m income275345
For-profit/governmental organisations345430

Who should attend

This course is suitable for NGO staff involved in program planning, implementation and support, such as:

This is an introductory-level course and no previous financial management experience or training is necessary.

We recommend that you read this course outline carefully to make sure the content is relevant and meets your learning requirements. If you are not sure if this course is for you, please contact us.

Programme guide

Programme guide

Week 1


Introduction and overview of accounting

  • Getting started
  • Practical challenges
  • Four Building Blocks and Plan-Do-Review models
  • Accounting overview

Week 2


Systems design

  • Getting organized – policies and procedures
  • Coding structures
  • The books of account
  • Supporting documents
  • The 3Ps of Procurement
  • Practical assignment: Chart of accounts

Week 3


Practical accounting

  • Different accounting methods
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Accounting for 'working advances'
  • The impact of exchange rates
  • Practical assignment: The Cashbook

Week 4


Next steps

  • Turning financial data into reports
  • The finance manual
  • Review and knowledge check
  • Bonus tools and takeaways
  • Practical assignment: Financial report
  • Action plan and course review

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • describe the essential elements of a strong financial management system
  • define key accounting concepts and jargon
  • describe how accounting codes are used to organize financial transactions
  • describe two different methods for keeping accounts and the financial reports they produce
  • describe the essential elements of a good purchasing process
  • check project financial records for completeness and compliance with procedures
  • create a financial report to track project receipts and payments.

Course dates

There are no up-and-coming courses in the open training programme.