In What Order Should Accounting Be Learned?

Learners of accounting often ask about the best order to learn accounting topics, a question that usually means one of two things: • Should we learn accounting software before accounting theory, accounting theory before accounting software, or does it matter, or • In what order should we learn accounting topics. The relationship between accounting software and accounting theory comes from our perspective and experience and usually takes one of two forms. Either: • We are working in accounting where we learn accounting software but do not get much book knowledge in accounting theory or • We are an accounting student learning a lot of book knowledge but seeing little computer application. The best way to learn accounting is to learn both accounting theory and application at the same time because the application helps test the theory and helps us learn much faster. The question about accounting topics and what order they should be learned in often comes from people considering going to school for accounting or supplementing their skills. It is often thought that we need to go to school to find out what order we should learn accounting in; Not true. The foundational skills of accounting are very standardized at this point. If we want to subsidize our accounting learning, we have the resources to do so. One method is to look at a basic accounting textbook from any large publisher and use the table of contents as a guide to build and order our learning resources. Large publishers include McGraw-Hill, Cengage, and Pearson.

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