How to Gain Mastery in Accounting Without a Financial Background?

Meticulous accounting is crucial for running any business. Yet, while big companies have a dedicated fleet of professionals for accounting, small businesses are on their own. Whatever the case may be, accounting remains a core activity. As a result, there is a huge demand for accountants in the market. 

Accounting being a white-collar job, has numerous prospects. However, most youngsters fail to take up accounting in their college due to unawareness or lack of interest. The good news is you can still gain mastery in accounting without a financial background by following the tips mentioned in the succeeding paragraphs.

Seven ways to gain mastery in accounting without a financial background

No matter what is your background, you can learn accounting by following these ways:


Read accounting books

Start with the most basic book of accounting to make a strong foundation. For instance, you can choose Introduction to Accounting, a popular introductory book on accounting by Pru Marriott, JR Edwards, and Howard J Mellett, to start with. Such books are well researched and written by experts. So, these books are suitable for both beginners and advanced learners. 

You can download notes or e-books on accounting from the internet. Some YouTube channels also offer free classes on accounting.

Master the basics of accounting 

Although accounting is a vast subject, start with mastering some key concepts, such as; 

Balance Sheet: It details the assets, liabilities, and equity of a business for a given period. The balance sheet shows the financial health of a business. 

Income Statement: It shows the profits and loss of a company after adjusting all expenses from total earnings. This statement is released on a quarterly or annual basis. 

Statement of Cash Flows: It details inflows and outflows of cash for any purpose during the reporting period. It gives an overview of earning and expenditure sources.  

If you get a good command of these statements, your endeavor to gain mastery in accounting becomes easy.


Get qualified and certified.

Do not regret it if you do not have an accounting degree. Practical knowledge in conjunction with a short course such as a diploma in accounting is a great alternative. Several offline or online short courses in various fields of accounting are available. These courses help in acquiring the necessary qualification and certifications. Online courses are preferable due to the following reasons: 

  • They are more affordable than in-person classes
  • They are more flexible in terms of timing and mode of learning. 
  • You can select from a range of short courses tailor-made for specific needs. 
  • Practice and Apply

Irrespective of the learning method you choose, the practice remains the key to learning accounts. The most important aspect of accounting is a strong foundation. Most advanced concepts are often linked with basic principles of accounting. So, it is imperative to dedicate ample time for practice. 

Similarly, practical knowledge is as necessary as theoretical knowledge. Therefore, try to put your gained knowledge into real-world application. For example, download, assess, and analyze financial statements of companies.

 Enroll for an internship 

It is a time-tested method to learn any skill by working with experts. In addition, an internship exposes you to real-world challenges and shapes you for the future. While a paid internship in accounting is nearly impossible for beginners, you can opt for an unpaid or experience certificate-based internship. 

However, it is essential to note that do not become a victim of internship fraud. Some companies tend to exploit individuals in the name of an unpaid internship.

Learn Excel

Today, Excel is synonymous with accounting. Nearly all financial statements, payroll, and company databases are processed in excel. Therefore, it is vital to possess a good knowledge of this tool to make a future in accounting. 

While most courses often cover this aspect, you can learn excel through YouTube videos or books.


By now, it is clear that financial background is not mandatory to gain mastery in Accounting. Options like online or offline courses and internships give you practical knowledge and offer certification as well. However, if you are trying to make a long-term career in accounting, it is advisable to get a professional qualification in accounting. 

Lastly, be consistent and apply the learning to real-world applications. Over time, you will find yourself on the brighter side of the tunnel. 
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