Principles of Financial Accounting


Accounting is a valuable skill that reaches across all industries and is useful for many professions. In this introductory course, designed for anyone wishing to understand modern accounting principles, students explore fundamental accounting theory, principles and practice. Through online lessons and discussion forums with fellow students and your expert instructor, learn about accrual accounting concepts, transaction analysis and the recording process. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the preparation and analysis of financial statements and the proper reporting of various accounts. By the end of this course, you will know how to record basic financial accounting information and prepare financial statements, know how to use financial accounting data in decision making situations, and understand the role of the accountant in business.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the basics of accounting in your day-to-day job
  • Utilize the recording process
  • Apply and complete the accounting cycle
  • Recognize fraud and apply internal controls

Skills You Will Gain

  • Basic accounting skills
  • Budget analysis
  • Accounting for receivables

View complete course syllabus.

Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method
Online class

Association Credits

American Institute of CPAs (CPE)
40.00 CPE hours

Section Notes

This course is a paced-asynchronous course, which means that all students will be proceeding through the course at the same time. The course consists of online materials, reading assignments, written assignments and discussion forums. The lessons open on a weekly basis throughout the duration of the class. The time it takes you to complete each lesson depends on your individual approach and learning style, but in a given week, students can generally expect to spend approximately: 

  • 5-6 hours in online lectures and discussion forums  
  • 5-6 hours of work outside of class on readings and assignments 

Students can enroll through July 1, 2024. The course begins on June 24, 2024 and must be completed by September 15, 2024. 
Access to your course in Canvas will be available one business day before the course’s start date. 

If you anticipate needing any Disability Accommodations, please contact our Student Services representative PRIOR to enrolling in this course. The accommodations must be organized before starting the program. Please contact Tina Ehrke at (530) 757-8727 if you would like to register for a course and you have disability-related needs or concerns. 


Enrollment Policies

Drop requests (withdraw with a refund) will be approved, less a $30 processing fee, if the request is received within the first two weeks of the course. Click here ( to view complete enrollment policy information including details on withdrawals and transfers. 

Refund Deadline: July 8, 2024. Refunds and/or enrollment transfers will not be approved after this date. 

Students have the first week of class to enroll with the understanding that students who enroll after the first day of class are expected to reach out to their instructors to make sure they receive all content and are on track with the course.  

Technical Requirements

This is an online course: To ensure your success in this course, please review our technical requirements page at online learning.


Early Enroll Discount

Enroll 14 days before the course start date to save $50 on the course fee.

Info Session Discount

Attendees of UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Information Sessions may be eligible for $100 discount on a class by entering the Coupon Code provided at the Information Session.  Contact UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Student Services office, at (800) 752-0881, if you have questions about this discount.