Account for what matters. Empower people, not numbers.

Learn the elements of financial reports and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for state and local governments in this NASBA-approved course. A career in accounting for government agencies empowers you to focus your efforts on accountability to the public rather than the stakeholders. Join this noble profession to account for what matters most to the people in the community.

Test your current knowledge with our free online diagnostic quiz


Format: Online

Hours: 25.8

Credits: 2.55 CEUs / 21.5 CPEs

When: Start anytime

Cost: $469 - $499

This three-course series begins by familiarizing you with basic accounting equations and the effects of transactions. Learn the elements of financial reports and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for state and local governments.

Lessons including basic accounting theory, double-entry accounting, payroll and benefits, interfund, and the chart of accounts provide a firm foundation to build upon throughout the series. Investment in learning the basis of accounting, such as recording transactions, and accounting systems and record practices, focus your career path by developing a solid knowledge base. Online courses in the University of Georgia’s Government Accounting Series establish a firm footing for your career goals.

Lesson 1 — Basic Accounting Theory

  • Define the terms “economic condition” and “financial position.”
  • Recall the basic accounting equation.
  • Identify asset and liability accounts.
  • Observe the relationship between the balance sheet/statement of net position and the operating statement.
  • Explain how revenues and expenditures affect fund equity.

Lesson 2 — The Chart of Accounts

  • Explain the architecture of a governmental chart of accounts.
  • Identify asset, liability, equity, revenue, expenditure, and expense accounts.
  • Code funds and accounts.

Lesson 3 — Double Entry Accounting

  • Record transactions using debits and credits.
  • Demonstrate how debits and credits affect accounts.

Lesson 4 — Accounting Systems & Records

  • Cite the difference between journals and ledgers.
  • Recognize how accounting systems process information into reports.
  • Practice recording accounting transactions.
  • Describe the value and purposes of a trial balance.

Lesson 5 — Fund Accounting

  • Define each of the fund categories and generic fund types.
  • Determine when to use each generic fund.

Lesson 6 — The Basis of Accounting

  • Define the phrase “basis of accounting.”
  • Contrast the three common bases of accounting.
  • Cite the revenue and expenditure recognition criteria using the modified accrual basis of accounting.
  • Perform simple calculations of revenues and expenditures/expenses using the modified accrual and/or accrual bases of accounting.
  • Recall the difference between the purchases and consumption methods of accounting for prepaid assets and inventories.

Lesson 7 — Payroll and Benefits Accounting

  • Identify how employee earnings are determined.
  • Distinguish between a gross payroll and an adjusted gross payroll.
  • Define the various types of payroll deductions.
  • Demonstrate how to record the payroll and the employer’s share of employee benefits.

Lesson 8 — Accounting for Interfund Transactions

  • Understand the difference between interfund loans and interfund transfers
  • Record interfund loans and interfund transfers.

Lesson 9 — Adjusting and Closing the General Ledger

  • Recall why adjusting journal entries are required.
  • Record adjusting and closing entries.

Lesson 10 — Practice Exercise

  • Carry out a practice exercise, including different types of daily, ordinary, and governmental accounting transactions to determine if you have grasped most of the concepts discussed in the course.

Who Should Attend?

The ideal participants for this course are governmental employees who require knowledge of the accounting process. Governmental agencies and private businesses require vastly different accounting needs and processes. Whether you are coming from the private sector and need more governmental accounting knowledge or are already a CPA, this course is your professional cornerstone. If you belong to a state licensing board that require CPAs to maintain and improve their skills through continuing education courses, or just need to prepare for the CPA exam, this course will set you on the path to help you reach your professional goals in accounting.

Course Information

Course Number: 


Course Date Info: 
  • Complete the course's required online quizzes and exercises within three months of issuance of course access information.
  • Practical daily accounting methods and financial reporting that comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Field of Study: Accounting (Governmental)
Delivery Method: QAS Self Study
Advance Preparation: None
Program Level: Basic
Prerequisites: None

Course Fee(s): 

$469 (US Funds) — Residents of Georgia
$499 (US Funds) — Non-Residents of Georgia
$50 (US Funds) — One-Month Extension (Only one extension is granted per participant)

Prepayment is required to be registered. Prices listed are per person. Prices are subject to change.

Cancellation/Refund Policy: The Georgia Center issues full refunds for cancellations received in writing to before the release of course access information. You may cancel your enrollment at any time during the course and receive a refund less a $50 administrative fee, if you have not accessed the online course material. During the first 30 days of your course, if you have not completed any course work, you may opt for a one-time transfer of your enrollment to another student.