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Review: Professor in a Box Accounting


Miss 16 Year-Old wanted to learn accounting, so I bought her the only homeschool accounting course I had ever heard of.  It was a disappointment, but, hey, what could we do?  We had paid for it, and there was not, to my knowledge, anything better available.  Then, as has happened several times already this fall, a Homeschool Crew reviewing opportunity came up to solve our problem: 

We received a Financial Accounting course from Professor in a Box.  

This great course was prepared by Michael P Licata, Ph.D., a homeschool dad and professor at Villanova University.  All course materials—Flash lectures, printable slides, homework problems, solutions, quizzes, key concepts and terms,  Microsoft Excel templates, and three exams—are included on 4 CD’s.  There is no text book to study; all you have to do is

  1. watch the lectures,
  2. do the homework problems,
  3. check the solutions,
  4. take the exams.

This course is complete and thorough and doesn’t require mom to know anything about accounting.  (After all, it was created by a homeschool dad—he knows homeschooled teens can work independently, and he knows homeschool moms have their hands full.) 

Even though the course is at a college level, the only prerequisite is basic math skills (algebra).  The twelve chapters are split up into 28 lessons, each about 2.5 to 3.5 hours long, including homework.  It’s a good course to take over an entire school year, but obviously it can be done more quickly.  Note that this is a serious college level course.  There is no entertaining fluff, and the students are treated as adults.

After taking this course, a student is prepared to take the CLEP Financial Accounting Exam and will know a lot about accounting, as well as understand Microsoft Excel.  On a more practical level, the student will be able “to prepare and interpret the four basic financial statements—income statement, balance sheet, statement of owners’ equity and statement of cash flows.”

Not that I have any idea what all that means, or even it is what my daughter is learning…. However, she’s eager to help me learn about debits and credits and what columns to use for what, and why numbers I think should be positive are actually negative, and vice versa. 

Obviously there is a huge gap in my knowledge.  I hope to work my way through this course next year, and I also intend that all my other children will learn accounting. Accounting is, as Professor Licata states, the language of business.  Science and literature and math and languages are good to learn, but understanding the business side of society, church, and government is also important.  Of course, a knowledge of accounting is crucial if one actually wants to work in business, be involved in running a farm, help with a non-profit organization, or participate in the government.

My daughter is pleased with Professor in a Box, although she was a bit frustrated to have to listen to the overviews.  (Exciting audiobooks are more appealing. Go figure! I suggested she crochet while listening, but apparently that’s not a good idea either.)  She really enjoys the lectures when they go into the nitty-gritty of actual accounting, though.  She prints out the key concepts and terms to study and does the homework problems. 

Although at first I found Professor Licata’s accent a bit difficult to understand, I soon got used to it.  He presents concepts in a clear way while you watch the lecture slides.  You can see thumbnails of the slides on a sidebar, and can print these out if you wish. After listening to the first lesson, I already understood a whole lot more than I did before…and I did some hand-mending as well as note-taking while listening. Unlike my daughter, I loved the overview, perhaps because it was all new to me.

Now, I know that professional accountants from other countries have to be tested on Canadian taxation and business law before being accredited here, but at the level of this course, accounting seems to be fairly international.

Even though it’s almost impossible to take CLEP exams in Canada, this course is still very worthwhile for the knowledge it presents.

Could this Course Benefit Your Family?

Professor in a Box is not inexpensive, but if a student can use it to test out of a college course, the investment will have been worth it.  It would also be a great investment for a teen who wants to set up a business.  What’s more, the course is non-consumable and can be used by every child in your family (and the adults as well).

To see if Professor in a Box would work for your family, you can meet Professor Licata in a video on his website.  The website also offers a sample chapterIf you know about accounting, the detailed syllabus can help you decide if your family would like this course. You can read other homeschooler’s opinions at the Homeschool Crew Review blog.  Many of these ladies know more about accounting than I do, and could probably give a better evaluation of the course content.  

Note that the website includes links for those who do not have Microsoft Excel; it is not necessary to own Microsoft Excel to use this financial accounting course.

When you buy Professor in a Box, what’s all included? 

  • Three CD’s with the narrated lectures, printable lecture slides, key concepts and terms, homework problems, and solutions to homework problems
  • An instructor’s CD with an introduction, course syllabus, detailed lesson plans, quizzes, exams, exam solutions and grading guides, and Microsoft Excel templates for all problems and exams
  • Printed information containing the course contents, syllabus, and learning objectives
  • A Professor in a Box calculator and pencil

The Professor in a Box Financial Accounting course is available for $119.99 US, including free shipping. It comes with a full money back guarantee if you are not satisfied after the first three chapters. 


Disclosure Policy:   As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received this Financial Accounting course from Professor in a Box in order to review it.


  1. proverbsmama says:

    Thanks for reviewing this. I want dd to take an accounting course at some point because I think she will like it.

    She really enjoys sudoko and "plugging in numbers" so I think accounting would be good for her. She is very detailed, and a perfectionist, which is a good fit for that type of course.

  2. IllinoisLoriH says:

    Wow, sounds wonderful! I'm off to view the video and sample lessons now! Thanks so much for such an in-depth review, so specific!


    Lori (aka Plans4You and SerenityInTheSuburbs)

  3. Ken Bragg says:

    I am having a problem with Exam 3 problem 1b Using present value to value a bond

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