Gain access to exciting new career opportunities by pursuing an accounting certificate. Accounting certificate programs are non-degree programs that provide students with specialized knowledge in accounting. Certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level are designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of accounting principles, regulatory requirements, and reporting practices. Pursuing a certificate in accounting is appropriate for those who wish to enter the accounting field, as well as practicing accounting professionals who want to refresh their skills, enhance their marketability, deepen their knowledge or advance to a higher professional level.
Accounting Certificate Programs: What to Expect
Schools of continuing and professional studies at four-year colleges and universities typically offer certificates. Prerequisites vary from one school to another, but undergraduate certificate programs generally require students to have a high school diploma, GED or associate’s degree, and graduate certificate programs often require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Accounting programs provide students with a broad base of knowledge in accounting principles, teaching students how to compile, analyze, and prepare critical business and financial records. Courses may be taken individually or as part of a certificate program. You will have the option to pursue your certificate in a traditional classroom, online or both. Classes are typically offered in the evenings or weekends to accommodate the schedules of adult learners. Topics that certificate programs may cover include the following:
- Principles of financial accounting
- Financial statement analysis
- Managerial accounting
- Corporate taxation
- Accounting ethics
- Advanced accounting
Students are generally required to fulfill around 30 credit hours in order to earn a certificate. Some certificate programs may accept transfer credits for equivalent courses completed at other accredited colleges and universities. It can take anywhere from 7 to 20 months to complete a certificate program in accounting, depending on the school. Students may be given up to five years to complete all of the required coursework to earn their certificate. An undergraduate certificate program can also serve as a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Advance Your Career with a Certificate in Accounting
Accounting is a field with the potential for growth. Stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector will likely increase the demand for accounting services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16% from 2010 to 2020.
Certificate programs in accounting not only prepare students to practice in public, private, and non-profit accounting positions, but also enable them to fulfill the educational requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in many states. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46 states and the District of Columbia require CPA candidates to complete 150 semester hours of college coursework, which is 40 hours more than the usual bachelor’s degree.
Accounting is the backbone of all successful organizations. Whether you are new to the accounting profession or you’re a mid-level accounting professional looking to stay ahead of the competition, completing an accounting certificate will demonstrate your specialized educational achievement in accounting. Start researching accounting programs today to take your career to the next level.