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Accounts Payable Certification and Certificate Program Info

Get the facts about accounts payable certificate programs. See the different kinds of certification options in this field, as well as employment and salary statistics.

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Essential Information

Although many accounts payable managers either learn their skills on the job or earn associate's degrees in accounting, some do choose to take advantage of accounts payable and receivable certificate programs. Some 4-year universities and community colleges offer accounts payable certificate programs through their accounting or continuing education departments. Such programs may take anywhere from 3 months to one year to complete. These programs focus on fundamental bookkeeping and accounting skills. Some programs in the field also include courses in computerized accounting systems, such as QuickBooks. Voluntary certification is available through a few different private organizations and requires completion of an exam.

Program Coursework

The courses included in a typical certificate program in accounts payable training are practical and hands-on in nature, providing students with the exact tools and skills they will need to enter the vocation. Some of these courses include:

  • College mathematics
  • Business communication
  • Accounting cycle
  • Accounting and finance
  • QuickBooks
  • Computerized accounting
  • Computer spreadsheets
  • Management principles

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Accounts payable clerks are listed along with bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' records. The organization reported that clerks in the accounting field held around 1.6 million jobs in the United States in May 2012 ( Most of those individuals worked for accounting services, business management offices and local governments. The annual median salary for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in May 2012 was $35,170.

Certification and Continuing Education

Certification in the accounts payable and receivable field is completely voluntary and is offered by several organizations. The International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP) organization allows individuals to become a Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP) or Certified Accounts Payable Associate (CAPA) by completing an examination. The Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA) offers similar certification options for accounts payable professionals.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics