Continuing education programs in accounting prepare students for work in the accounting, auditing and taxation fields. A master's degree in accounting is the most common type of program. This program includes both general business and advanced accounting coursework that can help students meet the requirements to take the CPA exam in the state where they live. Some schools let students further specialize their graduate-level accounting studies in taxation, forensic accounting or auditing. Many accounting master's programs are available entirely online.
After completing a master's program and gaining the credits needed to take the CPA exam, individuals still usually need work experience in accounting in order to gain licensure. CPAs will need to complete continuing education after licensure as well.
Here are some common concepts taught in accounting program courses:
- Tax preparation
- Investments and liabilities
- Legal issues
- Financial statements/reports
List of Accounting Program Courses
Business Law Course
Students of this course learn about business documents and transactions. Students look at partnerships, contracts, bailments and sales. This course is ideal for CPAs or accountants who want to work in law or business.
Financial Accounting Course
This introductory course prepares students for other courses in accounting. The principles of accounting and reporting, whether for corporations or small businesses, are learned. Students explore inventory, receivables, proprietorships and fixed assets. This course is excellent for those who want to work in business accounting or become a CPA.
Federal and Corporate Taxation Course
Students look into the federal taxation laws as they pertain to corporations and businesses. Students examine laws for partnerships, C corporations and S corporations. Students learn how to look at assets and penalty taxes for such businesses. Depending on the institution, students may learn how mergers affect taxation laws. Students may also look at local taxation laws and exemptions that change annually for businesses, such as special tax credits and incentives.
Forensic Accounting Course
Students learn of the relationship between forensic accounting and the court system in this course. Topics include internal auditing, fraud detection and legal problems that surround forensic accounting. Students examine how forensic accountants work with judges and lawyers to discover what corporations may or may not have been doing legally.
Ethical Issues in Accounting Course
This course is often broken into multiple courses, but may be combined into one, depending on the school and the program. Students look into ethical issues that CPAs are often confronted with on a daily basis. Students explore how to work with senior citizens, how to handle client privacy issues when using networking sites and more. Also, working for a corporation may create ethical dilemmas of the business kind. In this course, students are given scenarios and must confront these issues with unbiased responses.
Not-for-Profit Accounting Course
This course is very similar to financial accounting in that students examine accounts, receivables and revenue. It differs in that they learn the differences between corporate and not-for-profit accounting through studying daily duties, payrolls, grants and contributions. Students look at scenarios in a not-for-profit accounting department and learn daily procedures for data collection.