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Accounting Certificate: Summary of Certificate Program

Accounting certificate programs can range from the clerical level, for people looking to become bookkeepers or accounting clerks, to advanced programs for those preparing to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

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Essential Information

Accounting certificate programs prepare students to work in several different environments. These programs typically combine accounting principles with current accounting technology, as accountants normally use computer-based spreadsheets, databases, and internet resources in their daily work.

Students will need a high school diploma to be admitted to certificate programs for aspiring accounting clerks or bookkeepers. Students seeking admission to advanced certificate programs will need a bachelor's degree. Programs are available in online and hybrid formats and usually last one or two semesters.


Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Accounting with Computers, General
  • Auditing
  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Taxation, General

Certificate Program in Accounting

Although specific programs and course titles may vary, courses usually cover cost accounting, managerial accounting, and business finance. In addition, students in an accounting certificate program can also expect to take courses which cover the following subjects:

  • Financial accounting
  • Global accounting
  • Accounting for non-profit organizations
  • Income tax accounting
  • Accounting software
  • Fraud examination

Popular Careers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks will decline 8% for the years 2014 through 2024 due to automation and the increasing tendency of firms to hire these professionals on a contract basis. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks made an average salary of $38,990 as of May 2015, based on the BLS' data. Some entry-level positions for accounting certificate holders include these:

  • Accounting assistant
  • Bookkeeper
  • Payroll clerk
  • Procurement clerk

Continuing Education

For students who would like to pursue higher education, there are many accredited associate's or bachelor's degree programs in accounting across the nation. In order to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a bachelor's degree in pre-approved business or accounting subjects is typically required, but additional requirements vary per state.

Students can enroll in accounting certificate programs to learn more about finance, accounting, fraud examination, and more. These programs can be useful for working professionals seeking advanced certification as well as individuals seeking entry-level employment, as they can be completed online in under a year.

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