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Accounts Payable Classes and Courses Overview

Accounts payable courses are usually part of an associate's degree program in accounting or an undergraduate certificate program in accounting or accounts payable and accounts receivable. In addition to specialized training, associate's degree programs offer students a general education foundation, with studies in social and behavioral sciences, communications, humanities and mathematics.

Essential Information

Successful completion of an accounts payable or accounting program allows students to be eligible for national certification testing in accounts payable or certified bookkeeping. Some colleges and industry associations may also offer individual professional development classes and short courses covering accounting software or accounts payable topics, such as accounts payable management, reimbursement for business expenses and internal controls for accounts payable.

Some common concepts taught in these courses are:

  • Business computer skills
  • Microsoft Office and QuickBooks knowledge
  • Ability to use both manual and automatic accounting techniques and tools
  • Knowledge of business ownership and career subjects
  • Understanding of accounting subjects and terminology

List of Common Courses

Basic Accounting Course

This introductory course examines the theories of financial accounting, including the preparation of financial statements and the accounting cycle. Students discuss the use of internal controls, the preparation of financial statements and the filing of financial reports. Other topics covered include cost control, budgets and external reports.

Functions of Accounts Payable Course

This course reviews the role that accounts payable plays in a business. Students track the progress of a purchase order from receipt of invoice to final payment. Topics include internal controls, fund disbursements, statement reconciliation and tax document preparation. Successful completion of this course allows students to be eligible for the Accounts Payable-Entry Level National Certification Examination.

Advanced Accounts Payable Course

This advanced course teaches students how to prepare for audits and how to detect and prevent fraud. Students learn how to organize and file records for long-term storage. The proper destruction of sensitive records is discussed. Other topics discussed include petty cash, data security and software issues, disbursement methods and international payments.

Bookkeeping Course

Students focus on accounts payable, billing and accounts receivable. They learn how to process bills and receipts, enter and adjust worksheet entries, establish cash control systems and make purchases and cash payments. This course uses accounting software programs to produce financial reports, track invoices and payments, chart accounts, monitor inventory and prepare banking transactions.

Payroll Operation Course

This course looks at the process of a payroll cycle of a small business. Students in this class discuss the laws, regulations and accounting principles governing payroll disbursements, tax filings and other information. The impact fringe benefits have on processing payroll is examined.

Cost Accounting Course

Participants in this class review the concepts of analyzing costs as part of running a business. Topics include budgeting, cost behavior, planning and control and labor. Students learn the techniques and tools used in cost analysis, including computer software programs.


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