Students learn to conduct business and payroll accounting, as well as to use accounting software, such as Peachtree Accounting, Microsoft Excel, and QuickBooks. Students also might study more general topics in computer technology, information systems, and technical writing. Some certificate programs offer internship opportunities. Individuals interested in enrolling in one of these programs must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Certification in Computerized Accounting Technology
These curricula balance topics in traditional accounting systems with courses in computer software. Students enrolled in certificate programs may take the following courses:
- Payroll accounting
- Business accounting
- Computerized accounting
- Financial management
- Business communications
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks were expected to decrease 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Positions will be created out of the development of new businesses and the need to handle more complex regulations. In May 2015, the BLS indicated that the median annual wage for these professionals was $37,250.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals who earn a certificate may enhance their credentials by pursuing additional voluntary certifications. The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers awards the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation (www.aipb.org). Individuals who are interested in obtaining this credential must have at least two years of bookkeeping experience, sign a code of ethics, and pass a four-part examination. While the BLS indicates that some employers may allow bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks to advance to full accounting positions after they obtain a certain amount of work experience, most employers prefer to hire individuals with the minimum of a bachelor's degree.
Graduates of a computerized accounting technology certificate program have the skills needed to perform accounting work in a variety of computer programs, and can go on to earn additional certification and apply the skills learned to a traditional degree program to enhance their employability.