Your Online Resource to Accounting Certificates

AccountingCertificatePrograms is an online guide to online certificates in accounting. An accounting certificate program is a non-degree credential between an undergraduate college degree and a master’s degree. Certificates and degrees alike are moving to the web with schools making easier for you to start a career in accounting.

You can find accounting certificate programs in both online or classroom environments. Online education is an ideal match for those who are unable to attend traditional classes. This format offers flexibility to take courses on your own schedule from anywhere in the world.


Explanation of Accounting Certificate Programs:

There are two levels of accounting certificate programs: undergraduate level and graduate level. An owner of a small retail store who wants to prepare his or her own financial reports may enroll in an accounting certificate program at the undergraduate level. Through this program they’ll gain basic knowledge on accounting. On the other hand, a person who is employed at a private financial company and wants to be promoted to a higher position should seek out the graduate level accounting certificate program. You can get either accounting certificates at any time after you graduate a college or university with a bachelor’s degree.

Either one of these certificate programs will comprise the coursework that will prepare you to qualify and pass the accounting board examinations for different accounting certifications. Typically these programs will last six to twelve months. You can find programs at local schools set in traditional classroom settings or through online accounting courses. Online options are becoming extremely popular as they have extremely flexible schedules for working adults, and can be completed much more quickly than campus college programs.

What Types of Accounting Certificates are Available?

Differentiating between the various accounting certificates that are available takes some research. The following list explains the most common accounting certificates available:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): This is the most common form of accounting certification. It’s also typically the most difficult. You will need a complete certification program and extensive CPA study material in order to pass the CPA test. The CPA salary is very high after obtaining this certification, which is why it’s so difficult.
  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA): This is the second most common accounting certification. This certification is very similar to the CPA and those who hold it can have high salaries in key management roles at top multinationals around the world.
  • American Academy of Professional Coders Certification (AAPC): This certification is good for those who are interested in medical fields and accounting. An AAPC certification will provide you skills for medical coding, auditing, and compliance.
  • Certified Credit Executive (CCE): This is a designation granted by the National Association of Credit Management. It will give you access to credit executive jobs. Credit executives are responsible for managing an organization’s entire credit granting process. You must pass a rigorous four-hour Certified Credit Executive Designation exam to earn the title of CCE.
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP): With this certification you’ll become a type of accountant that helps clients, either individually or commercially, establish their financial plans and execute them smartly. You typically need a background in accounting on top of an accounting certification program.

What are the Benefits of Accounting Certificate Programs?

Companies need employees who have undergone accounting certificate programs. Therefore, through completing this program you’ll become more marketable to current and future employers. You can advance your career and update your skills, too.

These accounting courses will help you become equipped with accounting basics such as bookkeeping, auditing, taxes and budgeting from a business perspective. You should learn the following skills through an accounting certificate program:

  • Understand and be able to apply important accounting principles to private, public and nonprofit organizations.
  • Understand how to meet legal and regulatory requirements necessary to perform public accounting functions for clients.
  • Be able to analyze financial statements.
  • Be prepared to advise clients regarding important financial reporting requirements, strategic financial decisions and other matters related to accounting practice.

A major benefit in an accounting certificate program is that it will provide you with many future opportunities. It can be a stepping-stone to a master’s education. It can also help you qualify for a position in a government office as an internal auditor for a private company, or to be engaged in a public practice. You could apply for a job promotion in your present career. Or you could enter the accounting field from a different career. An accounting certificate program will ultimately enhance both your professional knowledge and skills in accounting and business.

Which Classes are Offered in Accounting Certificate Programs?

Programs vary depending on the certification you want to receive and where you’re getting it from. Some programs also have specializations, such as financing, managing, taxes, auditing, and more. Therefore it’s important to look into each programs curriculum to know what classes they offer. Overall you’ll find many of the following class titles in most certificate programs:

  • Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations
  • Auditing
  • Cost Accounting
  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Principles of Accounting
  • Tax Planning
  • Cash Flow Analysis
  • Forensic Accounting
  • IRS Enrolled Agent Examination Review
  • Internal Auditing in Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations
  • Internal Auditing: Operational and Management
  • QuickBooks: Accounting and Finance Application for Business
  • Taxation and Partnerships
  • Business Law
  • Advance Accounting
  • Corporate Finance

What are Accounting Certificate Program Requirements?

To earn an accounting certificate you must successfully complete a total of 36 or more course units. Typically 32 of those are required units, and the remaining 8 or so are electives. The program length depends on the type of program you do, where the certificate is from, and whether you attend the program full or part-time. Typically the program can be completed in nine months to one year. All coursework must be completed in five years though; otherwise you have to start the certification process over again.

The cost of programs varies depending on the route you go. Typically online programs are a little cheaper because they don’t require overhead costs such as lighting, heating, air-conditioning, etc. This isn’t always the case though. Usually a full program costs between $5000 and $6000, yet this can really fluctuate depending on the location you’re and the format you take the course in. You can usually transfer credits from equivalent courses form other accredited colleges and universities over to certificate programs. These courses must be completed within the last three years of the start of the certification program. Official transcripts are required for proof of class completion.

Accounting Certificate Programs in Online Format:

If you have a career and a family to juggle classes with, then online education could be a good solution. Typically classes offered online and in the classroom are interchangeable, therefore even if you take some classes online you can transfer those over to a classroom based certificate program. Depending on the program you can even enroll in both classroom and online classes.

Through the Internet many people have had the opportunity to pursue a career in accounting that they otherwise couldn’t have done. The only requirement for an online certificate program is to have access to a computer and the Internet. These programs have web-based classrooms where you can access all program material. You also have access to your professors and peers through chat services and discussion boards. Sometimes video streaming is also used in distance learning.

Online learning has a few advantages. One is that you can save money and time. You won’t have to travel to a campus or community center for classes. Instead you can do them from the comfort of your home or office. This will save you many hours and money in travel time and transportation expenses. If you’re employed full-time, an online accounting program will also provide you flexibility with work and school schedules. There is a flip side to this though in that you need to set aside a significant amount of time to finish up your courses. Online education doesn’t necessarily have the same kind of visible pressure as classroom learning since you don’t interact with the professor or students face to face. Therefore you must be motivated to finish your certificate.

Another positive to taking classes online is the variety of institutions you can choose from. There are many different online accounting certificate programs. Although the programs’ premises are the same, the actual curriculum may vary. Some courses may offer more classes in financing, while others will cover auditing. Through distance learning you have the option to choose the program that fits your needs and goals the best. Overall the decision to attend an online program versus a campus-based program is up to you. Either way, you should weigh your different options carefully so you’re sure to get the education you’re hoping for.

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