Online Certificate Programs in Accounting

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: None
  • Professional Prerequisites: None
  • Average Program Length: 6 months (full time); 1 year (part time)

Accounting is the preparation of financial records for accuracy and compliance with financial laws and regulations. Accountants calculate taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and assess the financial operations of an organization to improve profits and reduce costs. While accounting usually requires an undergraduate degree, certification in accounting will provide an understanding of accounting's principles. Certification programs in accounting cover introductory course work, including accounting cycles, financial statements, and tax law.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Accounting

An accounting certificate requires course work in recording, analyzing, and summarizing for balance sheet preparation and income statements. Accounting course work may also cover principles in report mergers and acquisitions, reporting for publicly trading companies, and partnerships. Traditional or online accounting programs may cover federal income tax law in relation to individuals and corporations, governmental and nonprofit accounting, and business ethics for accountants. Some certificate programs will also offer course work in auditing.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) candidates are required to complete 150 hours of undergraduate-level study in order to gain CPA certification in most states. The CPA designation is required to file report with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While CPA and most accounting positions require an undergraduate degree, an accounting certificate may provide a foundation of course work applicable to an undergraduate degree, or specialization in an industry. The certificate programs may be applied toward the 150 credit-hour completion requirement.

What Your Online Certificate in Accounting Can Do for You

An accounting certification program may provide a foundation of accounting course work applicable to an existing position or to further education in accounting. Managers and other business professionals may benefit from an introductory accounting degree. Advanced accounting certification offers course work specific to an industry and may offer marketability in that particular field. Prospective accountants planning on attaining CPA certification will need to enroll in an undergraduate accounting program.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that accountants and auditors had a median annual salary of $61,690 in 2010. Employment for accountants and auditors is expected to increase by 16% between 2010 and 2020. Licensure as a CPA and/or a graduate degree in a related field will offer more job prospects for accountants. Keep in mind that employment and salary information vary depending on area, employer, experience, and position.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

More Information on Penn Foster
Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.