Earning an online certificate in accounting can prepare graduates for entry-level careers across the field. Many programs also offer specialties so learners can tailor their education to specific careers or interests.

This page details a few of the top online accounting certificate programs, as well as available financial aid resources. You can also read about exciting career opportunities and learn about common aspects of certificate programs.

What Are the Best Accounting Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Pamlico Community College Grantsboro, NC
2 Stanly Community College Albemarle, NC
3 Central Carolina Community College Sanford, NC
4 Lenoir Community College Kinston, NC
5 Southwestern Community College Sylva, NC
6 Surry Community College Dobson, NC
7 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
8 Wayne Community College Goldsboro, NC
9 Craven Community College New Bern, NC
10 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

Students who earn an online certificate in accounting receive an introduction to key accounting topics, such as taxation, budgeting, auditing, and financial processes. Graduates of a certificate program qualify for positions such as bookkeepers and accounting clerks; these professionals earn median annual salaries of $40,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In the following sections, we explore what you can expect to encounter while pursuing an online certificate in accounting, including common coursework, admission requirements, and available career paths.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read more about our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2020 Best Accredited Online Certificate in Accounting Programs

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Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Pamlico Community College

Grantsboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

PCC, located in Grantsboro, North Carolina, enrolls approximately 500 students each year. The two-year institution offers a selection of degrees, certificates, and programs designed for academic pursuits, continuing education, and life enrichment. Enrollment options include an online accounting certificate and diploma.

Requiring 14 and 37 credits, respectively, PCC's accounting certificate and diploma programs introduce students to principles of financial and managerial accounting, federal income taxes, and business law. Graduates can find work as accounting clerks, tax preparers, or small business owners. Additional education and training can lead to employment as a CPA, staff accountant, or auditor.

PCC offers a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1. Certificate and diploma applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate; Accounting Diploma
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 14 credits (certificate); 37 credits (diploma)
Program Length: 2 semesters (certificate)

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (252) 249-1851 x3009
Email: tkennedy@pamlicocc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2

Stanly Community College

Albemarle, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 48%

SCC, located in Albemarle, North Carolina, provides dozens of one- and two-year educational opportunities designed to lead to employment or university transfer. Online study options are available in a variety of disciplines. For accounting professionals, SCC offers both an online certificate and online diploma.

Requiring 18 and 39 credits, respectively, these credentials prepare graduates for entry-level employment in the accounting profession. Asynchronous coursework covers fundamental accounting concepts, a survey of the business world, and principles of management. Free online tutoring and academic support is available 24/7 through Smarthinking.

Applicants must submit an official copy of their high school transcript. Placement testing may be required. Newly admitted students must complete either an online or on-campus orientation.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate; Accounting Diploma
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 18 credits (certificate); 39 credits (diploma)
Program Length: 8-12 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (704) 982-0121
Email: webmaster@stanly.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

Central Carolina Community College

Sanford, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

CCCC encompasses more than a dozen locations in three North Carolina counties. Students who cannot attend classes in person can take advantage of CCCC's distance learning options. More than 300 flexible career training programs are available through a partnership with online education provider, ed2go.

The certified bookkeeper training program comprises 140 credits of course content, covering concepts like payroll, inventory, internal controls, and bank reconciliation. These courses do not provide college credit. However, graduates receive a certificate of completion from CCCC and are prepared to sit for the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) certification exam.

This open-enrollment program caters to experienced bookkeepers. AIPB certification requires at least two years of full-time experience or 3,000 hours of part-time experience.


Program Overview

Program Name: Certified Bookkeeper
School Status: Public
Tuition: $1,950/program
Program Length: 6 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (919) 545-8033
Email: ed2go@cccc.edu
Social Media Account: Twitter

4

Lenoir Community College

Kinston, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 19%

LCC works to meet the personal, cultural, and professional needs of more than 2,500 students each year. In addition to nine on-ground locations, the North Carolina institution also offers online, hybrid, and web-assisted courses. Forty percent of LCC's student population is enrolled exclusively in distance education.

The college's online accounting essential certificate requires completion of 14 credits. Four asynchronous courses provide foundational knowledge of financial accounting, managerial accounting, macroeconomics, and federal income taxes. LCC also offers career planning services, library resources, and online tutoring.

An open-door admissions policy welcomes all eligible high school graduates at least 18 years of age. The college does not require placement testing unless an accepted student is found eligible for a waiver through prior education or test scores.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Essential Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $75/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 14 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (252) 527-6223
Email: lhdeaver55@lenoircc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

Southwestern Community College

Sylva, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 41%

SCC, located in Sylvia, North Carolina, offers more than 70 academic programs in the arts and sciences, career technologies, and health sciences. Many of these certificates and degrees allow for online completion, including the school's certificate in accounting and finance.

Students can pursue either a general accounting and finance certificate or focus their studies on bookkeeping, payroll accounting, or tax accounting. Depending on selection, 16-18 credits are required. Courses provide introductory study of relevant accounting principles, software applications, and computer operation. Career, library, and tutoring services are available.

SCC practices open admission. Applicants must verify high school graduation or the equivalent. Upon admission to a program, students must provide either ACT or SAT scores or complete a college placement test.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting and Finance Certificate
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: Bookkeeping; payroll; tax
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 16-18 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (828) 339-4616
Email: s_lauffer@southwesterncc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

Surry Community College

Dobson, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 30%

SCC, located in Dobson, North Carolina, strives to promote personal growth and community development through its academic programs and services. The college enrolls 3,000 students each year. Eight degrees and six certificates, including one in accounting and finance, offer fully online completion options.

This one-year, 17-credit certificate provides fundamental knowledge and skills to help graduates qualify for entry-level accounting positions in multiple industries and organizations. Required courses include principles of financial accounting, introduction to business, and business law I. Online courses utilize asynchronous delivery for maximum flexibility.

SCC's open-door policy welcomes all U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old. The college requires a high school credential for admission into the accounting and finance program.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting and Finance Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 17 credits
Program Length: 2 semesters

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (336) 386-3363
Email: worleyc@surry.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

By enrollment, SNHU is one of the largest institutions of higher education in the country. More than 100,000 learners pursue certificates and degrees at SNHU every year, 93% of whom exclusively attend distance learning courses. Among its extensive online options is an 18-credit certificate in accounting.

Designed to prepare graduates for entry-level employment, the certificate requires study of financial, managerial, and intermediate accounting principles. SNHU's online courses feature asynchronous and flexible formats, allowing students to access material at their convenience. Services include an online library, writing center, tutoring, and career counseling.

Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis. All students pay the same tuition rates regardless of state residency, with discounts available to U.S. service members.


Program Overview

Program Name: Certificate in Accounting
School Status: Private
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 18 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (603) 645-9611
Email: admission@snhu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

Wayne Community College

Goldsboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Located on a 175-acre campus in Goldsboro, North Carolina, WCC serves approximately 3,200 students each year. The college catalog boasts more than 140 degree, diploma, certificate, and continuing education programs, including both a certificate and diploma in accounting and finance.

Totalling 17 and 37 credits, respectively, the certificate and diploma both require completion of courses in financial accounting principles, spreadsheets, and introductory business concepts. Course delivery is asynchronous, and completion is possible in 2-3 semesters. All WCC students receive access to appointment-based online tutoring services offered by the academic skills center.

Prospective students must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. To better determine individual course needs, WCC requires placement testing in English, mathematics, reading, and computer skills.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting and Finance Diploma; Accounting and Finance/Bookkeeping Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 37 credits (diploma); 17 credits (certificate)
Program Length: 3 semesters (diploma); 2 semesters (certificate)

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (919) 739-6875
Email: lmcox@waynecc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

Craven Community College

New Bern, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 29%

CCC, located in New Bern, North Carolina, serves 3,200 students each year. More than 30 programs offer online completion options. For professionals interested in general, payroll, or small business accounting, CCC offers two short-term training options: a certificate and diploma.

The programs require 16-18 credits and 39 credits, respectively, covering concepts in business law, accounting software, and North Carolina business taxes. While full-time learners can complete the certificate in three semesters or less, online course offerings vary by semester depending on student enrollment and instructor availability. Distance learners receive access to a writing lab and tutoring services.

CCC practices an open-door admissions policy, accepting all eligible students who are at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or equivalent.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Diploma; Certificate in Accounting (Payroll Accounting or Small Business)
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 39 credits (diploma); 16-18 credits (certificate)
Program Length: 3 semesters (diploma)

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (252) 638-7212
Email: admissions@cravencc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 94%

The University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers programs specifically designed to meet the needs of nontraditional learners. The school utilizes six campus locations throughout Virginia and flexible online delivery methods. A part-time, online certificate in accounting is ideal for mid-level professionals looking to advance their careers.

On average, students complete the 30-credit certificate in 20 months. Coursework covers introductory and intermediate accounting, introductory auditing, and elective topics in forensic accounting, fraud examination, and federal taxation. The college offers three start dates each year in August, January, and May.

Learners need a high school diploma to apply. While the program fulfills accounting course requirements for CPA certification, an additional undergraduate degree is required to sit for the examination.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $442/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 20 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online

Contact

Phone: (800) 346-3882
Email: scpsinquiry@virginia.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

Gaston College

Dallas, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

The program catalog at Gaston College boasts 60 degrees, 26 diplomas, and 87 certificates, many of which students can complete at a distance. Although Gaston does not offer a standalone online accounting option, the online diploma in office administration-office finance prepares graduates for entry-level employment opportunities.

Students can complete the 44-credit program in as little as three semesters of full-time study. The curriculum requires study of financial accounting, keyboarding, finance solutions, and records management. A final office administration capstone emphasizes written and oral communication skills, office procedures, and professional development.

A high school diploma is required to enroll. Placement testing may also be required. If desired, graduates can apply their diploma credits to an associate degree in office administration.


Program Overview

Program Name: Office Administration - Office Finance Diploma
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 44 credits
Program Length: 3 semesters

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (704) 922-6200
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

William Rainey Harper College

Palatine, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

More than 35,000 students enroll at Harper each year, pursuing associate degrees, certification programs, career and workforce training, and professional development. Online programs allow Harper to serve students far beyond its campus in Palatine, Illinois. Two options include an accounting/bookkeeper clerk certificate and a CPA preparation certificate.

The 8-credit accounting/bookkeeper clerk certificate prepares graduates for entry-level employment opportunities and is stackable to Harper's associate of applied science in accounting. The 30-credit CPA preparation certificate caters to working professionals who want to transition to an accounting career.

An open-enrollment policy welcomes all students with a high school diploma or equivalent. Since the program helps graduates qualify for the CPA exam, applicants to the CPA preparation certificate should possess a bachelor's degree.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Bookkeeper/Clerk Certificate; Professional Accounting-CPA Preparation Certification
School Status: Public
Tuition: $133-$390/credit in-state; $466/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 8 credits (bookkeeper); 30 credits (CPA)

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (847) 925-6700
Email: Contact Form
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

Trinity Valley Community College

Athens, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 76%

Of the 4,200 students enrolled at TVCC, nearly 40% are enrolled exclusively in distance education courses. For these distance learners, the Athens, Texas institution offers both academic and workforce education programs, including an online certificate in accounting.

The certificate requires 41-42 credits and can be completed in less than two years. An interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with skills in accounting, business law and principles, and financial advising. Electives offer the opportunity to learn field-specific skills in human resource management, organizational behavior, or office management.

Full admission to TVCC requires submission of a high school or GED diploma. Distance learners are encouraged to apply as early as possible before their intended registration period, due to the time involved in communicating with academic advisors through email.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $166-$242/credit in-state; $499/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 41-42 credits
Program Length: Less than 2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (903) 675-6217
Email: onlineprograms@tvcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Colorado Christian University

Lakewood, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

CCU is a private, interdenominational college that serves 8,500 students hailing from every U.S. state. Undergraduate learners can pursue more than 80 degree and certificate options online, including a 12-credit certificate in accounting.

Two required courses provide fundamental financial accounting skills, and two electives allow for field-specific study in government/nonprofit accounting, tax accounting, or management accounting. The certificate can be obtained as a standalone program or as a supplement to one of CCU's online bachelor's degrees in accounting and business. CCU's online courses offer asynchronous formats.

Applicants must provide proof of high school completion. All online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Additionally, CCU offers undergraduates a locked-in rate for up to six years.


Program Overview

Program Name: Certificate in Accounting
School Status: Private nonprofit
Tuition: $469/credit
Credit Requirements: 12 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (303) 963-3311
Email: Contact Form
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15

Kaskaskia College

Centralia, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32%

KC, located in Centralia, Illinois, enrolls more than 7,000 students each year. Its academic catalog boasts 53 associate degrees and 103 certificate programs. Fourteen of these academic options offer online completion, including a 32-credit career and technical certificate in accounting.

The three-semester curriculum comprises 10 courses, including business mathematics, English composition, and accounting principles. Graduates can pursue careers in general accounting, purchasing, inventory control, and tax assisting. Asynchronous delivery maximizes scheduling flexibility for busy students.

A high school diploma or the equivalent is required to enroll in KC's accounting certificate program. To help determine readiness for college-level work, KC requires either placement testing or submission of ACT or SAT scores. All online learners pay the in-district tuition rate regardless of residency.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $152/credit
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Program Length: 3 semesters

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (618) 545-3040
Email: kcadmissions@kaskaskia.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Trident Technical College

Charleston, SC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 14%

In addition to on-campus offerings, TTC boasts fully online options in business technology, criminal justice, and homeland security. Individuals seeking a flexible, short-term pathway to an entry-level accounting career can pursue an applied science certificate in bookkeeping, professional accountancy, or tax preparer.

Depending on program selection, students must successfully complete 18-27 credits to graduate. Required courses vary, as each certificate aims to prepare learners for specific professional environments and positions. A few of TTC's undergraduate accounting courses include individual tax procedures, organizational accounting, and computerized accounting.

TTC's online college utilizes asynchronous delivery, allowing students to access class material 24/7. Certificate applicants must provide proof of high school graduation or the equivalent. Math and English placement testing is required, unless eligible for a waiver.


Program Overview

Program Name: Certificate in Applied Science in Bookkeeping, Professional Accountancy, or Tax Preparer
School Status: Public
Tuition: $189-$209/credit in-state; $357/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 18-27 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (843) 574-6111
Email: admissions@tridenttech.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

Piedmont Community College

Roxboro, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

PCC enrolls more than 1,000 students each year across two main campuses in Roxboro and Yanceyville, North Carolina. Approximately half of all students are enrolled in at least one distance education course, with 19% taking classes exclusively online. Among its distance offerings include two short-term programs in accounting and finance.

The 18-credit certificate and 44-credit diploma help graduates qualify for entry-level accounting positions in small businesses, hospitals, banks, and school systems. Based on the same curriculum as PCC's associate in applied science, the certificate and diploma both require study of financial and managerial accounting principles, income tax, and accounting software.

To qualify for enrollment, applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. PCC requires placement testing.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting and Finance Diploma; Accounting and Finance Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 44 credits (diploma); 18 credits (certificate)

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (336) 322-2180
Email: mark.wencel@piedmontcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Wake Technical Community College

Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 18%

WTCC offers associate degrees, certificates, diplomas, and continuing education opportunities at eleven campuses and centers across North Carolina. The school's academic reach is further expanded through eLearning technology, which makes dozens of programs and hundreds of courses available at a distance.

The 36-credit accounting diploma can be completed in three semesters of online or on-campus enrollment. Courses require study of accounting principles, business math, and writing and inquiry. Four credits of electives allow for customization according to personal interests and professional goals.

Prospective students must hold a high school diploma. Graduates are prepared to pursue several entry-level accounting positions. If desired, this credential can also be stacked and applied to WTCC's associate of applied science in accounting.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Diploma
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 3 semesters

Delivery

Format: 100% online or hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (919) 866-5420
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

Houston Community College

Houston, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 20%

HCC is an open-admission, public institution with 20 locations serving upwards of 57,000 students throughout the Houston metro area. For distance learners, HCC offers dozens of programs in more than 80 subject areas, including two accounting workforce certificates.

HCC's 36-credit accounting certificate level 1 prepares graduates for paraprofessional careers in accounting firms. The school's 12-credit enhanced skills certificate focuses on the roles and responsibilities of forensic accountants and fraud examiners. Both programs utilize a hybrid format, requiring a combination of online and in-person classes.

The college requires a high school diploma for admission to the accounting certificate level 1 program. Prospective students of the enhanced skills certificate option must hold either an associate or bachelor's degree in accounting.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate Level 1; Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination Enhanced Skills Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $33-$121/credit in-state; $151/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits (accounting certificate level 1); 12 credits (enhanced skills certificate)
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery

Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (713) 718-2000
Email: student.info@hccs.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Granite Falls, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Students at MWCTC can pursue undergraduate degrees and credentials in more than 60 fields of study. In addition to five campuses across the state, MWCTC offers numerous distance education options. Aspiring accounting professionals can earn an accounting certificate, accountant clerk diploma, or accountant diploma entirely online.

Each program takes 1-2 years to complete and requires 16 credits, 32 credits, and 64 credits, respectively. Courses in the certificate program cover foundational concepts, while the diploma options provide more advanced study of accounting, business, and computer applications. Accountant diploma students can complete an internship, if desired.

Prospective students must submit a copy of their high school transcript or GED record. The college requires placement testing for all new students, with waivers available depending on prior education and testing.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate; Accountant Clerk Diploma; Accountant Diploma
School Status: Public
Tuition: $189/credit
Credit Requirements: 16 credits (certificate); 64 credits (accountant diploma); 32 credits (accountant clerk diploma)
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (800) 658-2330
Email: Contact Form
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Community Care College

Tulsa, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

CCC is a private, nonprofit career college located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The school offers a small selection of occupation-focused programs to prepare graduates for entry into the workforce. More than half of all students enrolled at CCC study exclusively online.

In as little as 9.5 months, CCC students can earn an accounting assistant diploma designed to prepare them for diverse job requirements in large accounting departments and small businesses. The asynchronous curriculum combines study of critical accounting and business concepts with hands-on QuickBooks and Excel training. Instructors are available by phone, email, text, chat, and video conference.

Applicants should possess a high school diploma or equivalent. CCC also accepts concurrent enrollment from current high school juniors or seniors with a 3.0 GPA or higher.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Assistant Diploma
School Status: Private nonprofit
Program Length: 9.5 months

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (917) 610-0027
Email: Contact Form
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Central New Mexico Community College

Albuquerque, NM Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 27%

With a student population greater than 22,000, Central New Mexico Community College is the largest community college in the state. Students can earn a 42-credit accounting certificate through a combination of online courses and in-person classes at CNM's main campus and Montoya campus in Albuquerque.

Required courses include business professionalism, principles of accounting, and fundamentals of information literacy and systems. If desired, students can complete a 135-hour internship. Graduates of the accounting certificate program are prepared to pursue industry credentials as a certified bookkeeper and certified public bookkeeper.

Prospective students must demonstrate appropriate math, reading, and writing skills through placement testing, ACT/SAT scores, or high school transcripts. The program offers completion times as brief as three semesters, with start dates available in the fall, spring, and summer.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $660/semester in-state; $3,552/semester out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 3 semesters

Delivery

Format: Hybrid

Contact

Phone: (505) 224-3000
Email: contactcenter@cnm.edu

23

Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, NJ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Thomas Edison State University is one of the few schools in the nation designed specifically for adult learners. The school offers extensive flexible learning options for undergraduate and graduate students, including online courses, prior learning assessment, and credit-bearing exams. One of its many online options is an undergraduate certificate in accounting.

This 18-credit program provides foundational knowledge of the accounting field. Courses cover principles of financial, managerial, tax, and cost accounting. Graduates can pursue immediate workforce entry or easily transfer their credits toward the accounting bachelor's degree at TESU.

Applicants must possess a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. Admission is limited to individuals 20 years of age or older, or active military service members 18 years or older.


Program Overview

Program Name: Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting
School Status: Public
Tuition: $399/credit in-state; $509/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 18 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (609) 777-5680
Email: admissions@tesu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

Vance-Granville Community College

Henderson, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

Encompassing four campuses in four North Carolina counties, Vance-Granville Community College offers more than 40 degree, diploma, and certificate programs. To better serve the diverse scheduling needs of students, VGCC offers day, night, and distance courses. A 13-credit certificate in accounting can be completed entirely online.

During the program, students take four required courses: principles of financial accounting, principles of managerial accounting, federal income taxes, and payroll accounting. VGCC's asynchronous delivery format makes class material available 24/7. Graduates possess the knowledge and skills required for entry-level employment in the accounting field.

Unless an applicant has earned an associate degree or higher, VGCC requires submission of high school transcripts. Placement testing may be required. New students must attend a two-hour on-campus orientation.


Program Overview

Program Name: Sole Proprietorship Accounting Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 13 credits

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (252) 738-3295
Email: farmerd@vgcc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

North Arkansas College

Harrison, AR Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

Northark is a public, two-year institution serving approximately 1,800 students each year. Half of all Northark students enroll in at least one distance education course. Eleven programs can be completed entirely online, including a 30-credit certificate in accounting.

In addition to study of accounting principles and financial mathematics, courses cover introductory concepts in business and information technology. With full-time completion possible in as little as one year, graduates are prepared to work for both small businesses and large companies. The certificate can also be applied to Northark's associate of applied science in business administration.

Admission requires submission of official high school transcripts or GED scores. Placement testing and proof of immunizations is required.


Program Overview

Program Name: Accounting Certificate
School Status: Public
Tuition: $74-$99/credit in-state; $124-$169/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery

Format: 100% online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact

Phone: (870) 391-3225
Email: ckeymer@northark.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Online Certificate in Accounting Program Overview

The exact components of an online certificate in accounting program vary by school. Typical programs require students to complete 15-45 credits and can take about a year to complete. The length of a program fluctuates depending on the number of credits and whether a student takes a full-time or part-time course load.

An accounting certificate program introduces students to basic accounting principles and processes. The curriculum covers several core accounting topics, such as taxes, budgeting, accounting systems and software, and auditing. Earning an online certificate in accounting provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to work in a variety of entry-level accounting positions. It may also prepare graduates for certification processes or to pursue a bachelor's degree.

Some schools may offer certificate programs with a specialty, such as bookkeeping, which can provide a more in-depth look at concepts like ledgers and payroll.

Common Certificate in Accounting Degree Courses

Taxation

This course focuses on the basics of taxation, including the tax code; tax laws; and the differences between local, state, and federal taxes. Students also learn to identify and fill out the correct tax forms for a variety of situations. The curriculum may also provide an overview of the differences between individual and business taxation principles and policies.

Auditing

Students in this course learn how the auditing process works. The curriculum typically includes an overview of common internal control processes and how to prepare documents, write reports, and interpret an auditor's reports and opinions. Students may also learn the basic principles of reading a financial statement and how to identify possible discrepancies and strategies for mitigating issues.

Financial Accounting

Students in this course learn to read important financial documents such as budgets. Coursework develops the skills students need to analyze financial documents to generate insights into a company's financial health and help business leaders make important decisions. The curriculum also explores basic accounting systems, software, and how to prepare financial planning documents.

Principles in Accounting

This course provides a comprehensive overview of basic accounting principles and common accounting software. A few key topics include basic processes, procedures, rules and laws. Students also learn how to read and interpret a financial statement. This course may explore how accounting roles vary depending on a person's focus, such as working in accounts receivable versus payroll.

Managerial Accounting

This course builds on basic accounting concepts and focuses on core managerial topics such as the time value of money and cost accounting principles. The curriculum also introduces students to concepts in budgeting, variances, cost-volume-profit, and costing principles for business processes and job orders. Students are trained to make sound financial decisions and manage efficient processes.

Online Certificate in Accounting Admission Requirements

  • Standardized Tests

    Some programs require students to submit standardized test scores, such as the ACT or SAT. Schools may also require students to pass a skills test, such as the COMPASS or ACCUPLACER. Requirements may vary depending on a prospective student's academic history.

  • Application

    Prospective students must submit a complete application to the admissions office. Most applications request personal information, such as an applicant's name, date of birth, citizenship status, and address. Some may also ask applicants to state their chosen degree program and start date. Applications usually include a fee; the amount varies by school, but the average fee costs around $50.

  • Official School Transcripts

    Most schools require prospective students to submit official school transcripts from their high school and previous colleges, if applicable. The admissions office typically uses transcripts to determine whether students qualify to take courses in their chosen program, and many schools will not admit students before they receive transcripts.

  • Attestation Form

    Several programs may request an attestation form or high school self-certification form. This form demonstrates proof to an admissions officer that a prospective student graduated from high school, a qualifying homeschool program, or possesses a GED. It is usually a simple form that requires students to state their graduation status and provide information about their school.

  • Residency Form

    Many schools may require students to provide proof of state residency along with their application. Students may need to submit a qualifying state ID, employment status, and/or proof of living in the state for a minimum amount of time. Most schools accept students regardless of their state of residency, but a student's residency can impact tuition rates.


Online Certificate in Accounting Career Paths

Individuals who earn an online certificate in accounting qualify for entry-level positions in the field, such as bookkeepers and accounting clerks. These roles typically involve filing and maintaining financial records, data entry, running reports, managing payroll information, and processing payments.

To advance in the field, professionals must possess a higher degree or certification. Some positions may require both. For example, becoming a certified public accountant requires at least a bachelor's degree in accounting, business, or closely related field, as well as state certification. State requirements may vary so students should carefully research the qualifications they need to work in their state.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

How much can you make with an accounting certificate?

The BLS reports that common careers available to graduates of an accounting certificate program pay a median annual salary of around $40,000. Your earning potential may increase as you gain more experience, pursue a higher degree, or obtain certification.

How do you become a certified accountant?

Becoming a CPA typically requires you to complete an accounting program and pass a certification exam. State requirements may vary, and some also require prospective CPAs to complete a minimum number of work hours in the field to qualify. You should research your state's requirements carefully to ensure you obtain the credentials you need to qualify for employment.

What jobs can I get with a certificate in accounting?

Individuals with a certificate in accounting qualify for positions like bookkeepers and accounting clerks. Workers in these roles complete a variety of tasks but generally assist in the process of collecting and maintaining important financial information. They may work specifically with a department such as payroll or accounts receivable. Alternate job titles may include payroll coordinator, auditing clerk, or accounts receivable clerk.

What courses do you take to earn a certificate in accounting?

Each program has its own course requirements, but a few common classes include taxation, accounting systems, auditing and analysis, and financial accounting. These courses provide students with a general knowledge of basic accounting principles and prepare them for entry-level employment.

How long does it take to get a certificate in accounting?

The length of time it takes to complete a certificate in accounting varies by program. Most can be finished in about a year, although a student's course load can impact their graduation timeline.

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