Online Accounting Certificate

Accounting certificate programs consist of courses in accounting topics. Most certificate programs take between six months and a year to complete.

October 18, 2021

Online Accounting Certificate

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Understanding the Differences to Choose the Right Path

Professionals in the financial services industry can pursue a variety of credentials to bolster their career. Current and aspiring accountants can pursue accounting credentials such as accounting certification from a professional organization or an accounting certificate from a college or university.

Accountants can look forward to positive job prospects; The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs for accountants to grow by 6% between 2018 and 2028. This guide covers important information about earning an accounting certificate online, including sample coursework, education requirements, and career benefits.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Online Accounting Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

What Is an Accounting Certificate?

An accounting certificate program consists of a sequence of courses in accounting topics. Most certificate programs take between six months and a year to complete. Many schools offer these programs in a fully online, asynchronous format.

While courses vary by program, most accounting certificate courses cover foundational topics such as taxation, auditing and analysis, and business. The following list outlines some typical courses found in an accounting certificate program.

Sample Coursework

Who Should Pursue an Accounting Certificate?

An accounting certificate helps current and aspiring accountants advance their career. Completing an accounting certificate program after earning a degree can increase job opportunities for graduates. It can also satisfy coursework requirements for professional certification that students may have missed during their studies.

Established professionals can also benefit from earning an accounting certificate. Earning a certificate can increase salary potential and help professionals advance into leadership roles. It can also help professionals in another industry transition into an accounting career.

Additionally, certificate programs help professionals explore their interests and address blind spots in their knowledge base.

What Is Certification?

Certification differs from a certificate in several respects. A certificate program includes a course sequence offered by a college or university. Certificates may accompany a degree or offer an alternative to a degree. Certificates typically take less time and feature fewer requirements than certification.

Third-party organizations offer certification. To earn certification, professionals must usually meet education and experience requirements and pass an exam. They must then meet certain requirements to renew their certification within a specific time period. This type of credential is usually reserved for established industry professionals, rather than students and professionals new to the industry.

Accounting professionals can pursue a variety of certifications. The certified public accountant credential from the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants is a general credential that positions accountants for leadership roles with higher levels of responsibility. Other organizations, such as the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), offer certifications tailored to specializations, such as the IMA's certified management accountant credential.

Career Advancement for Accountants

The flexibility of online accounting certificate programs allows students to more easily balance coursework with personal and professional obligations. Earning an accounting certificate online prepares individuals to enter the workforce or pursue advanced study. Individuals interested in furthering their education can also pursue an online accounting degree undergraduate program.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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