Accountant Certificate and Courses

A certificate program in accounting is a common step toward preparing for a career as an accountant. Credits earned in a certificate program could help you complete the education required to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA), common credentials held by professional accountants. Read on to learn more about the programs, including courses you could take to help you prepare for certification. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

An accountant certificate program is a post-baccalaureate course of study for professionals wanting more knowledge in the field without obtaining a graduate degree. Certificate program courses cover various types of accounting methods and can prepare you for professional certification in accounting.

Certificates Professional Certificate in Accounting, Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting, Accounting Certificate
Courses Managerial accounting, forensic accounting, taxation, cost accounting, financial reporting
Certification Educational requirements for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credentials can be met through an accountant certificate program

What Are the Requirements for a Certificate Program?

A bachelor's degree is a common admissions requirement for certificate programs in accounting; although, some schools will allow you to enroll if you have at least 60 undergraduate credit hours or an associate's degree. Some of your undergraduate credits, especially credits earned in accounting courses, could count towards your certificate. So the time needed to graduate depends on your undergraduate coursework. You can generally complete an accountant certificate program in nine months to two years. These courses might be included in an Accounting Certificate program:

  • Principles of financial accounting and reporting
  • Managerial accounting
  • Auditing
  • Tax accounting
  • Government and non-profit accounting

What About Certification?

To earn the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation, for example, you'll typically need to complete 150 credit hours of coursework, which is slightly more than what is generally required to earn a bachelor's degree. Completing courses in a post-baccalaureate accounting certificate program can also help you meet requirements for other designations, such as the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential through the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). To earn the CMA, you'll need a bachelor's degree, two years of accounting experience and membership with the IMA (

Why Earn a Certificate?

A certificate program could prepare you for all the duties you'll perform as an accountant, including completing audits, preparing financial reports, analyzing financial statements and working with both public and private organizations. A certificate program also provides the additional college credits needed to meet the requirements for professional accounting certification.

What Is My Career Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were nearly 1.4 million accountants and auditors in the U.S. in 2016. Employment in this field was expected to grow 10% between 2016 and 2026, with an estimated 139,900 jobs expected to be added in that decade ( Accountants and auditors earned a median wage of $69,350 in 2017.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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