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Accounting and Bookkeeping Certificate: Program Summary

An accounting and bookkeeping certificate program prepares students for entry-level positions in accounts receivable and accounts payable departments, payroll units, income tax firms and financial services organizations. Students may learn the theory of double-entry bookkeeping, the practice of journals and ledgers, preparing payroll documents and reconciling banking statements.

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Accounting and Bookkeeping Certificate

Instructors may teach students about recent innovations in accounting and bookkeeping as well as the fundamentals of both. Certificate programs are designed for those who are new to the field as well as experienced accountants and bookkeepers who are seeking certification. Business leaders could also benefit from earning an accounting and bookkeeping certificate if they desire to keep up with their own financial records. As education prerequisites, programs may ask applicants to have an education background in bookkeeping and accounting or have a bachelor's degree.

Program Coursework

Certificate program studies might be focused on common accounting principals and how to analyze financial statements. Students could become skilled in data interpretation and have the option to specialize in areas such as accounting for controllers and business analysts. Other studies may include the following:

  • Internal auditing
  • Practical accounting
  • Payroll administration
  • Cost accounting
  • Business valuation
  • Computerized accounting
  • Business mathematics
  • 10-key
  • Corporate finance
  • QuickBooks

Employment Outlook & Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that between 2010 and 2020 the employment outlook for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks was expected to experience a 14% growth, as fast as average when compared to other occupations (www.bls.gov). This outlook was attributed to a swelling economy and the requirement for accuracy in financial reporting.

Payscale.com reported that in 2013 bookkeepers earned an annual salary of $23,574 to $52,157. Accountants were cited as making $31,188 to $65,718 at that same time.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals who have earned an accounting and bookkeeping certificate can next earn a graduate certificate. Such programs may teach students about advanced accounting, the audit process, SEC reporting and multinational accounting. After earning a certificate, graduates may choose to work in fields such as finance, insurance, tax planning and banking.

Becoming a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Public Bookkeeper may be beneficial to advancing a career or gaining a job position. The National Association of Certified Bookkeepers (NACB) offers the Certified Public Bookkeeper designation for individuals who pass the exam. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) offers the Certified Public Accountant designation. Most but not every state requires that accountants have a bachelor's degree and two years of experience before they can become certified.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics