Accounts Payable Certification and Certificate Program Info

Continue reading to learn about what's taught in accounts payable certificate programs. See about the different kinds of certification, as well as employment and salary statistics.

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Essential Information

Although many accounts payable managers either learn their skills on the job or earn associate's degrees in accounting, some do choose to take advantage of Accounts Payable and Receivable Certificate programs and certifications.

Some 4-year universities and community colleges offer accounts payable certificate programs through their accounting or continuing education departments. Such programs are typically made up of just one semester's worth of credits. They're designed to provide individuals with the most basic skills and knowledge necessary to manage the expense and income records of a business.

Students enrolled in a certificate program for accounts payable managers must first learn about basic mathematics and accounting skills. Some certificate programs in the field also include courses in computerized accounting systems, such as the commonly used QuickBooks. Training in such systems can prepare individuals to earn entry-level positions as accounts payable mangers upon completion of the certificate program. To get into a certification program, applicants just need to have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Program Coursework

The courses included in a typical certificate program in accounts payable training are practical and hands-on in nature, providing students with the exact tools and skills they will need to enter the vocation. Some of these courses include:

  • College mathematics
  • Business communication
  • Accounting cycle
  • Accounting and finance
  • QuickBooks
  • Computerized accounting
  • Computer spreadsheets
  • Management principles

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Accounts payable clerks are listed along with bookkeeping, auditing and accounting clerks in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' records. The organization reported that clerks in the accounting field held around 1.6 million jobs in the United States in May 2012 ( Most of those individuals worked for accounting services, business management offices and local governments. The annual median salary for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks in May 2012 was $35,170.

Certification and Continuing Education

Certification in the accounts payable and receivable field is completely voluntary and is offered by several organizations. The International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP) organization allows individuals to become a Certified Accounts Payable Professional (CAPP) or Certified Accounts Payable Associate (CAPA) by completing an examination. The Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA) offers similar certification options for accounts payable professionals.

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