The best online accounting certificates offer flexible and affordable options for individuals to earn a credential and advance their careers. Earning one of the best online accounting certificates is a great way to start your career. Accounting is an exciting field for business professionals to enter, but it will also always be in demand. Businesses, industries, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and even small businesses will always need accounting. As of 2020, there were over one million jobs available in the field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You can secure a job without certifications. However, you will increase your job opportunities and your viability as a candidate for various positions if you earn a certificate. There are a variety of certificates available that are part of the accounting field. Furthermore, earning a certificate will increase your job potential, and it will also increase your salary.
How We Ranked The Best Online Accounting Certificates
The editors at Online Schools Guide found schools offering a variety of online accounting certificates. Then, based on reputation, cost, and future salary, we ranked the certificate programs.
1. Southwestern Community College
|Program: Accounting & Finance Certificate|
If you are good with numbers and are great at creating a budget for your household, a career in this field may be perfect for you. Southwestern Community College offers an accounting and finance certification program that will provide opportunities to secure a job at a variety of firms. Additionally, graduates find work at small businesses, large companies, government agencies, and even nonprofit organizations.
The coursework in this program includes accounting, business law, computer applications, finance, ethics, financial planning, marketing, insurance, taxation, real estate, selling, and more. This program will also help you develop your ability to conduct financial analysis and your communication in critical thinking skills. At Southwestern Community College, you can take the accounting and finance associate degree program or earn a diploma in these fields. Several certificate programs are also available, including a certificate program for accounting and finance and payroll certification, and tax certification. These certifications will make you a great candidate for many different jobs in this field.
2. Northcentral Technical College
Northcentral Technical College offers a Managerial Accounting Certificate for students seeking entry-level skills and who have a goal of managing a business, department, or product production in the future. Students will learn how to interpret and forecast financial records for small businesses and plan and create budgets for small businesses. Graduates will be able to analyze and monitor and control the financial results of a small business while assessing the cost-volume-profit relationships by analyzing cost behaviors. Graduates will also be able to prepare financial statements for any small business for internal use. The college also offers a QuickBooks certificate to help students understand both basic accounting fundamentals and gain practical experience in using QuickBooks software. They will then be eligible and prepared to take the QuickBooks Certified User exam.
Additionally, the school also offers a Small Business Bookkeeping Certificate program. This certificate is for students who want to seek out a new or additional entry-level accounting position. The program will teach students how to manage accounting records through the use of QuickBooks software, how to prepare financial statements for small businesses, and how to keep proper financial records for small businesses, agencies, or organizations
3. Richmond Community College
The Richmond Community College offers a program for students to obtain an Accounting Specialist Certificate. In this program, students will learn the basic principles of financial accounting as well as managerial accounting. Students will also learn and be able to utilize the principles of microeconomics and the principles of macroeconomics along with how to utilize computer programs that are related to accounting.
The college also offers a Payroll Accountant Specialist Certificate for students who want to learn how to do payroll accounting through the use of software applications. Students will also learn the principles of financial accounting as well as business mathematics and how to create spreadsheets. The college has 50 years of experience and working to meet the specific needs of students, which is the reason these certificate programs are offered 100 percent online
4. Wake Tech Community College
|Program: Accounting Core Certificate / Bookkeeping Certificate / Management Accountant Certificate / and Advanced Accounting Core Certificate|
Wake Tech Community College offers an Accounting Core Certificate that is designed to teach students all of the important accounting and business concepts that are needed for a career in this field. The credits that are earned through this certificate program can be transferred to an Applied Science Degree in Accounting.
The college also offers a Bookkeeping Certificate that will prepare students to take on job opportunities in the small business accounting field. Students will gain a variety of skills in technology, including QuickBooks, Excel, and Payroll. Graduates will also have education in general small business knowledge and record-keeping skills. The credits from this certificate course can also be transferred to an associate degree program in accounting.
A Management Accountant Certificate is the third type of certificate program in the field of accounting that is offered at this college. Students will be prepared to take on a job in management accounting. Graduates will have a deeper understanding of managerial accounting concepts.
Wake Technical College also offers an Advanced Accounting Core Certificate in which students will be able to expand their knowledge that will prepare them for a lucrative career in the accounting field. The credits from this program can be applied to an associate degree in accounting or even a master’s degree program at a number of universities.
5. Champlain College Online
Champlain College Online offers a certificate program for students to have the opportunity to earn an Accounting Online Undergraduate Certificate. This program is designed for students who are interested in beginning the study of accounting and want to be hired into an entry-level position.
This certificate program will provide each student with the principles and business fundamentals that are needed to become successful in a position with a small business, organization, government agency, or even non-profit organization in the future. All of the credits from this certificate program can be transferred to an associate degree in an accounting program in the future.
6. Wayne Community College
|Program: Accounting and Finance/Bookkeeping Certificate Principles of Financial Accounting certificate program|
Wayne Community College offers an Accounting and Finance/Bookkeeping Certificate Principles of Financial Accounting certificate program. Students will learn business principles, computer programs, and software applications, payroll, and how to prepare spreadsheets.
Graduates will be able to create financial statements, present information that is relevant for managerial planning and decision making, and will be prepared to take the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User exam. This program allows graduates to apply for new positions in the accounting field or to advance in their current position.
7. Johnston Community College
Johnston Community College offers an accounting and finance degree along with several certifications completely online. The program has been created to provide a personalized experience that is faculty lead. Students will gain collaborative experience while being able to work from the comfort of their own homes and on their own time, which saves time, money, and energy, since they will not have to commute back and forth to the college campus.
Graduates will be able to work in a variety of different capacities in the field, such as small and medium-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and even in small office environments.
8. Community College of Philadelphia
The Community College of Philadelphia offers a Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Proficiency Certificate that is fully online and has been created for students who already have a bachelor’s degree but desire to become accountants. This certificate program will provide students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to meet state requirements and allow them to take the exam to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Graduates will be able to prepare financial records as well as examine and analyze those records along with financial statements and other financial reports to ensure that they are accurate, completed, and conform to all of the required reporting and procedural standards. Best of all, all the courses in this program are available online, so you can pursue your career goals whenever it’s most convenient for you. Prepare, examine, or analyze records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards. Students can also earn certificates in bookkeeping as well as accounting, payroll, tax preparation, and data analysis.
9. Montgomery County Community College
|Program: Certified Bookkeeper with QuickBooks|
Montgomery County Community College offers several accounting-related certificate programs, including bookkeeping, tax preparation, and Quickbooks. These certificates will allow graduates from the program to obtain a bookkeeping position in a small to medium-sized firm, company, agency, or organization while developing their skills in internal control and computerized accounting.
MCCC graduates will be able to create financial statements, create reports for managerial planning and decision making, apply the concepts of internal control to business processes, and be able to perform each step and double-entry accounting cycles via software programs.
10. Chemeketa Community College
|Program: One-Year Accounting Certificate|
Chemeketa Community College offers several certification programs, including a one-year online accounting certificate. This particular certificate program is for students who want to enter this field in the role of a bookkeeper while they continue to pursue an associate or bachelor’s degree. Students will learn how to identify, analyze, record, and then summarize many different types of routine economic events and will be able to present the results of their work both manually and after utilizing current accounting software.
Graduates will be able to prepare several different common federal and state payroll documents along with tax documents and reports while knowing and understanding timelines for completing and submitting those types of documents and reports. This certificate program will provide the foundation for students to prepare for the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) certification exam.
Accounting Certificate vs Certification
An accounting certification is a professional designation that is obtained by undergoing a short program of coursework and then taking and passing an exam. For example, one of the most common certifications in accounting is a CPA. To be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA), you must take a test and pass it. The certification shows you meet any professional requirements for the role. Additionally, it gives you an edge in the job market by having the extra education and certification.
Similarly, many accountants who are certified CPAs earn a Certified Public Accountant Certificate before they take the exam to earn the desingnation. So, basically, a certificate shows you completed an educational program. The certification shows you passed an exam or other process to demonstrate your knowledge.
What are the Types of Accounting Certificates?
There are different types of certificates in the accounting field, including undergraduate certificates and post-baccalaureate certificate programs. Undergraduate certificates can be obtained by students who want to garner an entry-level position in the field, while post-baccalaureate ones are for business professionals who want to increase their marketability and enhance their level of knowledge in the field of accounting.
Is an Accounting Certificate Worth It?
If you are someone who enjoys working with numbers, is detail-oriented, and enjoys mathematics, then yes, an accounting certificate is worth it for you. Obtaining certifications is a great way to enter the field of accounting or to advance your accounting career.
What is an Accounting Certificate Good For?
An accounting certificate is a great way to enter the profession. Those who enjoy the work can use a certificate as a stepping-stone toward a higher degree. Accounting is a great field to become a part of since it is always necessary for organizations, businesses, non-profits, and companies. They will always need someone to maintain accurate records, ensure they are in compliance with federal regulations, and make very strategic and sound financial decisions.
Accountants work in a variety of vital roles and growth in the field of accounting continues to increase and will continue to increase due to the globalization of businesses. Even specialized accountants will be in demand because of their professional and expert knowledge in areas such as acquisitions, mergers, and international trade. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a four percent growth for both accountants and auditors over the next decade. Many of these positions may require a bachelor’s degree, but a certificate in accounting can definitely assist you in obtaining an entry-level position in the accounting workforce.
Is Accounting a Good Career?
Accounting is a great career for many people since it is always needed and in demand. Accountants play a huge and very important role in every business, corporation, government agency, and nonprofit organization, since they create budgets, keep the books balanced, and can account for every penny that comes into a business or is paid out from the business. Accountants make very good salaries, which is another reason that makes the industry an excellent one for anyone who wants to maximize their earning potential. Also, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that the demand for accountants will be very strong over the next 10 years, at least.
How Much Can You Make with an Accounting Certificate?
The salary for an accountant is dependent upon what area in which they work. It also depends on the size and location of the company, organization, or agency that they work at. For instance, in 2020 the median pay for accountants and auditors was around $74,000 per year.
A financial examiner in 2020 could pull down around $82,000 per year while a budget analyst raked in about $78,000 per year, the income for a tax examiner in 2020 averaged out to be about $55,000 per year so even on the low end of the spectrum, this salary level in this field is quite good.
How Much Does a Bookkeeper Make?
Many individuals who haven’t yet earned a bachelor’s degree work as bookkeepers or accounting clerks. Bookkeepers earn around $45,000 a year in most places. The range for the salary from the BLS is $29,000 to $62,000.