Accounting is one of the most basic functions of any business. All enterprises have bills to pay and clients to charge for goods or services. Without accounting, there would be no market economy. Although seen as a business qualification, even charities and government agencies need accounting records.
A career in accounting requires special training above and beyond that which an MBA can provide. That is why those who want both a broad business understanding and specialism in accounting should consider a graduate certificate. It is good for your accounting career and provides more options in the future.
What Are the Online Accounting Graduate Certificate Requirements?
If you want to work as an accountant in any sector, you will find that colleges and universities that offer an Accounting Graduate Certificate expect you to hold the following:
- Most schools ask for a GPA of 2.5. Some may ask for 3.0, while more prestigious schools may go as high as 3.25 or 3.5
- Your bachelor's and master's degrees must be accredited; always supply copies of transcripts with your application
- Your master's degree must be in a relevant accounting or business subject
- Students who do not speak English as a first language must provide proof of English proficiency. Recognized tests include TOEFL, IELTS, PTEA, and ELS 112 in some instances
- Some ask for one, sometimes two letters of recommendation from college professors. Others may simply ask for professional references from past academic mentors/tutors
- Application fee
- A personal statement (not required for all applicants)
- If you did not previously study accounting, a list of accounting-relevant courses that made up your BA/MA
What Type of Classes Are Included in the Online Accounting Graduate Certificate Curriculum?
Accounting Graduate Certificate programs are made up of multiple courses. Schools vary by what they offer, and you will usually find a variation and combination of the following list:
- Principles of Financial Accounting
- Intermediate Accounting
- Cost Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Strategic Costing Management
- Accounting for Non-Profit Enterprises
- Accounting for Government and Government Agencies
- Accounting Information Systems
- Financial Reporting
- Tax Accounting
- Payroll Accounting
What Type of Careers Can I Pursue with an Online Accounting Graduate Certificate?
Accounting Graduate Certificates present many career options:
- Accountant: An accountant reviews all reporting and transactions to ensure everything is above board. Less frequently involved in day-to-day accounting, and more focused on oversight and internal compliance.
- Bookkeeper: A bookkeeper manages, organizes, and oversees all financial transactions for individuals and businesses. They document and keep the records ahead of financial reporting.
- Financial Reporting: Trained accountants can also work reporting financial data in a digestible and meaningful way to stakeholders such as executives, or the public.
- Staff Accountant: This is a type of financial reporting dealing specifically with employee levels, budgeting, benefits, bonuses, and resource allocation, typically for annual reviews and high-level board meetings.
- Accounting Manager: A good choice if working directly with accounts is less interesting than managing accounting processes, strategic decision making, and teams of accountants and bookkeepers.
- Financial Controller: This is an executive-level role responsible for board-level decisions. The job entails preparing, collating, and making sense of the organization's financial data.
- Auditor: You could work as a government financial auditor in an agency such as the IRS investigating individuals and businesses, or external third-party businesses auditing for organizations ahead of tax reporting.
- Budget Analysts/Forecasters: Those with IT and data skills could work more in IT roles, examining and analyzing financial reports from departments or whole businesses to produce projections and forecasts.
Accounting Graduate Certificate Programs List
Interested in an accounting graduate certificate program? Check out our listings below to find a traditional, online, or hybrid program near you.
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