Earn an Accounting Certificate Online
- $320 per credit for 18 credits
- Develop key accounting industry knowledge and skills
- Complete in as few as 6 months
- Program accredited by ACBSP
- Supplement your bachelor's with a certificate
- Upskill to help you kick off your career – or take it further
Accounting Certificate Online Program Overview
Enhance your knowledge of accounting principles and practices with an undergraduate Certificate in Accounting online. Whether the certificate is your first step toward a degree or a means to improve your skills, this customizable program provides the training you'll need to excel in today's competitive workplace. This certificate is a good supplement to an existing bachelor’s degree, or you can use this coursework as part of a bachelor of science degree in accounting.
You'll learn how to interpret and use financial statements and apply financial, managerial and accounting principles. You can also customize your certification with 6 credits of electives. This certificate may help you grow your career and prepare you to complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting and or a bachelor's in finance, or could supplement any bachelor’s degree you have already completed.
Learn how to:
- Gain fundamental accounting skills
- Prepare financial statements in accordance with industry standards
- Explore the financial impact of short-term and long-term business decisions
- Address intricate accounting scenarios such as recording complex financial statement elements
The accounting certificate is a strong supplement to a bachelor’s degree, especially for anyone who may already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-business field. Whether you need basic skills for entry-level positions or want to gain knowledge for promotion or job transfer within your current organization, this certificate could help you get closer to your end goal.
Earning an accounting certificate provides a solid foundation in accounting principles and practices. This work can prepare you for entry-level accounting positions in nearly any industry. With a suite of general accounting courses under your belt, you should be ready to start or advance in an exciting career in accounting, auditing or even finance.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for accountants and auditors between 2018 and 2028 is 6%, which is on par with the national average for all professions.1 However, a certificate alone is not enough to qualify you for a career in accounting. A bachelor's degree in a related field, such as business, is generally a necessary accompaniment, at minimum.
If your interest is in applying the knowledge you gain from online accounting courses toward an entry-level job in bookkeeping, accounting and auditing, there are many possible career paths where you could benefit from an accredited accounting certification program online:
- Bookkeeper: In this role, you may oversee a company’s financial inputs and outputs and their budget. You may be responsible for maintaining the books showing all accounts payable and receivable. You may also be in charge of processing payroll and completing other work such as producing financial reports and making general ledger entries.
- Accounting technician or assistant: These entry-level roles involve managing day-to-day accounting tasks. You may prepare financial reports, handle petty cash or conduct general office administration such as invoicing and communicating with vendors. General accounting duties are the hallmark of this role, including reconciling bank statements, recording revenue or managing accounts receivable and customer billing.
- Auditing clerk: Attention to detail is a particular must with this role, as the auditing clerk will combine bookkeeping, accounting and general financial recording for an organization. Ensuring accuracy across all financial documents is key.
- Financial reporting clerk: Administrative financial work is one part of this role, while the main responsibilities include record keeping and financial reporting.
- Accounts payable and accounts receivable administrator: Every company has money that goes out and comes in, and needs a professional to manage that flow. Serving as an administrator of accounts payable, accounts receivable or both means you may track that cash flow and ensure that bills are paid on time, on an incoming and outgoing basis.
Whichever the role you take, your expertise in accounting – as well as the communication, analytical and creative thinking skills developed through each of your accounting classes online – can help prepare you to not just succeed, but to excel, in the career path of your dreams.
Start Your Journey Toward an Online Accounting Certificate
Why SNHU For Your Online Accounting Certificate
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
- “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
- A $1 million grant from Google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
- Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
- Customize your education to fit your schedule and your life
- Access courses 24/7 and learn from faculty working in the field
- Consider applying your credits toward a bachelor’s degree, or our BS-to-MS accelerated online degree pathway.
- Enjoy being a part of one of the biggest and most vibrant alumni associations in the country
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
How to Apply
Simply work with an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
- Completing a free undergraduate application
- Providing previous institutions attended – so we can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
Courses & Curriculum
The accounting certificate online program is designed with your career trajectory in mind.
Every student will take 4 courses (12 credits) in general accounting. This suite of major courses is meant to provide the foundation you need to earn a key credential that will help move your career in accounting forward by setting you apart from your peers.
The 4 major courses may include:
- Financial Accounting: This course details the accounting lifecycle. It includes instruction on preparing financial statements and learning rules and best practices as defined by industry standards. The focus is on both finance and communication skills, as stakeholder communication is a vital part of this coursework and of the profession of accounting.
- Managerial Accounting: The impact of both short- and long-term business decisions is this focus of this course. Improving the performance of any organization through best practices, as well as using accounting principles to create and advance business value, are also covered.
- Intermediate Accounting: More advanced instruction on the accounting lifecycle is covered here. Also addressed are more intricate accounting scenarios and how to manage them. Application of theoretical frameworks, standards and regulations of accounting as well as preparation of statements and reports may also be covered.
- Federal Taxation 1: An understanding of tax laws is a crucial part of professional accountancy. In this course, you may expect to dive in to the Internal Revenue Service tax code and focus on applying laws and standards relating to taxes and how they related to general accountancy. You may also learn to prepare federal tax returns.
While these courses are designed to present the foundation of accountancy as a profession, they each also incorporate transferable skills that can help in any business environment. Any position that involves working with numbers includes the need to communicate findings to stakeholders. A variety of written communication and creative thinking exercises and practice is included across the curriculum along with the best practices of professional accountancy.
Once these 12 credits are successfully completed, you will have the option of choosing 6 credits from the catalog of undergraduate accounting courses. There is a wide variety, so that you may customize your focus for the remaining 2 courses and apply this certificate directly to your career path.
Elective courses may include choices like:
- Accounting Information Systems: Explore business processes related to accounting systems, including documentation of internal controls. You may learn accounting applications and types of software commonly used in the profession. Data analysis and problem solving are hallmarks of this course.
- Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations: Specific to nonprofit organizations, this course presents accounting principles geared to the way that nonprofits function. It includes discussion on the unique structure, governance, legal requirements and tax issues surrounding the management of a nonprofit.
- Cost Accounting: Cost data is the focus in the course, including how you may record, classify and report this data. Planning and control processes are covered, as are budgeting, job order and process. Special topics relating to cost accounting may also be covered.
- Auditing and Forensic Accounting: If the world of criminal investigation interests you, consider this course. Focusing on the many ways that accounting expertise can be used to solve white-collar crime, you may learn how to recognize and investigate fraud, as well as how to control and prevent it, all from an accounting perspective.
Throughout the coursework, you'll learn accounting principles and practices while reinforcing applicable transferable skills, such as written communication and creative thinking. Each course is taught by instructors with professional credentials and experience in their respective fields.
|View Full Curriculum in the Catalog|
|Certificate in Accounting|
|Courses May Include|
|Certificate in Accounting Online|
|ACC 201||Financial Accounting||Students will learn the steps of the accounting cycle and how to prepare financial statements in accordance with industry established rules and regulations. Students will develop skills needed to analyze financial accounting information, communicate this information to stakeholders, and understand the accounting procedures that produce this information.|
|ACC 202||Managerial Accounting||Students will explore the financial impact of short-term and long-term business decisions. By learning how accounting and other productivity information can be used to assess and improve performance of an organization, managers will be provided the essential information they need to execute growth strategies and select opportunities that create business value.|
|ACC 307||Intermediate Accounting I||Review introductory concepts including the accounting cycle, journal and adjusting entries. Learn to address more intricate accounting scenarios such as recording more complex financial statement elements. Apply theoretical frameworks and various accounting standards and regulations to the proper preparation of financial statements.|
|ACC 330||Federal Taxation I||Learn about current US tax laws and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), as well as the relevant source documents, associated with federal tax returns for individuals. Apply the appropriate tax laws as required by law in relation to the specific circumstances and tax liabilities of individuals. Prepare federal tax returns and communicate various tax return information to individuals|
|Total Credits: 18|
Minimum Hardware Requirements
PC (Windows OS)
Apple (Mac OS)
Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.
Currently supported operating system from Apple.
8GB or higher
8GB or higher
100GB or higher
100GB or higher
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.
SNHU Purchase Programs
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency
- Laptop or desktop? Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.
- Note: Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.
- Office 365 Pro Plus is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for Microsoft 365 plans for business, education and government.
- Antivirus software: Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.
Tuition & Fees
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation.
|Online Undergraduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get an accounting certificate?
First, be sure to look for a program that is fully accredited. That will ensure that the curriculum is designed to meet a high standard.
Then, examine the course offerings. Ideally, we recommend a certificate program that offers both broad accounting coursework as well as the opportunity to customize your learning experience with some free electives.
Any accounting certificate program you enroll in should also include good student support. Academic advising, career advising and a strong alumni network are areas that go beyond the curriculum and lend themselves well to the overall student experience. After all, it takes a considerable commitment of time and money to earn an education and it’s important to find a program that best fits your life and goals.
That’s where an online program can be a great idea. With online certificate courses, you will be able to not only customize your curriculum, but you will be able to personalize the entire learning experience.
You can access courses and submit assignments 24/7, and expect constructive, thoughtful and actionable feedback from your instructor within a fairly quick time frame. At Southern New Hampshire University, we aim to make sure you have feedback on any assignments, emails or other correspondence within a few days.
Can I get an accounting certificate online?
Online accounting certificate courses are an excellent option for a busy professional, or for anyone interested in gaining a quality education from the comfort of their own home.
More academic programs are offered online now than ever before, and for good reason. With online options, you can access your courses every day of the week and any time – day or night. You can expect quick turnaround on grading and feedback from your instructors.
Perhaps one of the ways that online learning is particularly strong is because every interaction and every course will reinforce your written communication skills and creative thinking. You’ll learn how to collaborate in a new way while using the latest technology.
As an accountant, you can present reports and make recommendations to clients, managers, colleagues and other stakeholders. It's important to be able to communicate with them effectively and efficiently.
With Southern New Hampshire University, you can not only earn an accounting certificate online, you can do so at your own pace, in a schedule that works for you.
You'll be able to take a suite of courses grounded in general accounting, and then customize your learning with 6 credits of free electives. For those electives, you may choose from any of the accounting courses in our undergraduate catalog. This offers the highest level of customization for your learning so you are able to maximize every minute and every assignment of every course.
Which accounting certification is best?
We believe that the best accounting certificate is one that you can customize to meet your needs. A fully accredited program that offers a certificate grounded in general accounting but also has the option to customize with free electives is a particularly great option.
Any accredited certification programs online should offer top-notch instruction plus the versatility you need to make the program work with your schedule. It can be tough to fit full-time employment, family, social life and the other challenges we all face every day into a schedule that includes school. When the coursework is online – and designed with you in mind – you have the flexibility you need to make the program work for you.
At Southern New Hampshire University, we designed our accounting certificate to be as flexible as you are. Every course is taught by experts in the field of accounting. They can teach the specifics about reporting, tax code and other aspects of the field while also sharing best practices about the profession itself. They can offer tips and tricks on how to best support clients, managers and other stakeholders. They also are ready to provide feedback and support quickly, every day of the week.
Is an accounting certificate worth it?
If you work in accounting or are interested in pursuing accounting as a career, a certificate can help. The coursework lays the foundation for a bachelor’s degree and eventual graduate work if that’s the path you wish to take. The certificate can also serve as an additional credential to boost your resume, which could help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to job offers and promotion opportunities.
The accounting certificate online at Southern New Hampshire University in particular is designed with you in mind. In just 18 total credits, you can earn a credential from an accredited program that comes with academic and career advising as well as faculty who work in the field. After graduating, you’ll become part of an extensive, vibrant alumni network.
And in as little as one year, you can have a accounting certificate under your belt, showing that you are serious about the field and ensuring that you are best-equipped to provide the best possible accounting and financial services to any company or organization.
Can I get an accounting job with a certificate?
Completion of a certificate in accounting can prepare you to be competitive for hire or promotions. The basic accounting classes online will provide you with a strong grounding in the field of accounting while also showing your commitment to learning and professional growth.
With this credential under your belt, you will be more competitive for promotions without investing the time and money it would take to earn a full degree.
And, if a full degree is what you decide is best for you, we have options. Southern New Hampshire University not only has both bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees online and on campus, we offer accelerated BS-to-MS pathway to help you complete both degrees at an accelerated pace. We also accept up to 90 transfer credits at the undergraduate level (and up to 12 at the graduate level) so we can help you maximize every hard-earned credit without having to repeat any coursework.
Our program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
As for what you can do with an accounting certificate supplemented to your bachelor's degree, consider these great options:
- Finance manager: With predicted 16% job growth from 2018 to 2028 and average median salary of $129,890 in 2019, a strong background in accounting principles can help you build a strong career in financial management.1 Finance managers consider tax laws and regulations and how those laws inform financial matters. They may be experts in budgets and appropriations, billing or other business matters relating to their respective field.
- Financial analyst: With a median salary of $85,660 in 2019 and predicted job growth of 6% between 2018 and 2028, the role of a financial analyst looks bright.1 Focusing on trends in the market, financial analysts consider investment opportunities for their respective institutions. They may work for investment or financial management companies, securities firms, insurance companies or even banks.
- Budget analyst: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, budget analysts are on track for job growth to stay right about on par with the national average of 4% growth from 2018 to 2028.1 They had a median salary of $76,540 per year in 2019.1 In this role, a budget analyst not only keeps a close eye on the budget of an organization, they may also prepare reports and determine costs and benefits of programs and other expenditures.
Whatever job you choose, your new grounding in accounting will help you excel.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
Sources & Citations (1, 2)
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Handbook, on the internet, at:
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-Auditors.htm (viewed June 24, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/OOH/management/financial-managers.htm (viewed June 24, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.Htm (viewed June 24, 2020)
- https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm (viewed June 24, 2020)
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.