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Katrina Jagroop-Gomez working with peers with text Katrina Jagroop-Gomez '15

Online Accounting Certificate Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

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Undergrad Start Date: July 01 Grad Start Date: July 29

Earn an Accounting Certificate Online

  • $330 per credit (18 credits) for undergraduate
  • $637 per credit (18 credits) for graduate
  • Develop key accounting knowledge and skills to start or advance your career
  • Choose your pathway, take a certificate standalone or stack to a degree
  • Median annual salary of $78,000 for accountants and auditors1

Accounting Certificate Online Program Overview

If you have a knack for numbers and enjoy solving business challenges, consider an undergraduate or graduate accounting certificate at Southern New Hampshire University.

About the Undergraduate Accounting Certificate

Organizations in every industry need accounting professionals to help them maintain the financial health of their business.

The undergraduate accounting certificate can be a fast way to earn a credential on the road to a higher-level degree. This certificate program can also be an opportunity to learn a new skill that can help support career advancement.

Whether the accounting certificate is your first step toward a degree or a means to improve your skills, this program provides the training you'll need to excel in today's competitive workplace.

SNHU's undergraduate accounting certificate program is ideal for you if:

  • You want an education in accounting but you're unsure if you are prepared for a full degree, like an associate degree in accounting or bachelor's degree in accounting
  • You have an associate, bachelor's or college credit in another field
  • Your current career would benefit from upskilling in foundational accounting
  • You "fell into" an accounting-related job and are seeking some formal education

Courses you'll take may include:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Intermediate Accounting I and II
  • Cost Accounting
  • Federal Taxation I

Learn more about the courses in the Courses & Curriculum section.

Get on track to CPA licensure

If you're looking to become a Certified Public Accountant, the 18 credits you receive for the undergraduate accounting certificate at SNHU may contribute to the credit hours you need to sit for the CPA exam. Be sure to check your local state criteria for a full list of state licensure requirements. 

Interested in continuing your education after earning this certificate? It shares requirements with SNHU's AS and BS in Accounting, so you can earn your degree faster and for less money.

About the Graduate Accounting Certificate

Newly aligned with the 2024 CPA Exam, the graduate accounting certificate can help you gain foundational knowledge of cost accounting, financial statements, auditing and federal taxation of individuals.

SNHU's graduate accounting certificate program is ideal if you:

  • Have a bachelor's degree in another field
  • Earned an accounting degree and you want an advanced credential
  • Want to earn a certificate on your way toward a master's in accounting
  • Still need class time to meet the 150 credit hours required to sit for the CPA Exam (in most states)

This 6-course certificate explores topics like cost accounting, financial statement analysis, accounting and auditing regulations, and tax preparation and planning. More specifically, it will help you gain skills and experience in financial statement analysis, accounting principles, strategic planning and ethical conduct.

Courses you'll take may include:

  • ACC-550 Cost Accounting
  • ACC-610 Financial Reporting I
  • ACC-620 Financial Reporting II
  • ACC-630 Financial Reporting III
  • ACC-640 Auditing
  • ACC-650 Federal Taxation of Individuals

Interested in continuing your education after earning this certificate? It shares foundational requirements and six major program credits with SNHU's MS in Accounting, so you can earn your degree faster and for less money.

Note: Licensing requirements to sit for the CPA exam vary from state to state, with many requiring 150 semester hours of education from an accredited college or university. Students are encouraged to review their state-specific board requirements prior to enrolling in a graduate accounting program. State-by-state educational requirements can be found on the website of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Completion of an aligned educational program does not guarantee success on the CPA exam.

Choose the Best Program for You

Enroll in an accounting certificate program – offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level – that helps you advance your career.

Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting

Graduate Certificate in Accounting

Career Outlook with an Undergraduate Accounting Certificate

The undergraduate accounting certificate is a strong complement to an associate or 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.

A certificate alone, however, may not be enough to qualify you for all accounting-related opportunities. 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 – each role critical to the financial health of an organization – there are many possible career paths where you could benefit from an accredited accounting certification program online:

  • Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk: In this role, you may oversee a company’s financial inputs and outputs and 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. The 2022 median pay for these clerks was $45,860.1
  • 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 clerk: Administrative financial work is one part of this role, while the main responsibilities include record keeping and financial reporting. The 2022 median salary for the role was $45,570.1
  • 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.

Career Outlook with a Graduate Accounting Certificate

A graduate certificate in accounting can help open doors in many different ways. You may, for example, have a degree outside of accounting, but want to get a formalized education to show employers your accounting skills. Maybe you're working in the field and want to upskill, or hope to eventually earn an MS in Accounting.

A graduate accounting certificate can even help support students who are planning to take the CPA certificate exam by offering graduate level accounting credit that can be applied toward the 150 credits of accounting coursework needed in most states to sit for the exam.

Andrew Cyr with the text Andrew Cyr

For Andrew Cyr '21, the certificate courses helped him advance his career.

"My boss was the one that recommended I consider taking some accounting courses to add another tool in my toolbox," he said. "He was extremely pleased when I started taking my courses at SNHU, and it helped me check another box that ultimately led to additional responsibilities and a promotion."

Completion of the program can open doors into general or niche accounting roles. Offering specialized teachings in cost accounting, financial accounting, auditing and federal taxation, graduates should be prepared to work for organizations or with clients with diverse accounting needs.

A graduate accounting certificate presents many opportunities including providing the skills needed to become a(n):

  • Accountant and auditor: Prepare or examine financial records, discover opportunity and risk, and share solutions that can help businesses and individuals. Job growth is projected to be about 4% through 2032, and the 2022 median annual salary was $78,000.1
  • Budget analyst: Help organizations plan their finances, prepare budget reports and monitor spending. The 2022 median pay was $82,260.1
  • Management analyst: Help improve efficiency in organizations. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues. The 2022 median pay was $95,290.1
  • Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents: Collect taxes, perform tax returns, conduct audits, identify taxes owed and collect overdue tax payments. The 2022 median annual salary was $57,950.1

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Accounting Certificate

Undergraduate Accounting Certificate Courses & Curriculum

SNHU's online undergraduate certificate in accounting was designed with your career trajectory in mind.

Whether it's to move into the field of accounting, learn foundational accounting skills or start with a certificate before diving into a full degree program, this certificate was created for individuals who need basic skills for entry-level positions or for employees who want to be promoted or transfer within their organizations.

The program also allows you to progress through Wiley Excel for Accounting certificates, helping you learn the most popular business tools in accounting.

Every student will take 6 courses (18 credits) in general accounting, including taxation. This suite of major courses is meant to provide the foundation you need to earn a key credential that can help you advance your career in accounting and set you apart from your peers.

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 accounting profession.
  • 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 I: Review introductory concepts including the accounting cycle, journal and adjusting entries. 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.
  • Intermediate Accounting II: The course applies accounting rules and methodologies for increasingly complex transactions and elements to create more extensive financial statements. Assess a company’s financial performance using appropriate ratio analysis to support informed decision making.
  • Cost Accounting: Examine the accounting concepts and practices used in the recording, classifying and reporting of cost data. Analyze the behavior of costs and its use to management in the planning and control process. Examine budgeting, standard cost, job order and process, along with special problems in cost accounting.
  • 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 relate 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 are included across the curriculum along with the best practices of professional accountancy.

Graduate Accounting Certificate Courses & Curriculum

SNHU's graduate certificate in accounting is ideal for those in the field of accounting seeking an advanced credential, those with a bachelor's degree in another field looking to move into accounting or individuals seeking to earn credit toward becoming a CPA.

The graduate certificate is 18 credits of financial reporting, auditing and federal taxation. This certificate offers well-rounded skills and coursework for aspiring accountants, auditors, financial managers and more.

Major courses may include:

  • Cost Accounting: Study the concepts, procedures and practices of accounting systems that record, classify and report cost data.
  • Financial Reporting I: Learn foundational financial accounting theories and practices in compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
  • Financial Reporting II: Examine financial activities, like stockholders’ equity and long-term liabilities, and their impact on financial statements.
  • Financial Reporting III: Further explore topics within financial reporting and statements, focusing on consolidations and partnerships.
  • Auditing: Explore the various aspects of completing an engagement for an audit and learn how to apply industry frameworks/governing standards to the audit planning process.
  • Federal Taxation of Individuals: Evaluate tax laws, codes and regulations for individuals with diverse financial situations.

Throughout the coursework, you'll learn accounting principles and practices while reinforcing applicable transferable skills, such as written communication and creative thinking.

And each course is taught by instructors with professional credentials and experience in the field of accounting.

"The instructors added a lot of value to my education," said Andrew Cyr '21. "They were consistently adding real-world examples to the weekly lessons, as well as challenging students on the discussion board to think beyond the basics of the task at hand."

Don't have accounting experience? While the certificate program is open to all bachelor's degree-holders – no matter your background – you may be required to take up to two foundation courses: Building Business Leaders and Applied Business Statistics. Your admission counselor will let you know if you'll need to take these classes.

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

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.

This program and its concentrations are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Student achievement data can be found on the ACBSP accreditation page.

New England Commission of Higher Education Logo
ACBSP Accredited Program Logo

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