Program At-a-Glance
12-15 Months
4 online classes

Develop a Solid Foundation in Accounting

Whether you’re new to the practice or are looking to advance your career, our Accounting Principles Certificate Program provides students with the groundwork needed to confidently and accurately apply accounting principles in their business or profession.

What You’ll Learn

This program is designed for those wanting to understand current accounting standards and procedures in order to meet financial accountability requirements, advance to higher professional levels, strengthen business practices or improve their organization’s bottom line. You will learn how to:

  • Prepare, interpret and present financial statements
  • Apply methods to analyze and interpret data
  • Use accounting principles to develop, manage and expand business

What You Get

Our program offers:

  • Online convenience
  • An efficient pathway for gaining essential knowledge for entering and excelling in the field
  • Access to exceptional instructors with years of industry experience
  • Unique opportunities to interact with fellow students
  • Foundational accounting methods and current best practices that can be applied immediately to your business or job
  • Coursework that counts towards CPA requirements, if you are a candidate

Fast Track

Save 15% on the cost of the Accounting Principles Certificate by enrolling in the Fast Track option. Learn more.

Please note: this certificate replaces the previously offered Accounting Essentials Certificate.

Accounting is often considered a “recession proof” industry due to the constant need for the practice in periods of both strong and weak economies.

  • $77,281 is the average salary for CPA accountants and $61,696 is the average salary for accountants and auditors (Glassdoor).
  • The number of accounting and auditor jobs is expected to grow by 10% through 2026, which is faster than the national job growth rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Top five states for accounting or auditing employment: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Most accountants and auditors work full time, with 1 in 5 working more than 40 hours per week. Overtime hours are typical at certain times of the year, such as end of the fiscal year or during tax season (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

This program calls for the successful completion of 16 required units of designated online course work with a grade of “C” or better.

Course content is frequently revised to ensure that the program is up-to-date with the latest industry standards. For this reason, you must complete all of the course requirements of your certificate within five years from the day you enroll in the first course. A certificate will not be awarded if the requirements are not completed and your application for candidacy is not received within this timeframe.

These courses count toward the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam or fulfill continuing education CMA requirements. For more information about the CPA license, please visit the California Board of Accountancy’s Educational Requirements page (click on the Tip Sheet – CPA Licensure Educational Requirements link).

For additional information about our enrollment policies, please click here.

Please note: Successful completion of the Principles of Financial Accounting course is a prerequisite for all other courses in this certificate.

Required Courses

Intermediate Accounting: Part II
Quarter Academic Credit

Learn advanced accounting methods and be better prepared to take the accounting portion of the CPA examination. Examine best practices of financial reporting, income taxes, pensions, leases, investments, stockholder’s equity, statement of cash flows and earnings per share. Apply concepts learned to various real world applications, so you can more fully analyze financial statements.

Course Code
Principles of Cost Accounting
Quarter Academic Credit

Learn the fundamentals of managerial accounting and discuss how to use accounting/financial data to make better, more profitable business decisions. Examine the role of the managerial accountant in establishing budgets, evaluating the financial impact of day-to-day management decisions and using budgets as control tools. Topics include basic accounting principles; analysis and interpretation of financial statements; cost-volume profit relationships; how to analyze cost behavior; budgeting and the use of accounting data for business decision-making. This course is required to complete the CPA Accounting Certificate Program and the Accounting Essentials Certificate Program. This course is also known as Managerial Accounting

This course fulfills one of the three prerequisites for the UC Davis School of Management's Master of Professional Accountancy Program. Visit for more information.


Course Code
Principles of Financial Accounting
Quarter Academic Credit

Examine accounting theory, principles and practice. Learn about accrual account concepts, transaction analysis, recording and processing (journals and ledgers) methods. Gain an in-depth understanding of the preparation and analysis of financial statements (income statements, balance sheets and cash-flow statements); sales and cost of sales; inventory valuation; depreciation of operational assets; accounting for investments; and liability and present value concepts.

This course fulfills one of the three prerequisites for the UC Davis School of Management's Master of Professional Accountancy Program.

Course Code
Intermediate Accounting: Part I
Quarter Academic Credit

Gain a thorough understanding of the theory behind best practices in accounting and learn to incorporate those theories into practical usage. Focus on the preparation of principal accounting statements, including the recording, valuation and presentation of cash, temporary investments, receivables and inventories. Explore accounting concepts for physical plants and equipment, intangibles, current assets and liabilities, fixed asset accounting and current obligations.

Course Code

The Principles of Financial Accounting course is the required pre-requisite for all other courses in the certificate. Following completion of that course, it is recommended to take the remaining courses in the following sequence: Intermediate Accounting: Part 1, Intermediate Accounting: Part 2, and Principles of Cost Accounting. Students should consult with the Program Representative if they have questions about course availability or taking the courses in a different sequence.

Required Courses

Required Courses Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Principles of Financial Accounting 4 Online Online Online Online
Intermediate Accounting: Part I 4 Online Online
Intermediate Accounting: Part II 4 Online Online
Principles of Cost Accounting 4 Online Online
  • At Your Own Pace: Take individual courses for a total of $3,520 (or $880 per course).
    • A one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $125 must also be paid in order to receive your certificate.
  • Fast Track: Pay $2,992 in full at the time of enrollment and save $528 on the cost of the program. The $125 registration fee is also waived. Learn more
  • Textbooks are not included in the tuition fee.

For information about financing your education, please click here.

Ready to take the next step in your professional growth? -Here are your options: 

  • Fast Track. Enroll in our Accounting Principles Fast Track Certificate Program to save 15% on the cost of the program. The $125 registration fee is also waived. Learn more.
  • Register. If you’d prefer to take certificate courses at your own pace, fill out a brief certificate registration form and pay the registration fee. By doing so, you declare your intent to complete the program, lock in program requirements and will be contacted by a program adviser who will work with you to map out your academic path.
  • Enroll in an individual course. Check out individual courses that are currently open for enrollment. Courses will be applied to the certificate program if you later decide to complete your certificate.
  • Sign up for an information session. Learn more about the Accounting program and certificate options by enrolling in a free information session. If an information session for this program is not currently open for enrollment, click on “notify me,” and we’ll contact you when the next one becomes available.

Questions? We’re here to help. If you’ve got a question, email us or call (530) 757-8895.