Program at-a-Glance
15-18 months
5 online classes

Senior-level Accounting Training

Take your accounting education to an advanced level with our online Accounting Specialist Certificate Program. Acquire a thorough understanding of the principles and practices of accounting and financial reporting in order to excel in a career in accounting.

What You’ll Learn

The primary goal of the Accounting Specialist Certificate Program is to enhance and hone your accounting skills and to prepare you for a senior-level position in accounting. In this program, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of concepts and theories underlying current best practices in accounting
  • Develop the analytical skills necessary to evaluate accounting and reporting methods, examine audit processes and develop internal control processes and procedures
  • Learn to expand accounting applications to a wide variety of business and financial settings

What You Get

Our program offers:

  • Online convenience
  • An efficient pathway for gaining advanced knowledge geared toward experienced accounting professionals
  • Access to exceptional instructors with years of industry experience
  • Unique opportunities to interact with fellow students
  • Advanced 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 Specialist Certificate by enrolling in the Fast Track option. Learn more.

Please note: this certificate, along with the Accounting Principles Certificate, replaces the previously offered Accounting CPA Exam Track 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 20 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: Students planning to enroll in the Accounting Specialist Certificate Program must have successfully completed the Principles of Financial Accounting course offered by UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education or an equivalent course from another university. Contact our program team for more info.

Required Courses

Financial Statement Analysis
Quarter Academic Credit

Focus on the effective analysis of financial statements and how to integrate accounting concepts and principles into your statements. Examine the analytical tools for assessing a company's performance, the concept of quality of earnings and the approaches to valuation. Topics also include balance sheet analysis, asset and business evaluation issues, income statement analysis, profit margins, return on assets and equity and cash flow analysis.

Course Code
Individual Income Taxation
Quarter Academic Credit

Gain the practical knowledge you need to apply tax laws when preparing tax forms and helping your clients plan their processes. Examine the most current laws affecting capital gains and losses, adjustments to gross income, itemized deductions, tax credits and payments and estimated taxes.

Learn about sole proprietorship and small business taxation, as well as real estate property transactions, with an emphasis on issues relating to all aspects of individual taxation. Knowledge of current federal income tax laws as they relate to individual income taxation is critical for accountants. Acquire the skills to more effectively prepare, or help your clients prepare, their income tax returns.

Course Code
Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations
Quarter Academic Credit

Gain an understanding of the characteristics of governmental and nonprofit accounting with an emphasis on various fund types and account groups. Review and evaluate the most recently recommended accounting and financial reporting practices for state and local governmental units. Explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of governmental and nonprofit accounting.

Course Code
Quarter Academic Credit

Examine the audit process in-depth and explore the most recent developments and trends in auditing practices. Learn how to plan an audit, perform analytical procedures, evaluate internal control systems and carry out tests of transactions and individual account balances. Discuss current best practices for conducting, completing and issuing an audit report. This course assists individuals who need to learn or review auditing concepts and/or prepare for the CPA, CIA or CMA examination. 

Course Code
Ethics in Accounting
Quarter Academic Credit

Gain an understanding of ethical standards for accountants and auditors. Learn the nature and scope of ethical behavior and the need for it in business and society. Examine unethical behavior, including greed, corruption and fraud. Review professional codes of conduct for principal governing bodies and discuss their application in real-world situations. Obtain an understanding of ethics in the auditing, taxation and fiduciary professions.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand ethical frameworks including ethics and ethical reasoning
  • Review virtue, justice and social responsibilities
  • Analyze unethical behavior including greed and corruption
  • Examine fraud and earnings management
  • Review professional rules of conduct
  • Examine the duties of the public company auditors, taxation professionals and fiduciaries
Course Code

Required Courses

Required Courses Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations 4 Online
Auditing 4 Online
Ethics in Accounting 4 Online
Financial Statement Analysis 4 Online Online
Individual Income Taxation 4 Online
  • At Your Own Pace: Take individual courses for a total of $4,400 (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 $3,740 in full at the time of enrollment and save $660 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 your career in accounting to the next level? Here are your options:

    • Fast Track. Enroll in our Accounting Specialist 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.