Why This Matters

  • OVERALL JOB GROWTH TO INCREASE 7% BY 2028

    Increasingly complex taxes and regulations, the creation of new investment opportunities, and an aging population that needs to plan for retirement are just some of the factors raising the demand for individuals with accounting skills.

  • PREPARE FOR OVER 10 POTENTIAL CAREER PATHS

    The skills and experience you gain in an accounting certification program are applicable to a number of related occupations, including budget analyst, loan officer, auditor, financial examiner, and financial analyst.

  • THE U.S. WILL NEED 90,700 MORE ACCOUNTANTS

    Projected job growth for accountants is expected to continue at an average pace through 2028. This growth is due to the expanding domestic and global economy, and updates and changes to tax regulations.

Our Research

For this list, we focused on reviewing certificate programs in accounting. Most programs are available as standalone certificates meant to enhance existing skills, or provide new skills to individuals who already hold bachelor’s or master’s degrees. However, some programs must be taken in conjunction with a degree-granting program.

All coursework for these certificate programs can be completed online. A handful are also offered in an on-campus setting. Your learning preferences and schedule will inform which program delivery format is best for you.

We only included programs available at regionally accredited institutions. Many also have programmatic accreditation through agencies like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Each program was evaluated on the basis of course strength, cost, faculty, flexibility and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score of each program on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best accounting certificates are respected, affordable, and flexible.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 87 hours to write this article
  • 99 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 302 education programs we compared

The Top 35 Online Accounting Certificate Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Certificate programs are a convenient way to develop or strengthen your accounting skills, but they may not be the appropriate path for everyone.

Typically certificate programs are designed for individuals who already have a degree and experience in accounting or a related field. Graduate-level certificate programs build upon existing skills to help students transition to mid-level positions.

Undergraduate-level certificate programs are appropriate for students without a background in accounting, but depending on your career goals, you may also want to research bachelor’s degrees in accounting.

You may be able to apply coursework from your certificate to a degree at a future point. If you are interested in doing this, it’s important that you earn your certificate from a regionally accredited school. Generally, regionally accredited institutions only accept credits from other regionally accredited institutions.

Professional certifications and/or licenses, like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA), are typically required to work in accounting. To become certified or licensed, you must complete a certain number of accounting coursework credit hours, have professional experience, and pass an exam. Factor the additional time and cost of certification/licensure when deciding if accounting is the right career for you.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Accounting Certificate programs:

  • How are online courses delivered? Online courses are delivered asynchronously or synchronously. In asynchronous courses, students access lessons and assignments on their own schedules, and work independently. In synchronous programs, students attend classes online at set times. Find out which delivery method programs use, and choose the one that best suits your schedule and learning style.
  • Do you need financial aid? While certificate programs are a flexible and fast way to gain valuable accounting skills, they may not be eligible for any kind of federal financial aid. If you will need this kind of financial support to pay for your tuition, you may want to consider a two- or four-year degree which is eligible for federal student aid.

To enroll in a certificate program, there may be an admissions process, or you can simply register for courses and pay your tuition. Look at the program’s eligibility requirements to learn more about its entry process.

Also consider how you will pay for your program. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.