Why This Matters


    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.


    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.

  • EARN OVER $75,000 PER YEAR

    The average salary for accountants is $77,250, with the top 10% of workers in this field earning over $128,970.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online Certificate in Accounting programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. Many of the schools on our list have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which assesses the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of business-related programs.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online Certificate in Accounting programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 40 Online Certificate in Accounting Programs

Best Certificate in Accounting Programs 2023
Intelligent Pick
Harper College
Best in the South
Lenoir Community College
Most Certifications
Foothill College
Best Electives
UVA School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Best Student Support Services
University of Alaska at Fairbanks
Best in the Northeast
Champlain College
Best in the West
University of California at Berkeley
Best Public Institution
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Best Private Nonprofit University
Golden Gate University
Best Online Student Resources
Auburn University

Shoreline Community College

Liberty University

Thomas Edison State University

UCI Division of Continuing Education

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.