With the explosion of online education and training options, it has never been easier to obtain an accounting certificate online. The challenge now becomes not whether an online accounting certification program exists, but how to choose from among the many online accounting certification courses that are being offered. In addition, you will have the added challenge of ensuring that the accounting certification online program that you select is certified for your state of residence, or the state in which you plan to do business. You will also want to ensure that the online accounting certification program you choose is accredited. Accreditation provides certain educational standards that must be met, and gives you recourse if you do not feel that your education is up to par or prepares you properly for the next step in your career. Learn more about obtaining an accounting certificate online and choose the program that works best for your needs.
An "accounting certificate" can mean different things depending on the program you are applying to. Some certification programs are short-term and just focus on a specific specialization to offer the student advanced training in an area of interest. Other certification programs are more extensive and will prepare you to take the CPA or CMA (Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant, respectively) examinations at the time of course completion. Still other types of accounting certification programs serve in lieu of degree programs to provide you with the opportunity of obtaining an entry level job and valuable work experience in the field of accounting before proceeding on to get your accounting or finance degree.
You will need to thoroughly review and read the course outline and what the certificate will qualify you to do before you pick a program to ensure you are spending your money well. If you are seeking certification to serve as a solopreneur the type of program you will want may also differ from what you might need to work in a corporate setting. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to gain recommendations for the best accounting certificate program online and also find out if your employer will help to share the costs of your program with you.
Once you have selected the program(s) that are of interest, it is time to apply. You will need to first make sure that your prior education level and degree plan qualify you to enroll in the accounting certificate online program. Once you have verified that you are eligible, you will next want to contact your state licensure board and apply to them for approval to take the accounting certificate program, if necessary. Once you are approved, you can download and complete the application, apply for financial aid if necessary, and wait for acceptance into the program. Once you have completed the course and received your certificate, you can apply to take the CPA or CMA exam, if desired or applicable, and add the information to your resume as well.