Accounting Essentials Certificate Program Overview
In Penn Foster Career School's Accounting Essentials Certificate Program, you'll learn a number of key topics essential for today’s financial professional, such as mathematics for business and finance, and managerial accounting. In addition, you will be eligible to transfer credits you earn in this program to an Undergraduate Certificate or Associate of Science Degree in Accounting at Penn Foster College, which is licensed in the state of Arizona. You can complete this program in as little as five months.
Program Goal and Outcomes
The Accounting Essentials Certificate program provides students with new job skills or refines existing accounting knowledge to advance in a current position, improve performance in a current business or prepare for further training.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Understand how to examine financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
- Explain how to inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
- Create, organize, and maintain financial records
- Demonstrate how to assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management
- Identify ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
- Demonstrate effective quantitative skills in basic mathematical operations pertaining to the business environment
Mathematics for Business and Finance
This course will hone your math skills so you are able to successfully use them in business and finance industries.
- Use percentages, discounts, and interest formulas effectively.
- Analyze present worth and sinking funds.
- Understand how to buy in installments and price merchandise.
- Explain depreciation, insurance, equations, and formulas.
- Discuss investments and statistics.
This course will allow you to develop a basic understanding of the principles of financial accounting.
- Understand important accounting principles and concepts in order to prepare basic financial statements.
- Understand the fundamentals of bookkeeping while using the general journal, general ledger, and trial balance to prepare financial statements.
- Account for inventory, the use of different inventory costing methods, and their effects on financial statements.
- Distinguish between different liabilities and account for and report current liabilities and long-term debt on the balance sheet.
- Prepare a statement of cash flows using the direct and indirect methods and evaluate the company’s performance as it relates to cash.
This course provides an introduction to managerial accounting; analysis: C-V-P and management; budgeting and performance evaluation; decentralized operations; differential analysis and product pricing; capital investment analysis, and cost activities.
- Understand cost classifications as applied to preparing financial statements, predicting cost behavior, and making decisions
- Understand the flow of cost in job-order costing and use activity-based absorption costing to compute product costs
- Understand the flow of process costing, computing the cost per equivalent unit using the weighted-average method and FIFO method and allocating department costs using the direct and step-down methods
- Explain how changes in activity affect contribution margin and net operating income and examine cost-volume-profit relationships, such as margin of safety and break-even points
- Explain how variable costing differs from absorption costing and prepare income statements using the different approaches as tools for management
- Understand activity-based costing and how it differs from a traditional costing system
- Understand budgets, the process used to create budgets, and the preparation of various kinds of budgets
- Compute and record various variances
- Understand and compute various performance measurements
- Prepare differential analysis as a key to decision making
- Evaluate calculations for capital budgeting decisions
- Prepare a statement of cash flows using the direct and indirect methods and compute free cash flow
- Compute and interpret financial ratios Textbook: Managerial Accounting
Computer Applications in Accounting
This course will introduce you to two popular accounting software programs—Peachtree® and Excel.® You’ll explore how these business software tools are used to solve problems and enhance small-business decision making. You’ll also learn to apply accounting principles in business applications.
- Operate Peachtree® effectively: print reports and back up data files.
- Record, post, and complete the accounting cycle for a service and merchandising enterprise using an automated accounting system.
- Analyze the business flow of transactions in automated accounting systems, including customer lists, vendor files, inventory records, and employee files.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the voucher system, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll systems, and departmentalized accounting.
- Analyze and solve management accounting problems relating to operations and business profitability and financial reporting.
- Create and use simple and complex formulas and functions in Excel.®
- Incorporate useful charts and graphs using Excel.®
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.
To view an Accounting Essentials sample lesson, click here.
Accounting Essentials Program Details
Penn Foster Career School can help you gain the knowledge and skills relevant to the accounting field, like managing taxes, account books, and analyzing case studies.
State Licensing Information
Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.