Online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting

Why Penn Foster?

  • Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

The Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting Program is designed for those looking to learn new job skills, refresh or refine existing accounting knowledge, or improve the performance of a business through better understanding of the essentials of accounting and finance. As an accounting student with Penn Foster you can learn at the right pace for you, gaining new skills in a flexible, convenient way. Earn your accredited certificate online and at home, or wherever you choose.

Curriculum Details

Course 1

Basic Skills Assessment

Applicants are required to complete two Basic Skills Assessments, one in reading and one in math, to determine the level of readiness for beginning their selected program. Additional studies may be required.

BUS100 Business Orientation 1 credit

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program, and learn how to effectively manage your time, talents, and resources in your personal life, academics, and in your career.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
  • Examine your individual life goals and the steps needed to fulfill them.
  • Recognize how your personal financial goals mirror that of most businesses.
  • Use time management skills to make the most of your day.
  • Determine personal financial goals.
  • Set up a typical budget.
  • Explain why creative thinking, research, planning, gathering resources, and production and marketing are vital for the start-up and maintenance of a business.

Course 2

BUS101 Introduction to Business 3 credits

This course is designed to introduce you to basic business concepts, theories, and perspectives. It will serve as a basis for further learning in your program.

Objectives:

  • Understand the principles of business ethics and basic economics.
  • Compare the different types of business ownership.
  • Describe the basics of organizational structure.
  • Identify the differences between management and leadership.
  • Understand the importance of information technology in today’s business environments.

Textbook: Introduction to Business

 

Course 3

MAT106 Mathematics for Business and Finance 3 credits

This course will hone your math skills so you are able to successfully use them in business and finance industries.

Objectives:

  • 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.

Textbook: Practical Math Business Procedures

 

Course 4

ACC111 Financial Accounting 3 credits

This course will allow you to develop a basic understanding of the principles of financial accounting. 

Objectives:

  • 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.

Textbook: Financial Accounting

 

Course 5

ACC112 Managerial Accounting 3 credits

This course will introduce you to the basic concepts of managerial accounting.

Objectives:

  • Interpret financial statements for management purposes.
  • Understand the fundamental differences between management and financial accounting.
  • Apply various types of management accounting systems.
  • Identify the major components of product costing systems and the business situations in which they’re used.
  • Prepare schedules and budgeted statements to reflect an understanding of the concepts of budgeting.

Textbook: Managerial Accounting

 

Course 6

FIN101 Financial Management 3 credits

This course provides a basic introduction to the study of finance, including financial institutions, investments, and corporate finance.

Objectives:

  • Solve problems that involve the time value of money.
  • Perform a basic analysis of financial statements.
  • Describe the components of financial assets.
  • Explain the role of a financial intermediary.
  • Describe the role of security markets.
  • List the components of financial decision making.

Textbook: Basic Finance

 

Course 7

ACC201 Intermediate Accounting 1 3 credits

This course will allow you to gain an understanding of external financial reporting.

Objectives:

  • Describe the function of financial accounting.
  • Discuss the establishment of accounting standards as set forth by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
  • Describe the fundamental accounting process from creating journal entries for transactions through the closing process as a framework for intermediate accounting.
  • Identify how the balance sheet and financial disclosures help decision makers use this information.
  • Consider important issues relating to income statement content, presentation and disclosure.
  • Describe the purpose of the statement of cash flows and explain its components.

Textbook: Intermediate Accounting

 

Course 8

ACC202 Intermediate Accounting 2 3 credits

Building on the knowledge you gained in Intermediate Accounting 1, this course explains accounting issues relating to revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

Objectives:

  • Explain how companies account for investing in other companies.
  • Discuss the differences between current liabilities and long-term liabilities. 
  • Explain share-based compensation and how to calculate earnings per share.
  • Differentiate between accounting changes and provide explanations for error corrections.
  • Discuss the treatment of long-term liabilities and the extinguishment of debt.

Course 9

ACC210 Cost Accounting 3 credits

This course breaks down cost accounting, which represents an important bridge between financial and managerial accounting, and will allow you to learn how businesses predict, record, and control their costs.

Objectives:

  • Determine costs of products and services accurately.
  • Recognize how the knowledge of product and service costs is used to set selling prices.
  • Identify the techniques used to measure the performance of managers and subunits within an organization.
  • Describe how the accounting system is used as a tool to motivate managers toward the goals of an organization.

Textbooks:

  • Principles of Cost Accounting

Course 10

ACC211 Computer Applications in Accounting 3 credits

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.

Objectives:

  • 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.®

Textbook: Computer Accounting with Peachtree

Course 11

BUS213 Business Law 1 3 credits

This course explores the legal aspects of business and provides an overall picture of the American legal system and how it affects daily business.

Objectives:

  • Explain the sources of law.
  • Discuss the judicial process and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Describe different forms of business organization and their characteristics.
  • Explain the elements of contracts and rules pertaining to contracts.
  • Explain the law of agency and laws concerning employment.

Textbook: Business Law

 

Proctored Exam

Exam information

This assessment will evaluate the knowledge and skills that you learned during the program. You choose the time, the location, and the qualified exam supervisor.


Computer Specifications
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, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, Windows XP, and Excel are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Peachtree is a registered trademark of Sage Software, Inc. in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting sample lesson, click here.

Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting Program Details

Penn Foster will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need, like managing taxes and account books. In addition, all of the course credits earned with this program are transferable to an Associate of Science Degree in Accounting at Penn Foster College.

This certificate program is not a degree program, nor does it offer the student a degree upon completion.

Here are a few qualities that reliable accountants have in common:

  • Investigative: The challenge that comes with helping new and past clients is rewarding.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.
  • Analytical: You enjoy crunching numbers and critically thinking to solve a problem.
  • Independent: You make decisions and finish work on your own.

After earning my degree I received a pay increase and a promotion to a supervisor position. The instructors are superb, helpful, and are there with you every step of the way. Also, the student services representatives are courteous and understanding; they are there to answer any questions you may have. After each assignment I completed, the staff of Penn Foster always had encouraging statements that helped me to stay on course. Congrats to Penn Foster College on being the best and bringing the best out of me.

- Shawn C., Penn Foster College Graduate

Having a degree will increase my chances of being put at the top of the promotion list. I suggest Penn Foster programs all of the time to my coworkers. I am in the military, and Penn Foster is a very military-friendly school. I got all of my materials shipped to me while I was overseas for deployment.

- Amy G., Penn Foster College Graduate

We make sure you have everything you need:

  • Graduate debt free with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our world-class faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online campus, plus immediate membership in the Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What's the difference between the Accounting Associate Degree and the Accounting Undergraduate Certificate? Are the classes similar?

The Accounting Undergraduate Certificate provides a solid overview of the basics of accounting and finance. The Accounting Associate Degree is a complete four-semester program that provides students with a thorough understanding of accounting. All credits earned with the Undergraduate Certificate are transferable to the Accounting Associate Degree.

What materials are needed/useful to have for Accounting and Bookkeeping Programs?

Like most Penn Foster programs, you'll need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer running Windows® XP or later or an Apple® Mac® running Mac OS X® or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, and a high-speed Internet connection. For the Accounting programs that require Peachtree® or Quickbooks,® Mac OS X® is not supported.

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