Curriculum for Undergraduate Accounting Certificate | Penn Foster College
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Online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting Details

Penn Foster’s Online Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting consists of courses that will cover the basic understanding of the principles of financial accounting, financial management, cost accounting, and computer applications in accounting. You’ll also have an introduction to the legal environment of business.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The Accounting Undergraduate Certificate program provides students with the skills to expand existing accounting knowledge for a current or future job, or prepare for further education at the undergraduate level.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic theories, principles and processes involved in various functional areas.
  • Complete the accounting cycle and create and analyze financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures.
  • Explain the key issues of internal control of cash in balance and cash flow statements and external financial reporting
  • Create, organize, and maintain financial records
  • Demonstrate how to assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management

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.

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.
  • 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.

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

 

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

 

This course will provide students with a basic understanding of the principles of financial accounting. Topics covered include analyzing transactions; completing the accounting cycle; merchandising businesses; inventories, assets, and liabilities; and corporations, stocks, bonds, and cash flow.

Objectives:

  • Solve important accounting principles and concepts by creating four common types of financial statements: balance sheet, income statement, statement of retained earnings, and statement of cash flows
  • Explain inventory systems, the inventory process, and the role of ethics in accounting
  • Explain cash and receivables, assets, current liabilities, and debt
  • Analyze stocks and the statement of cash flows and financial statements that are used to assess the value of a business

 

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.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the various concepts related to managerial accounting and the cost accounting
  • Show the different tools of management used for the decision-making process
  • Identify the various budget analysis processes and the performance measurements for decision making
  • Analyze the various components of capital budgeting, cash flow statements, and ratio analysis
  • Solve examples of real-world accounting problems using knowledge of accounting forms and equations

Textbook: Managerial Accounting

 

This course will introduce students to the world of finance including financial concepts, instruments, and financial decision making. Topics covered include financial assets, investing in long-term assets, capital structure and dividend policy, financial planning, and working capital management.

Objectives:

  • Categorize financial management functions and organizational structure
  • Analyze a firm's financial statements, cash flow values, risks, and returns
  • Recommend budgeting policies, planning, structures, and costs for a firm's capital

Additional Course Material:
Textbook: Finance: Applications & Theory

 

This course will provide students with the knowledge to apply accounting theory, concepts, and procedures to financial problems. Topics covered include: computing earnings per share; lease transactions; income tax accounting; cash flow information; pension and benefit information; financial statement analysis.

Objectives:

  • Understand and interpret the history, structure and process of financial accounting and accounting standards
  • Analyze the balance sheet, the income statement and know when and how to disclose important information
  • Perform the full accounting process from creating journal entries for transactions through the closing process
  • Apply your knowledge of revenue recognition and the time value of money to be able to accurately report revenue and the value of investments on financial statements
  • Examine different ways to properly account for cash, receivables and inventory
  • Value and account for changes to long-term assets including property, plant and equipment as well as intangible assets

Textbook: Intermediate Accounting

 

This course will provide students with an expansion on materials presented in Intermediate Accounting 1. Topics examined and discussed include: inventories; investments; intangible assets; current, contingent, and estimated liabilities; premium and discount on longterm debt; stockholder's equity.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate how companies should account for investing in other companies' debt and equity securities
  • Differentiate between current and long-term liabilities and properly demonstrate the accounting treatment for each
  • Analyze and account for other types of liabilities including leases, bonds, long-term notes, income taxes, pensions, and post-retirement benefits
  • Examine shareholder's equity and share-based employee compensation and how they’re represented in financial statements
  • Distinguish among various accounting changes and provide explanations for error corrections
  • Discuss the treatment of cash and noncash transactions through the statement of cash flows

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

This course builds on concepts learned in Financial and Managerial Accounting and covers Sage 50® Accounting. Combines real-world accounting systems and examples with computer-based solutions. The course is a blend of problem solving, reading, case projects, and computer applications to problems encountered in today’s accounting environment.

Objectives:

  • Explain how to install, register, and update the Sage 50® accounting software
  • Print reports and back up data files using Sage 50®
  • 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

This course is an introduction to the legal environment of business. Topics covered include American court practice and procedure, alternative dispute resolutions, employment law, business organization and regulation, contract law, and agency relationships.

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

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.

Additional Details

Undergraduate Certificates from Penn Foster College are awarded under licensing from the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education.

Penn Foster College Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster College has been nationally accredited for over 40 years, and has met the high standards of integrity and performance set by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) in Washington, D.C. Penn Foster College has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations and licensing. We also participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.

DEAC
SARA
Surround Sound Support

Surround Sound Support

Whether you prefer chat, text, email, or phone, our faculty is here to help you achieve your goals. Penn Foster students also have access to our expert team of Success Coaches to help with budgeting for your education, career guidance, or simply some extra motivation.
Webinars
Over the course of the Penn Foster College Accounting Undergraduate Certificate program, you will have the opportunity to attend live or recorded webinars to help you better understand your lessons. The live webinars will allow you to ask our instructors questions in real time.
Webinars
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson or take an exam? Not a problem - you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers - as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff - to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.
Penn Foster Student Community
Penn Foster Sample Lesson

Sample Accounting Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Accounting course would look like.
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 7® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to participate in and complete your program.
Access to Microsoft® Office 365 is a requirement for this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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