Are you an organized person with a natural ability to work numbers? You may be perfect for a career in the accounting field. Perhaps you already work in bookkeeping or accounting, but want to climb the career ladder a bit further. But if you don’t want to spend years in school, on top of months preparing for an expensive series of exams to become a CPA, worry not. There are many alternative career choices within the field, such as bookkeeper or payroll professional. And these roles have their own set of accounting certifications that can help boost your career.
Here, we will share some of the top certifications you can pursue with an Associate Degree in Accounting, and why these certifications are so valuable when seeking job opportunities today.
- Bookkeeping Certification
Bookkeepers play a key role in a business’ operations. They are often outsourced by small businesses (and can have flexible schedules as a result). From keeping track of financial documents to balancing bills and payroll records, bookkeeping is one of the most sought-after accounting skills. And, bookkeepers who are certified are the ones in highest in demand.
While certification is not required for employment as a bookkeeper, it is a great decision for many reasons. Bookkeepers who are certified demonstrate a higher level of knowledge, skill, and devotion to their profession. They also qualify for more positions and at a higher pay rate.
Just as there are multiples types of businesses, there is more than one type of bookkeeping certification. The most well-known certifications are the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) and the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB).
- Professional Payroll Certification
Payroll professionals provide quite an important service for businesses. After all, the organization doesn’t run if no one is getting paid! A payroll specialist sees to it that employees are compensated for their time. Payroll experts track time, wages, commissions, taxes, and prepare those all-important paychecks on a regular basis.
Whether you’d like to be a payroll administrator, payroll clerk, payroll technician, payroll or timekeeper, you’ll need to get the right requirements to land the job. Payroll specialists must obtain a high school diploma or equivalent, but more employers today are looking for postsecondary education and training, as well. As you can imagine, certain, payroll-specific accounting certifications will better prepare you for the role, and also show employers that you are knowledgeable and dedicated to the field. Professional payroll certifications can lead to an improved quality of work, reduced errors in payroll, and a boost in productivity, according to the American Payroll Association.
The following payroll certifications can help boost your career once you have earned your Associate Degree in Accounting:
- Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC)
- Certified Payroll Professional (CPP)
- Certified Payroll Specialist (CPS)
- Quickbooks Certification
Quickbooks is one of the most popular programs among accountants and bookkeeping professionals. This program is used to balance spreadsheets and keep financial records organized. After some accounting training, a Quickbooks Certification can enhance your skills further and prove to prospective employers that you are an expert in the industry. Many associate-level programs, such as Goodwin College’s, will prepare you to sit for the professional Quickbooks Certification exam.
- Excel Certification
Microsoft Excel is another program that is highly valuable in the accounting profession. You may already have some experience working with Microsoft Office programs, such as Word, but Excel is a program that requires a bit of extra guidance. While many tech-savvy people have a certain comfort level with the basics of Excel, the ins and outs of the program are much more complex. With a certification, you will be able to conduct the following steps confidently:
- Create and manage worksheets and workbooks
- Create cells and ranges
- Create tables
- Apply formulas and functions
- Create charts and objects
Microsoft Excel Certification is something you will also prepare for in an accounting degree program.
- CIA Certification
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a certification available to the accounting professionals who conduct internal audits. The CIA title is conferred by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and is the only such credential that is accepted worldwide. Candidates for this IIA certification must hold an Associate’s degree in Accounting or higher, to then be approved into one of the IIA’s certification programs.
With an Associate degree in Accounting, and any of the accounting certifications we just covered, you can soar in the accounting field. Not only will you be prepared for your work ahead, you will impress prospective employers by going beyond the associate degree and showing professionalism and dedication to your career.
To learn more about becoming a successful and certified accounting professional in two years or less, or to learn about the accounting program at Goodwin College, please do not hesitate to call 800-889-3282.
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.