people examining accounting documents

Accounting Principles Certificate Program

Program at a Glance

  • 12-15 months
  • 4 online courses
  • $2,992-$3,520
  • Eligible for VA Benefits
  • Included on the Eligible Training Provider List (ETPL), as approved by Yolo County

Develop a Solid Foundation in Accounting

Whether you’re new to the practice or are looking to advance your career, our Accounting Principles Certificate Program provides students with the groundwork needed to confidently and accurately apply accounting principles in their business or profession.

What You’ll Learn

This program is designed for those wanting to understand current accounting standards and procedures in order to meet financial accountability requirements, advance to higher professional levels, strengthen business practices or improve their organization’s bottom line. You will learn how to:

  • Prepare, interpret and present financial statements
  • Apply methods to analyze and interpret data
  • Use accounting principles to develop, manage and expand business

What You Get

Our program offers:

  • Online convenience
  • Flexible learning: watch our weekly, pre-recorded lectures whenever it fits into your schedule then cement what you’ve learned by completing assignments and engaging in discussion forums with fellow classmates and your instructor
  • An efficient pathway for gaining essential knowledge for entering and excelling in the field
  • Access to exceptional instructors with years of industry experience
  • Foundational accounting methods and current best practices that can be applied immediately to your business or job
  • Coursework that counts towards CPA requirements, if you are a candidate

Fast Track

Save 15% on the cost of the Accounting Principles Certificate by enrolling in the Fast Track option. Learn more.

Please note: this certificate replaces the previously offered Accounting Essentials Certificate.

Accounting is often considered a “recession proof” industry due to the constant need for the practice in periods of both strong and weak economies.

  • $77,281 is the average salary for CPA accountants and $61,696 is the average salary for accountants and auditors (Glassdoor).
  • The number of accounting and auditor jobs is expected to grow by 10% through 2026, which is faster than the national job growth rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Top five states for accounting or auditing employment: California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • Most accountants and auditors work full time, with 1 in 5 working more than 40 hours per week. Overtime hours are typical at certain times of the year, such as end of the fiscal year or during tax season (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

This program calls for the successful completion of 16 required units of designated online course work with a grade of “C” or better.

Course content is frequently revised to ensure that the program is up-to-date with the latest industry standards. For this reason, you must complete all of the course requirements of your certificate within five years from the day you enroll in the first course. A certificate will not be awarded if the requirements are not completed and your application for candidacy is not received within this timeframe.

These courses count toward the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam or fulfill continuing education CMA requirements. For more information about the CPA license, please visit the California Board of Accountancy’s Educational Requirements page (click on the Tip Sheet – CPA Licensure Educational Requirements link).

For additional information about our enrollment policies, please click here.

Please note: Successful completion of the Principles of Financial Accounting course is a prerequisite for all other courses in this certificate.

Required Courses

Principles of Financial Accounting
Quarter Academic Credit

Accounting is a valuable skill that reaches across all industries and is useful for many professions. In this introductory course, designed for anyone wishing to understand modern accounting principles, students explore fundamental accounting theory, principles and practice. Through online lessons and discussion forums with fellow students and your expert instructor, learn about accrual accounting concepts, transaction analysis and the recording process. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the preparation and analysis of financial statements and the proper reporting of various accounts. By the end of this course, you will know how to record basic financial accounting information and prepare financial statements, know how to use financial accounting data in decision making situations, and understand the role of the accountant in business.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the basics of accounting in your day-to-day job
  • Utilize the recording process
  • Apply and complete the accounting cycle
  • Recognize fraud and apply internal controls

Skills You Will Gain

  • Basic accounting skills
  • Budget analysis
  • Accounting for receivables

View complete course syllabus.

Course Preview
Course Preview


Course Code
Intermediate Accounting: Part I
Quarter Academic Credit

There are many theories about the practice of accounting, but actually incorporating those concepts into daily use is another matter. Designed for anyone wanting to better understand modern accounting principles, as well as those seeking to advance themselves professionally, this course focuses on providing you with the knowledge and skills to apply sound accounting techniques in practical ways. Through engaging online lectures and discussion forums, you’ll explore a variety of topics, including the recording, valuation and presentation of cash, temporary investments, receivables and inventories. You’ll also be introduced to accounting concepts for physical plants and equipment, intangibles, current assets and liabilities, fixed asset accounting and current obligations. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to practically apply modern accounting concepts in your job and use financial accounting data in your day-to-day decision-making process.

Learning Outcomes

  • Confidently apply accounting standards
  • Utilize the accounting information system
  • Practice income support and revenue recognition
  • Maintain balance sheets and statements of cash flows

Skills You Will Gain

  • Accounting standards
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Accounting for cash, receivables and inventory
  • Accounting for plant assets, equipment, intangible assets and liabilities

Course Code
Intermediate Accounting: Part II
Quarter Academic Credit

Whether you’re seeking to improve and grow in your accounting career or prepare for the CPA exam, take your accounting skills to the next level with Intermediate Accounting: Part II. Through online lectures and engaging, instructor-led Q&As, students will examine a variety of topics, including accounting for income taxes, pensions, leases, investments, stockholder’s equity, statement of cash flows and earnings per share. By the end of this course, you will be able to competently apply advanced accounting concepts in your day-to-day job, and be better prepared for the CPA Exam.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge of advanced accounting topics relevant to pensions, income taxes, financial reporting and other areas
  • Apply accounting concepts to various real-world applications
  • Analyze financial statements

Skills You Will Gain

  • Accounting for pensions, investments and income taxes
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Revenue recognition
  • Financial Reporting
Course Code
Principles of Cost Accounting
Quarter Academic Credit

Managerial and cost accounting is a set of skills used by professionals in all levels of business. Designed for students seeking to obtain a better understanding of managerial and cost accounting, this course teaches the fundamentals of how to use accounting and financial data to make better, more profitable decisions. Through interactive, online lectures and instructor-led Q&As, this course examines the role of the manager in setting up the budget, evaluating the financial impact of day-to-day management decisions and using the budget as a control tool. By the end of this course, you will have an increased understanding of managerial accounting principles, and will be able to use accounting data to improve business decisions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze cost behavior for fixed, variable and mixed costs
  • Distinguish between different types of budgets and understand the budgeting process
  • Appraise and utilize the activity-based costing system
  • Perform financial statement analysis using various techniques
  • Use Cost-Volume-Profit analysis to find breakeven points and target profit volumes

Skills You Will Gain

  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Cost Behavior
  • Capital budgeting
  • Job costing and process costing
  • CVP Analysis & Short-term Business Decisions
Course Code

The Principles of Financial Accounting course is the required pre-requisite for all other courses in the certificate. Following completion of that course, it is recommended to take the remaining courses in the following sequence: Intermediate Accounting: Part 1, Intermediate Accounting: Part 2, and Principles of Cost Accounting. Students should consult with the Program Representative if they have questions about course availability or taking the courses in a different sequence.

View courses currently open for enrollment

Required Courses

Required Courses Units Fall Winter Spring Summer
Principles of Financial Accounting 4 Online Online Online Online
Intermediate Accounting: Part I 4 Online Online
Intermediate Accounting: Part II 4 Online Online
Principles of Cost Accounting 4 Online Online
  • At Your Own Pace: Take individual courses for a total of $3,520 (or $880 per course).
    • A one-time, non-refundable registration fee of $125 must also be paid in order to receive your certificate.
  • Fast Track: Pay $2,992 in full at the time of enrollment and save $528 on the cost of the program. The $125 registration fee is also waived. Please note that the Fast Track option is not available if paying with VA benefits. Learn more
  • Textbooks are not included in the tuition fee.

For information about financing your education, please click here.

Ready to take the next step in your professional growth? Here are your options: 

  • Fast Track. Enroll in our Accounting Principles Fast Track Certificate Program to save 15% on the cost of the program. The $125 registration fee is also waived. Learn more.
  • Register. If you’d prefer to take certificate courses at your own pace, fill out a brief certificate registration form and pay the registration fee. By doing so, you declare your intent to complete the program and lock in program requirements. If you have questions about your course plan or next steps, please email us.
  • Enroll in an individual course. Check out individual courses that are currently open for enrollment. Courses will be applied to the certificate program if you later decide to complete your certificate.
  • Sign up for an information session. Learn more about the Accounting program and certificate options by enrolling in a free information session. If an information session for this program is not currently open for enrollment, click on “notify me,” and we’ll contact you when the next one becomes available.
  • Free Career Resources. Our students have free access to tools for career planning, resume writing, interview practice and more. 

Questions? We’re here to help. If you’ve got a question, email us or call (530) 757-8777.