Accounting Certifications and Certificates

Dive into the world of accounting and explore the specifics of accounting classes and career opportunities. Learn about the differences between certificates and certifications and how they can enhance your accounting career and salary prospects.

Key Insights

  • Accounting certifications and certificates are different - certifications demonstrate a certain level of competence in the field to employers, while certificates allow individuals to study specific accounting topics and prepare for their careers.
  • Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Financial Analyst are among the top certifications in accounting, each opening different career paths and salary prospects.
  • Whether to get certified in accounting depends on an individual's career goals. For instance, a CPA certification can be beneficial for accountants aiming for senior roles in a company.
  • The CPA certification is the most common in accounting, requiring individuals to complete specific education requirements and pass an exam.
  • Most accounting certifications require passing an exam, demonstrating the individual's proficiency in the field.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive accounting training through in-person or live online courses, providing hands-on experience and career preparation.

If you’re looking for a way to demonstrate your skills in accounting, you might be overwhelmed by the different certifications and certificate programs available. You might also have many questions, such as Will a certificate help you get a job? Is there a difference between a certificate and a certification, or how do I prepare for these credentials? This article aims to answer these questions so you can efficiently choose the right path toward an accounting certification. Keep reading to find out more. 

What is Accounting?

Accounting involves recording financial transactions and storing and presenting the results in different reports or analyses. It provides proper insight into a company’s financial health. Different accounting types include financial, management, and tax accounting. Employing Accountants is necessary for every company. 

Experts Accountants are crucial to a company’s reliable decision-making, predictable cost planning, and accurate measurement of economic performance. In small businesses, accounting may be handled by a bookkeeper or an accountant, some of which work part-time for several companies. Larger companies may have entire finance departments. 

Learn more about accounting, why you should learn it, and possible careers through Noble’s comprehensive guide

What Can You Do with Accounting?

Accounting can be a challenging but enjoyable field of study. Individuals can use their skills to start a business or improve their lives outside work. Generally, accounting courses provide valuable knowledge on managing a budget and expenses effectively. 

By completing accounting courses, individuals learn a broad range of topics. Beginner-level accounting courses cover tax returns, financial statements, and computer applications like Microsoft Excel. Advanced courses may dive deeper into financial analysis and presentation, auditing, fraud examination, and international accounting. The more courses an individual completes, the more options the same individual has. Each course opens doors to different career paths. Possible roles for those who have taken some accounting classes include an auditing clerk or an accounting assistant. 

Students who complete full accounting degrees may take advantage of international opportunities. Individuals who wish to work abroad can easily find jobs overseas, as most accounting principles are not specific to one region. Good recommendations for career advancements and can be used as stepping-stones for other degrees. There are several opportunities to volunteer for large organizations, as they constantly need more Accountants. Individuals can even use their degrees to further their education towards other topics, such as law. 

Certifications vs. Certificates: What’s the Difference?

Accounting certificates allow individuals to study general accounting or a specific accounting topic and serve as preparation for the next steps in an individual’s career or education. Accounting certifications help employers understand that an individual has a certain level of competence in their field. They can help individuals break into accounting or explore new skills within the industry. For certifications, individuals usually have to sit for an exam administered by a third party to demonstrate mastery, while certificates are generally completion-based programs.

Top Certifications & Certificates for Accounting

There are various certifications and certificates available in accounting. Top certifications include Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. These certifications help individuals to illustrate their knowledge and skills further. 

Noble Desktop offers certificate programs, such as Financial Analyst Training Program and Financial Modeling Bootcamp. NYIM Training and NYC Career Centers offer Intro to Financial Accounting. 

Should I Get Certified in Accounting?

Whether or not an individual should get certified in accounting depends on their career. There is a wide variety of career paths within accounting. It is essential to know which certifications correspond with which careers. The most well-known certification is the Certified Public Accountant or CPA. Most accountants are not CPAs, but this certification may be required as an accountant moves up in a company. 

The CMA designation is usually associated with working in a private company. Those with this certification often serve as controllers or cost accountants and are most commonly found in manufacturing firms. 

There are also the CISA and EA certifications. Individuals interested in IS auditing, control, and security will want to obtain their CISA certification. The EA certification is for those wishing to become enrolled agents, and there are no legal restrictions to the type of client an EA can represent. Enrolled Agents may work in larger organizations or under the supervision of a CPA. 

Other certifications include CFA, CFE, CIA, CGMA, and FSAC. 

How to Get Certified in Accounting

The most common certification in accounting is the CPA or Certified Public Accountant. To get certified as a CPA, individuals must complete education requirements– these vary by state or jurisdiction–and pass the CPA exam. The exam is computer-based and consists of four sections:

  • Auditing and Attestation
  • Business Environment and Concepts
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Regulation 

The passing score for this exam is 75 on a 0-99 scale, and question types include multiple choice, simulation, and written communication.

Other accounting certifications, such as CFA or Certified Financial Analyst, require a bachelor’s degree, experience in the field, and an exam to be certified officially. The exam totals 18 hours. 

The CGMA, EA, CMA and FSAC, and CIA certifications also require individuals to pass a specific exam.

Learn Accounting with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Individuals can learn accounting through finance classes with hands-on training at Noble Desktop. Finance courses boast small class sizes, expert instructors, and free retakes. Noble’s Financial Analyst Training Program teaches excel and critical financial and corporate finance options. Individuals gain basic and intermediate skills in Excel while learning to build a comprehensive valuation model for a public company. Critical concepts taught include advanced Excel for financial modeling and accounting, corporate finance, and valuation. 

Noble also offers Intro to Financial Accounting, through which individuals master the fundamentals of financial accounting and begin taking the next steps in accounting or finance. Enrollees see real-life examples and go through real 10-K’s to better understand how accounting concepts apply to large companies such as Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. 

Key Insights

  •  Accounting certificates allow individuals to study general accounting or a specific accounting topic and serve as career preparation. In contrast, accounting certifications help employers understand that an individual has a certain level of competence in their field. 
  • Some top certifications include Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Financial Analyst. 
  • An individual should consider getting certified depending on their career goals. 
  • The most common certification is the CPA or Certified Public Accountant. 
  • Most certifications require individuals to pass an exam. 
  • Individuals can receive comprehensive accounting training through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop. 

How to Learn Finance

Master finance with hands-on training. Learning skills like financial modeling, stock investing, and data analysis can help pave the way to a career in finance or FinTech (financial technology).

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