Professional Certificate in Accounting

Professional Certificate in Accounting

Classroom Program


12-18 months


36 Units

UCR Extension

Open a new door in your accounting career and acquire knowledge and skills you can use in companies large and small, government offices or the nonprofit sector. The demand for accountants is rising in all types of organizations and industries. Add a new professional designation to your title, keep up on current trends, and challenge yourself to be the best in your field.

Designed For

  • Individuals working in the financial services industry
  • Business students
  • Financial assistants

What You'll Learn

  • Master tax planning, budget analysis, financial statement preparation, and auditing.
  • Understand and be able to apply important accounting principles to private, public and nonprofit organizations.
  • Meet legal and regulatory requirements necessary to perform public accounting functions for clients.
  • Be able to analyze financial statements.
  • Be prepared to advise clients regarding important financial reporting requirements, strategic financial decisions and other matters related to accounting practice.

What You Can Do With This Certificate

Positions are available in a variety of industries, and can be found in firms, corporations, government, or nonprofit organizations. They might include:

  • Accountant
  • Auditor
  • Budget Analyst
  • Financial Manager

Program Overview


32 Units


4 Units

“My professional certificate boosted my ability to compete in the accounting field. The courses greatly updated my skills and knowledge, and prepared me to sit for the CPA exam.”

Amy S. Linard

County of Riverside
Riverside, CA

Earning the Certificate

Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:

  • High school education or equivalent

Completion of this certificate meets one of the State of California educational requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

For more information see How to Earn a Certificate

Certificate Courses

Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.

Quarter 1

Principles of Accounting

MGT X477.3

4 units

An introduction to accounting theory, principles and practice, covering the uses, communication and processing of accounting information, as well as the recording, analyzing and summarizing procedures used in preparing balance sheets and income statements. Other topics include accounting for purchases and sales, receivables and payables, cash and inventories, plant and equipment, depreciation and natural resources, intangible assets and payrolls. Sole proprietorships and partnerships also are examined.

Financial Statement Analysis

MGT X435.8

4 units

Examine financial statements for analyzing investments, company portfolios, and making strategic business decisions including forecasting, legal and ethical requirements for stating financial results and Sarbanes-Oxley Act standards.

  • Cash flow reports
  • Pro forma
  • Ratios
  • Balance sheets
  • Income statements

Quarter 2

Financial Reporting

MGT X468.1

4 units

Survey financial accounting theory, principles, and practices.

  • Interpretation, use, processing, and presentation of accounting statements
  • Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
  • Valuation, recording, presentation and control of cash, receivables, inventories and liabilities
  • Accounting terminology

Managerial Accounting

MGT X468.5

4 units

This course is an introduction to theory, principles and practices of managerial accounting, including the use of accounting information to plan, control and provide strategic guidance for decision-making in the firm.

Examine different managerial accounting systems and their uses to solve problems and develop corporate strategies. It includes case studies of the application of analytical decision-making strategies and an exploration of the ethics involved in accounting and managerial decision-making.

Quarter 3

Cost Accounting

MGT X428.16

4 units

Examines theory and practices of cost accounting and control with special attention given to cost accounting in the manufacturing supply chain and service industries.

  • Standard costing and analysis
  • Cost accounting systems and controls
  • Profit analysis
  • Budget preparation

Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations I

MGT X428

4 units

Examine the characteristics of governmental and nonprofit accounting emphasizing the various fund types and account groups.

  • Review and evaluation of presently recommended accounting and financial reporting procedures
  • Exploration of practical governmental and nonprofit accounting practices and methods

Quarter 4

Auditing: Financial

MGT X429.24

4 units

Examines auditing theory, principles, and practices as they apply to financial accounting, including governmental audit principles.

  • Audit requirements and reporting standards
  • Preparing for an audit
  • The purpose and use of audit results
  • Documentation, establishing and maintaining internal controls
  • Use of statistical methods in audits
  • Objective and subjective audit criteria
  • Ethics
  • Legal requirements and standards for warehousing and securing data

Tax Planning

MGT X435.4

4 units

Survey income tax planning opportunities, issues and potential problems.

  • Relationship between common income tax rules/regulations and the planning techniques applicable to individuals, tax shelters and corporations
  • Income tax
  • Deductions
  • Rates and credits
  • Sales and exchanges
  • Real estate
  • Tax shelters
  • Small corporations
  • Tax planning for the individual shareholders and employees
  • Partnerships and sub chapter S corporations
  • Retirement plans
  • Overall coordination of the various planning techniques

Quarter 5
“My managerial experiences in corporate and international banking, mergers and acquisitions, private banking, and insurance enable me to share rich examples of how important financial concepts are used by executives and managers. Plus, these real-life examples add interest to my classes--and make learning fun!”

Dr. Joan Branin

The Acorn Group
Pasadena, CA

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