Accounting Technology Programs and Schools
Accounting technology programs can be categorized in a number of ways including, accounting and business management, accounting and computer science and traditional accounting technology.
Depending on your career goal, students who want to go into accounting technology have numerous educational opportunities available to them.
Accounting Technology Programs
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are over 500 colleges in the United States that offer an accounting technology certificate or associate degree. Working under the supervision of a senior accountant, accounting technicians record and reconcile financial transactions, update statements and perform other types of accounting and clerical support. While only a high school diploma was required for this position in the past, the majority of employers now require accounting technicians to hold a certificate or an associate degree from an accredited college. If you choose to attend a community college to earn your credentials, you always have the option of transferring your credits to a bachelor degree program at a later date. Some of the courses included in an accounting technology associate degree program include:
- Accounting Procedures and Systems
- Business Law
- Finance and Economics
- Intermediate Spreadsheets
- Payroll Accounting
- Principles of Taxation
Accounting and Business Management Programs
A Bachelor's of Science in Business Management Accounting prepares you to work in the public, private or non-profit sector. You also have the option of earning a Bachelor of Science in Accounting while specializing in business administration, business management or technical management. Your courses in either degree program will focus on general management skills, professional communication and accounting techniques. The following list represents typical courses that students in a business management accounting degree program are expected to complete:
- Accounting Information Systems
- Cost Accounting
- Financial Accounting
- Incomes Taxes for Individuals and Businesses
- Accounting Theory and Applications
Accounting and Computer Science Programs
There are a number of colleges that now combine accounting and computer science into one program and is a good choice for students interested in a career field such as business intelligence analysts. You can expect to complete courses in both disciplines as you complete your certificate program, associate degree, bachelor degree or graduate degree. Examples of the classes you may complete include the following:
- Introduction to Programming Language
- Fundamentals of Accounting
- Management Information Systems
- Operating Systems
A certificate program in accounting and computer science can be completed in as little as six months and gives you the basic background you need to work as a bookkeeper, payroll clerk or a related position.
Accounting technicians can earn a Certified Bookkeeper designation through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB), in addition to a minimum two year degree. By passing the AIPB exam, you demonstrate proficiency in all bookkeeping tasks, including balancing accounts and assisting with payroll. You must have two years of full-time bookkeeping experience, adhere to a professional code of ethics and pass a four-part written exam. You also need to meet continuing education requirements every three years for the certification to remain current.
In order to file official accounting reports, you are required to hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. Trade organizations like the American Accounting Organization provide resources to help people prepare for the CPA exam and each state sets its own requirements in regards to work experience and other requirements you need before registering to take the test.You can check the requirements for your state at the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy. If you plan to specialize in a certain area of computer science, such as programming languages, you have the option of seeking an additional credential to prove your knowledge and skills.
Recent graduates of accounting technology, accounting and business management and accounting and computer science programs have a variety of career fields to explore all with promising outlooks for the future. According the BLS, job opportunities for financial managers, financial analysts, accounting technicians, and network and computer systems administrators is expected to grow between nine and 28 percent by 2020 depending on the field, with the average being 16 percent. In 2012, the median salary for those in accounting technology fields was $35,170 as reported by O*Net.