Basic Accounting Certificate  Pre-Baccalaureate Certificate

The online undergraduate Basic Accounting Certificate helps you build an educational foundation to support your accounting work experience.

21 Credits
Starts September 2, 2024


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Basic Accounting Certificate Overview

The online undergraduate Basic Accounting Certificate is designed to help you build a foundation of basic accounting knowledge. You will take seven introductory courses in the program to earn a certificate while simultaneously completing the prerequisites required in the Intermediate Accounting Certificate program.

Basic Accounting Certificate Program Highlights

Successful completion of this certificate program is designed to prepare you to:

  • Compare and contrast banking and finance from both a historical and a contemporary perspective
  • Apply basic management and mathematic concepts to solve problems and inform decisions
  • Use accounting terminology to explain the process by which transactions are analyzed and transformed into financial statements
  • Examine and apply laws and regulations relating to business and accounting issues
  • Prepare budgets to assist management in decision-making
  • Analyze financial statements, including balance sheet, income statement, cash flow, and reconciliation of retained earnings statements
  • Determine whether a company’s current performance trends are indicative of its future financial viability

Basic Accounting Certificate Tuition Information

Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
Cost Per Credit$502
Credits* 21 credits
Total Program Tuition $10,542

*See curriculum sheet for a breakdown of credits and credit ranges.

  1. Choose your program of study. Browse our Program Finder to find your program.
  2. Complete and sign the online application.
  3. Pay the $50 application fee ($100 for international students) by the term start date.
  4. Send official transcripts directly to Cambridge College in a sealed, unopened envelope. Learn How to Send Transcripts
  5. Fulfill any additional program-specific admissions requirements.
  6. Ensure you have internet access, and a fully functional laptop or desktop computer that can play audio and video and access Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint).

Note: Your admission file must be complete and accepted before your financial aid may be awarded, before your transfer credit may be evaluated, and before you may register for classes.

Cambridge College undergraduate admission also requires at least one of the following:

  • Original high school transcript showing graduation or a recognized equivalent such as a General Educational Development (GED) or HiSET certificate
  • Or an affidavit confirming high school program completion in a state-approved homeschool setting.
  • Or, if not required by state law, proof of high school education in a homeschool setting meeting state attendance exemptions
  • Or enrollment in an eligible career pathway program
  • Or proof of passing scores on an approved ability-to-benefit test (such as the Accuplacer Test administered by Cambridge College)
  • Or nine credit hours of Cambridge College course work, applicable toward an undergraduate degree or certificate, completed with grades of B or better. (Non-matriculated students may not receive aid while earning credits.)
  • Or 24 or more credits earned from a regionally or nationally accredited college or university. Note: Official college transcripts are evaluated for transfer credit. Courses not included in an earned associate degree must be earned at a grade of C or better to be eligible for transfer.

Careers in Accounting

The Basic Accounting Certificate was designed for those with entry-level industry experience and little or no undergraduate-level coursework in accounting.

This certificate will appeal to those who are just entering the field as well as those who want to shift their career path into accounting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the yearly median salary for a bookkeeper is $45,860*, and for an accountant, it is $78,000.**


Median annual salary for a bookkeeper*


Median annual salary for an accountant**

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks, (visited February 15, 2024).

**Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Accountants and Auditors, (visited October 19, 2023).

Accounting Jobs

The Basic Accounting Certificate prepares you for entry-level accounting roles, such as:

  • Entry-level bookkeeper
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Payroll clerk
  • Accounting assistant