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Accounting Assistant Certificate

Accounting Assistant Certificate at Harper College

Get credentials needed for an entry-level accounting position 

Program facts manufacturing construction icon

  • Credit hours: 29
  • Stackable to degree: Yes
  • Potential job outcomes: Entry-level accountant, bookkeeper, analyst

Get ready to begin a career in accounting with this 29-credit-hour certificate program. Take classes in financial and managerial accounting, Quickbooks, payroll accounting, business writing, business organization, business software packages and word processing/database/spreadsheet software. Courses are taught by knowledgeable faculty who are accounting experts. You can complete this program on campus or online, giving you additional flexibility. Continue your learning outside the classroom by participating in Harper College’s active Accounting Club.

After completing this program, you’ll be prepared for entry-level employment opportunities in the accounting field. You may also choose to continue your education with the Accounting Associate AAS degree by completing additional coursework. All Harper CPA Preparation Certificate courses meet the Illinois Board of Examiners CPA exam requirements.

Certificate program requirements

This 29 credit-hour certificate program is designed for persons interested in pursuing careers as junior accountants in business, government and industry. There is an acute shortage of persons with the training needed to be successful in accounting.


Number Course Title Credits
ACC 101 4

Description: Presents accounting as an information system that produces summary financial statements primarily for users external to a business. Emphasizes the reporting of the effect of transactions and other economic events on the financial condition and operating results of a business. Topics include: basic accounting concepts, financial statements, accrual and cash basis, the accounting cycle, monetary assets, inventories, fixed assets, current and long-term liabilities, and owner’s equity. The course assumes a corporate form of organization. NOTE: High school algebra is recommended. IAI BUS 903

ACC 102 3

Description: Presents accounting as a system of producing information for internal management use in a business. Emphasis is on the identification, accumulation and interpretation of information for planning, controlling and evaluating the performance of the separate components of a business. Topics include: theory and application of product costing, operational control, cost allocation, performance evaluation for manufacturing and service organizations, standard costing, job order and process costing, budgeting, JIT inventory control, decentralized operations, differential analysis, capital investment analysis and financial statement analysis. IAI BUS 904

Prerequisite: ACC 101 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 112 2

Description: Provides students with applications of QuickBooks. Students apply accounting principles and manage accounting records like those used in small businesses.

Prerequisite: Prior or concurrent enrollment in ACC 100 or ACC 101.

ACC 155 2

Description: Explains the preparation of payroll records including the tax returns for old-age benefits and employment insurance.

Prerequisite: ACC 100 or ACC 101.

ENG 101 or

Description: Emphasizes the writing of expository prose. Introduction to the critical reading of nonfiction prose. IAI C1 900

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better. Other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf ESL students need one of the following options: ESL 073 and ESL 074 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 086 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 and ESL 099 with grades of B or better; ESL 073 with required writing placement test score; or ESL 074 with required reading placement test score.

ENG 130 3

Description: Teaches formal and psychological aspects of business correspondence. Introduction to various kinds of business letters, memoranda and reports. Improvement of grammar, spelling and word usage.

Prerequisite: ENG 100 with a grade of C or better, or other placement options. ENG_Placement_Grid.pdf

MGT 111 3

Description: Introduces the nature of business and the environment in which it operates. Forms of business ownership, introduction to operative and facilitating facets of business operation, management, marketing, accounting, statistics, business law, finance, investments, insurance and labor-management relations.

CAS 160 or

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of currently popular software packages or suites. Includes word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentation software and the integration of these applications.

Three total credit hours from the following four CAS courses:
CAS 105 1

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of a currently popular word processing package. Includes editing, formatting, creating tables and outlines and merging data.

CAS 115 1

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of a currently popular spreadsheet package. Includes creating, editing and formatting worksheets; working with formulas, functions and charts.

CAS 125 1

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of a currently popular database package. Includes creating databases, tables and table relationships, maintaining an querying databases, and creating forms and reports.

CAS 215 1

Description: Provides an opportunity to become proficient in the use of a currently popular advanced spreadsheet package. Includes workbook sharing, advanced content formatting, data importing, filtering, charting, pivot tables, forms and macros.

Prerequisite: CAS 115 or CAS 160 with a grade of C or better.

Electives: Select any three courses from the following:

Number Course Title Credits
ACC 201 3

Description: Presents accounting and reporting process, accounting theory, inventories, tangibles and intangible fixed assets. This is a problem solving course that continues accounting principles begun in ACC 101 and ACC 102.

Prerequisite: ACC 102 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 202 3

Description: Presents course materials in the following sequences: Accounting for corporations, including capital stock, retained earnings, bonds payable, income statement and balance sheet analysis, pensions and leases, fund flow analysis, consignments, and installment sales.

Prerequisite: ACC 201 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 203 3

Description: Includes an examination of the nature of costs and the use of relevant accounting data for purposes of improved decision making. Topics covered are product costs (process, job order, and standard), overhead variance, by-product costs, joint-product cost, and direct and variable costing.

Prerequisite: ACC 102 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 250 3

Description: Offers a practical study of current Federal and Illinois income taxes as they relate to individual income tax procedures. Topics studied include income inclusions and exclusions, capital gains and losses, business and personal deductions, and accounting methods.

Prerequisite: ACC 101 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 251 3

Description: Presents the basic concepts of corporation income taxation, partnerships, estates and trusts. The course includes a study of the taxation on the transfer of wealth, both during lifetime and testamentary.

Prerequisite: ACC 101 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 253 3

Description: Studies municipal accounts, business combinations and the preparation of consolidated financial statements. Topics will include branches, consolidated statements, elimination of inter-company transactions, general funds and non-profit service organizations.

Prerequisite: ACC 202 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 254 3

Description: Examines the auditory theory and procedures involving the topical areas of audit reporting, auditing standards and evidence, statistical sampling and electronic data processing. The legal and ethical dimensions of auditing will also be studied with emphasis on how government affects financial reporting through court decisions, federal securities laws, the S.E.C. and the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.

Prerequisite: ACC 102 with a grade of C or better.

ACC 265 3

Description: Presents the fundamentals of fraud examination and forensic accounting for the workplace. Students will discover how and why fraud occurs in organizations, develop skills to detect fraud, and be able to identify and classify various types of fraud. This course will emphasize the importance of corporate social responsibility in an organization and the need for reporting systems that focus on integrity and accountability.

Prerequisite: ACC 102 with a grade of C or better.

Related programs

Students interested in accounting may also be interested in:


Next steps

For more information about the accounting program at Harper College, contact Admission Outreach at 847.925.6700, or submit a request information form. You can also apply online.