Tax Accounting Assistant Certificate

Begin your career as a tax preparer

Program facts manufacturing construction icon

  • Credit hours: 18
  • Stackable to degree: No
  • Potential job outcomes: Tax preparer, accounting clerk

Develop a basic understanding of tax law and procedures with this 18-credit-hour certificate program. You can complete this program on campus or online, giving you additional flexibility.

Take classes in financial accounting, payroll accounting, individual and business tax accounting, tax research, business software packages and business writing. Expand your learning outside the classroom by participating in Harper College’s active Accounting Club.

Individuals with accounting training are highly valuable to employers. Upon completion of this program, you’ll be well-positioned for entry-level employment as a tax preparer or accounting clerk.

Certificate program requirements

This 18 credit-hour certificate program provides students with a basic understanding of tax law and tax procedures. The certificate includes coursework needed to obtain an entry-level position in national "chain" tax preparation companies as well as in CPA and accounting firms.


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

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

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.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

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.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

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.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

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.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

ACC 261 1

Description: Presents basic techniques of conducting federal tax research using authoritative databases. Students will develop skills necessary to research and interpret tax case guidelines using tax cases. Students will communicate their research results in a professional business format. Recommended prerequisite: ACC 250 or equivalent experience.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

CAS 160 1 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.

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

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

Class Schedule:  Spring 2022 | Fall 2021

1 - Students may substitute 3 credit hours from CAS 105, CAS 115, CAS 125, or CAS 215.

Related programs

Students interested in accounting may also be interested in:


Next steps

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

Last Updated: 10/15/21