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Certificates




Certificate Program in Professional Accounting

This program provides you with the core educational requirements to take the CPA examination. We also offer a more basic Accounting Certificate Program for those who want to strengthen their accounting skills (e.g. bookkeepers and accounting clerks, business and franchise owners).

A recent report from U.S. News lists the field of finance as the number one safe-haven career, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics those with professional certification, especially CPAs, have the best prospects.

Prepare to take the CPA exam by gaining a comprehensive understanding of accounting principles at the management level. Acquire thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of accounting and financial reporting by exploring the concepts and theories underlying current best practices. Develop the analytical skills to evaluate accounting and financial reporting methods, and examining auditing processes in-depth so you can develop internal control processes and procedures.

Gain practical knowledge that matters

  • Fulfill the core accounting and business educational requirements to take the CPA examination.
  • Prepare for a career in senior level business management.
  • Learn to expand accounting applications to a wide variety of business and financial settings.
  • Prepare for public and private accounting positions.

Designed for professionals like you

The Professional Accounting Certificate Program is designed for those who want to develop professional competencies and technical knowledge in accounting and who are seeking a long-term career as an accountant in either the public or private sector. Those who have or are working toward their college degree and want to fulfill the accounting educational requirements for the California CPA exams benefit from gaining a comprehensive understanding of fundamental and advanced principles of accounting.

Program advisers

  • Donald Adcock, CPA, M.A., senior manager, Ernst & Young, LLP
  • Mary Khoshmashrab, CPA, MSBA, deputy director, The Gambling Control Commission
  • John Langreck, CPA, MST, president, Fox Consulting Group, LLC
  • Jerry Lundblad, MBA, adjunct faculty, UC Davis, Managerial Economics; CSUS, College of Business Administration; financial consultant, Lundblad Consulting
  • Daniel Staszak, CPA, M.S., partner, Willis & Walsh, CPA
  • Monique Smalling, CPA, MBA, faculty, UC Davis Extension and DeVry University; former SEC reporting manager, controller and senior audit manager
  • James Venneman, CPA, CIA, MBA, audit manager, California Controller's Office

Certificate requirements

Courses may be taken individually or as part of a certificate program. Participants will be awarded a certificate in Professional Accounting upon the successful completion of 16 required units and 20 elective units of designated course work. Courses are typically offered in the evenings and online.

Tuition for the entire Professional Accounting Certificate Program is $6,975 to $7,425, depending on when you enroll. The certificate application fee ($45), textbooks and parking are not included in the tuition fee.

These courses prepare you to take the CPA exam. Completion of this certificate program itself does not represent CPA certification. For more information about CPA credential requirements and licensing, contact the California State Board of Accountancy at www.dca.ca.gov/cba/.

Consider a Master's Degree in Accountancy

Successful completion of the following three UC Davis Extension Accounting courses fulfills the prerequisite requirements for the UC Davis Graduate School of Management's Master of Professional Accountancy Program:

  • Principles of Financial Accounting
  • Principles of Cost Accounting
  • Business Law

For more information, visit http://gsm.ucdavis.edu/master-professional-accountancy.

Quarterly schedule of courses
  UNITS F W SP SU
REQUIRED COURSES Principles of Financial Accounting 4 Classroom format Online Learning Format Online Learning Format Online Learning Format
Intermediate Accounting - Part One 4   Classroom format   Online Learning Format
Intermediate Accounting - Part Two 4 Online Learning Format   Classroom format  
Principles of Cost Accounting 4   Online Learning Format   Classroom format
ELECTIVE COURSES Auditing 4   Online Learning Format   Classroom format
Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations 4 Classroom format   Online Learning Format  
Financial Statement Analysis 4 Online Learning Format   Classroom format  
Forensic Accounting I 4 Classroom format      
Individual Income Taxation 4 Classroom format      
Business Law 3 Classroom format      
Ethics in the Workplace 1 Classroom format   Online Learning Format  
F=Fall W=Winter SP=Spring SU=Summer; Schedules subject to change
Classroom format Classroom format
Online Learning Format Online Learning format

Required Courses

Principles of Financial Accounting

4 quarter units academic credit, X407.4. 40 CPE Hours

Examine accounting theory, principles and practice. Learn about accrual account concepts, transaction analysis, recording and processing (journals and ledgers) methods. Gain an in-depth understanding of the preparation and analysis of financial statements (income statements, balance sheets and cash-flow statements); sales and cost of sales; inventory valuation; depreciation of operational assets; accounting for investments; and liability and present value concepts. 

This course fulfills one of the three prerequisites for the UC Davis School of Management’s Master of Professional Accountancy Program

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Intermediate Accounting - Part One

4 quarter units academic credit, X456.6. 40 CPE Hours

Gain a thorough understanding of the theory behind best practices in accounting and learn to incorporate those theories into practical usage. Focus on the preparation of principal accounting statements, including the recording, valuation and presentation of cash, temporary investments, receivables and inventories. Explore accounting concepts for physical plants and equipment, intangibles, current assets and liabilities, fixed asset accounting and current obligations.

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Intermediate Accounting - Part Two

4 quarter units academic credit, X456.18. 40 CPE Hours

Learn advanced accounting methods, and be better prepared to take the accounting portion of the CPA examination. Examine best practices of financial reporting, income taxes, pensions, leases, investments, stockholder’s equity, statement of cash flows and earnings per share. Apply concepts learned to various real world applications, so you can more fully analyze financial statements.

Prerequisites:

Intermediate Accounting - Part One, Principles of Financial Accounting.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Principles of Cost Accounting

4 quarter units academic credit, X407.26. 40 CPE Hours

Learn the fundamentals of managerial accounting and discuss how to use accounting/financial data to make better, more profitable business decisions. Examine the role of the managerial accountant in establishing budgets, evaluating the financial impact of day-to-day management decisions, and using budgets as control tools. Topics include basic accounting principles; analysis and interpretation of financial statements; cost-volume profit relationships; how to analyze cost behavior; budgeting and the use of accounting data for business decision-making.

This course benefits accountants working in manufacturing or merchandising industries; those seeking to obtain a better understanding of managerial and cost accounting; those preparing to take the CPA exam; and those interested in becoming a Certified Managerial Accountant. This course is required to complete the Professional Accounting Certificate Program and the Accounting Certificate Program. It replaces the Principles of Managerial Accounting course.

This course fulfills one of the three prerequisites for the UC Davis School of Management’s Master of Professional Accountancy Program. 

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Elective Courses

Auditing

4 quarter units academic credit, X456.14. CPE Hours

Examine the audit process in-depth and explore the most recent developments and trends in auditing practices. Learn how to plan an audit, perform analytical procedures, evaluate internal control systems, and carry out tests of transactions and individual account balances. Discuss current best practices for conducting, completing and issuing an audit report. This course assists individuals who need to learn or review auditing concepts and/or prepare for the CPA, CIA or CMA examination. 

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting, or an equivalent course, or consent of instructor.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations

4 quarter units academic credit, X407.8. 40 CPE Hours

Gain an understanding of the characteristics of governmental and nonprofit accounting with an emphasis on the various fund types and account groups. Review and evaluate the most recently recommended accounting and financial reporting practices for state and local governmental units. Explore both the theoretical and practical aspects of governmental and nonprofit accounting.

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting, or an equivalent course.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Financial Statement Analysis

4 quarter units academic credit, X407.10. 40 CPE Hours

Focus on the effective analysis of financial statements and how to integrate accounting concepts and principles into your statements. Examine the analytical tools for assessing a company's performance, the concept of quality of earnings and the approaches to valuation. Topics also include balance sheet analysis, asset and business evaluation issues, income statement analysis, profit margins, return on assets and equity, and cash flow analysis.

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Forensic Accounting I

4 quarter units academic credit, X407.14. 40 CPE Hours

Learn to examine financial records from the perspective of a fraud investigator. Examine a wide range of civil and criminal fraud accounting activities, from false business valuations and employer fraud to information security and counter-terrorism. Focusing on audits and financial reporting, you will become firmly grounded in the practicalities of real-world forensic accounting investigation. Accountants, auditors and bookkeepers gain invaluable knowledge and the ability to support litigation proceedings and contribute to dispute resolutions.     

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting, or an equivalent course.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Individual Income Taxation

4 quarter units academic credit, X456.5. 40 CPE Hours

Gain the practical knowledge you need to apply tax laws when preparing tax forms and helping your clients plan their processes. Examine the most current laws affecting capital gains and losses, adjustments to gross income, itemized deductions, tax credits and payments, and estimated taxes. Learn about sole proprietorship and small business taxation, as well as real estate property transactions, with an emphasis on issues relating to all aspects of individual taxation. Knowledge of current federal income tax laws as they relate to individual income taxation is critical for accountants. Acquire the skills to more effectively prepare, or help your clients prepare, their income tax returns.

Prerequisites:

Principles of Financial Accounting.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Business Law

3 quarter units academic credit, X407.5. 30 MCLE Hours

Explore the legal environment in which businesses operate. Examine various areas of the law integral to the operation of businesses today, such as contracts, torts and negligence; product liability; constitutional law as it applies to business; and federal and state civil procedures. Gain a better understanding of employment laws; the U.S. legal system; criminal law; law of agency; contracts, including Article II of the Commercial Code; bankruptcy; and the legal principles applicable to the different forms of business entities. Business owners, managers, accountants, paralegals and all those seeking to enhance their general understanding of the legal system benefit. This course fulfills one of the three prerequisites for the UC Davis School of Management’s Master of Professional Accountancy Program.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Ethics in the Workplace

1 quarter units academic credit, X424.40. 10 HRCI Hours

Heighten your awareness and understanding of ethical issues in the workplace. Learn to avoid the slippery slope of an unethical work environment and gain a conceptual framework and practical strategies for making ethical and effective business decisions. You will learn when and where ethical issues are most likely to surface and how to maintain your integrity. You will also gain an understanding of the impact of cultural and organizational pressures to conform, and explore a variety of ethical decision-making models. Business experience and case studies form the core of this highly interactive course in which you will evaluate possible courses of action and respond to challenging situations.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Download a Brochure

"A CPA salary is pretty hard to beat. New industries, more sophisticated technologies, and expanding opportunities for business add up to better opportunities for CPAs. Depending on firm size and location, the average starting salaries in public accounting range from $40,000 to $57,000. Those with a graduate degree and the CPA certification can expect to earn 10-15 percent more than the average starting salaries."

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Salaries and Job Market

testimonials


"The Accounting Certificate Program provided me with the knowledge and confidence to advance from an accounts payable clerk to full charge bookkeeper. All of the instructors were happy to answer on-the-job questions, and some even offered assistance."

Mariko Cronin, Accounting Certificate Program graduate, 2008


"These courses supplied a strong foundation to advance my career and opened an opportunity to channel myself with an excellent group of people. UC Davis Extension offers a wide variety of programs that perfectly fit into my life as a parent and working professional. I strongly recommend this program."

Elvamae F. Bolano, sr. accountant, ALPHA Fund


"I'm a UC Davis graduate, who was seeking a career change. I found the courses in the Accounting Certificate Program very challenging, utilizing both theory and practical applications. I was able to complete all of the courses in a year by attending one or two evenings per week. It is a great program for working adults, wishing to advance their knowledge or seek a new career. I have a few additional classes to take to qualify to take the CPA exam, which I would not have considered prior to completing Extension's program."

Elizabeth Ramsey