Central Lakes College offers a variety of accounting degree options that prepare the student for employment upon graduation. The two-year Accountant Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree may be completed in as little as four semesters. The Accounting Diploma may be completed in two semesters. The Bookkeeping Certificate may be completed in a minimum of two semesters. The Bookkeeping Certificate is the ideal add-on degree for an Associate of Arts (A.A.) student who plans to transfer to a four-year university, or as an individual certificate. Flexible program options allow students to complete the program in a way that best fits their needs and life, including taking classes on a part-time basis. Classes are offered online, in the classroom, hybrid, and LiveOnline. Central Lakes College accounting degrees prepare students for entry level positions in accounting, banking, business, or finance by teaching the necessary analytical and technical skills.
By completing this program, students will achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Complete the accounting cycle, and prepare classified general-purpose financial statements in good form.
- Apply accounting principles to business transaction in both a manual and a computerized environment.
- Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of employment laws, earnings calculations, payroll tax compliance, and records maintenance.
- Apply ethical principles in decision making.
- Demonstrate effective communication skills.
The CLC accounting program is versatile and allow graduates to pursue many different career paths. Regardless of the geographic location or population size you want to live and work in, there will be an employer who needs an accountant or at least the skill sets of an accountant. Accounting graduates can work almost anywhere. Accountants are vital in the management of every company or organization. Bookkeepers provide accounting support to accountants and accounting technicians, complete necessary data entry into computerized accounting software and spreadsheets, enter employee timesheet data for processing payroll, and perform accounting responsibilities and duties electronically using computerized accounting software and spreadsheet programs.
Students planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting are strongly encouraged to consult with Accounting faculty and an Advisor about transfer opportunities for specific four-year colleges. Several colleges have committed to articulation agreements and accept Central Lakes College’s Accounting courses.
Upon completion of the Computerized Accounting Software course at CLC students are prepared to complete QuickBooks Certified User (QBCU) exam. The QBCU credential validates the skills and knowledge the accountant. A Certified Bookkeeper exam is offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. This exam covers normal accounting practices of the typical business, and may be taken after completing a 2-year Accounting Degree. The Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) are two payroll certifications that 2-year accounting graduates may pursue. The FPC has no experience requirement, and the CPP exam’s minimum employment requirement rages from 18 months to three years, depending on which eligibility criteria option is chosen. The State of Minnesota offers two levels of licensure for Accountants. The Registered Accounting Practitioner (RAP) certification requires a 2-year Accounting Degree and authorizes the licensee to perform but not supervise all accounting services on a formal audit. To sit for the CPA exam a candidate must have at least a bachelor’s degree and meet the specific education requirements set forth by the Minnesota State Board of Accountancy. Once the CPA exam has been passed, additional licensing requirements must be met in order to receive a CPA license in Minnesota. Licensing requirements include, but are not limited to, an educational requirement of 150 semester credit hours, work experience supervised by a current CPA, and completion of ethics exam.
In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:
- College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
- College Technical Core GPA Requirement: cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
- Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College;
- Accounting courses in the program must be completed within seven (7) years.
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Program Course Requirements
ACCT 2011 Accounting Principles I……………………… 4 cr
ACCT 2012* Accounting Principles II…………………….. 4 cr
ACCT 2114 Payroll Accounting………………………….. 3 cr
ACCT 2138* Computerized Accounting Software……… 3 cr
ACCT 2140 Accounting Applications……………………. 3 cr
BUSN 1131 Business Math……………………………….. 3 cr
GRADUATION REQUIREMENT – 20 CREDITS