Healthcare Accounting A.A.S.

Why Choose Healthcare Accounting A.A.S at CLC?

• CLC is the first two-year college in the state to offer a Healthcare Accounting AAS degree, demonstrating its commitment to current industry developments.

• CLC graduates have an advantage when applying for jobs with their duel skill sets and knowledge in the fields of accounting, business and the office.

• Transfer easily into four-year bachelor programs.

• Strong partnerships with area businesses provide CLC students professional network connections, internship opportunities and permanent career placement.

• Take courses both in the classroom or online.

About the Program

In the Healthcare Accounting AAS program, you will develop critical thinking skills, the ability to apply ethical decision making and an understanding of the systematic processes of the accounting cycle used to record, report and analyze business transactions. Through hands-on experience in financial and managerial accounting principles, cost, taxation, spreadsheet applications, and computerized accounting software, students will gain technical, entry level accounting skills.

There are more career opportunities in accounting today than ever before, including in industry, government, non-profit organizations and professional services.

CLC graduates have been hired by: Mills Automotive, Magnum Research, Grand View Lodge, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL), Dominium Management Services, Breezy Point Resort, Redwood Industries, Arrowwood Lodge, PORT Group Homes, Crow-Wing County Auditor & Treasurer Office, and EPI.

Program Information

Healthcare Accounting A.A.S. Degree
Program Course Requirements

First Year – Fall Semester
ACCT 2011  Accounting Principles I (4 cr)
ACCT 2114  Payroll Accounting (3 cr)
BIOL 1404 Human Biology (3 cr)
HINS 1163   Medical Office Procedures (3 cr)
Total – 13 Credits

Spring Semester
ACCT 2012*  Accounting Principles II (4 cr)
ACCT 2138*  Computerized Accounting Software (3 cr)
ACCT 2140  Accounting Applications (3 cr)
HINS 1150*  Intro to DX and Procedure Coding (3 cr)
HINS 1360  Medical Terminology (3 cr)
Total – 16 Credits

Second Year – Fall Semester
ACCT 2121*  Intermediate Accounting I (4 cr)
ACCT 2161*  Cost Accounting I (3 cr)
BUSN 1166  Business Communications (3 cr)
HINS 2144  Legal Aspects of Health Care (2 cr)
MATH 1441  Concepts in Math (3 cr)  OR  MATH 1470  College Algebra (3 cr)
Total – 15 Credits

Spring Semester
ACCT 2123*  Intermediate Accounting II (4 cr)
HINS 2172*  Reimbursement Methodologies (3 cr)
General Education (9 cr)
Total – 16 Credits

*Denotes Prerequisites

Career Description: Many accountants work in certified public accounting firms that perform tax and auditing services, but the majority work as management or “private” accountants. The role of the accounting and/or finance department has expanded greatly. Accountants and healthcare accountants help organizations make informed decisions by preparing and analyzing a variety of financial and non-financial information. They help management safeguard and control the assets of the business and ensure the transactions and records of the business comply with applicable laws. Accounting and finance staff are critical in the fight to cut waste and fraud, analyzing revenue cycle data to identify new or additional revenue sources, and ensuring timely, relevant data is provided when business decisions are being made. Accountants use specialized accounting and finance software; in small businesses the accountant is often the computer expert.

Program Information: Central Lakes College offers a 60-credit, two-year Healthcare Accounting Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree. The A.A.S. degree prepares students by teaching the analytical and technical skills needed for an accounting career in the healthcare field. Students gain experience recording transactions, analyzing revenue cycle transactions, and doing realistic simulations on the most popular accounting and healthcare computer systems.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates will be able to:

  • Complete the accounting cycle, and prepare classified general purpose financial statements in good form;
  • Possess and utilize the tools needed to analyze financial and business information that support planning and decision making in prospective payment systems;
  • Apply accounting principles to business transactions in both a manual and a computerized environment;
  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of employment laws, earnings calculations, payroll tax compliance, ICD and CPT coding, and HIPPA as they related to healthcare rules and regulations;
  • Measure and prepare financial and non-financial information used to support strategic management and internal decision making;
  • Apply ethical principles in decision making;
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills;
  • Describe the current reimbursement processes, forms, and support practices for healthcare reimbursement; and
  • Explain medical billing/collection regulations and standards that apply to systems such as Medicare, Medicaid, HIPPA, and the Affordable Care Act.


Special Program Requirements:

In addition to the program requirements listed above, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: The cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. College Technical Core GPA Requirement: The cumulative GPA of credits attempted and completed towards the technical core of the diploma or degree must be at least 2.0;
  3. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% (15) of their credits at Central Lakes College; and
  4. Accounting courses in the program must be completed within seven (7) years.

Certification: Certified Revenue Cycle Representative (CRCR): The CRCR credential is a certification granted by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) professional organization. HFMA members and non-members are eligible to take the CRCR exam. Recertification must be obtained every two years. The CRCR credential is valuable for those that work within a hospital revenue cycle or work in a department that supports the hospital revenue cycle such as Patient Access, Financial Representative, Health Information Management, Finance, Compliance etc. Certified Technical Specialist: Accounting & Finance: The CTS credential is a certification granted by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) professional organization. HFMA members and non-members are eligible to take the CTS exam. Recertification must be obtained every two years. This certification is designed for accounting professionals in the healthcare finance management profession. The credential is obtained by completing self-study materials and passing the online exam. Certified Bookkeeper: A Certified Bookkeeper exam is offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers. This exam covers normal accounting practices of the typical business. This exam can be taken after a 2-year Accounting Degree. Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) and Certified Payroll Professional (CPP): The FPC and CPP are two payroll certifications that 2-year degree accounting students can pursue. The FPC has no experience requirement. The CPP exam’s minimum employment requirement ranges from 18 months to 3 years depending on which eligibility criteria option is chosen. Graduates achieving these certifications often gain an edge over other applicants during the hiring process and advance more quickly along their career paths. Advanced certifications within the healthcare accounting profession would include Certified Healthcare Financial Professional (CHFP) and Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHFMA). These certifications require additional education, work experience, and membership to professional organization(s). The State of Minnesota offers 2 levels of licensure for Accountants. Registered Accounting Practitioner: The (RAP) certification requires a 2-year Accounting Degree and authorizes the licensee to perform but not supervise all accounting services on a formal audit. Certified Public Accountant: The (CPA) license requires 5 years of college education (150 semester credits). CPA’s are authorized to perform all accounting services and can supervise audits.

Transfer Opportunities: All students planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting or healthcare administration are strongly encouraged to consult with the Accounting or Healthcare Admin. faculty about transfer opportunities and with the Advising Department about transfer information for specific four-year colleges. The A.A.S. two-year degree in Healthcare Accounting is not intended for transfer. Our graduates often go directly to work.

Career Opportunities: Accountants and healthcare accountants are highly employable graduates who qualify for a wide variety of jobs. More career opportunities exist in accounting today than ever before. Businesses are being held to a higher standard of financial reporting due to recent corporate scandals and financial crises. In healthcare, the onset of Electronic Health Records (EHR) has generated an increased ability to gather data to assist in the reimbursement and revenue management of healthcare organizations. As a result, the demand for accountants, revenue analysts, and auditors has expanded. Because accounting has always been considered the language of business, demand for bookkeeping, payroll, accounting, and auditing technicians remains strong. An accounting degree is versatile and allows graduates to pursue many different career paths. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15.7% change in employment growth for accountants between 2010 and 2020. For these reasons, accounting may be the best route to a successful business career. The CLC accounting staff receives many notices of job openings that result in job placement for our accounting students.

Career Titles: A graduate with a Healthcare Accounting A.A.S. degree would be highly qualified for any of the following career titles: Billing Specialist, Reimbursement Analyst, Healthcare Revenue Specialist, HIM Revenue Cycle Auditor, Patient Account Representative (non-coding), Billing Clerk (non-coding), Payroll Clerk, Bookkeeper, Accounting Technician, Accountant, Accounts Payable Technician, Accounts Receivable Technician, Accounts Payable Manager, Accounts Receivable Manager, Collection Specialist.


kristina ehnert

Kristina Ehnert

Accounting Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8092
Brainerd W212
steve ostlund

Steve Ostlund

Accounting Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8099
Brainerd W210

Student Testimonials


Graduating from the Accounting Program at CLC provided me with the essential tools I needed to go straight into the workforce. I continuously use the knowledge I gained in both my professional and personal life.


CLC’s accounting courses gave me the strong foundation I needed to reach all of my academic and professional goals.


The CLC Accounting program provided me with a great foundation to a fulfilling career. The environment was engaging and I was able to participate with other students inside and outside of the classroom. I joined the CLC Accounting club which gave me the opportunity to network with professionals in the field as well as the opportunity to help others in the community. During my last semester, I was notified by my instructor of an internship opportunity to work for a non-profit corporation and I did not hesitate to accept. The CLC Accounting program gave me the knowledge and confidence to exceed expectations and I was immediately hired on and am currently the head accountant there today.


After completing CLC’s Accounting Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree, I would recommend CLC to anyone with an interest in accounting. I found the Instructors to be truly dedicated to sharing their passion for accounting and to helping their students succeed, throughout the program and beyond. For instance, we were provided with multiple opportunities to interact with accounting professionals from various industries and government entities, giving us a better understanding of what our chosen profession can entail and has to offer. I know that the hands on skills and knowledge I have gained from this program will be something that I will use on a daily basis in both my career and any further education that I may pursue.


Central Lakes College is a great asset for the nontraditional student.  From flexible class options, to the personal touch of staff and instructors, to the affordable cost  – all benefits that make this institution a real gem.  As an alumni who obtained my Associate Arts from CLC and went on to obtain a four-year Bachelor of Science degree, I highly recommend considering the advantages that CLC has to offer.

Employment Statistics

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