Accounting Certificate

What is a certificate program? A certificate is a way to add another major to your college bachelor's degree without having to earn a second bachelor's degree. A certificate program would mean, if successfully completed, that you would earn the equivalent of a second major. The certificate courses-which are fully accredited-would appear on your Belhaven University transcript. Belhaven University currently offers certificates in Accounting, Ballet, Bible and Ministry, Business Management, Dance, and Family Studies.

Who is eligible to enroll in a Belhaven certificate program? If you have graduated with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university you may be eligible to enroll. It doesn't matter whether the degree was earned at Belhaven or somewhere else, as long as the college is properly accredited. It also does not matter what your major was. However, depending on your major and your transcript records, you might need to take some prerequisite courses. For example, if you have never taken Accounting Principles 1 and 2, you would need to take those basic classes first before you can take the upper level courses.

What does the Belhaven accounting certificate offer? A Belhaven University accounting certificate offers opportunity. There is a high demand in the job market for persons with accounting degrees. There are not enough accounting graduates to supply the demand, so the increasing competition to hire them means that salaries are rising. Because of the high demand for accountants, some Belhaven accounting students are able to secure accounting jobs or internships while they are still students and get on-the-job training and experience. A Belhaven accounting certificate can help prepare you for a career in:

  • Public accounting
  • Tax accounting
  • Government accounting
  • Corporate accounting
  • Cost/managerial accounting
  • Not-for-profit accounting
  • Auditing
  • Internal auditing

Will the Belhaven accounting certificate prepare me to take the CPA exam? The Belhaven School of Business has designed the accounting certificate so that, when you complete it, you will meet the eligibility requirements of the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy (MSBPA) to take the Uniform CPA Exam. Upon completion of the accounting certificate, all MSBPA requirements for taking the exam will have been met. It is your responsibility to submit the appropriate forms, documents, transcripts, and fees to the MSBPA to apply to take the CPA exam. Furthermore, the School of Business strongly recommends that you plan not only to meet the minimum MSBPA requirements to take the exam, but also plan to prepare to pass the exam by taking a commercially offered CPA review course after completing the certificate.

What courses are included in the accounting certificate? The following 12 courses (36 credit hours) are required:

  1. ACC 2170 Computerized Accounting
  2. ACC 3130 Intermediate Accounting 1
  3. ACC 3140 Intermediate Accounting 2
  4. ACC 3370 Cost Accounting
  5. ACC 4110 Individual Income Tax Acctg.
  6. ACC 4120 Auditing
  7. ACC 4130 Advanced Accounting
  8. ACC 4210 Acctg. for Taxes on Bus.
  9. ACC 4240 Govt. & NFPO Acctg.
  10. ACC 4300 Accounting Theory
  11. ACC 4900 Forensic Accounting
  12. BUS 4150 Business Law 2

What are the prerequisite courses for the accounting certificate? If you graduated from Belhaven University with a BS in Business Administration, you will already have taken all of the prerequisite courses for the accounting certificate. If you graduated from Belhaven with a Bachelor's of Business Administration (BBA), you will already have taken all of the prerequisite courses except Business Ethics (BUS 418). All of the prerequisite classes are offered at night in the BBA or BSM programs, and many of them are offered at night in the traditional undergraduate business program.

If you graduated with a different major or from another college you may need to take one or more of the following 10 prerequisite classes:

  1. MAT 1010 College Algebra or MAT 1110 Quantitative Reasoning (BBA MAT 202)
  2. MAT 2010 Mathematics for Business and Economics (BBA MAT 345)
  3. ECO 2050/BBA 330 Principles of Economics 1 (BSM 425)
  4. ACC 2130/BBA 320 Financial Accounting Principles 1
  5. ACC 2140/BBA 321 Financial Accounting Principles 2 (or Managerial Accounting)
  6. BUS 3050/BBA 350 Business Statistics 1
  7. CSC 3100/BBA 310 Management Information Systems
  8. BUS 3630 Business Finance
  9. BUS 4140/BBA 414 Business Law 1
  10. BUS 4180 Business Ethics

How long will it take me to complete the accounting certificate? Not counting any prerequisites that you might lack, the program can be completed in two years. The traditional accounting major is 69 hours and takes three years of courses in sequence, not counting the liberal arts requirements for a bachelor's degree. In comparison, the certificate program is only 36 hours, because a student who has a BBA or another business degree will already have taken most or all of the prerequisites.

How can I complete the accounting certificate if I am working? Beginning in the fall of 2006, all courses needed for the Belhaven accounting certificate-including the prerequisites-will be offered at night. The accounting certificate classes will be scheduled to allow you to take them in the correct sequence if you begin in either the fall semester or in the summer.

How does the certificate program differ from the Aspire program? The accounting certificate is offered by the School of Business, not by the Aspire program. That means that the classes will be offered as part of the traditional semester calendar and not one class at a time as is done by the Aspire program. No study group meetings are required-but, of course, individual study will be necessary.

Evening classes in the traditional program semester begin at 6:00 PM and end at 8:45 PM. Each semester evening class meets once a week. In order to finish the certificate in two years, you will need to take two evening classes each during two fall semesters and two classes each during two spring semesters.

You will need to take one evening class in Summer I and another in Summer II for two summers. Summer evening classes meet four evenings a week because the terms are so short.

What is the certificate course sequence? The accounting certificate classes will be offered according to the following schedule:

FIRST FALL SEMESTER: ACC 3130 (Intermediate 1) and ACC 3370 (Cost).

FIRST SPRING SEMESTER: ACC 3140 (Intermediate 2) and ACC 4240 (Government & Not-for-Profit)

FIRST SUMMER I: ACC 2170 (Computerized)

FIRST SUMMER II: BUS 4150 (Business Law 2)

SECOND FALL SEMESTER: ACC 4120 (Auditing) and ACC 4130 (Advanced Accounting)

SECOND SPRING SEMESTER: ACC 4300 (Theory) and ACC 4900 (Forensic)

SECOND SUMMER I: ACC 4110 (Individual Tax)

SECOND SUMMER II: ACC 4210 (Business Tax)

Note that, once all of the prerequisites required to begin the certificate program have been taken, the order of the classes will not matter in summer school. However, the sequence for spring and fall semester is important: both Intermediate 1 and 2 must be taken before Auditing, Advanced, and Theory. Auditing must be taken before Forensic Accounting.

How do I enroll in the Belhaven accounting certificate program? Telephone the Admissions office at 601-968-5940. Also, schedule an appointment to discuss your plans with one of the members of the accounting faculty in the School of Business by phoning 601-968-8945.