Making the decision to further your studies is empowering. It’s an incredible opportunity to take your accounting career on an exciting new trajectory, providing you with many new options.
The number of choices available, such as different courses and types of qualifications, can feel daunting and overwhelming at first. The possibilities, while exciting, may lead you to feel confused about the best direction to take to further your accounting career.
The best way to approach this is to figure out what your end goal is and then work out how best to achieve it. Once you have a good idea of what you hope to achieve through your studies, you can establish the next steps to take. This will include the type of qualification you require based on your specific objectives and the amount of time you can commit to your education on a regular basis.
Two of the most popular accounting qualifications are certifications and diplomas. Here, we’ll look at the main differences between the two to help you choose the best option for your career path.
Certification courses vs diploma programs
Typically, a diploma program requires 30 to 72 credits and can be completed within two years. A certificate program usually requires nine and 30 credits and can be completed within months instead of years.
A diploma program offers a more in-depth look at accounting topics than a certificate program, while a certificate program focuses more on certifying you for a particular area of specialization in accounting.
While the coursework and time to completion differ, both give you the solid foundational knowledge and tools you’ll need to begin or elevate your accounting career.
You can obtain accounting certifications or a diploma from several accredited institutions, and you can choose your certifications based on where you are in your career. Some of the courses offered by the Ab2 Institute of Accounting include:
FNS30317 Certificate III in Accounts Administration
For those looking to develop their accounting and bookkeeping organisational skills, the FNS30317 Certificate III in Accounts Administration course offers the tools to help you understand how administration is applied in the accounting industry.
This fully remote and flexible part-time course requires 10-15 hours of study a week and will take 6-12 months to complete, with up to 390 study hours, depending on industry experience. Students are given 24 months of access time from the time they enrol.
You will learn how to:
- Understand accounting and bookkeeping fundamentals.
- Establish and maintain payroll systems.
- Demonstrate how to set up and operate computer accounting systems.
- Design and produce business documents.
This course is designed for aspiring accounts officers or clerks, accounts payable or receivable officers, accounts assistants, or anyone looking to progress to the FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping qualification.
When you sign up for the FNS30317 Certificate III in Accounts Administration, you’ll automatically become a student member of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), at no additional cost to you.
Download the course guide to learn more.
FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting & Bookkeeping
The nationally accredited Certificate IV in Accounting & Bookkeeping FNS40217 covers all key accounting and bookkeeping competencies, including BAS, financial reports, payroll and software, and helps you develop key accounting and bookkeeping fundamentals. It has been tailored to teach you how to:
- Unlock the basics of accounting and bookkeeping.
- Create and lodge business activity statements (BAS).
- Prepare financial reports.
- Establish and maintain payroll systems.
- Develop and implement emotional intelligence in a professional context.
- Get to grips with industry-leading software, such as MYOB and Xero.
The flexible course is offered fully remote and not only prepares you for your international career, but also develops your ability to work effectively using emotional intelligence and ethical awareness. It is designed to help you start you career as an accountant, bookkeeper, BAS agent, accounts assistant or payroll clerk, or for anyone planning to complete a Diploma of Accounting or Payroll. It also fulfils the education requirements to become a registered BAS agent.
Download the course guide to learn more.
FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting
The FNS50217 Diploma of Accounting is available online and is 100% flexible. It offers you the opportunity to expand on your pre-existing accounting skills through comprehensive training in taxation, budgeting, business performance, and financial forecasts.
It’s tailored for professionals who are currently working in bookkeeping and accounting roles and are seeking a higher education qualification to expand their existing knowledge and skills. It is suitable for anyone wanting to complete their Tax Agent Certification with the Tax Practitioner Board, and for those with accounting experience and a prior qualification who are looking to become a Management Accountant, Financial Analyst, Auditor or Financial Controller.
The course prepares you to:
- Provision financial and business performance information.
- Prepare budgets and forecasts.
- Prepare taxation documentation for individuals.
- Prepare taxation documentation for legal entities.
- Prepare management reporting.
- Understand taxation for individuals and legal entities.
- Develop and use emotional intelligence in the workplace.
Choosing the right program
When it comes to learning effectively, no two people have the same needs. This is why it’s important to figure out what works best for you and your individual learning requirements. Some important factors to consider when deciding between a certification or pursuing a diploma are:
- Time commitment
Consider how much time you can commit to your studies. Diploma programs are more intensive and require a larger time commitment of several years, whereas certificate programs are less time-consuming and may be a more feasible option for busy professionals.
For most people, one of the top determining factors when choosing a study program is the cost involved. Working out a budget for your education and the resources you will need helps you to set your sights in line with what you can afford long-term.
- Curricular Content:
Another important factor to consider is the curricular content of the program you wish to enrol in. For example, different certifications are created with the goal of providing specific types of information. Also, take into consideration your pre-existing knowledge and experience in accounting. Choosing a course that aligns with your knowledge will provide you with the tools to get to the next stage of your career.
Choosing accredited courses is the best way to ensure you’re receiving the best possible education to guarantee your success. Accredited course qualifications are highly recognised by employers and place you a step ahead of the rest when you enter a competitive job market.
- Employment outcomes:
When choosing a program, consider the next steps in your career development. What will provide you with the boost you need to head in the right direction. The right program will offer you all the tools you need to pursue a rewarding career.
What Ab2 Institute of Accounting has to offer
The learning programs at Ab2 are created by industry experts with decades of real-world, practical experience and knowledge. They are designed for students at all levels of their career, whether you’re a career starter, career changer, or already employed in a firm.
Ab2 is RTO registered and complies with the Australian Skills Quality Authority to ensure you receive top-notch, accredited training that gives you skills that can be applied in the real world.
When you enrol in any of our courses covered in this blog, Ab2 gives you free student membership to the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), which is Australia’s longest-standing bookkeeping association. This provides you with important status and recognition for your skills and experience.
With flexible payment options available, you can start and stop at any time along your journey, allowing you to tailor your learning around your lifestyle and goals. Ab2 also has a Student Experience team dedicated to supporting you and making your learning experience as rewarding as possible.
Ab2 Institute of Accounting has connections with over 1000 global accounting firms and partnerships with some of the financial industry’s best-known names in accounting software. To find out how you can enrol in our courses and receive award-winning training for your accounting career, chat to us today.