Areas of Interest

Accounting

 

 
 

About the Accounting Program

Ready for a Career in Accounting? It Just Makes Cents

Did you know? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than average for all occupations. Continuous changes in financial laws and regulations, technological advances, and our increasingly global economy are all contributing to a greater need for qualified accounting professionals.

Step into a career in accounting at SMC, where you will learn essential skills for in-demand accounting professions. Real-world training includes how to prepare and examine financial records of municipal, county, state, and federal agencies for compliance with laws, as well as how to record transactions such as receivables, payables, and payroll. Apply your training right away in small business and startup settings, or in corporate accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparer roles, and more.

With on-campus and fully online program options, SMC offers a format that works for you.

Find the path that fits your personal needs and professional goals:

Transfer Preparation

Many colleges and universities offer baccalaureate degrees in this field. Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university need to know which courses completed at Santa Monica College will be accepted at the specific college/university. Please consult a Counselor. SMC has transfer articulation agreements with the many UC and CSU campuses, as well as many private and out-of-state institutions.

Degrees and Certificates

Associate in Science Degree - Accounting

28 units + General Education Requirements

This program is for bookkeepers and accounting clerks who want to advance to a higher professional level. Business owners can strengthen their businesses with best ethical practices and compliance with current accounting standards and laws. Accountants may acquire specialized knowledge of accounting, which includes the setting up and designing of an effective accounting system, the interpretation and preparation of financial and tax information, and the reporting for business executives, partnerships, nonprofits, and governmental agencies.

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Certificate of Achievement - Staff Accountant

16 units 

This program is for bookkeepers and accounting clerks who want to advance to a higher professional level. Business owners can strengthen their businesses with best practices and compliance with current accounting standards and laws. Accountants may acquire specialized knowledge of accounting, which includes the setting up and designing of an effective accounting system, and the interpretation and preparation of financial and tax information. Students completing this Certificate of Achievement may wish to pursue the Accounting Associate Degree by satisfying additional requirements.

Certificate of Achievement - Small Business Tax Practice

17 units

This program is intended to prepare individuals to enter the tax profession and enable them to prepare tax returns for the general public. In addition, hands-on experience in the form of supervised tax preparation through an internship or SMC’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides real-world knowledge.

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Certificate of Achievement - CPA Track

24 units

After completing this program, students possess a range of accounting skills and an understanding of all the concepts tested on the Certified Public Accounting exam. These include GAAP, cost accounting, accounting for income taxes, accounting ethics, professional auditing responsibilities, and analysis of complex and advanced accounting topics. For information on the CPA exam, please see the California Board of Accountancy website. Please see the CPA Track Candidate FAQ.

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Department Certificate - Business Bookkeeping

12 units

The bookkeeping certificate program is designed to provide students with basic accounting skills and knowledge necessary to obtain entry-level accounting and other accounting support positions in small and medium-sized businesses.

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SMC Resources

Potential Career Options

Click on any job title to learn more.

Job Title Typical Education Median wage
Treasurers and Controllers Bachelor Degree $137,441
Financial Managers, Branch or Department Bachelor Degree $137,441
Accountants Bachelor Degree $71,856
Auditors Bachelor Degree $71,856
Budget Analysts  Bachelor Degree $90,293
 Credit Analysts Bachelor Degree $86,878
Financial Analysts  Bachelor Degree $90,438
 Financial Examiners Bachelor Degree $76,586
Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents  High School Diploma or More $45,048
Tax Preparers High School Diploma or More $43,127
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks High School Diploma or More $44,060
Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks  Bachelor Degree $53,123
Brokerage Clerks  Bachelor Degree $46,987
Statistical Assistants  Bachelor Degree $46,987