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Aquinas College launches new accounting and auditing certificate program

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In response to the increasing demand for non-accounting professionals, such as IT professionals, to partner with financial teams, Aquinas College has developed a new accounting and auditing certificate program.

The Aquinas College Accounting and Auditing Certificate Program is responding to the changing marketplace by providing training for non-CPA professionals in financial accounting, accounting systems and auditing, which will help improve the effectiveness of audit teams in public accounting. Although conceived as an in-person course, this summer the program will be conducted online.

Technology has significantly impacted the accounting and auditing professions, opening the door to non-accounting professionals working side by side with accounting and auditing teams.

According to the American Institute of CPAs, 31 percent of all CPA firm new hires in 2018 were non-accountants, which is up from 20 percent in 2016. Firms are hiring IT professionals to build and run proprietary data analysis technologies and artificial intelligence and machine learning programs. 

IT professionals and engineers who work with accountants in corporations, government and nonprofits -- as will their employing organizations -- will benefit from the Aquinas program.

“This program meets a real and rapidly increasing need in the business community in greater West Michigan,” said Professor Brad Keuning. “One of the key elements of the Aquinas College Accounting and Auditing Certificate Program is our ability to deliver critical skills that non-accounting professionals can use to help their financial teams and organizations succeed.”

Program topics will include

  • Accounting and auditing fundamentals
  • Financial statement and ratio analysis, accounting for specific balances
  • Introduction to accounting systems (link between IT and accounting), system risks, business processes and controls
  • Experiential audit simulation: audit purpose, risk assessment, materiality, controls, audit testing, reporting
  • Industry-specific breakout week with content customized based on student interest

Registration is open for the program, which begins on June 1 and runs for 10 weeks. Classes meet online every Tuesday from 7-10 p.m. ET. The program consists of synchronous virtual sessions, asynchronous activities and concludes with an audit simulation. The program is led by Aquinas College’s three full-time accounting professors, all of whom are CPAs.