Accounting and Finance

Accounting and Finance

For business owners, it's important to invest in a strong financial team - accountants, bookkeepers, financial analysts, and controllers - because it can mean the difference between the company succeeding or failing. As a result, industry leaders want skilled and service-oriented accounting and finance professionals on staff. Whether you're seeking a two-year degree to get started in this rewarding and high-earning field or to earn the 30 accounting hours needed to meet the educational requirements of the North Carolina Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (CPA), let Central Piedmont be your gateway to achieving your academic and career goals.

What You Will Learn

Central Piedmont will provide you with the training you need to meet the needs of today's competitive and dynamic global business environment. With an Associate in Applied Science degree in accounting and finance, you will learn to assemble, analyze, process, and communicate essential information about financial operations. Our courses not only focus on accounting and finance, but also ethics, business law, computer applications, financial planning, insurance, marketing, real estate, selling, and taxation, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the industry you want to enter.

With the guidance of our quality instructors, you will:

  • develop communications, computer applications, financial analysis, and critical thinking skills
  • learn to create and maintain an accounting system, applying U.S. generally-accepted accounting principles
  • prepare basic personal and business income tax forms.

Upon completion, you will be prepared to secure an entry-level accountant, financial analyst, bookkeeper, controller or another related position with a variety of organizations, including accounting firms, small businesses, manufacturing firms, banks, hospitals, school systems, and governmental agencies.

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Why Choose Central Piedmont

The accounting and finance program at Central Piedmont has been ranked third among all community college programs in the nation. We intend to become the national leader in workforce development for accounting, and it is our mission to encourage, engage, and empower accounting students through innovative programs, partnerships with local business employers, relationships with alumni, excellence in teaching, and career skill building. 

As a Central Piedmont accounting and finance student, you will:

  • learn from our knowledgeable faculty, most of whom are certified public accountants (CPAs), who have experience working in both corporate and governmental organizations
  • enjoy the flexibility of our class schedules, smaller class sizes, personalized attention from our instructors, and less expensive tuition
  • have the opportunity to learn from experienced guest speakers who will share important life lessons to help you on your academic journey
  • have the opportunity to gain leadership experience and participate in national competitions with Enactus

In addition, Central Piedmont offers professional accounting certificates to provide you with the 30 hours of accounting courses within the 150 semester hours of education required to sit for the North Carolina CPA exam. These certificates may be counted toward the college's Associate in Applied Science degree.

Many of our students choose to work toward becoming a CPA because according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best accounting and finance job prospects are available to individuals who have this professional designation. In fact, a recent Institute of Management Accountants survey found certified public accountants earn 24 percent more annually, have higher starting salaries, greater job security and flexibility.

Real World Education

At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.

The Details

  • Program Options

    Choose from:

    • Associate in Applied Science in accounting and finance - accounting
    • Associate in Applied Science in accounting and finance - financial services
    • several certificates in accounting and/or tax; certificates may be applied toward the associate degree

    The college catalog details the accounting and finance program options currently available at Central Piedmont as well as program eligibility and course requirements.

    Associate in Applied Science

    Completing the accounting and finance degree may prepare you to transfer to a four-year institution. Always contact the institution to which you wish to transfer to determine which credits, if any, from the Central Piedmont Associate in Applied Science in accounting and finance may transfer. If you would like information on opportunities to transfer associate degree credit to a four-year institution, please visit the Transfer Resource Center.

    Professional Accounting Certificates

    Central Piedmont also offers professional accounting certificates to provide you with 30 hours of the accounting courses within the 150 semester hours of education required as part of the educational requirement for candidates to sit for the North Carolina CPA exam; these certificates may be counted toward the Associate in Applied Science.

    CPA Exam Requirements

    Please note that completing the Associate in Applied Science or the professional accounting certificates alone will not qualify you to sit for the CPA exam. In general, the educational requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam as a North Carolina candidate is a bachelor’s degree (with at least 120 hours) including (or supplemented by) at least 30 semester hours in accounting.

    The Associate in Applied Science courses do meet the requirements of the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners. However, no more than six semester hours of accounting principles and no more than three semester hours of business law will be counted toward the 30-hour requirement. Please contact the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners for information about the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam as a North Carolina candidate and to be licensed as a North Carolina CPA.

    Visiting Students

    If you wish to transfer accounting and finance course credit back to your home institution, explore how to enroll at Central Piedmont as a visiting student.

    Corporate and Continuing Education

    Central Piedmont's Corporate and Continuing Education provides non-credit, non-degree courses and programs, including job skills, industry-focused career training, certificates, certifications, professional licensure, and personal enrichment. Day, evening, weekend, and online opportunities are available.

    College and Career Readiness

    If you are looking for programs to gain the knowledge or skills necessary to finish a high school degree or to get a job, visit Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness.

    College Credit for High School Students

    Visit Career and College Promise to learn about opportunities for high school students to earn college credit at Central Piedmont.

  • Accounting and Finance Program Requirements

    • Entrance exams are not required to attend Central Piedmont, but minimum scores on placement exams are prerequisites to take certain business courses.
    • A minimum score on the mathematics placement exam is a prerequisite for the MAT (mathematics) course required in the A.A.S. degree program.
    • A minimum score on the English placement exam is a prerequisite for all of the ENG (English) courses required in the A.A.S. degree programs.
    • A minimum score on the algebra test and the reading comprehension test are required for ACC 120. If you do not achieve the minimum scores, you will be required to complete certain developmental courses before being allowed to register for the curriculum courses in the area of study for which you did not score high enough.
    • You should make an appointment to take these placement exams as soon as possible after submitting your Central Piedmont application.
    • You will not be permitted to register for the required MAT and ENG curriculum courses unless you have achieved the minimum score on the appropriate placement exam or have successfully completed the appropriate advancement studies course(s).
    • If you have completed relevant coursework at another institution, you may be able to put that credit toward your business degree.

    If you attend full-time (1416 credit hours per semester plus one or two summer terms), you should be able to complete the associate degree in two years. You may also take classes part-time, but it will take longer to complete the degree. For detailed information on accounting and finance course and program requirements, visit the Central Piedmont Community College catalog.

  • Locations

    Please note that while some required courses are offered at other campuses, the majority of the program must be completed at Central Campus. Course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm where courses are available using Schedule Builder.

  • Course Delivery Methods

    • Classroom/Lab
    • Combined (Classroom/Lab and Online)
    • Online

    Most classes are offered in evenings, but please note that course offerings and availability are subject to change from semester to semester. You may need to take a few weekend classes (not all courses are available on weekends). Always confirm which courses are required to complete this program in the college catalog and confirm course delivery methods using Schedule Builder

  • Accounting and Finance Careers

    Completing an accounting and finance degree at Central Piedmont will prepare you for entry-level accountant, financial analyst, bookkeeper, controller and other related positions in many types of organizations, including accounting firms, small businesses, manufacturing firms, banks, hospitals, school systems, and governmental agencies.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best accounting and finance job prospects are available to professionals who have a college degree or certification, especially a CPA. This high demand equates to higher starting salaries, job security, and flexibility. Central Piedmont offers professional accounting certificates to provide you with 30 hours of the accounting courses within the 150 semester hours of education required as part of the educational requirement for candidates to sit for the North Carolina CPA exam. According to a recent survey by the Institute of Management Accountants, certified accountants earn 24 percent more than those who are not. Visit Central Piedmont’s Career Coach for detailed accounting and finance career opportunities, salary information, and job openings.

  • Costs and Aid

    Central Piedmont provides real-world, affordable, hands-on education and career training. Learn how much it costs to attend Central Piedmont. Financial aid and scholarships are available.

    Accounting and Finance Scholarships

    In particular, students who plan to enroll in an accounting and finance degree program should apply for the following Central Piedmont scholarships:

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    Students at Central Piedmont have a faculty advisor for each program of study offered. Find your faculty advisor based on your last name: