Overview

This program will equip you with the essential knowledge and skills to succeed in various accounting, finance and business management roles.  

Whether your interest lies in management positions or starting a career in bookkeeping or accounting, this program will help you. It also allows you to pursue advanced credentials. 

Class sizes are small, with a maximum of 40 students. You can expect a workload of nine to 12 hours per week per course. You’ll have up to five years to complete this certificate, allowing flexibility in your learning journey. 

Our instructors with professional accounting experience will guide you to ensure you gain all the necessary practical knowledge. 

In this program, you will: 

  • gain a solid understanding of accounting fundamentals, including income statements, balance sheets, accounts receivable, accounts payable, fixed assets, and depreciation
  • get hands-on experience reconciling accounts and recording journal entries related to full-cycle accounting 
  • learn to leverage information and communication technology essential in today’s digital age to streamline processes, improve accuracy, and enhance productivity in accounting and financial management roles
  • develop soft skills, business acumen and an understanding of how the accounting field contributes to all areas of business
  • learn how to model the ethical expectations of the accounting profession, which are essential for transparency and trust. 

The program culminates in a capstone course where you’ll apply your skills in a work-integrated learning project. This experience will enhance your critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and organizational capabilities.  

As a graduate of this financial accounting program, you’ll be ready to take on accounting-related business administration jobs. 

Those working in the accounting field tend to be methodical, innovative, and directive. 

You need: 

  • high ethical standards 
  • communication skills 
  • critical-thinking, analytical, and problem-solving skills 
  • time-management skills 
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team. 

You should enjoy following rules, working within highly structured processes, and creative problem-solving. You should also be comfortable directing others. 

The accounting certificate provides you with the necessary foundation to advance your education. 

Graduates of this program can receive credit for up to nine courses required for SAIT’s Business Administration diploma or Bachelor of Business Administration degree (varies by major). Additional admission requirements apply. 

Learn more about program and institution transfer options.

Your final capstone course will have you apply your skills in a work-integrated learning project.

You’ll work collaboratively with other students to develop a solution to a challenge faced by a business or community organization.

Some courses in this program are recognized as equivalent to Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) preparatory courses required for admission to the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP). 

After successfully completing this program, you’ll receive a SAIT Accounting certificate.

Download program info

Careers and opportunities

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Associated National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes: 10010, 10019, 10021, 13100, 13102, 13110, 11100, 11101, 12011, 12200, 14200.

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Career counselling and support

Unsure which career path is for you? SAIT offers career planning services to help you decide your future.

You can also get started by taking our online career finder quiz, which can help you narrow down your search based on your current skills and interests.

Finally, you can also head to Alberta alis for various tools and resources, including additional quizzes and labour market information to help you narrow down a career path.

Services and workshops

Courses

The Accounting certificate requires 30 credits (10 courses) to complete.

The program spans one year, with three semesters per year.

View recommended order of classes

Course Credits

This course introduces financial accounting from the user's perspective, who makes decisions based on financial information. The course introduces the accounting framework, generally accepted accounting principles and financial statements. Accounting concepts, such as accounting for cash, accounts receivable, assets, liabilities, sales and inventories, are covered in how they are applied to decision-making. Decision analysis regarding corporate ownership and the application of financial ratios will also be studied.

Equivalents:
  • ACCT 1010
3

Building on the foundation established in Introductory Financial Accounting I, this course introduces accounting issues related to partnerships and corporations. Topics include bank reconciliations, bad debts, capital assets, short and long-term liabilities, share capital, dividends and stock splits. You will gain practical, hands-on experience recording accounting transactions and preparing financial statements.

Pre-requisites:
  • ACCT 210 or ACCT 215
Equivalents:
  • ACCT 2110
3

In this first of two intermediate accounting courses, you will develop technical competencies as you examine the statement of comprehensive income (income statement), statement of changes in equity (statement of retained earnings), statement of financial position (balance sheet) and statement of cash flows (cash flow statement) in depth, with emphasis on the measurement, valuation and presentation of current and non-current assets.

Pre-requisites:
  • ACCT 255 or ACCT 240
Equivalents:
  • ACCT 3210
3

Introductory Management Accounting introduces you to key concepts and practices of management accounting. You will learn to process and analyze information for management control and decision analysis. Some topics you will study include cost accounting, cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting, inventory and job costing.

Pre-requisites:
  • ACCT 255 or ACCT 240
Equivalents:
  • ACCT 2020
3

This course allows you to apply accounting knowledge to a computerized accounting environment. In this course, you will use accounting software, but the knowledge you will gain can be applied to all computerized accounting solutions to prepare financial statements.

Pre-requisites:
  • ACCT 215
  • ACCT 255
  • ACCT 338 or ACCT 345
3

The use of industry-standard software is essential to effectively manage the information technologies that are required in business and online environments today. In this course, you will demonstrate skills in managing and customizing the Windows environment and effectively using online resources to enhance business productivity. You will develop skills in creating professional documents, managing data using spreadsheets and using technology for effective presentations. Through hands-on applications, you will learn to use productivity tools and application software in various business situations and be able to select the right tool for the business need.

Equivalents:
  • BCMP 1225
3

The Introduction to Business course will provide you with tools to understand multiple business functions, including management, human resources, marketing, supply chain, and personal finance. You will also explore the Canadian business and economic system and the importance of business ethics and social responsibility in an increasingly global environment. Working through a team project and business simulation, you will begin to develop a 21st-century skill set, including communication, critical thinking, collaboration and effective teamwork. By the end of this course, you should have the foundations for understanding business and business ownership.

Equivalents:
  • MNGT 1200
3

In this capstone course, students from different disciplines work collaboratively to apply classroom knowledge and diverse viewpoints to a challenge faced by a business or community organization. Combining their disciplinary perspectives for a broader context, students will investigate and analyze the problem before presenting a solution. By adding a service-learning component that strengthens community ties, the course allows teams to showcase applied learning and technical skills in a project that expands the individual student’s workplace insights while also forging business connections.

Pre-requisites:

Completed one of the following:

  • ACCT 215, ACCT 255, ACCT 315, ACCT 338, ACCT 395, BCMP 225, MNGT 200
  • ACCT 215, COMM 300, HRMT 320, LDSH 360, MNGT 250, MNGT 255, MNGT 321
  • COMN 220, MKTG 260, MKTG 265, MKTG 306, MKTG 366, MNGT 200, MNGT 321
  • ACCT 215, ENTR 350, MKTG 260, MNGT 200, MNGT 255, BCMP 225 or MNGT 321 or MNGT 322, COMN220 or COMM 300
3

Choose any two from the following:

Course Credits

The focus of this second intermediate financial accounting course shifts from assets to liabilities and equities. Specialized topics, including accounting for complex debt and equity instruments, leases, income taxes, pension and other post-employment benefits, and accounting changes, enable you to consolidate the knowledge and skills you developed in previous accounting courses. Your numeracy skills will develop to encompass present value calculation activities, and your qualitative and quantitative skills will be enhanced as you analyze complex financial situations and prepare more complex financial statements.

Pre-requisites:
  • ACCT 305 or ACCT 315
Equivalents:
  • ACCT 3310
3

A review of management accounting: Cost behaviours and allocation methods, product pricing methods and strategies, process costing with joint, by-product and spoilage, linear programming, regression analysis and short-term decision analysis under certainty and uncertainty.

Pre-requisites:
  • ACCT 338 or ACCT 345
  • STAT 220 or STAT 270 or STAT 360
Equivalents:
  • ACCT 3120
3

This course provides the foundational knowledge and skills to compose business documents and give engaging, formal presentations. You will learn to effectively communicate professionally and consider different aspects of spoken, written and nonverbal communication (e.g., channel, content, organization, style, tone, format and mechanics) to share clear and concise messages with your audience. You will be required to work in both individual and collaborative settings.

Equivalents:
  • COMM 1030
  • COMM 1070
3

Project Management introduces you to the standards and best practices of the Project Management Institute. We will cover project management's technical and sociocultural components at an introductory level, including project definition, work breakdown structures, cost and scheduling techniques, and an introduction to earned value concepts. Other topics include stakeholder communications, risk management, project leadership and project closure.

Equivalents:
  • MNGT 2321
3

Management Information Systems and their role in managing operations is the focus of this introductory systems course. Topics include systems theory, computer hardware and software, computer networks, file and database structures, computer security and internal control and systems design and development.

Pre-requisites:
  • COMN 220
  • MNGT 200
Equivalents:
  • MNGT 2322
3

Quantitative Methods will build analysis skills by studying basic concepts in statistics, including sampling, measurement of central tendency and variability, probability and probability distributions, random variables, estimation, hypothesis testing, small sample theory and regression analysis.

Equivalents:
  • STAT 2040
3

Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure >

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Explore your options!

Some courses in this program are available through Open Studies. You can complete courses via Open Studies to get a head start on your education, reduce your course load once accepted into a credentialed program, or determine which career path best suits you before you fully commit. 

You may also take courses for general interest or personal and professional development.

Available Open Studies courses

Admission requirements

Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and completion of one of the following courses or equivalents:

  • at least 50% in Math 30-1 or Math 30-2, or
  • at least 50% in SAIT BMAT 230 Business Mathematics.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English Language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find out what educational documents are accepted and assessment options.

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

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Academic Upgrading

Missing an admission requirement for this program? Upgrade your prior education to help you receive admission into one of SAIT's career programs.

Upgrade
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English language proficiency

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

Learn more

Available intakes

Spring 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: Feb. 23, 2024

Fall 2024

Start dates:

Domestic students: Open
  • Application deadline: June 28, 2024
International students: Closed
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2024

Costs

2023/24 tuition and fees

The following costs are effective as of July 1, 2023. They are an estimate of tuition and fees based on the recommended course load per year.

Domestic students

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2.5 $5,910 $1,800 $7,710
Total cost:
$7,710

Year Number of semesters Tuition fees Additional fees Total per year
1 2.5 $18,207.90 $1,964 $20,171.90
Total cost:
$20,171.90

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a standard computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

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Financial aid

Paying for your education may feel overwhelming, but we have resources and programs that can help, including information about payment options, student loans, grants and scholarships.

Learn more
Canada Alberta Job Grant icon

This program is eligible for Canada Alberta Job Grant funding.

Application process

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Begin your application

Apply now using the online application portal. 

Ensure you have a valid Visa or Mastercard to pay the non-refundable application fee of $120 for domestic applicants or $150 for international applicants. 

Apply now

Communication during admission

Email is the primary source of communication during the admission process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. We recommend you add the business.advising@sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list, or you risk missing critical email messages.

Information sessions

Prepare for a strong start in your chosen program or get the details you need to decide your future path.

Our expert staff and faculty are ready to answer your questions and provide information about the following:

  • What sets SAIT apart
  • An introduction to the program and area of study
  • Admission requirements
  • Future career paths
  • Information on the earning potential and graduate employment rates.

Contact us

School of Business Advising

Phone
403.284.8485
Email
business.advising@sait.ca

International Student Advising

Phone
403.284.8852
Email
international@sait.ca