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Companies big and small need a dedicated accounting department to track its assets and liabilities, create financial statements, and record transactions. As the business world increasingly relies on computers, accounting clerks not only need traditional accounting skills, but savvy computer skills as well.

College of Marin’s Applied Accounting Certificate Program provides training for entry-level bookkeepers, as well as individuals with bookkeeping experience who wish to gain a better conceptual background in accounting and finance.

Our accounting certificate graduates work in many different types of organizations, including: firms that provide accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services, government organizations, schools and nonprofits, and a wide range of companies with a finance or accounting department.

Applied Accounting Program Options – What does COM Offer?

CLICK on the program award to view costs and required classes for each certificate and degree

Applied Accounting Certificate of Achievement (24.0 units)

Time to Completion (minimum):2 semesters
Estimated Tuition & Fees*:$1254.00
Estimated Books & Supplies*:$1200.00
Required Courses (21.0 units)
Class CodeNameCompletedUnits
BUS 101Intro to Business3.0
BUS 112Financial Accounting4.0
BUS 113Managerial Accounting4.0
BUS 115Applied Computerized Accounting3.0
CIS 110Intro to Computer Information Systems3.0
CIS 118Introduction to MS Excel Spreadsheet Design1.5
CIS 128Intermediate MS Excel Spreadsheet Design1.5
Electives - Choose 1 (3.0 units)
Class CodeNameCompletedUnits
BUS 107Business Law3.0
BUS 124Marketing3.0
BUS 144Business Communication3.0
BUS 150Supervision and Management3.0
ECON 101Principles of Macroeconomics3.0
ECON 102Principles of Microeconomics3.0
* These expenses may not reflect your actual cost to attend College of Marin. Tuition cost is for in-state tuition, which is currently $46/unit plus additional fees. For out-of-state tuition, see For information about opportunities for financial aid, please contact Enrollment Services at (415) 457-8811 Ext. 8822 or
** These courses have prerequisites.

Career Outlook

What work can I get and how much can I earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 1.9 million accounting clerk in 2010 and about 25% only worked part-time. With many accounting professionals retiring, it is no surprise that this career has strong growth potential in the coming years.

JOB TITLE: Bookkeeping, Accounting, Auditing Clerk

  • Annual Earnings: $32,730 to $72,400
  • What They Do: Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records.

JOB TITLE: Billing/Posting Clerk

  • Annual Earnings: $32,880 to $69,500
  • What They Do: Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records.

JOB TITLE: Payroll and Timekeeping Clerk

  • Annual Earnings: $35,820 to $90,710
  • What They Do: Compile and record employee time and payroll data. May compute employees’ time worked, production, and commission. May compute and post wages and deductions, or prepare paychecks.
Salary ranges reflect 10% to 90% of annual earnings per data sourced from Economic Modeling Specialists International (; data includes the North Bay Region (Marin, Napa, Solano and Sonoma) and San Francisco County.

Key Contacts

Who do I contact if I have questions?

PLAN: Call the Counseling Office at (415) 485-9432

OTHER QUESTIONS: Call COM's Career Programs Dept at (415) 457-8811 x8200


  • Full-Time Business Faculty Contacts:
    • Christine Li (415) 457-8811 x7579
    • Nancy Willet (415) 457-8811 x7497

Why Choose College of Marin for Accounting?

  • Affordable: College of Marin classes are open to all and cost only $46 per unit for California residents.
    • Starting here is a terrific and inexpensive way to start your career in accounting.
    • Financial aid and student support services are available to those who qualify.
  • Amazing faculty with strong real-world experience. Our faculty are leaders in the field and bring their expertise to the classroom. You’re taught the skills needed in today’s job market.
  • Small Class Size: Most business classes have 20-30 students. This low student-to-teacher ratio allows instructors to work individually with students as needed while covering material in-depth.
  • Convenient: COM has two campuses (Kentfield and Novato) and class meeting times and locations are convenient to the working student’s schedule. Evening, weekend, and online classes available for a wide range of scheduling needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What else should I know?

How long does it take to earn the certificate?
You can take all the classes in 2 semesters (longer if you need to more time).
Are there any pre-requisites?
No, there are no requirements or prerequisites.
How do I get started?

To get started, you need to enroll at College of Marin and should meet with a career counselor (who can help you with planning your education, direct you to financial alternatives, and more!)