The training courses take about two years, depending on the number of units completed. The course curriculum consists of classes focusing on accountancy laws and ethics, management and leadership, auditing and fraud detection, payroll processing, insurance claims processing, public accounts, tax reporting, and forensic accounting. The National Association of Manufacturers, in conjunction with accounting professionals and KAP institutions, developed the Certified Key Accountant (CKAs) Program to provide high quality professional certification to accountants in the United States. This program, now in its third version, is the only nationally recognized academic credential in the accountancy field.
The CKAs, which are now offered by almost all of the major universities and colleges in the United States, undergo a rigorous testing program. Each candidate must successfully complete at least 100 credit hours of course work. In order to be eligible for the CKAs, the candidates need to have earned a bachelor’s degree at the college or university of his choice. Some states also require candidates who want to apply for the certification to have taken classes that were related to finance, accounting, and/or management. Others only require passing of general education courses.
In addition to the comprehensive courses provided by the National Association of Manufacturers training program, candidates who choose to participate in the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) or Certified Accounting Expert (CAE) programs obtain additional credits. These classes usually include one or more of the following classes: fraud policy analysis, government fraud policy, fraud analysis, forensic accounting, auditing standards, examination of accounting principles and policies, auditing techniques, examination of accounting systems and policies, and training in data processing and databases. A CFE candidate can also take classes such as fraud prevention and auditing techniques, management law, business investigation and supervision, and business investigation. For those who choose to participate in the ACE or CFE program, they also are required to take and pass an examination given by the National Association of Certified Fraud Examiner (NACRE). In addition, in order to sit for the CFE exam, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field.
The National Association of Certified Fraud Examiner (NACFE) offers two options for those who wish to earn their CFE certification. Option One is the online course. Although you can take the classes from your home, it is imperative that you make sure that the classes that you take are properly accredited. By taking the online classes, you will receive the same quality training that you would receive from a traditional classroom setting, but you will be able to do the training from the convenience of your own home.
The second option that the NACFE offers is the in-person training program. Although this option can provide students with in-person instruction, it can also be costly, especially if you need to take the classes on a regular basis. In addition, if you have a family, work, or other responsibilities that keep you away from a classroom setting, you may want to consider attending one of the other accredited programs offered through the National Association of Accountants. Some of these programs require that you attend a weekend seminar, which can be a great advantage for busy working individuals. Furthermore, these seminars are held throughout the year, so you will never miss an opportunity to receive one-on-one training with some of the best leaders in the industry.
As previously mentioned, the NACFE offers two different programs, and if you are interested in learning about bookkeeping, there is another certification program that can help you accomplish your goals. The International Association of Professional Accountants offers a program called the International Association of Certified Bookkeepers (IAPBA). Unlike the NACFE, the IAPBA does not offer in-person classes. However, if you complete all of the requirements of this program and pass a test administered by the IAPBA, you will become certified as a bookkeeper in the United States.
With a number of different certifications from which to choose, accountants can choose which path is best for them. They can choose to pursue an education, or they can pursue a career as a CPA after completing the Key Accountant Certification Program. Whichever path they choose, there is likely a program that will be perfect for them. There are many excellent schools and colleges to choose from, so taking the time to research and decide which program is right for you is important.