Accounting: Para-Accounting, A.A.S.

Academic Programs

Career Path


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Program Options

Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus
Clarinda Center
Cass County Center
Page/Fremont County Center
Shelby County Center

Program Information

When you add it all up, Iowa Western's Para-Accounting study program will best prepare you for an entry-level career in the field of accounting. This program awards successful candidates an Associate of Applied Science degree that will quickly send you into the profit-oriented and/or not-for-profit business world. In those environments, you’ll be able to analyze, communicate, distinguish, record and summarize economic events.

With local businesses on the advisory board, the program offers internships for a taste of what work in this field will be like. A modern computer lab for accounting classes and easy access to instructors are the most attractive features of this program.

You’ll be well prepared for jobs in such areas as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, account processing, general ledger, and clerks. This program stresses fluency in oral and written communication. Most students enter the accounting field immediately after completing the two-year program. The program offers advanced accounting computer courses allowing students to seek advanced level employment in government offices, public accounting firms, and general businesses.   

Students who complete this AAS degree will have earned an Accounting Technician diploma by completion.

Job Outlook

6,211 Jobs (2020)
+7.0% change from 2020-2025

Data is from the Omaha Metropolitans Area, and the seven counties in Southwest Iowa that Iowa Western serves

What will you do

The Para-Accounting program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year degree. Para-accountants provide many accounting, auditing, or tax services under the direct supervision of an accountant. This program will prepare students to locate employment in the general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, or payroll areas.


  • Entry: $15.41
  • Average: $19.29
  • Experienced: $30.00

Career Examples

  • Bookkeepers
  • Accounts Payable Clerks
  • Billing Specialists
  • Accounting Clerks
  • Payroll Specialists
  • Accounting Assistants
  • Accounts Payable Analysts
  • Accounting Associates

First Semester

ACC 121 - Principles of Accounting I 3.0 Credit(s)
CSC 116 - Information Computing 3.0 Credit(s)
BUS 102 - Introduction to Business 3.0 Credit(s)
MAT 711 - Business and Financial Mathematics 3.0 Credit(s)
ENG 105 - Composition I 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

Second Semester

ACC 122 - Principles of Accounting II 3.0 Credit(s)
ACC 161 - Payroll Accounting 3.0 Credit(s)
ACC 311 - Computer Accounting 3.0 Credit(s)
FIN 121 - Personal Finance 3.0 Credit(s)
SPC 122 - Interpersonal Communication 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

Third Semester

ACC 211 - Intermediate Accounting I 3.0 Credit(s)
BUS 185 - Business Law I 3.0 Credit(s)
ACC 251 - Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting 3.0 Credit(s)
PHI 142 - Ethics in Business 3.0 Credit(s)
ECN 110 - Introduction to Economics 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

Fourth Semester

ACC 221 - Cost Accounting 3.0 Credit(s)
ACC 261 - Income Tax Accounting 3.0 Credit(s)
BUS 121 - Business Communications 3.0 Credit(s)
MGT 195 - Workplace Empowerment 3.0 Credit(s)
BUS 130 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

Total Semester Hours Required: 60.0


Additional Information

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Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

  • Identify the major disciplines of business.
  • Apply knowledge of governmental and nonprofit accounting practices.
  • Demonstrate use of general accounting principles as they apply to routine business transactions.
  • Explain the use of the American legal system and ethics as they relate to business.
  • Explain the forces of supply and demand as they relate to business and the economy.
  • Employ the use of computers in business and accounting.
  • Recognize accounting and business job opportunities within the current workplace environment and apply job search techniques.
  • Apply knowledge and skills to real world experiences.
  • Apply knowledge of payroll accounting practices.
  • Apply knowledge of income taxes and their preparation.

Program Disclaimers

  • Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database