Accounting Frequently Asked Questions

Program Information

What is the difference between the certificates and associate in science (AS) degree in accounting?
The certificates in payroll and tax preparer teach practical skills for specific jobs or aspects of a job. The certificate in accounting provides basic skills in accounting. The primary advantage of earning a certificate is that it allows you to enter the job market quickly. The certificates are part of the associate’s degree program; meaning the credits earned in the certificates may be used towards the associate’s degree. The associate’s degree also includes general education and practical profession-oriented coursework.

How long will it take to complete the certificates or associate in science (AS) degree in accounting?
It depends on the number of credits taken each semester and if awarded transfer credits from previous colleges. A student may attend full-time (taking 12 or more credits each semester) or part-time (taking less than 12 credits each semester) selecting courses of interest or job needs, as well as, course availability. Please remember one 3-credit course is like working 10 hours a week so plan accordingly.

Can I become a CPA after I complete the associate in science (AS) degree in accounting?
No, to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam, you must possess a baccalaureate degree and meet other requirements as required by the State of Hawai`i, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Professional and Vocational Licensing.

Upon completion of course work can I sit for an industry certification exam?
Yes, upon successful completion of ACC 132 Payroll Accounting and Hawai`i G.E. Taxes you are encouraged to sit for the American Payroll Association (APA) Fundamental Payroll Certification exam.

Who do I talk with if I have more questions about accounting?
Contact an advisor or the program coordinator.

Courses and Credits

Can I receive accounting credits for accounting experience? I worked in the accounting field for several years.
It depends, contact the accounting program coordinator to learn how your work experience might apply to accounting courses.

Can the certificates or associate in science (AS) degree in accounting be completed online?
No, not all accounting courses are offered online.

Are accounting courses offered during the summer?
Yes, ACC 201 and 202 are normally offered during the summer. Based on demand, other accounting courses may be offered. The Class Availability site lists summer session courses.

Can I take accounting courses at another University of Hawai`i community college?
Yes, most of the University of Hawai`i community colleges’ accounting courses are transferrable. Contact an advisor before taking an accounting course elsewhere.


What is ACC 293V Accounting Internship?
The accounting internship is a required course that integrates classroom learning with supervised practical work experience. The internship provides the student with the opportunity to build upon, apply, and assess the concepts developed through course work at an accounting work site.

I already work in accounting. Do I still have to take the internship class?
Yes, the internship class is required for the associate in science (AS) degree in accounting. Students currently employed in an accounting related position may be awarded full or partial credits for internship hours at the discretion of the instructor. Contact the accounting program coordinator to learn how your current position may be applicable.

Tell me more about the ACC 293V Accounting Internship requirement.
The course meets approximately one hour per week and requires 120 hours of work in the accounting environment. Students are responsible for securing their own internship positions. Employers with internships positions often contact the instructor to solicit resumes and interview students. If a student cannot secure an internship position, the instructor will take reasonable efforts to find a position for the student. Students working full-time have found creative ways to meet this requirement by taking time off work or interning on the weekends and evenings. Individual circumstances should be discussed with the internship instructor.

Graduation and Transfer

Can I transfer to the University of Hawai`i (UH) at Manoa, Shidler College of Business upon completion of the associate in science (AS) degree in accounting?
No, not all accounting courses transfer to UH Manoa’s Shidler College of Business. For transfer advising to UH Manoa contact an advisor in the Maida Kamber Center for Career Exploration, Transfer, and Graduation Services in the I`lima building, room 104, email

I want a bachelor’s degree after I complete the associate in science (AS) degree in accounting; what are my options?
Kapi`olani CC has an articulation agreement with the University of Hawai`i-West Oahu for students who complete the associate in science (AS) degree in accounting and want to pursue a bachelor of arts in business administration, accounting degree. Contact an advisor for more information.

Are there professional accounting organizations that students and graduates may join?
Yes, in Hawai`i there are several organizations that students and graduates are encouraged to join. A few are the:

Do you have job placement services for students?
No, unfortunately the campus does not have job placement services. Students and graduates may use the University of Hawai`i Student Employment and Cooperative Education (SECE) and the State of Hawai`i HireNet-Hawai`i free services to seek employment. Many professional organizations have job placement as a membership benefit.

How much can I earn in the accounting field?
The amount you can earn in accounting depends on many factors including but not limited to job requirements, education, experience, job location, etc. Visit O*NET OnLine to learn more.