Green River College’s accounting programs can help you prepare for a rewarding career in accounting or business.
Our students learn skills required by today’s employers. We use input from owners and managers of Puget Sound area businesses to ensure that program content is relevant and up-to-date.
All of our full-time faculty have industry experience in accounting, and all are licensed Certified Public Accountants. If you want to learn more about accounting than just what’s in a textbook, you can depend on our faculty for high-quality instruction that includes real-world application.
Computer skills are emphasized in our accounting courses. In addition to learning theory and practical knowledge, you will learn how to use applications such as Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks.
Green River offers two accounting tracks:
1. Career and Technical Education
Programs in this track are designed to help students acquire practical accounting skills so they can enter the workforce. In as little as one quarter, students can attain certification in basic entry-level accounting clerk skills. Certificates and degrees include:
- 15-credit Accounting Clerk Certificate
- 40-credit Accounting Certificate
- 90-credit Associate in Applied Arts Degree
The graduate of this two-year program will be well-prepared for employment in accounting and future supervisory positions in accounting and business.
In general, courses in the Career and Technical Education track are not transferable to universities. However, Green River graduates may be able to transfer their two-year AAA-Accounting degree to Bellevue College’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Accounting degree program.
2. University Transfer
For students who plan to transfer to a four-year university as accounting or business majors, Green River offers the Associate in Business Degree-Direct Transfer Agreement (AB-DTA). Students in this track take a three-quarter sequence of transfer-level accounting courses. This degree is designed to meet the distribution requirements at universities in Washington state by fulfilling the general requirements taken by freshmen and sophomores.
When Can I Enroll?
You may enter any of our accounting programs at the beginning of any quarter. Because classes fill quickly, it is advisable to enroll as far in advance of a quarter as possible. Some accounting courses are taken in a sequence, and are not offered in a face-to-face format every quarter.
Career and Technical Education
- ACCT 110 Practical Financial Accounting
- ACCT 111 Practical Financial Accounting 2
- ACCT 112 QuickBooks for Accounting
- ACCT 113 Practical Accounting
- ACCT 118 Individual Taxation
- ACCT 121 Payroll Accounting
See the course desriptions for detailed descriptions of these courses, including any prerequisites.
In addition to accounting courses, each certificate and degree has additional course requirements. See Degree and Certificates in the college catalog.
- ACCT& 201 Principles of Accounting I
- ACCT& 202 Principles of Accounting II
- ACCT& 203 Principles of Accounting III
See detailed descriptions of these courses, including prerequisites.
In addition to accounting courses, the Associate in Business Degree-Direct Transfer Agreement (AB-DTA) has numerous additional course requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
The accounting profession is large and diverse. On this page are answers to the most frequently asked questions about this employment field.
What is accounting?
Accounting is “the systematic recording, reporting, and analysis of the financial transactions of a business.”  Accounting is the language of business!
-  Definition from InvestorWords.com
What kinds of jobs are there?
Accounting jobs are often classified into jobs that require two years of education and/or training or less, and jobs that require four or more years of education.
Bookkeeping and accounting and auditing clerk positions usually require two years of education or less.
Accountant and auditor positions usually require four or more years of education.
What do accountants do?
Accounting and auditing clerks and bookkeepers are financial record keepers. They update and maintain accounting records, including those which calculate expenditures, receipts, accounts payable and receivable, and profit and loss… Full-charge bookkeepers maintain an entire company’s books while accounting clerks handle specific tasks. All of these clerks make numerous computations each day and increasingly must be comfortable using computers to calculate and record data. 
Accountants and auditors help to ensure that a firm is run efficiently, its public records kept accurately, and its taxes paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and governmental entities. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation—preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents in order to provide information to clients—many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, and information technology consulting.
-  From Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks, United States Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
-  From Accountants and Auditors, United States Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
What skills are needed?
Workers in the accounting profession must be detail-oriented and able to organize and classify documents. They must be able to work with numbers—but that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be math gurus. Workers must be discreet and trustworthy because they frequently work with confidential data. Excellent computer skills are a must. Good communication skills are also important.
How much do accountants earn?
In Washington state, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks typically earn about $16 - $23 per hour. Accountants and auditors usually earn about $26 - $42 per hour. 
-  From 2014 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Washington State Employment Security Department.
What is the job outlook?
Accounting is sometimes called the “recession-proof” occupation, because every organization needs accountants whether the economy is strong or not-so-strong! According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014 edition, "Employment of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the number of organizations increases and financial regulations become stricter, there will be greater demand for these workers to maintain books and provide accounting services.... Employment of accountants and auditors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. In general, employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy. As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records."
What Students Say
Associate in Business-DTA degree
"I earned the Associate in Business-DTA degree at Green River, and it was there that I made the decision to become an accountant. I was very unsure about what I wanted to do, but was so impressed with the accounting Instructors at Green River that it made my decision very easy. They were extremely helpful in preparing me for the future. I recently graduated from Central Washington University with Cum Laude honors. I have a job waiting for me at Lemaster Daniels, a public accounting firm in Bellevue. I am also starting to study for the CPA exam, for which I know I have been well-prepared."
Associate in Business-DTA degree
"The accounting instructors at Green River were extremely supportive of my goals. They encouraged me to set high standards, and prepared me to meet those standards both academically and professionally. They demonstrated where I could go with a degree in accounting, and showed me how to get there. Since completing my associate's degree at Green River, I transferred to a four-year university and have earned my baccalaureate degree in accounting. I now have a full-time Staff Accountant position with a local CPA firm. I am on my way to establishing my career and achieving many of my goals, and it all started at Green River College."
"The Financial Accounting classes I took at Green River were instrumental in changing my career aspirations from a general business goal to an accounting specific focus. I took the classes to provide the requirements for an intensive accounting program; the content prepared me well, providing the tools to excel in the program. Due to the Green River Foundation, I have been accepted in the Master’s in Professional Accounting Program at the University of Washington. Green River instruction was terrific, but beyond that, the instructors were always forthcoming with insights and guidance into the accounting world. They took pains to help me achieve my goals, and I have been hired by the public accounting firm KPMG in no small part due to them. From real-world advice to substantial academic knowledge, Green River has helped prepare me for a Master’s Degree, the CPA, and a career at KPMG."
Getting Started at Green River
This website will help you navigate the admission and enrollment process. Visit our Welcome Center to apply for admission, get advising, or obtain more information.
Green River College offers an excellent education at a relatively low cost. Tuition rates are set by the Washington State legislature, and are always significantly lower than at either public or private four-year schools. As soon as you are accepted for admission, contact the Financial Aid Office at (253) 833-9111, ext.2440 or visit the staff on the second floor of the Lindbloom Student Center to get started. Financial Aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study jobs. In addition to traditional financial aid, students may be eligible for financial assistance through one of our many Workforce Education programs.
Finding Your Way Around Campus
Go to Directions & Maps to Green River College.
Links to Accounting-Related Organizations
Want to learn more about a specific facet of the accounting profession? Check out the following organizations. Most offer scholarships, and many have current job postings. In addition, many offer student membership and networking opportunities.
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers
- American Payroll Association
- Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance
- American Woman's Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
- Chinese American Society of CPAs
- Filipino-American Association of Certified Public Accountants
- Institute of Internal Auditors
- Institute of Management Accountants
- International Accounting Standards Board
- National Association of Black Accountants
- National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers
- National Bookkeepers Association
- Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants
- Washington State Board of Accountancy
Pat Carter, MBA, CPA
Pat has taught accounting at Green River College since 2004. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration, both from City University. Pat is a licensed CPA who has worked in both public and private accounting. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants. Pat enjoys working with the diverse student population at Green River. Her specialized area of interest is financial reporting, including International Financial Reporting Standards.
Location: SH 220-50
Phone: (253) 833-9111 ext. 4679
Susan Davis, MBA, CPA
Susan began teaching accounting at Green River College in the fall of 1982, and she currently teaches in the career and technical accounting program. Susan earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Washington, and her Master of Business Administration in Taxation from Golden Gate University. Susan became a licensed Certified Public Accountant and began working in a public accounting firm in 1979, and she still works in a public accounting firm every tax season. Susan loves teaching Green River accounting students!
Location: SH 220-60
Phone: (253) 833-9111 ext. 4374
Nicole Harris, MPAcc, CPA
Nicole has taught accounting at Green River College since 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both Accounting and in Slavic Languages and Literatures. Additionally, she holds a Master of Professional Accounting degree from the University of Washington.
Nicole is a licensed CPA and has worked at KPMG, an international public accounting firm, and in the federal taxation department of Sweeney Conrad, a local accounting firm. Nicole’s area of expertise is in corporate and individual taxation. She attended Green River during high school through the Running Start program and is happy to return to Green River as an instructor.
Location: SH 220-43
Phone: (253) 833-9111 ext. 4389
Jeanette Fohn, CPA
Jeanette has taught accounting at Green River College since 1997. Jeanette has her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in Accounting from Washington State University and is an alumnus of Green River. Jeanette is a licensed CPA and has worked in both public and private accounting. Jeanette feels honored to work with so many outstanding accounting students at Green River!
Location: SH 220-50
Phone: (253) 833-9111 ext. 4883
Career & Technical Education
- Paul Mueller
Career & Advising Center
- Susan Davis, MBA, CPA