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Durham College Accounting and Payroll students

Accounting and Payroll

Durham College Accounting and Payroll students

Accounting and Payroll

Business (two-year)/Business Administration (three-year) – Accounting

Accounting and Payroll

Accounting and Payroll

In order to be successful, companies need to proactively manage their payroll, assets, expenses, revenues and tax obligations, and evaluate whether their finances are being managed efficiently. Graduates will be prepared to execute these functions through positions in accounting and human resources departments at small and large firms. Subject to some work experience requirements, students may pursue a Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation or a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification.

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Program Description (Laptop program)

NOTE: Students enrolling in this program are required to purchase their own laptop. For specific hardware and software requirements for this program click here.

This diploma program will enable students to acquire the skills and knowledge needed for accounting, payroll and human resources practices, and related technology applications.  Students will study a wide range of subjects including maintenance of accounting records and financial statements; computer skills and accounting information systems; tax returns; payroll; industry regulations and government legislation; personal professional development; and more.

Students who enjoy working with calculations and formulas; are detail-oriented; have analytical skills; enjoy interacting with people; and have resolution skills will be well-suited to this program.  This training will empower graduates to work independently in this critical role for any business.

Qualified graduates will complete the academic requirements for selected industry designations as outlined below:

  • All courses required by Canadian Payroll Association for the Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) certification, as well as two advanced standing credits towards completion of the Certified Payroll Manager (CPM) certification. One year of weighted payroll work experience is also required to receive the PCP certification.

Note: The Payroll Compliance Legislation course and the Payroll Fundamentals I and II courses require registration with the Canadian Payroll Association. There is an additional charge of approximately $340 for each course. Fees are subject to change without notice. Students must first register at Durham College and pay applicable fees before paying CPA registration fees.

  • All courses required by the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping (CIB) for the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation. Three years of weighted bookkeeping work experience is also required to receive this designation. 

In order to earn the PCP and CB designations, the Canadian Payroll Association and the CIB each require a final passing grade of 65 per cent or higher per course.

The PCP certification is the foundation of your career in payroll. It provides you with the compliance knowledge required to process an organization’s annual payroll cycle; effectively communicate payroll information to all stakeholders; and understand the accounting function as it relates to payroll.

The CPM certification builds on the PCP compliance knowledge by developing your payroll management skills. It provides you with the knowledge to make decisions; the ability to supervise and manage; and the opportunity to contribute to the goals of the organization through managing the payroll function. PCP certification is a prerequisite for this designation.

You will learn how to:

  • Prepare, maintain and communicate accurate information in compliance with all relevant employment legislation, law, policies and procedures for payroll, pensions, compensation and benefits.
  • Maintain paper and electronic accounting records and prepare financial statements for sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).            
  • Apply computer skills and knowledge of accounting information systems to support the accounting function including maintaining accounting records; preparing financial statements and reports; processing payroll; and preparing routine tax returns.         
  • Recognize the impact of an organization’s functional operations to its financial performance.
  • Discuss the impact of factors such as economic variables, legislation and ethics on business operations within the context of the Canadian business environment.

Please note:

  • This program can be completed in two years and provides entry-level training in accounting including the completion of the academic requirement for a Payroll Compliance Practitioner (PCP) designation from the Canadian Payroll Association and the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation from the Canadian Institute of Bookkeeping.
  • Graduates will qualify for advanced standing in the Business - Accounting and Business Administration - Accounting diploma programs. Graduates can apply to complete a five-course bridge program to the third year of the Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) at UOIT.
  • Students can transfer to any other first-year business program at Durham College after the first semester.
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Admission Requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or Mature Student Status
  • Grade 12 English (C or U)
  • Grade 12 mathematics (C, M or U)

Please note: applicants without Grade 12 mathematics can add General Arts and Science – Business Preparation (GASB) to their application at You will be registered in the GASB program. Upon successful completion of the first semester of this program and the applied mathematics course, you can apply to transfer to Accounting and Payroll. Please contact for details.

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Career Options


  • Accounting clerk
  • Administrative assistant
  • Banking clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Budget co-ordinator
  • Payroll administrator


  • Accounting firms
  • Colleges and universities
  • Consulting and service businesses
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Municipal and provincial government
  • Retail businesses
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Program Costs

YEAR ONE FEESDomesticInternational


Compulsory Ancillary


Program Incidental$65$65
Total Fees:$4,056$14,228

Please note: The Payroll Compliance Legislation course and the Payroll Fundamentals I and II courses require registration with the CPA. There is an additional charge of approximately $350 for each course, payable directly to the CPA. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Please note: fees are based on the 2016-2017 academic year and do not include textbooks. For more information please see Other fees to consider.

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Laptop Learning

Students enrolled in laptop programs will enjoy an exceptional learning experience with the use of technology. The advanced technical skills and knowledge that employers look for in graduates will provide students with a decided advantage when entering the workforce. Please pay close attention to the hardware and software requirements of your program as the requirements are not the same for all laptop programs.

How laptop learning works:

  • Review your specific program page for hardware and software requirements.
  • Acquire your own laptop from a vendor of your choosing including all of the hardware and software components listed below.

Please note: Some software may be included in tuition fees for some programs. Please ensure that you are required to buy software before making a purchase.

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Laptop Requirements

Minimum Recommended Hardware

  • Laptop: Personal computer (PC) not a Mac
  • Operating System: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 (if available)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or better (Not AMD)
  • Memory: 4 GB of RAM (8 GB preferred)
  • Hard Drive: 250 GB or larger (Solid State Drive (SSD) preferred)
  • Warranty: 3 years parts and labour (On-site preferred)
  • Other features: 2 USB ports

Software Requirements

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Opportunities For Degree Completion Or Additional Credentials

As a graduate of this program, you may consider further studies in a number of Durham College programs including:

You may also be eligible to apply their academic credits toward further study through Durham College’s partnerships with many Canadian and international colleges and universities including:

Please visit the Transfer Guide for more information.

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  • code: ACPA
  • Program length: Four semesters
  • Credential awarded: Ontario College Diploma
  • Location: Oshawa
  • School: School of Business, IT & Management (BITM)
  • Domestic tuition: $2,851 (CDN)
  • Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Open Open: January 2017
    • Program intake status is Open Open: September 2017
    • Program intake status is Open Open: January 2018
  • International Intake Statuses
    • Program intake status is Closed Closed: January 2017
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