Accredited Online Accounting Degrees
|1 – List of Programs|
|2 – Different Accounting Programs|
|3 – Typical Coursework|
|4 – What do Accountants Do?|
|5 – Salary Outlook|
|6 – Certifications|
|7 – CPA Exam Prep|
|8 – Who needs the CPA Exam?|
|9 – Accreditation|
|10 – Degree Levels|
|11 – FAQ|
Choosing an online accounting degree may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few key things you should keep in mind when selecting a program that’s right for you.
First, consider your career goals. Do you want to become a certified public accountant (CPA)? Or are you looking for a degree that will give you the skills to become a financial analyst or manager?
Once you know what you want to do with your degree, research the different types of accounting degrees available. A bachelor’s degree in accounting is the most common type of degree, but there are also master’s and doctoral degrees available if you want to pursue a more advanced career.
Next, look at the curriculum of each program you’re considering. Make sure the program covers the topics you’re interested in and that it’s accredited by a reputable organization such as the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).
Finally, consider the cost of each program and whether the school offers financial aid or scholarships. An online accounting degree can be expensive, but there are ways to make it more affordable.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best online accounting degree for you.
Accredited Schools that offer Online Accounting Degrees
There are many schools that offer online degrees in accounting, so it can be tough to narrow down your options. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of schools offering some of the best online accounting degrees available.
We sent out a survey to most business schools in the US. Of the completed questionnaires, 100+ schools confirmed they offer an accredited bachelor program in accounting. Most of the information you see below is directly from the schools.
- We only list Public or Not-for-Profit schools, no for-profit.
- We only list regionally accredited schools.
- We only list programs where the majority of the coursework can be completed online.
The Bachelor of Science in Accounting program is designed for students looking to enter the finance and accounting industries. The Albertus Magnus College under the Tagliatela School of Business and Leadership offers an affordable accounting program in FLEX format. Students can take classes both in-person and online or completely online. The course is offered in eight-week sessions with asynchronous weekly assignments to allow online students to finish them at their own pace.
BS in Accounting comprises 54 credits: 21 credits of core requirements and 33 credits in concentration requirements. Accelerated eight-week classes allow students to earn 30 credits in one year by taking two classes per term. The required general education courses total 120 credits of concentration courses. The Master of Science in Accounting meant for traditional undergraduate students only requires 30 credits. A total of 150 credits are required to attain the Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Science in Accounting degrees. The college offers personalized faculty assistance with a 1:14 faculty-student ratio. Applicants must submit a high school transcript and a personal essay on any topic in addition to a recommendation from an advisor or professor.
Anderson University’s accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The 120-credit hour program is predominantly online, with video courses and live lectures offered by experienced accounting professionals.
The program is open to students who have earned credits from an accredited college or university to transfer at least 75 percent of the credits. The program offers three different terms for the summer session for 2023, the first term, Summer 7A, runs from May 8 to June 25. The second term, Summer 7B, runs from June 26 to August 13. The third term is a semester-long program, from May 8 to August 13. Students can register for each term until the respective deadlines, May 14 and July 2, providing ample time for students to plan their academic schedules. The program has an acceptance rate of 50%, and the average age of students is 25. Admission requirements include a completed application, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
Arizona State University’s Online Bachelor of Science in Accountancy is one of our list’s highest-rated accounting programs. ASU’s state-of-the-art curriculum covers 120 credit hours covering general education, professional business, accounting, and electives. The AACSB-accredited undergraduate accountancy program prepares students for certification examinations such as Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) and Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.).
The admitted students will also learn courses on computer information systems while benefiting from hands-on exposure to current e-business software. The next start date for students enrolling in the program is 05/16/2023. Eligible students must meet the general requirements, such as a high school diploma, a GED or progress toward an associate’s degree. Interested students can view the program details for more information about ASU’s online accounting degree.
The Accounting program at Bay Path University is designed to offer students unique skills and advantages that they can leverage in various career paths, including management accounting, financial accounting, auditing, tax preparation, financial analysis and forensic accounting. To earn an online Bachelors in accounting, students must complete 120 credit hours of electives. The university offers a three-year accelerated online program that allows undergraduate students to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting more quickly.
Students who complete the three-year accelerated degree program and wish to obtain a graduate accounting degree are automatically accepted into the University’s Masters of Science in Professional Accounting, referred to as a 3+1 program. Students can take as many as 18 credits in a semester at no extra cost. Students who have earned alternative credits before joining Bay Path may use them to apply toward their online accounting degree. Students can take advantage of the accelerated 6-week online accounting program through the American Women’s College at Bay Path University.
Belhaven University’s accounting online program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education and requires a minimum of 124 credit hours to graduate. Students can complete the program 100% online and take 7-week courses taught year-round.
All classes are taught from a Christian worldview, with small class sizes. The Summer Term 2023 provides students with flexible enrollment options, with classes starting on May 1, May 29, and June 26, respectively, for each of the three terms. Students can register for each term from April 14, May 12, and June 9, respectively, providing ample time to plan their academic schedules. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 10 to 1, students receive personalized attention and support from experienced faculty members. The program’s acceptance rate is 64%, with an average age of 25. Admission requirements include a completed application, official transcripts, and satisfactory standardized test scores.
Black Hills State University
Black Hills State University has a high standard for its business programs, as evidenced by its AACSB accreditation, placing it among the top 5% of business schools worldwide. Students undertaking a degree in professional accountancy benefit from the institution’s innovative and effective instructions. Black Hills State University offers its students mentorship, research, internships, and service opportunities.
Through this comprehensive approach, BHSU cultivates a new generation of business graduates with the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to become local, regional, and global market leaders. BHSU achieves its goals by:
- Offering small class sizes to accommodate various learning styles for students and ensure all learners comprehend the concepts and materials.
- Involving local and regional stakeholders to connect professional accountancy students with potential employers.
- Providing multiple accounting classes to offer students a well-rounded degree.
- Using various teaching methods in their courses, such as service learning projects, internships, study abroad opportunities, hybrid courses, and online and traditional lectures.
- The curriculum comprises 120 credit hours and covers financial accounting, cost accounting, auditing, taxation, and accounting information systems. Students can choose electives in finance, economics, and business law.
Online Business AdministrationAccounting, BS from Bluefield University, is a self-paced course that prepares students for the real accounting world. The undergraduate online BA courses with an accounting concentration offer courses in an 8-week format, making it a flexible and convenient choice for busy students. Students taking the Bachelor of Science in Business AdministrationAccounting program online must complete 49-52 credit hours of General Education, Major requirements of 36 credits, 10-16 credits of a chosen concentration and electives requiring 5-9 credit hours. The accounting concentration will require 15 credit hours to complete. A student must complete 120 credit hours to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Students planning to sit for the CPA exam must complete 150 hours of course study.
The university allows up to 90 transfer credit hours. Career opportunities graduates can pursue include general manager, financial analyst, project manager, human resources manager and sports operation manager, among others in the business and accounting fields. The small class size and a 14:1 student-faculty ratio enable students to get personalized support from the faculty throughout their online courses.
Brescia University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. The Bachelor of Accounting degree program can be completed in two years or less. It requires a minimum of 120 credit hours to qualify for graduation.
Affordable Colleges Online ranked Brescia University 22nd best Online Bachelor of Accounting Program for 2016-17 because it offers affordability, support, academic rigor and flexibility. The program accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions, which include a maximum of 81 from a four-year college or university and a maximum of 67 credits from a community college. The curriculum incorporates important coursework in accounting ethics, financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation. To gain admission to the program, students must meet specific requirements, including a minimum GPA of 2.5, a high school diploma or GED and official transcripts. Prospective students must also submit an application fee of $25.
Buena Vista University
Buena Vista University is one of the institutions on our list with a high acceptance rate, averaging 78%. At an average fee of $36, 426, students can pursue a Bachelor’s in Accounting at BVU via hybrid, online, and in-person programs. Bachelor’s in accounting degree students study the program at Buena Vista University’s Harold Walter Siebens School of Business. To earn professional accounting licensure, learners require 150 credits. Students looking to acquire a master’s and bachelor’s accounting degrees can consider the institution’s accelerated program, requiring five years to complete. The curriculum’s requirements include major classes, such as business taxation, accounting information systems, cost accounting, and individual taxation. Besides coursework, BVU provides learners with hands-on experience through internships and other practical learning experiences. These opportunities equip graduates with real-world expertise to succeed in their future careers. Students looking to enroll at the university require official college transcripts and an online application. Registrations are rolling, and BVU doesn’t ask for an application fee.
California State University-Chico
Students seeking a degree in accounting from California State UniversityChico will follow the BADM-ACCT curriculum. To obtain a CPA certification, students will pursue both the BADM-ACCT degree and the Professional Accounting Certificate, which are taken concurrently. Since California has a 150-hour requirement rule for accountants, students should expect to complete 150 units of college education instead of the standard 120 units that an undergraduate degree provides. The BADM-ACCT degree offers 120 units, and the Professional Accounting Certificate provides the remaining 30 units to achieve the mandatory 150 units. Accounting students may enroll in three accounting option courses per semester.
Students pursuing the Business Administration BS Accounting degree must attain a grade of C- or higher in all courses counted toward the program. The accounting option comprises 27 units. California State UniversityChico, does not allow the transfer of any accounting option coursework from another institution. Various courses in the accounting option have prerequisite courses with a minimum grade requirement.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, and regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), Cambridge College offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program with a 40-course curriculum. Admission is on a rolling basis throughout the year, hence application is always open with the next semester expected to begin on May 9, 2023. The program is designed to be 100% interactive online learning that provides high-quality courses.
The college also offers the Fast-Track program for students who have 90 credits and a GPA of 3.0, allowing them to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously through this innovative method of accelerating their degree completion time. Prospective students are required to meet the admission requirements, which include a minimum GPA of 2.0, a completed application, official transcripts and satisfactory SAT or ACT scores.
Campbell University’s Adult and Online accounting program equips students with the skills to analyze, interpret and report financial and non-financial data for diverse stakeholders. The program emphasizes the importance of decision-making processes in various settings, such as for-profit, non-profit, and governmental entities. Its curriculum equips students with the necessary skills to understand and apply accounting principles and standards in practical scenarios. After completing the Adult and Online accounting program, students can seek entry-level accounting positions.
The curriculum prepares learners to undertake professional evaluations, such as Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Management Account (CMA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Campbell University’s accounting program equips students with the necessary skills to pursue post-graduate programs, including law school, Master of Accountancy, and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees. The University’s business school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Course examples include:
- Corporate Finance
- Philosophy of Business
- Principles of Marketing
- Financial Accounting
- Quantitative Methods
- Management Info Systems
- Managerial Accounting
Colorado State University-Global
This online accounting degree is another affordable program that made it to the top five on our list. The price tag for the program is $42,000 for an ACSBP-accredited online degree that is acknowledged globally. Any adult learner looking for a flexible online accounting degree can choose the Colorado State University-Global Campus online accounting degree. The online accounting degree program at CSU-Global provides students with a comprehensive 120-credit curriculum they can complete at their own pace and schedule.
Seventeen of the 120 credits required to graduate include accounting credits covering financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, auditing and accounting information systems. Additionally, students can major in up to 18 specialization areas, such as business administration, entrepreneurship and organizational leadership. CSU-Global allows rolling applications for the online accounting degree program. Students can enroll for the classes offered in eight-week blocks throughout the year, with new classes beginning every month. The university requires students to have a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for CSU-Global’s online accounting program. Interested students can view the program details to learn about other eligibility requirements.
Columbia College offers affordable, accredited accounting degrees with online classes or in-seat options. The accounting degree equips students with business, organizational, and financial planning skills. The Robert W. Plaster School of Business at Columbia College provides a 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Finance. Eligible students will cover economics, business, finance, and management coursework. Students can complete the entire program online or take both online and on-campus classes.
Online students can access course materials 24/7, allowing them to work and study when convenient. Students can take an accelerated eight-week course during a six-session academic year to earn an accounting degree online. Columbia College makes the transfer easy by providing a preliminary review of the student’s credit earned. Students can transfer previous college coursework, which accepts up to 90 credit hours. Columbia College has the most affordable online accounting degree at $375 per credit hour for an undergraduate program and $490 per credit hour for a graduate course. To be eligible, applicants must have a GED or high school diploma. The college offers multiple start dates throughout the year giving new students the flexibility to join the program at different times.
Concordia University-St. Paul
Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), Concordia University St. Paul offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting program that is 100% online. Students in the B.S. in Accounting program complete 120 credit hours of coursework over two and a half years and are prepared for the CPA or CMA exams and certifications upon graduation.
The cost per credit hour at Concordia University Saint Paul is $420 per credit hour, making it one of the most affordable online bachelor’s programs available today. To apply for the online Bachelor of Science in Accounting program, students must submit an official transcript with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 from a regionally accredited institution. For transfer students, the institution accepts the transfer of credits but students with less than 20 credit points need to submit an official high school transcript and an essay.
At $563 per credit hour, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Accounting at DeSales University. The university offers multiple start dates throughout the year, giving learners the flexibility to begin their studies when ready. The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and provides students with an extensive understanding of accounting practices in various industries.
DeSales University’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting is designed to cater to students with other commitments outside their studies. Learners can complete their coursework at their own pace and convenience. While there are no location requirements, students must complete their exams and assignments within the designated deadlines. Some courses offered in the program include Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Taxation, Auditing, and Accounting Information Systems. Students acquire hands-on experience and real-world application through various assignments and case studies. DeSales University provides video courses and live lectures, enabling students to choose the appropriate learning mode based on their needs.
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University offers the Bachelor’s in AccountingCertified Managerial Accounting online program. The online bachelor’s degree in accounting provides a solid foundation for various careers, including auditor, controller, accountant, tax specialist and fiscal manager. The International Accreditation Council accredits the university’s BS or BA in Accounting for Business Education. Students can choose to complete 45 additional credits to qualify for the CPA exam. The Managerial Accounting concentration allows the students to explore businesses’ financial and accounting demands. They also attain credentials to sit for the CPA exam and expertise to pursue leadership careers in accounting.
Eastern Oregon University offers a generous transfer credit policy on accounting option coursework. The university has a designated one-on-one support team and an experienced faculty. Students pursuing an online Bachelor of Science in accounting can choose from three options: tax, financial, or certified managerial accounting.
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Tech’s online accounting program is housed under the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, which is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). The program offers various courses, including Associate of Arts in Accounting, Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, BA in Business Administration/Accounting, MBA in Accounting, and MBA in Accounting & Finance. Students can transfer credits from accredited institutions, which allows them to accelerate their progress toward a degree.
The cost per credit hour is $510, and students are required to complete a total of 120 credit hours for graduation. The program operates on a trimester schedule, with classes starting every August (Fall), January (Spring), and May (Summer). The acceptance rate of the Florida Institute of Technology is 33%, making it a competitive program, with an average age of 25. Admission requirements include a completed application form, official transcripts and standardized test scores such as the SAT or ACT. Additionally, students must provide letters of recommendation and a personal statement.
George Washington University
Students can pursue an online Master of Accountancy at George Washington University’s School of Business, accredited by the AACSB. The curriculum is best for learners seeking a comprehensive accounting education to prepare for leadership roles in the field. The Master of Accountancy at GWU focuses on technical accounting knowledge, business acumen, and professional skills development. Students require 30 credits to complete the course, which they can achieve in as little as one year. The curriculum’s tuition is $1,835 credit per hour, with additional technology and other service fees.
Students take financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, auditing, and accounting information systems courses. There are opportunities for multiple electives, allowing learners to tailor their education to their career goals and interests. The Master of Accountancy at George Washington University equips students with the skills and knowledge to pursue careers in accounting, finance, and related fields. Graduates meet the educational requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.
At only $375 per credit, Illinois College’s online BA in Accounting is one of the most affordable online accounting degrees. The program is estimated to take 15 months with 42 credit hours and a course length of 8 weeks. Students pursuing the online BA in Accounting become proficient in financial accounting, economics, income tax, auditing concepts, risk assessment, statistics and business ethics.
The program requires 120 credit hours: 78 hours in general education and 42 hours in accounting core courses. Accounting core areas include statistics, principles of accounting, principles of economics, business ethics, auditing, intermediate cost accounting and intermediate financial accounting, among others. An expert faculty member with years of field experience instructs every course through interactive online classes that allow students to study full or part-time where and when it’s convenient for them.
Indiana State University
Indiana State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting program that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This 120-credit program can be completed in four years on a full-time basis. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1, with an admission rate of 94 %. The application is open for beginning students fresh from high school and transfers students based in the U.S., members of the military or State Department and their family members stationed overseas.
The BSA program at Indiana State University provides students with a strong foundation in the most up-to-date financial accounting principles and practices. Students are prepared to enter the workforce as entry-level accountants or continue their education at graduate school. Indiana State University enrollment dates are August, January, and May covering the three seasons (fall, spring, and summer). To gain admission, applicants must meet certain requirements, including a minimum GPA of 2.5, official transcripts and a completed application.
The Indiana Tech accounting faculty features Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in order to ensure its students’ learning experience is rigorous. Students acquire the latest industry trends, regulations, and policies, helping them to advance their problem-solving skills. Indiana Tech University’s online accounting degree program has a competitive tuition rate of $438 per credit hour, making it among the most affordable on our list. The curriculum offers three start dates annually, and learners can complete their degree full-time or part-time, depending on their schedule.
Indiana Tech’s online accounting degree includes Managerial Accounting, Business Law, and Auditing. Students learn via video lectures, discussion boards, and interactive learning materials, making the program engaging and dynamic. The university offers multiple online resources, such as an academic advisor, online tutoring, and technical support. Expected outcomes align with the educational requirements of professional accounting organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Iowa Wesleyan University
The accounting program within the Business Administration major at Iowa Wesleyan University provides students with an essential foundation in accounting concepts and skills for either direct entry into an accounting career or entrance to a graduate program. Students are required to complete the four accounting concentrations: Intermediate Accounting I, Cost Accounting, Introduction to Federal Tax and Auditing, Principles and Procedures. They should also choose two remaining accounting classes: Business Analytics, Cost Accounting II, Accounting Information Systems, Intermediate Accounting II and Government and Nonprofit Accounting.
A first-year student must complete an admission application and submit an official high school transcript or high school equivalency certificate based on GED tests. An SAT or ACT score is optional. To qualify for the Business Administration Accounting Program, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. The online accounting program offers flexibility and convenience to meet the needs of different students. Students have 24/7 access to the coursework, and the program has eight-week terms with six start dates in a year and the university accepts up to 90 transfer credits. A student should complete at least 120 credit hours with at least 30 upper-level credits and complete all of the university’s major courses and requirements.
Kean University’s accounting program is offered entirely online, providing students with the flexibility to study at their own pace and from anywhere. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting program requires a minimum of 120 credit hours and takes an estimated four years to complete. Kean University also offers a master’s degree in accounting that takes one year to complete and requires 30 credit hours.
Kean University’s Accounting program has an acceptance rate of 21%, ensuring that students receive a high-quality education and a rigorous curriculum. The university offers continuous admissions, and the Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 registration begins on April 3. Admission requirements for the program include a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a minimum GPA of 2.5. Additionally, prospective students must submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions and complete an online application. There is a 2-3 day waiting period for registration. The Summer Session I term begins on May 22.
The Keiser University School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and students can pursue it online or on one of the institution’s campuses. Students who complete the university’s Bachelor of Arts in Accounting acquire advanced skills and concepts to excel in multiple accounting specialties.
The curriculum includes communication skills, analytics, ethics, general business, and accounting. Graduates apply the acquired knowledge in accounting, not-for-profit, governmental, financial, managerial, auditing, and taxation concepts. The Bachelor of Arts degree at Keiser University incorporates multiple accounting and business-related software to advance learners’ knowledge. Upon completion, students:
- Demonstrate tax/accounting knowledge.
- Utilize professional decision-making to excel in various accounting situations.
- Use professional publications to enhance communication and research skills.
- Relate professional, regulatory, and ethical standards to succeed in accounting.
- Gain proficiency in using accounting/tax and business software applications.
The Accounting program at Limestone University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The program is comprised of two courses in eight-week terms. The Business Administration Accounting degree program is a 120-credit hour curriculum that provides students with an understanding of the accounting cycle, tax and financial reporting and management accounting. Students will also gain an understanding of cost analysis, financial decision-making, ethics and business writing.
Students will take classes online through the Canvas learning system. The 2023 Spring Semester has three terms: term one classes start January 9 and end February 28; term two classes start March 13 and end May 2; term three classes start May 8 and end June 27. Transfer credits are accepted from other accredited colleges. The admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, official transcripts from schools attended, and scores from SAT or ACT.
At Lindenwood University, students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and a Bachelor of Science in accounting. The online accounting degree program at Lindenwood University costs $495 per credit hour, making it one of the most affordable options on our list. Students can enroll on multiple dates throughout the years based on convenience. The time commitment for this program is 120 credit hours, and learners can complete it in four years. Lindenwood University’s Business School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), ensuring the program meets high standards for quality and rigor.
The business school has affiliations with several professional organizations, including the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA). The curriculum concentrations include a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Science in Accounting. Lindenwood University uses multiple teaching styles, such as online lectures, assignments, and projects, providing students with a dynamic and engaging learning experience.
Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge
A Bachelor of Science in Accounting provides students with the foundation to understand how to create, maintain or evaluate financial records for an organization. The 120-hour program helps students acquire relevant expertise to enter a dynamic career in the accounting field. Areas of study the program covers include Auditing, Information Systems, Tax Planning/Compliance, Corporate Accounting, Government Accounting, and Assurance and Tax. To qualify for the CPA exam, a student must earn an additional 30 hours by enrolling in Louisiana State University’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program.
Transfer credits may apply for the online accounting degree for up to 75% of degree requirements. To qualify for the program, a student should complete the high school core curriculum for college readiness and have a high school grade point average of at least 2.0 or have an ACT composite score of 20 or higher. Transfer students should have earned at least 18 hours of college-level credit, a transferable associate degree or higher, or at least 12 hours of college-level credit from the CLTCC Bridge Program or LSUE.
Loyola University Chicago
The online BBA in Accounting program offered at Loyola University School of Business is a four-year undergraduate program that requires the completion of 120 credit hours. The School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The program boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1, providing students with ample opportunities for individualized attention from faculty members.
The average age of students in the BBA in Accounting program ranges from 18 to 24 years, and the program has an acceptance rate of 10%. Enrollment is continuous, with the first class starting every August, January, and May. Applicants to the program must meet certain admission requirements, including having a minimum GPA, completing specific courses and submitting standardized test scores.
Maryville University of St. Louis
Students seeking a career in accounting, auditing, or taxation and looking for flexible learning can enroll for a bachelor’s degree in accounting at the Maryville University of St. Louis. The affordable course requires learners to pay $500 per credit hour. Interested students can register at their convenience, as the program offers several start dates each year. A bachelor’s degree at the Maryville University of St. Louis requires 120 credits. Courses offered include Financial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Taxation, and Auditing.
The faulty emphasizes the development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills to prepare learners to navigate the accounting profession successfully. Students can learn through video courses and live lectures, and collaborate with peers for the best learning outcome. Maryville University of St. Louis’ Business School is accredited by the ACBSP.
The McKendree University School of Business online accounting degree allows busy students to further their education with the BBA Accounting Major, offered over eight weeks with classes that are delivered using the course management system, Brightspace. Students seeking to sit for a CPA exam should complete 150-hour credits by taking additional courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Accounting classes are offered at the Center at Scott Air Force Base.
The online accounting degree is designed to prepare students in various areas, including auditing, tax planning, managerial accounting, government, corporate, cost accounting and personal finance. McKendree University’s transfer policy allows students to transfer as many credits as possible after carefully evaluating the previous coursework. A student who has attained an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is considered to have met all general education requirements.
Midway University offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in accounting program, preparing students to thrive in the dynamic and ever-evolving accounting industry. The university provides this program on-campus and online, allowing learners to access it regardless of location or schedule.
By completing Midway’s Business Administration-Accounting program, students fulfill the educational requirements to sit for the CPA exam. For those interested in taking the exam, Midway University offers additional undergraduate or graduate courses to help them reach the 150 credit hour requirement. The course’s intended outcome includes the following:
- Equip learners with skills and knowledge to effectively integrate people, processes, and resources to achieve organizational goals.
- Students learn to select and use appropriate resources to acquire, analyze, and synthesize financial data, essential for making operational and strategic decisions.
- Students learn to communicate clearly and concisely, which is vital for building relationships, managing teams, and achieving business objectives.
- Learners gain practical experience in applying software and tools commonly used in the industry, preparing them to excel in a rapidly evolving tech landscape.
Morehead State University
Learn to prepare and analyze financial documents with Accounting, BBA from Morehead State University. The online accounting program prepares students for private, public and governmental accounting careers. New students can apply for the program by completing an online application and submitting high school transcripts or GED scores and certificates. ACT and SAT scores are not required for undergraduate admission.
The online accounting program courses include Government Accounting, Advance Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, Advanced Tax Accounting, Forensic Accounting and Cost Accounting. Students who complete this online program have two advantages: support from experienced faculty and flexibility. Students can access lecture materials online at their convenience. With an average class size of 16 and a 15:1 student-faculty ratio, students receive personalized attention.
New England College
New England College’s Accounting program offers students the opportunity to earn an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Classes are 100% online and are taught in a virtual format, allowing students to learn and interact with their professors and classmates from anywhere in the world.
The Accounting program consists of four-credit, seven-week courses, which are highly interactive and engaging. The program offers three terms with the first class starting in August, January or May, and the application being accepted throughout the year (rolling admission). The admission process is easy and straightforward, as students can submit their online application and transcript(s) without the need for ACT/SAT scores. The program also accepts transfer credits, enabling students to build on their previous academic achievements and accelerate their degree completion.
At Nichols College, students gain access to specialized accounting courses, giving them a competitive edge in the professional world. Learners earn certifications in the classroom, preparing them to face the diverse demands of their future careers. They can earn certifications from Microsoft Excel, Quickbooks, and Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC). Employers value these awards as they demonstrate the student’s proficiency in relevant skills and technologies.
Each accounting student at Nichols College receives hands-on, experimental learning to achieve a well-rounded education. The institution lets learners engage in real-world projects and gain practical experience by working with local businesses, community organizations, and industry professionals. These opportunities help students to discover their passions and develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in multiple accounting areas. The accounting courses at Nichols College focus on career readiness, allowing graduates to compete in today’s diverse job market. The college collaborates with multiple stakeholders, such as the Center of Hope Foundation, Cyient, and PwC, to connect graduates with internship opportunities.
As a university mainly focused on business, Northwood University’s online accounting helps students get a head start on various accounting careers. An online Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting provides students with a perfect mixture of management and accounting courses. The course is offered 100% online, and one must have a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. International students must also submit proof of English language proficiency. For students seeking to move faster to graduate school, the four-year BBA/MBA option will elevate their career to the next level.
Examples of career paths associated with online BBA in Accounting include financial sales representative, financial analyst, financial sales representative, loan officer and insurance fraud investigator. The Accounting Major foundation courses require 2-3 credit hours, BBA General Education Core requires 27 credit hours, Common Professional Core will take 36 credit hours, Northwood Idea Core takes six credit hours, Major Core will need 30 credit hours and Choice Electives require 19 credit hours.
Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University’s accounting program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is 100% online. The program offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting that requires a minimum of 30 credit hours and takes an estimated four years to complete. The program accepts credit transfers from accredited institutions, allowing students to accelerate their degree completion. The program’s tuition fee is $374 per credit hour for in-state Virginia residents and $407 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
The program has a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1, with an acceptance rate of 96%. Admission requirements include a completed application, official transcripts, a minimum GPA of 2.5 and an SAT or ACT score. Admissions are continuous, with the first class starting every August, January and May. The Summer Term 2023 Sessions will commence on May 9 for Maymester 2023, May 15 for Session 1, June 26 for Session 2 and May 15 for Session 3.
The bachelor’s in accounting at Peirce College is tailored to meet working professionals’ needs as it offers flexible course scheduling. Students in the program learn the foundational concepts of accounting, including financial reporting, cost analysis, taxation, and auditing. They will gain practical experience using accounting software and technology to analyze financial data and make informed business decisions. Learners can specialize in forensic accounting, preparing them to seek employment in financial crime investigations and provide expert testimony in legal proceedings.
Students who complete the Peirce College bachelor’s in accounting can pursue the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designations. The curriculum aligns with these certifications’ educational requirements, and learners can prepare for the examinations while pursuing their degrees. Peirce College collaborates with accomplished financial organizations and accounting firms to connect graduates with internship opportunities. The institution’s online bachelor’s in accounting is accredited by the ACBSP.
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
In partnership with Penn State Harrisburg, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Accredited by the AACSB, the university’s program is suitable for anyone looking for an internationally recognized qualification in accounting. Students enroll through the Penn State World Campus for the online degree, cheaper than the equivalent on-campus diploma.
The program requires students to complete 120 credits to earn a credentialed degree that meets high standards of academic quality. The BS in Accounting curriculum is designed to include general education, accounting, business and elective courses. Students who wish to pursue certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), can leverage accounting-focused studies such as financial and cost accounting as well as auditing. Apply by June 30 to begin online classes on August 21 for the fall semester. The admission requirements for the online accounting degree program include a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. Students who have completed prior college courses may also be eligible for credit transfer once they present official transcripts. Perspective students can view the program details to learn more about the online accounting degree.
Portland State University
Portland State University (PSU) offers students an innovative approach to handling accounting problems through creative solutions under its robust and well-detailed online accounting program. PSU offers a bachelor’s degree and a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting. The program is comprehensive, with a total of 180 credits covering all aspects of accounting, mainly managerial, financial, taxation, information systems and auditing accounting. Qualified and experienced experts and faculty members with extensive accounting industry knowledge teach the online program.
It also comes with an elite dual accreditation in accounting and business by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Students seeking admission to the online accounting program must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students from accredited private or public high schools will be reviewed for admission as first-year applicants, including those who earned college credit in high school concurrent enrollment programs like Running Start. Transfer students must have 30 transferrable quarter credits during the application, while business students receive an automatic entry to the program. The post-baccalaureate certificate program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
Regent University offers an online accounting program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business – Accounting degree programs take an estimated four years to complete, with a requirement of 120 credit hours. The Master of Science in Accounting with a concentration in Financial Reporting & Assurance is a two-year program requiring 30 credit hours. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Accounting degree program is also a two-year program, requiring 42 credit hours. Finally, the Master of Science in Accounting with a concentration in Tax is a two-year program requiring 30 credit hours.
Admission to the program occurs in August, January and May, with the current admission deadline being on May 8, 2023, and the first class for the summer session will begin on the same day.
Rogers State University
The Associate of Arts in accounting degree at Rogers State University is taught 100% online. Students learn multiple accounting, finance, and business courses, such as financial accounting, managerial accounting, taxation, auditing, and business law. Learners can choose from several electives, including forensic accounting, advanced accounting, and international accounting. Rogers State University’s Associate in Arts in Accounting focuses on a strong foundation in accounting principles and practices, preparing students for careers in public accounting, corporate accounting, or financial management.
The institution uses a mix of video lectures, online discussion forums, and interactive assignments. Students collaborate with their peers on projects and assignments, enabling them to build their teamwork and communication skills. The ACBSP accredits the program, and learners can expect high-quality education that aligns with the industry standards.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) endeavors to transform and reach students far and wide through its online accounting program. Students can complete this online course full-time or part-time. The program covers all core accounting subjects, including business law, managerial, financial, taxation, auditing and business law. The SMWC online accounting program also allows students to take elective courses in forensic accounting, accounting information systems and international accounting.
The program prepares students for certifications like the Certified Management Accountant (CMA), the Certified Financial Management (CFM), the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and others. To qualify, students must have a high school diploma or its equivalent and submit all previous college and universities attended transcripts. Generally, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and at least 12 college credits. In addition, the major in accounting curriculum requires 120 credit hours, with 38 credit hours of Woods Core courses. The associate curriculum requires 60 credit hours, with 24 Woods Core credit hours. The minor accounting curriculum requires 18 credit hours with 9 credit hours of Business Core. It’s worth noting that 95% of students receive financial aid.
Siena Heights University
Siena Heights University’s Accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). This program offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes a Bachelor of Business Administration, which requires 120 credit hours and can be completed in just two years.
The program has a rolling application deadline, which allows both U.S. residents and international students to apply at any time. The cost per credit is $545, making it an affordable option for those seeking a high-quality education in accounting. The program also accepts transfer students with up to 90 credit hours transferred, provided they complete a minimum of 24 credit hours at Siena Heights University. To apply for admission, students must submit their high school or college transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and a completed application. Additionally, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have completed specific high school courses or college-level courses without an application essay. The program boasts an acceptance rate of 78%.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
The Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania offers a comprehensive curriculum focusing on knowledge development while enhancing problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills. Students advance their accounting and business technological proficiency through the school’s accounting major. Learning methods at SRU emphasize practical application and research. Upon completing the course, students are ready to pursue the CPA examination and work in private, government, and public accounting institutions.
An Accounting major at SRU lets students participate in the institution’s career development programs. These include Alpha Kappa Psi, Student Accounting Society, and the Finance & Economic Club. SRU’s accounting, Finance, and Economics students can venture into careers, such as:
- Tax Accounting
- Public Accounting/CPA
- Private Accounting
- Forensic Accounting
SRU collaborates with multiple industry stakeholders to help students find internships, equipping them with the hands-on experience they need to succeed in the field.
The Southwestern College (SWC) has fully embraced online learning to advance its programs broadly, including their accounting course. Associate degrees and certificates are available with this program. It’s also fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). To help aspiring applicants determine if the online class is a suitable choice, students can take the helpful Online Readiness Quiz from Modesto Junior College.
For entry, an individual must have already registered as an SWC student. All students’ minimum requirement for admission is a GPA of 2.0, with at least 24 college credits completed. Learners also get access to a wide range of online resources, including virtual classrooms, interactive learning tools, and other course materials. Applicants can choose from Accounting Associate in Science, AccountingCertificate of Achievement, Accounting Associate in Arts or Payroll Clerk Certificate of Proficiency.
St. Francis University
St. Francis University’s Accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and is offered online. The program features interactive virtual learning, providing students with an engaging and immersive learning experience. The program boasts an acceptance rate of 33%, reflecting the competitive nature of the program, and a class ratio of 11 to 1, allowing for personalized attention from faculty.
Admissions for the program occur in the fall, spring, and summer (August, January, and May), with the starting date for the next term scheduled for May 9th, 2023. The program offers a Bachelor of Business Administration, which requires 120 credit hours and 30 credit hours for a master’s. The admission requirements for the program are straightforward, and applicants must meet high school completion requirements. Additionally, applicants must submit official transcripts from all previously attended institutions.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute
The online Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Online BSA) at SUNY Polytechnic Institute is designed for professionals or learners with family responsibilities, service duties, or job obligations. Students learn 100% online without having to attend any on-campus classes. There are live classes where teaching occurs in real-time, giving students an in-person class experience, but participation is online.
Students pursuing an online Bachelor of Science in Accounting at SUNY Polytechnic Institute can complete the courses and class work at their convenience as they’re semester based. The university has no set time for learners to attend online classes. The course is appropriate for individuals with 45 semester credits from an accredited educational institution. After completing a high school diploma, those with over three years of work experience qualify for this curriculum. SUNY Polytechnic Institute requires applicants to review the institution’s Policy catalog and understand the detailed admission criteria before applying. The program’s Forensic Accounting and Financial Analytics concentrations let students specialize in these areas.
Through Temple University’s Fox School of Business and using cutting-edge data analytics technologies, they provide essential accounting knowledge in their online program. The 124-credit undergraduate degree prepares students to pursue professional certifications like the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Management Accounting (CMA). Students can also advance to a Master of Accountancy. A $55 fee is required, with waivers for qualifying first-year students available during application. In addition to a minimum GPA of 2.5 and 15 college credits, other supporting materials are reviewed during registration, such as transcripts, an essay, standardized test scores and extracurriculars. Registration is ongoing with deadlines as follows,
- November 1, 2023: Fall early admission application deadline
- June 1, 2023: Fall transfer-student application deadline
- November 1, 2023: Spring application deadline
This online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting program designed to provide students with a strong foundation in accounting principles and practices is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and is delivered entirely online.
Texas A&M University – Central Texas
Texas A&M University’s Accounting program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Offering a 100% online program, the courses are web-supported and include interactive videos, providing students with a highly engaging learning experience. The Accounting program offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with an estimated time of four years and 120 credit hours. Additionally, students can enroll in a five-year program that includes a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Financial Management (MFM) or a Master of Science degree, with a total of 60 credit hours.
Admission to the program occurs in August, January, and May, with deadlines varying. The current admission deadline for the 10-week semester classes is May 26, 2023. The first class for the summer term 1 session begins May 30, 2023, followed by summer term 2 on July 6, 2023, and the 10-Week Summer Semester on May 30, 2023.
Texas A&M University-College Station
Texas A&M University’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting is rigorous and provides a supportive learning environment. Upon completion, students gain the professional and technical proficiency to excel in their careers. The course satisfies the educational needs of graduates to venture into entry-level accounting careers or undertake the CPA exam. Learners acquire marketable skills, including:
- Data Analytics: Evaluate financial data using analytics tools.
- Corporate and Individual Tax Skills: Give tax advice and prepare tax returns.
- Accounting Principles US GAAP: Graduates gain the skills for external and internal audit functions.
- Collaboration: Work with other professionals to enhance an organization’s tax, auditing, and general business.
- Ethical Reasoning: Focuses on conflict resolution, due professional care, independence, and objectivity. The skills apply to all accountants, especially professionals looking for certifications, such as CIA, CMA CFE, and CPA.
- Diversity: Equips graduates with the skills to collaborate with teams comprising diverse organization members.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Tackle real-world issues using analytical skills.
The Master’s University and Seminary
This biblical-centered institution equips students with the necessary accounting skills, knowledge, and attitudes for career and professional fulfillment through TMUS’ online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program. The online course is 120 credits, stretched to be completed in four years. To simplify the learning process, students can access the program anywhere through its flexible and convenient design with an internet connection. The program has live lectures and discussions, allowing learners to complete on their schedule.
This program requires 66 credit hours, which takes an average of 22 months full time with 8-week classes offered entirely online. With a cost of $450 per credit, the average cost for this program is $29,700. Moreover, applicants must be high school graduates or have a GED certificate and demonstrate college-level writing ability. They must submit official transcripts from all other universities or colleges attended and have a clear profession of faith in Jesus Christ as a personal Savior.
Troy University’s accounting program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The program requires 120 credit hours for a bachelor’s and 30 credit hours for a master’s. It is offered entirely online in a flexible 9-week term format with an affordable tuition fee of $388 per credit hour providing students with a cost-effective means of obtaining a high-quality education.
The next start date for the program is May 30, 2023. To apply to the program, prospective students must meet the admission requirements, which include a minimum GPA of 2.5, satisfactory scores on the SAT or ACT and the submission of all official transcripts. The program also accepts transfer credit from accredited institutions in the United States or foreign universities.
UNC Greensboro offers BS in Accounting and MS in Accounting. The BS program prepares students to excel in the CPA Exam or enroll for a master’s degree in accounting. Students can complete both degrees in five years through the institution’s fast-track program. UNC Greensboro offers internship opportunities to learners via the Beta Alpha Psi program, where students can network during the annual event, “Meet the Firms.” There are student clubs, allowing peers to network and connect. These platforms include THREADS, Spartan Investment Club, North Carolina Sales Institute, National Millennial Community, Beta Gamma Sigma, and Alpha Kappa Psi.
UNC Greensboro organizes events where students meet the community’s business leaders to explore prospects, employment, and internship opportunities. After graduation, individuals have the skills to seek employment in the accounting industry, non-profit and government entities. They can work as financial planners, cost accountants, controllers, tax advisors, business advisors, investment analysts, information system consultants, and auditors. They’re also prepared to advance their finance, accounting, and law & business careers.
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) offers a comprehensive online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program with a concentration in Accounting. This program is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Graduates in this course usually enjoy a high CPA pass rate with an almost 100% job placement.
The estimated cost of this online accounting program is about $47,930, but it varies depending on the electives an applicant picks. The minimum required credits for this online program is 120, and students must earn a C- grade or higher in every course. The program also requires 50% of the accounting credits, with 24 out of the last 30 credits earned at UAF.
University of Arizona
The accounting program at the University of Arizona is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The program offers a Graduate Accounting Certificate that requires nine credits for $1000 per credit. The Master of Science in Accounting program requires 30 credits at the same cost per credit. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration requires 120 credits with a cost of $530 per credit.
The program offers six different start times throughout the year, with the first class starting every seven and a half weeks. For the summer 2023 session, the application deadline for the May start is April 1, 2023, and for the July start, it is June 1, 2023. The program has an acceptance rate of 20%, with an average age of 25. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED, transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Additionally, transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their previous accredited college coursework.
University of Arkansas
The Master of Accountancy at the University of Arkansas’s Sam M. Walton College of Business provides two options for students. The standard program requires 30 credit hours, and students with a business background can complete it in one year. Those without a business background can apply if they have demonstrated exceptional work experience in their fields, but they’ll require two or more semesters to finish the course. Students looking to specialize can choose Tax, Industry, and Audit. Elective credits are transferable into the curriculum, but students must take all accounting courses at the institution.
The other option combines the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting, which learners require five years to complete. The course also prepares students to undertake the CPA exam. Admission requires applicants to present official transcripts, three recommendation letters, an essay describing how the curriculum will help in professional endeavors, and GMAT scores.
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville (UofL) has an established, inclusive, and robust online accounting program for students to achieve academic and professional excellence. The program is designed to prepare learners for the CPA exam and other problem-solving skills. UofL’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accountancy is identical to the on-campus program with equal gains. This 100% online, 120-credit hour program is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
In 2021 it was regarded as the Best Online College for ROI by OnlineU and Best Online Program. Applicants require a GPA of 2.8 or better, depending on all the work attempted on college credit. Good standing in previous institutions and full disclosure of attendance are also needed. Also required are previous transcripts, final high school transcript, and ACT or SAT scores. Students may also transfer 60 hours from community college and up to 90 hours from an accredited 4-year college. Transfers must be minimum collge GPA 2.5.
University of Maine-Augusta
The online Accounting program at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The Business Administration Major in Accounting requires a minimum of 121 Credit Hours to complete. Students are also required to maintain a minimum G.P.A. in the Major of 2.00, complete 30 Credit Hours of residency courses, and 9 Credits of Upper-Level Major Residency Courses. Additionally, the Accounting, PBSBA program requires a minimum of 30 Credit Hours for successful completion.
Admission requirements for the program include official transcripts, proof of high school graduation or equivalent and submission of SAT or ACT scores. The program also requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. The university accepts admissions for the fall (August), spring (January) and summer (May) semesters. The admission deadline for summer admission is April 1, 2023, and classes begin on May 13, 2023. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1, students receive personalized attention from experienced faculty members.
University of Massachusetts Global
The University of Massachusetts Global Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program focuses on core accounting principles, including accounting techniques and practices. Students who complete this program acquire knowledge to perform financial reporting and analysis, income taxation, accounting information systems, budgeting, and cost analysis. The estimated tuition cost is $500 per credit; the next enrolment is May 2, 2023. The accounting faculty at the University of Massachusetts teaches skills employers seek, including complex financial analysis, customer service, client-based decision-making, and interpersonal skills.
The institution’s accelerated program allows students to fuse BBA and MBA and complete them in 12 months. Completing the BBA curriculum requires 120 semester units, including the program’s specific requirements and General Education needs. Applicants without enough transferable credits require additional general electives to meet the degree’s 120-unit requirement. The University of Massachusetts accepts credit transfers from regionally accredited institutions.
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth provides an online accounting program through its Charlton College of Business. The institution has diversified programs to meet all the applicants’ needs, mainly offering undergraduate and graduate programs. With Charlton’s Master of Science in Accounting (MSA), students will get the 150 credits needed for a CPA designation. On the other hand, the BS in Accounting degree requires 120 credits and a GPA of at least 2.5.
This comprehensive online program covers all the fundamental accounting principles taught by qualified professionals with practical experience in the accounting field. Applicants must also present official transcripts from all previous institutions, GMAT test scores, a recommendation letter, a personal statement and a current resume. Fall, spring and summer applications are ongoing.
University of Memphis
The Accounting program at the University of Memphis is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This program is offered online, so students can complete their Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Master’s Degree in as little as 120 hours or 30 hours respectively. The academic calendar for admissions runs from fall to summer, giving students multiple opportunities to begin their studies throughout the year. The acceptance rate for the BBA program is 95%, making it an accessible program for aspiring business professionals.
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 16 to 1, students can expect to receive individualized attention and support from their professors. The program also accepts credit transfers from accredited institutions, providing students with the flexibility to tailor their education to their unique needs and interests. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED, a minimum GPA of 2.25 and satisfactory scores on the ACT or SAT. Summer classes are set to begin on April 3, 2023.
University of Michigan-Flint
The accounting faculty at the University of Michigan-Flint provides a comprehensive Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting. Students learn regulatory, legal, economic, ethical, and social regulatory issues impacting accounting. The course empowers learners to become industry experts by giving them opportunities to practice problem-solving, decision-making, and communication. With teaching occurring 100% online, students can choose the appropriate learning style based on their needs.
To equip students with hands-on experience, UM-Flint allows learners to participate in extracurricular, such as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Students can gain course credit through Tax Preparation and ACC 325. The program offers free tax assistance to the Flint Community’s residents. By participating in the VITA program, students apply the skills and knowledge acquired in class, gaining real-life experience. Besides learning tax software programs and tax law, participants acquire soft skills, including collaboration with peers and communication with taxpayers and supervisors. The UM-Flint BBA program is among the 5.5% of business institutions accredited by AACSB, and the faculty adheres to the organization’s requirements.
University of North Carolina-Pembroke
The University of North Carolina Pembroke (UNCP) has advanced its courses to include their unique online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program. The course prepares students for a fulfilling career and a strong foundation in accounting with all the fundamental principles, practices, and business management skills incorporated.
The Accounting BS requires a total of 120 semester hours. This includes 36 credit hours in accounting courses and 24 in business courses. The online program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This prestigious accreditation recognizes the accounting program’s quality and the University’s commitment to providing students with a high-quality education. Learners can also interact with their professors and classmates through online discussion boards and email and receive career services, such as resume building and job search assistance.
University of North Dakota
The Accounting program at the University of North Dakota (UND) is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Students who enroll in the program have access to online learning with 24/7 online tutoring services that are freely accessible. The Bachelor of Accountancy (B.Acc.) program takes an estimated four years to complete and requires 120 credit hours. The Master of Accountancy (M.Acc.) program takes one to two years to complete and requires 30-31 credit hours, with a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0. The Accountancy Minor program takes an estimated one to two years to complete and requires 16 credit hours. Additionally, the university offers an Accelerated Accounting Degree B.Acc./M.Acc. program that takes four to five years to complete and requires 139 credit hours.
Admission requirements for the program include a completed application, official transcripts and a minimum GPA of 2.75. The application deadline for the summer term (3rd term) is May 1, 2023.
University of Saint Mary
Students pursuing an online Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at the University of Saint Mary pay $405 per credit, making it one of the most affordable institutions on our list. The course takes an average of 2 years to complete and learning occurs entirely online, giving students the convenience to study based on their convenience. University of Saint Mary’s accounting curriculum is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), and students can expect high learning standards. The curriculum provides real-world and practical experience, enabling learners to excel in the global market.
The accounting course suits applicants with general education requirements or an associate degree. The USM’s Triple Advantage program combines CPA and MBA programs, allowing students to fast-track their higher education. Courses taught include business communications, taxation, data analysis, auditing, accounting information systems, and advanced accounting. Upon completing the course, students gain valuable skills, such as networking, leadership, and communication, which lead to vibrant internship positions.
University of South Carolina-Aiken
The University of South Carolina’s Accounting program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and requires students to complete 120 credit hours to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to 1, students receive personalized attention from experienced faculty members who are experts in their field. The program has an acceptance rate of 62%, and admission is available in the fall, spring and summer semesters. The summer session for 2023 will commence on May 8, providing students with the opportunity to continue their coursework during the summer. Applicants to the program must meet the University of South Carolina’s admission requirements, including the submission of transcripts, SAT or ACT scores and an application fee. Additionally, the university considers extracurricular activities, essays and letters of recommendation when reviewing applications.
University of Texas Permian Basin
The University of North Carolina Pembroke (UNCP) has advanced its courses to include their unique online Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree program. The course prepares students for a fulfilling career and a strong foundation in accounting with all the fundamental principles, practices, and business management skills incorporated.
The Accounting BS requires a total of 120 semester hours. This includes 36 credit hours in accounting courses and 24 in business courses. The online program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This prestigious accreditation recognizes the accounting program’s quality and the University’s commitment to providing students with a high-quality education. Learners can also interact with their professors and classmates through online discussion boards and email and receive career services, such as resume building and job search assistance.
University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands’ online accounting program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) International. The program offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, which is estimated to take four years and requires 120 credit hours. Additionally, the program offers a Bachelor of Applied Science Accounting concentration, which is estimated to take one to two years and requires 60 credit hours, and an associate degree in accounting, which takes one to two years and requires 18 credit hours.
Admission to the program is open in fall (August), spring (January) and summer (May), with an acceptance rate of 85%. The student-to-faculty ratio is 20 to 1, ensuring personalized support for each student. Admission requirements for the program include a completed application, official transcripts and a minimum GPA of 2.0. Additionally, applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores, and transfer students must have a minimum of 12 college credit hours. The application deadline for summer admission is May 1, 2023.
University of the Incarnate Word
The University of the Incarnate Word’s Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is offered at the H-E-B School of Business Administration. Students looking to specialize in a particular area can select from the available concentrations, including:
- Management Information Systems
- General Business
- Sport Management
- International Business
- Professional Golf Management
Students pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration at the institution can choose to focus on one of the multiple concentrations. These include a Master’s in Accounting, Sports Management, Finance, and Marketing. H-E-B School of Business and Administration offers several organizations to business students, enabling them to gain hands-on experience. Learners can participate in the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, ISACA Student Group, American Marketing Association, Delta Mu Delta, and Business Club. Students prepare for professional success by participating in the Cardinal Career Readiness Program, completing mandatory tasks, and earning points. Tasks include mock interview sessions, resume workshops, career affair attendance, resume submission, and creating Handshake and LinkedIn profiles.
University of Toledo
The University of Toledo, through its College of Business and Innovation, offers an online accounting program that prepares students for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. This Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited program continues to push for accounting excellence in its students.
Students taking this program have a 93% job placement rate. Standard first-year admission requires four years of English, math, including algebra I and II and geometry, and three years of natural and social science units. Core college or degree-specific requirements include a 2.8 GPA, 25 ACT, and 1200 SAT scores. Transfer students must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA, college transcripts, and a GED score copy. Admission is ongoing, with a summer deadline in April and a spring deadline on December 1.
University of West Florida
University of West Florida (UWF) offers an online accounting program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and it boasts a remarkable first-time pass rate on the CPA exam, ranked third in the nation, among its alumni. The program covers various subjects such as financial accounting, auditing, cost managerial accounting, taxation and accounting information systems. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21 to 1, ensuring that students receive personalized attention from instructors.
The program has an acceptance rate of 53%, making it a competitive program. Prospective students must submit official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, a completed residency application and a departmental application form to be considered for admission. The program starts on May 15, 2023, and typically takes 4 or 2 years to complete for a bachelor’s or master’s. The program accepts up to 90 transfer credits and charges an in-state tuition rate of $218.98 per credit hour, making it an affordable option for students.
University of West Georgia
The Accounting and Finance faculty includes five-degree choices at the University of West Georgia (The Richards College of Business). Applicants can choose a minor and BBA in Finance, a Master’s in Professional Accounting, an Accounting minor, or a BBA in accounting. The university’s Management Department offers eight programs. Undergraduates may choose Management Information Systems or a BBA in Management. UWG provides exceptional resources, helping students to gain hands-on experience.
The Entrepreneurial Action US (Enactus) is a popular group at the Richards College of Business that lets students create business concepts, resulting in outreach projects. Participants present their research via several national and local forums and competitions. During the events, students meet established business leaders who act as judges. Those interested in the Richards College of Business’s hybrid BBA program can choose from multiple specialization areas. These include Management Information Systems, Economics, Marketing, Accounting, and Real Estate. Business students can pursue an online MBA at the institution, consisting of 30 credits and taking 18 months to complete.
Upper Iowa University
Upper Iowa University (UIU) offers an online accounting program to prepare students for careers in accounting, finance and related fields. Students choosing the accounting minor must choose a field of study with a minimum of 15 semester hours of separately identifiable semester credits. The curriculum includes classes such as Accounting Principles, Cost Accounting, Intermediate Financial Accounting I and II, Federal Taxation I and II, Auditing, Advanced Financial Accounting and Accounting for Not-For-Profit Organizations. These must be completed at UIU or another accredited 4-year institution. The University also hosts six sessions every academic year. This includes an 8-week long session, except for one six-week summer session so students focus on fewer classes at one time.
Utica University’s Accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The program is 100% online, making it accessible to students from anywhere in the world. The B.B.A. in Accounting program has a duration of four years, requires 120 credit hours to complete and costs $420 per credit. Similarly, the M.S. in Accounting program has a duration of two years, requires 30 credit hours to complete and costs $775 per credit.
The student-to-faculty ratio is an impressive 11 to 1, allowing students to receive personalized attention from experienced faculty members. The university accepts transfer credits of up to 60 credits for a 2-year college and up to 90 credits from a 4-year accredited college. Utica University uses rolling admissions and takes 2-3 weeks to issue admission decisions. The acceptance rate is currently at 89%. To apply, students must meet the admission requirements, including submitting official transcripts, a personal statement and a letter of recommendation.
Valley City State University
Valley City State University offers Business Administration-Managerial Accounting and Finance concentration. The course suits individuals looking to venture into internal management, banking, and small business management careers. VCSU has partnered with the University of North Dakota, allowing students to pursue a master of accountancy at UND while studying at VCSU. The institution has programs to prepare students to be responsible industry leaders. VCSU’s Collegiate DECA promotes teamwork, integrity, innovation, and networking. Through this program, student members participate in professional development, international competitions, and leadership conferences.
VCSU encourages students to extend their education beyond the classroom to earn credits. Learners can participate in conferences, fairs, workshops, and tours. The institution connects students to internships, giving them hands-on experience. Prominent firms offering internships include KOVC, Chamber of Commerce, Farm Service Agency, Coca-Cola WDAY, Doosan, John Deere Seeding Group, and Bank Forward.
Washington State University
WSU continues offering cutting-edge academic technologies, including accredited online programs. Through Carson College of Business, WSU provides an online accounting program under the Bachelor of Arts in Business. For accreditation, students must complete a minimum of 120-hour credits, whereby 40 credits must be at the 300-400 level. To qualify for admission into the WSU Carson College of Business, which offers this accounting program, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher and be in good academic standing, complete at least 27 credit hours and complete ECONS 101 or 102, MATH 201 or 202, B A 100 or 102, and HBM 101 with a C or higher. Students must also complete the applicable portion of the Carson Career Amplifier Program.
The institution divides its courses into a 7-week session allowing students to complete two or four 7-week courses in a conventional 16-week semester. These usually require 15-20 hours of work weekly. Application is ongoing, with a summer deadline of March 31 and a spring deadline of December 2. Classes begin May 8 for the early summer and August 21 for fall sessions.
Western Illinois University
Western Illinois University’s Accounting program is accredited program by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The program offers both a Bachelor of Business in Accountancy and a Master of Accountancy degree, which can be earned 100% online. The Bachelor of Business in Accountancy is a four-year program that requires 120 credit hours to complete. Students can also earn two degrees (bachelor’s and master’s) in just five years. The Master of Accountancy program, which takes two years to complete, requires 30 credit hours.
WIU’s Accounting program boasts an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1, ensuring that students receive personalized attention and guidance from experienced faculty. The program requires a cumulative GPA of 2.75 for admission, and prospective students must submit their transcripts and GMAT scores. Admission to WIU occurs in August (fall session), January (spring session) and May (summer sessions), with classes for the summer session commencing on May 15, 2023.
Westfield State University
At Westfield State University, applicants can choose a Master of Science in Accounting or an Accounting major. Students must complete 75 credits to earn the Accounting major. These are broken down into 18 Accounting coursework credits, 18 Non-business course credits, and 39 Business Core credit courses. The Master of Science in Accounting is appropriate for individuals seeking management positions.
The Master of Science in Accounting equips students with the appropriate tools and knowledge to handle sophisticated auditing and accounting tasks. Topics covered include municipal & fund accounting, taxation, financial statement analysis, fraud examination, ethics, cost accounting, and financial accounting and reporting. Upon completing the Master of Science in Accounting at Westfield State University, students are prepared to pursue professional exams. These include CFE, CIA, or CMA designations. Learning is flexible, incorporating meet weekdays, online, and in-person courses.
Different Online Accounting Degree Programs
Preparing for college and considering accounting is a major life decision. An accounting degree can be a launchpad to many different career paths, many of which can be very financially rewarding.
Different schools have different accounting degrees available. Large schools with well-known business programs usually have several different degree programs to choose from. If you are lucky enough to go to a school with both a dedicated accounting program and a business program with an accounting concentration, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two programs, and which one will get you to your ultimate career goal.
A degree in Accounting can be either a B.A. (bachelor of arts) or a B.S. (bachelor of science) degree. The core accounting classes will be the same in either case, but the classes around the major will vary.
An accounting program will offer core accounting classes in most, if not all, of the following subjects:
- Accounting principles
- Financial accounting
- Managerial accounting
- Financial statement analysis
- Individual income taxation
- Corporate income taxation
- Microsoft Excel
Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
A B.A. in accounting will feature more classes in English, communications, foreign language classes, or creative electives. This could be a good option for students who enjoy language and social studies in addition to pursuing a career in accounting.
Accounting as a profession often gets a bad rap for being full of introverts and nerds, but this is changing. As the math and legal side of accounting gets increasingly automated by computer programs and AI, the more important it is for business owners to feel a personal connection with their accountant. A background in writing and the arts in addition to accounting can be a great way to foster this sense of connection with future clients.
This path also gives students some leeway to add a double major, or minor, in another arts area of interest. Students interested in pursuing a career in nonprofit accounting, or accounting as a tool for social justice, may need the additional social studies credits that a B.A. in accounting provides. Alternatively, students who are interested in working internationally may find that a language degree is a great pairing with a B.A. in accounting.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
A bachelor of science in accounting is another popular choice for future accounting majors. The classes surrounding the core accounting curriculum will be more heavily oriented to math in a B.S. degree. While accounting itself does not require advanced mathematics, the mind training that math gives the brain can be invaluable when it comes to the analytical skills needed for accounting, especially audit and tax.
With a B.S. in accounting, the core classes include algebra, statistics, and possibly calculus as well. This can be a great pairing for minors or concentrations in economics, mathematics, or computer science alongside accounting. Students who can see themselves working in highly analytical fields throughout their careers can use a B.S. in accounting to get their brains (and resumes) off to a great start. This can lead to careers in accounting information systems, forensic accounting, and more.
Students who are thinking about going into corporate finance or investment banking will find that the B.S. in accounting is a great way to go. Finance and accounting are closely related and often share many of the same core classes. However, finance is generally heavier on the analytical and math skills than accounting. Many students choose to do a double major in finance and accounting because they are so closely related; a lot of the core classes can “kill two birds with one stone”.
Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting
The BBA degree, or Bachelor’s in Business Administration, is not specific to accounting. It consists of more general business classes that could apply to anyone going into business. There are usually several possible concentrations or minors that can accompany a BBA degree. Depending on the school, these subjects can include the following.
- Business information systems
- International business
Many of the accounting classes in a BBA degree are the same as the ones in a dedicated accounting degree program, but there are other business classes added as well. Because of this, a BBA degree does not go as deep into accounting as an accounting degree does. In addition to classes from the accounting degree list, a BBA program with a concentration in accounting will also include some of the following classes:
- Business law
- Business ethics
- International business
- Introduction to marketing
- Introduction to management
- Introduction to finance
- Introduction to sales
- Human resources
A BBA degree includes a sample of different facets of the business world. While students don’t get to dive as deeply into any one sector, they can get a better idea of which way they would like to take their careers going forward.
The BBA is a great option for students who are not 100% committed to the idea of accounting as a career, but want to explore it as an option with other business avenues. While it doesn’t prepare for a CPA exam as thoroughly as a dedicated accounting degree would, it can be a great launchpad into the world of business.
The BBA degree can also be a good undergraduate degree for those who want to go on to an MBA program after graduation. The MBA can be a way to dive more deeply into one specific sector of business after a general undergraduate study.
Typical Coursework for an Online Accounting Program
Despite having many different degree options and curriculum variations, with programs leaning towards business or humanities, most of the general accounting core courses are quite similar across the degrees. Most of the available degrees require Managerial Accounting, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, and Auditing courses.
In a Managerial Accounting course, the objectives focus on initiating the discussion on how accounting can influence management decisions. Courses would delve into problem-solving skills relevant to management accounting, process improvement principles, cost behavior, and budget preparations. Management accounting as a practice is focused on influencing management to make improvements within the organization. Therefore, much of the curriculum is focused on learning about the skills imperative to do so.
Cost accounting is also represented in many accounting degree core prerequisites. Cost accounting is a facet of managerial accounting. Cost accounting courses discuss eliminating wasteful costs, including inventory control, and determining how to price goods and services to profit.
Financial Accounting course objectives are focused on students gaining an understanding of balance sheet and income statement construction and to utilize financial statements from a company to evaluate the overall financial health. These courses also discuss using the evaluations of the financial statements to influence management decisions.
Auditing courses are taught with varying specialties attached. However, the primary objectives are the same, to teach students how to examine financial statements to identify financial risk factors.
What do Accountants Do and What can I do with an Accounting Degree?
According to the United States Department of Labor, individuals with accounting backgrounds play many different roles within an institution. Some who study accounting go into a more “traditional” accounting role, as defined, roughly, as one who oversees and computes taxes and analyzes and reconciles financial statements. Others follow a route into financial reporting and asset management. Nonetheless, all accountants must be well versed in the laws regarding taxes and financial planning regulations. As such, most accountants are required to be able to justify their findings within these parameters. Accountants have a skill set needed by pretty much any organization or individual making transactions. Therefore, there is a relative variance in accounting work environments.
General accountants can work for private accounting firms, in-house with a company, or government organization. If transactions are taking place, an accountant can add value. Thus, you can imagine several different career venues within the accountant framework into which one can wander.
Whether working for an individual, corporation, or government, a public accountant reconciles documents submitted because of legal requirements. Tax forms and financial statements are two of the most prevalent legally required areas of documentation. Many public accountants are CPAs or Certified Public Accountants. Their ranges of responsibilities can encompass anything from reconciling for the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) to working with law enforcement agencies to uncover financial crimes is the case with forensic accountants. On the other hand, the work done by management accountants is private, utilized within an organization to affect business decisions.
This accounting area can delve into situations that utilize hard skills in numerical analysis and general business skills. Asset management for a company or financial performance analyses are specialty areas in this field. Professionals in this arena analyze financial information to influence management to make fiscally responsible decisions within their business.
On the opposite spectrum, we have Financial Accountants. Financial Accountants keep track of a company’s financial transactions and report its findings in financial statements. Interested parties utilize these produced financial reports outside of the company from which the information came to influence such things as investment decisions. Financial accounting is regulated by several government bodies to help protect prospective investors.
A Controller is another possible option for someone with an accounting degree. A controller oversees an accounting department’s operations for a corporation, supervising financial reports. Controllers are responsible for explaining their findings to shareholders and management. Due to this accountability, controllers are often recognized as being at the top of a company’s financial hierarchy.
Auditing is another prospective career path for a public or private accountant. An auditor spends much of their time evaluating the verity of financial statements reconciled by an accountant. Auditors review financial statements and attempt to identify any possible areas of mismanaged funds and recommend process improvements for companies or government organizations. There are two general categories of auditors, internal and external. Internal auditors work for the company that they are reviewing, and external auditors work for a company independent from the one they are auditing.
How Much Money Does an Accountant Make?
Salaries can be both a deterrent and a motivator in choosing to follow a certain career path. Fortunately, an accounting degree seems to be a pretty secure investment in terms of rate of return. US News has listed Accounting as #7 in their Best Jobs Rankings.
Job stability is clearly an important factor, in addition to salary, when weighing up your ideal career. With accounting degrees ranking in the top 10 in job rankings, accounting is a lower risk investment. Further supporting this assumption, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that there will be at least a 10% employment increase for accounting and auditing roles over the next decade.
Stability isn’t the only benefit to pursuing a career in accounting. According to recent research, the average starting salary for an accountant is between $50k-$61K, with Public Accounting being the highest paying category among the accounting options.
While these figures vary from state to state, even the low end of the average is competitive compared to the average early career earning potentials of other degrees.
An early career finance professional earns roughly between $52K and $60K. At $42K, the average initial career salary for professionals with a degree in Liberal Arts pays considerably less than any accounting profession.
Even the most common business fields earn less than the average early career accountant, with early-career salaries ranging from roughly $46K to high fifties.
However, perhaps even more significant, the salaries for all accounting fields increase steadily from early to mid-career, with most of them exceeding $80K. In fact, the average public account earns more than double their starting salary by mid-career. Moreover, the trend continues for higher-level accounting positions, such as controllers, who earn just over $80K a year, with the low end of the range just above $50K and the top range over $120K. These ranges will vary from state to state but are generally a reasonable estimate for expected earnings. Overall, a degree in accounting appears to be a stable and lucrative investment.
What Certifications Do Accountants Have?
You’ve earned your accounting degree. So, now what? Well, you can hit the road running without any furthered degree. If an accountant chooses to pursue a certification, several options offer specific benefits related to various career paths.
Perhaps the most recognized is the CPA or Certified Public Accountant. This versatile certification enables one to work in either the public or private sectors and covers all the main categories: financial planning, taxes, and maintaining and approving financial recordings. The CPA requires a considerable amount of studying and each region in the country has its own requirements for completion of the certification.
The CMA, or Certified Management Accountant, the route is also an option. Graduates with this certification gain a more in-depth understanding of the concepts behind basic accounting. Perhaps one of the largest incentives is that professionals who follow this route tend to have higher earning potential, almost 30 percent higher on average. However, it’s not exactly easy. This course requires a bachelor’s degree, two years of work experience in accounting, membership to the IMA, the Institute of Management Accountants, and the passing of a two-part exam.
For accountants wanting to explore the world of finance and asset management, a great place to start is with your CFA certification. The CFA is a three-part exam program, all of which will require in-depth knowledge of ten subject areas designated by the CFA Institute as most relative to financial analysis. A combined background of work experience and an undergraduate degree is also required.
All accountants are well versed in taxes. However, if this really is something that you enjoy about your line of work, you may consider getting your EA or the Enrolled Agent credential. The EA is a product of the IRS, and individuals who want to attain it must work for the IRS for a handful of years or pass a 3 part intense exam. The EA is the highest credential recognized by the IRS. Those that complete an EA can represent taxpayers before the IRS. However, EA holders have to complete 72 hours of continued education every three years to maintain their status, making this a very committed tract for an accounting career professional.
Finally, seven SAP Financial Accounting exam options are geared towards those interested in the technologically revolutionized accounting, combining accounting and business principles. SAP is a company that produces software systems that combines accounting and business processes. Each of the seven certifications prepares professionals to become experts in applying their software systems, such as financial accounting or management accounting. A complete list of their certificates and educational programs can be found on their website.
Preparing for the CPA Exam
Poll a group of students in any upper-level college accounting class, and chances are at least half of them are aiming for their CPA license after they finish their bachelor’s degree.
There are 3 E’s that prospective CPA candidates need to achieve to get a CPA certificate. These are:
- NEASC – North Eastern Association of Schools and Colleges
- MSCHE – Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
- HLC – Higher Learning Commission
- NWCCU – Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- WASC – Western Association of Schools and Colleges
In undergrad, the school provides the material for the first E: education. In order to receive a CPA certificate, candidates must have completed 150 credit hours, which must include a bachelor’s degree. Most states require that bachelor’s degree to be in accounting or an accounting-related major. Since a bachelor’s degree is only 120 credit hours, students can choose from a variety of different options to earn the remaining 30 hours. Some create an enhanced undergraduate degree, with a fifth year of study or a double major. Others pursue a graduate degree: an MBA, MAcc (master’s in accountancy), or MST (master of science in tax). Any of these degrees can be good exam prep for the CPA, though the MBA is the least accounting-specific.
Guidance counselors or college advisor can help students select the best classes to take to prepare for the CPA exam. Many business schools often have licensed professionals who work in accounting and also teach. These professors are the best resource for industry information and professional licensing requirements.
Some students also choose to take a commercial CPA exam study guide or prep course. This is optional, and is not provided by the college degree program.
Business schools and accounting degree programs can also guide students to the second E: experience. Business schools and colleges regularly host recruiting and networking events to help their students transition to a career after graduation. To earn a CPA license, candidates must have at least one year (two in some states) of relevant, verified, accounting work experience. The quickest path to the CPA exam is to get a job in accounting directly out of school especially with an employer who will pay part or all of the cost to sit the exam. The college or degree program can connect students with good opportunities to get the necessary experience, but is not required to provide them the experience as part of the college program.
Finally, the third E: exam. The CPA exam has four parts: Audit and Attestation (AUD), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), and Regulation (REG). Some students choose to sit for all four parts at once, while others do only one or two at a time. The business school or accounting program provides most, if not all, of the material needed to pass the exam.
Who needs to take the CPA Exam?
Students who want to go into public accounting, either as part of a larger firm or eventually on their own, will need a CPA license. In public accounting, young professionals without a CPA are hired with the expectation that they will study for and obtain their CPA certificate within a year or two. There is very little upward mobility in public accounting without a CPA license.
Private accounting is a bit more flexible. If you want to work in the internal accounting department for a bank or corporation, you don’t necessarily need a CPA exam though it does come in handy for career advancement later.
The CPA exam is one of the most prestigious professional certifications available. Its rigorous course of study and licensing requirements puts it on the same challenge level as the bar exam for students in most states. However, it is not the only financial professional certification available. There are several other professional certificates or licenses that can lead to different branches of accounting and finance work.
Enrolled Agent (EA): An Enrolled Agent is someone who is licensed to represent individual and corporate taxpayers before the IRS. Enrolled Agent is the highest license the IRS recognizes, on the same level with CPA’s and attorneys. Think of it as a sort of accountant who specializes in only tax. To become an enrolled agent, one must pass a three-part licensing exam from the IRS, or have extensive prior experience as an IRS employee.
Certified Management Accountant (CMA): A certified management accountant specializes in the sort of accounting that internal company managers need for their decision-making. Instead of focusing on big-picture income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and equity like a CPA, CMA’s hone in on things like pricing decisions, break-even analysis, and marginal costs. CMA’s can serve companies as external consultants or internal management team members, usually reporting directly to the organization’s CFO. To become a CMA, students or professionals must become a member of the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) and take a two-part exam.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP): Students with a heart for teaching others about financial management may choose to veer a little off the accounting path and focus more on finance as a CFP. Accounting and finance overlap as professional subjects, so it isn’t outside the realm of possibility for an accounting student to become a CFP. A CFP focuses on helping individuals and businesses manage their money well and grow their wealth. Most CFP’s tend to focus on high-net-worth individuals, but CFP’s can work with any demographic they choose. Some CFP’s combine their financial planning work with other services for their clients, such as stock brokering or selling insurance policies. To become a CFP, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete the CFP course and exam, and log at least 4,000 hours of work time (over two years’ full time work) in financial planning activities.
While many accounting students choose to take the CPA exam, not everyone wants to go the traditional path of working in public or private corporate accounting. Accounting degrees can lead to a number of different professional career paths. The CPA exam is not a requirement to build a satisfying career that fits your life values and goals.
Regional vs Subject Accreditation
There are different levels of accreditation for college degree programs: national, regional, and program-specific. We don’t consider nationally accredited programs in our list of accounting programs, as those are generally for-profit, religious, or vocational institutions. Credits earned at nationally accredited institutions are only transferable to other nationally accredited institutions, and are not generally considered as trustworthy or high-quality as regionally accredited academic credits.
That leaves us with two accreditation levels: regional and subject.
Regional accreditation means that the college or university has been quality-vetted by one of several professional academic oversight organizations across the country. There are six different regions across the United States, overseen by six different agencies. These are:
All of these regional associations are overseen by the US Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Subject accreditation means that the specific degree program is accredited, or verified, by an expert professional organization related to that degree.
Some schools’ business and accounting programs are specifically accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Association for Business Schools and Programs (IABSP). Subject accreditation from any of these professional organizations is a stamp of approval. It shows that those academic programs will give students the challenges they need in school, and the tools to succeed in a business career after they finish.
Wondering whether your accounting degree program is accredited? We’ve done the work for you. Our comprehensive list of 104 online accounting degree programs across the country is composed of regionally accredited colleges and schools.
What Types of Accounting Degrees Exist?
Accounting is one of those unique skill sets with varying levels of expertise to suit the needs of a wide variety of people. Not everyone is looking for a four-year bachelor’s program or even a lifetime career in accounting. Accountants can get to work with an accounting certification and then choose whether they want to pursue any further degrees to buttress their knowledge in the field and enhance their accounting career choices.
Certificate in Accounting
A Certificate in Accounting is a great way to get your “feet wet” in accounting. There are no prerequisite educational requirements for the certificate outside of a high school diploma or GED. Programs vary in length and credit requirements. However, many have roughly 5-10 courses, and most can be completed online. Graduates of the program will be prepared to handle accounts payable and bookkeeping in addition to other entry-level accounting roles.
Associate’s Degree in Accounting
An Associate’s degree in Accounting is usually a two-year commitment and is one of the most efficient paths into a career in accounting. Programs offer a smooth transition into most entry-level accounting roles. To get started, you need to have completed a high school diploma or a GED. Students who choose this route may do so because it’s a great way to get to work as soon as possible, gaining experience in the field, and then deciding whether to take the next step in the degree process. Besides bookkeeping and payroll, students study statistics, economics and focus on specific accounting areas, including financial, managerial, and cost accounting. Many associate programs are also now available online.
Bachelor of Accounting
A Bachelor of Accounting is a necessary stepping stone for anyone wishing to become a CPA. Students who follow this route commit to a four-year program for a full-time student, except for some accelerated programs, and are most likely decided on some form of accounting as their profession. All the usual application requirements for a traditional bachelor’s degree, such as ACT/SAT, GED, or high school diploma, are also necessary when applying for a Bachelor of Accounting. Curriculums for a bachelor’s in Accounting are comprehensive, covering accounting-focused subjects, such as financial, cost, managerial accounting, and accounting technologies and management accounting, and often microeconomics. As with many bachelor’s degrees, there are numerous online options for full and part-time accounting students.
Master’s Degree in Accounting
A Master’s Degree in Accounting is open to those students who have an undergraduate degree and wish to be considered area experts in accounting. MAccs focus on accounting theories that support accounting practices. These programs often offer specializations in the various accounting areas covered in a bachelor’s program but with greater depth and are usually 1-2 years long. However, a MAcc isn’t the only option for someone wishing to pursue a master’s in accounting. Many people choose to complete an MBA with a focus on accounting, usually completed in the same amount as the MAcc. In doing so, these professionals broaden the scope of their career. This could be an option for a skilled accountant or business person but would like to pursue a business-focused accounting role rather than a strict accounting career trajectory.
Doctorate in Accounting
A Doctorate in Accounting, Ph.D. in Accounting, is pretty much the highest you can get in accounting education. Individuals with this degree would be considered specialists in the accounting theory and application. They may consult, teach, work for the government or other organizations in high-level positions. Unlike other Ph.D. programs, Ph.D. in Accounting requires hours of extensive research, analysis, and writing. This is a committed tract. By the time the degree is complete, professionals have spent an average of 11 years in higher education.
Frequently asked Questions:
If you are considering pursuing an accounting degree, you likely have a few questions. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most common questions about accounting degrees. We will discuss topics such as what accounting is, what you can do with an accounting degree, and how to pursue an accounting degree. We hope that this information will help you make the best decision for your future.
How long does it take to get an accounting degree?
The average full-time degree takes about four years, with some schools offering accelerated courses completed in 3. It depends upon the school and the specific program.
Should I get my accounting degree online?
Whether you should choose to pursue online education is dependent upon a lot of factors. It’s an excellent option for people who currently have a job, have extra time to study, and need to pay for their education as they go rather than study full time. Additionally, most state and some private, even very competitive, universities offer equivalent online programs to their campus programs. Education is changing as fast as technology permits.
What does it mean to have an accredited accounting degree?
Schools that are accredited have met regulating standards that provide the students with an assurance that they are receiving a certain level of education. Each accrediting body can have different standards and regulations. However, as a consumer or a prospective employer of a graduate, you would roughly know the level of education received by the type of accreditation or lack thereof. Three accreditors of business education are AACSB, ACBSP, and IACBE.
The AACSB has been accrediting school programs for over a century around the world. As a member organization, institutions benefit from shared practices and data distribution between similarly accredited schools.
The ACBSP has several regions around the United States and globally, in which they accredit business schools and programs. The organization also focuses on being an epicenter for information among its participants, facilitating exchanging ideas regarding educational improvements and standards.
The IACBE is another regional accreditation institution. IACBE proudly states that they are recognized by CHEA, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a discerning organization that regulates accrediting standards. IACBE also believes that holding an accreditation puts the onus on the higher education institution, encouraging competitive programs and best industry practices for their students.
1. Bureau of Business and Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-2/
2. Wallstreet Mojo: https://www.wallstreetmojo.com/financial-accounting-careers/
3. CFA Institute: https://www.cfainstitute.org/membership/benefits/marketing-resources-for-cfa-charterholders
4. IRS, EA certification: https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/enrolled-agents/enrolled-agent-information
5. SAP Certification: https://www.sap.com/training-certification/education-courses.html
6. Harvard Business School: https://online.hbs.edu/courses/financial-accounting/
7 AACSB: https://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/resources/frequently-asked-questions
8. ACBSP: https://acbsp.org/page/accreditation-overview
9. IACBE: https://iacbe.org/accreditation/benefits-of-accreditation/
10. Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/types-of-accounting-degrees