Guide to Online Accounting Degrees
AccountingOnlineDegree.net is an information hub of resources for accounting degrees and careers. If you love numbers and are detailed-oriented, you might want to consider earning a degree in accounting. You’ll learn the ins and outs of the field including the latest accounting principles and technologies.
What’s more, you can now earn an accounting degree online from a number of accredited colleges and universities. If you’re working full-time or have other obligations, you might want to consider an online program for maximum flexibility.
|MBA - Accounting BS - Accounting AA - Accounting||Liberty University Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for its online and campus-based programs. While its roots are based in a Christian foundation, students will find Liberty has a large course offering beyond religion including an MBA, BS, and AA in Accounting — all of which can be completed entirely online.|
|MS - Accounting BS - Accounting AAS - Accounting||Kaplan University Kaplan University is one of this country’s largest schools, especially in the online arena. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Kaplan has one of the largest collections of online degrees to choose from like the MS, BS, of AAS in Accounting. Because of this, students are able to benefit from a Kaplan education no matter what level of a career they are pursuing.|
|BS - Accounting AAS - Accounting||Rasmussen College Over the course of 100 years, Rasmussen has established itself as a historically-rich and respected institution and has expanded its campuses to five states. Rasmussen is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers two programs in accounting online: a BS and AAS degree. These programs help accommodate students with various career goals.|
The Field of Accounting
With an accounting degree, you’ll educationally prepare for a number of different jobs in a number of different settings. Where you work and who you work for depends on your interests and your skills. While in school, you’ll enroll in courses that increase your professional knowledge and skill set.
Job Duties of an Accountant
Accountants are responsible for a number of different tasks. Depending on the industry and your employer, typical job duties include the following:
- Examine financial statements to be sure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
- Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
- Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures
- Organize and maintain financial records
- Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management
- Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits
Some accountants specialize in tax preparation, forensic analytics, audit representation, and embezzlement and securities fraud. If you’re interested in a specific area of accounting, verify that your program offers the necessary training and education to fulfill your career goals.
Types of Accounting Degrees
There are many accounting degrees available, but the two most popular ones include a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. Both programs provide intensive training in the accounting field.
- Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree is often called a Bachelor of Accountancy or Bachelor of Accounting Science. Both degrees educationally prepare you for a professional accounting career. You’ll learn how to do much more than just crunch numbers. Courses may include such topics as:
- Accounting theory
- Accounting systems and controls
- Cost management
- Financial accounting
- Fraud examination
- Income taxation
- Management principles
- Master’s Degree: A master’s degree in this field is often called a Master of Accounting, Master of Professional Accountancy, or Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). These programs provide extensive training in advanced accountancy. Courses may cover such topics as:
- Accounting information systems
- Auditing and assurance services
- Financial accounting
- Integrated accounting applications
- Operations management
Financial Aid for Accounting Degrees
Scholarships and financial aid come from a variety of sources such as private companies, individual colleges, professional organizations, and the Federal Government.
It takes a lot of research to find scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid. To get started, it helps to contact your school and schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid counselor. He or she can provide you with useful information to get started on your hunt for college funds.
Most likely, your financial aid counselor will advise you to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filling out a FAFSA takes time and can be a little confusing. There are many useful guides online to help you complete the process.
It’s also a good idea to search online for scholarships offered by professional associations and organizations. Scholarships are awarded according to specific requirements and student eligibility.
Salary Data and Careers for Accountants
How much you earn as an accountant depends on a number of factors. Type of employer, industry, geographic location, years of experience and education level will determine how much you earn.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of accountants and auditors was $70,130 in May 2011. States with the highest levels of employment included:
- California: 121,590
- New York: 92,630
- Texas: 83,560
- Florida: 71,420
- Pennsylvania: 71,420
As previously noted, accountants can specialize in a number of different areas. Depending on your interests and experience, you can focus your career on one of the following:
- Fraud Investigator- This career involves cross-referencing books and records from other sources to investigate embezzlement, securities fraud, and similar activities.
- Forensic Accountant- Forensic accountants reconstruct financial records and follow the paper trail if fraud is suspected. They gather data to help prove or disprove fraud.
- Budget Analyst- A budget analyst generally works in private industry, nonprofits and the public sector. Their role is to improve efficiency and increase profit. Budget analysts examine older records and books to establish trends.
There are just a few of the many careers you can pursue with an accounting degree. If you’re just starting out in the field or ready to pursue your master’s degree, our list of accredited schools will help you find a program that may meet your unique needs and interests.