Online Accounting Degrees

Accountants are responsible for maintaining financial records and ensuring that an organization’s bottom line is reflected in the numbers. Because of the crucial role they play in a firm’s financial viability, demand for accredited accounting professionals is consistently high, and the job outlook in the field is projected to grow 11% between 2014 and 2024.

Most accountants hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but due to increased competition in the field, many professionals seek out master’s degrees to get an edge in the job market. Graduates can further boost their job prospects with certifications in specific fields of accounting. Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA), for example, can open the door to more job opportunities and higher salaries.

Many individuals in this field work as tax accountants, public accountants, or bookkeepers while earning an advanced degree that will lead to high salary careers, such as budget analysts, auditors, or forensic accountants. An increasing number of busy professionals choose to pursue an accounting degree online as a flexible alternative to traditional classroom learning.


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Degrees

Online Accounting Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $13,412 15.75% 2 years $33,700 $46,700 8.2%
Bachelor's $18,435 11.76% 4+ years $49,050 $80,500 4.6%
Master's $19,748 9.01% 1+ years $55,600 $92,600 3.1%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

An accredited online accounting degree covers skills for a variety of professional roles, including budget analysis, risk assessment, regulatory compliance, auditing, tax accounting, and payroll management. While any candidate for an accounting job will have at least an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree or higher will increase both salary expectations and employment prospects.

Online Accounting Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Accounting

An associate degree in accounting provides students with a skillset to pursue entry-level accounting jobs. While it is the lowest level of postsecondary degrees, it is sufficient for a number of professional roles, including bookkeeper, payroll clerk, accounting assistant, billing clerk, and even managerial training. Many professionals work towards an associate accounting degree online, which can be finished in less than two years for an average cost of $13,412.00.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Federal Taxation, Statistical Analysis, Managerial Accounting, Systems Analysis, and Marketing

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Payroll Accounting, Cost Accounting, and Taxation

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Tax Accountant, Payroll Clerk, Bookkeeper, Financial Controller, and Public Accountant

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $33,700

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    6% growth (2014-2024)

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

A bachelor’s online accounting degree typically takes four years to complete and provides graduates with a firm footing for a career in accounting. Professionals who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting often work as staff accountants, financial analysts, tax specialists, and even Certified Public Accountants (once they’ve completed the CPA exam). The average cost for an accredited online accounting degree is $18,435.00.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Macroeconomics, Business Finance, Corporate Taxation, Auditing, Marketing, and Statistics

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Accounting, Taxation, and Information Systems

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Public Accountant, Management Accountant, Financial Analyst, Internal Auditor, Government Accountant, Budget Analyst, and Purchasing Manager

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $49,050

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    12% growth (2014-2024)

Online Accounting Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

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Accounting Bachelor’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

Liberty is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the school has one of the most affordable and best online accounting degree programs in the country. As the nation’s largest nonprofit, private university, Liberty provides a Christian education to more than 94,000 online and 15,000 residential students.

The bachelor of science in accounting requires students to earn 120 credits. Graduates are prepared for careers in business, education, government, nonprofits, and more. Classes are taught by professionals with real-world experience. The curriculum helps students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through an emphasis on business communications and computer applications. Online classes are small, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1.

Distance students are encouraged to take part in weekly online convocations (gatherings). The Office of Online Student Life, with its list of resources and student groups, offers a vibrant Christian community for distance learners. Ninety-five percent of Liberty’s students receive some form of financial aid.

2Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

Southern New Hampshire is a private, nonprofit university located in Manchester, New Hampshire, and at regional centers in Portsmouth and Brunswick, Maine. The school offers one of the country’s best online accounting degrees. Students in the 120-credit online accounting bachelor’s program learn about accounting principles, financial analysis, auditing, taxation, business law, and other topics. Students can specialize in forensic accounting and fraud examination, or enroll in the accelerated BS-to-MS program.

Southern New Hampshire prides itself on being one of the most affordable and accessible schools of higher education, by allowing constant access to online classrooms and accepting transfer credits from other institutions. SNHU offers tutoring and career services, academic advising, technical support, and a disability resource center to the school’s more than 60,000 online students. SNHU provides financial aid to about 90% of students, and those with a GPA of 2.5 or higher are eligible for grants and scholarships.

3Indiana Wesleyan University-MarionMarion$$$$$4201 S Washington St
Marion, IN 46953-4974
(765) 674-6901

Indiana Wesleyan was founded in 1920 as Marion College. It’s an evangelical Christian university located in Marion, Indiana, that’s affiliated with the Wesleyan Church. The online accounting bachelor’s degree, offered through the College of Adult and Professional Studies, is a 120-credit program for working adults who have already completed 60 or more undergraduate credits. The program is designed to be completed in about 18 to 20 months. The online bachelor’s degree in accounting program helps students develop competencies in accountancy, taxation, and auditing by addressing theory and practice. Students also take classes in business law, ethics, strategic planning, federal income tax, and more. Online classes are small and taught by academics with professional experience.
Indiana Wesleyan’s Off-Campus Library Services can be accessed by phone, fax, email, and mail. Many of the school’s 14,000 students are eligible for loans, scholarships, and grants; the private, nonprofit school distributed $146 million in financial aid in 2013-14.

4University of Massachusetts - AmherstAmherst$$$$$374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-0111

UMass-Amherst, founded in 1863, is ranked 27th (out of more than 700) on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best public, four-year colleges and universities. At the Isenberg School of Management, students studying for a bachelor’s in business administration in accounting take nine courses on topics such as managerial and financial accounting, taxation, audits, financial reporting, and information systems. Learners are required to earn at least 120 credits. Distance learners must fulfill the general education, business, and accounting major requirements. Twenty-one credits in non-business courses are also required.
Students are encouraged to explore the Online Resource Center, which operates as a virtual student center, and UGrad, where advisors offer advice and assistance. Graduates are prepared for careers as auditors, tax specialists, bank examiners, financial executives, and more. The school partners with many accounting organization, like the Massachusetts Society of CPAs, Financial Accounting Standards Board, and International Accounting Standards Board. These organizations provide extra learning opportunities for students.

5Thomas Edison State UniversityTrenton$$$$$111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372

Thomas Edison State, located in Trenton, New Jersey, has been meeting the needs of adult learners since 1972. More than 17,000 students from all over the U.S. and 60 countries are enrolled.
Students pursuing the 120-credit bachelor of science in business administration degree in accounting study subjects such as federal income taxation; financial, managerial, and cost accounting; and auditing. They also explore business topics like management, economics, business law, and marketing. There’s a special program for students who want to pursue a CPA and a master of science in management.
Sixty percent of students who earned an online bachelor’s degree in accounting, in 2016, completed their coursework in three-years or less. Students can earn credits for appropriate work or other life experiences. This public school offers multiple financial aid options, including scholarships. New Jersey residents are eligible for in-state tuition.

6Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourne$$$$$150 West University Blvd
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 674-8000

Florida Tech is located in Melbourne. The school’s 121-credit online bachelor’s degree in accounting has students study subjects such as applied decision making, economics, management, research, law, and information systems. Graduates can enroll in an MBA program in accounting or accounting & finance at Florida Tech.
Courses are taught in eight-week terms and have students complete weekly assignments, interact with teachers, and collaborate with peers on discussion boards and chat rooms. Students can access round-the-clock technical support, and there’s a student services representative to help with administrative issues, including an online tutoring service. Florida Tech’s Career Management Services help students with job searches, resumes, interview prep, networking, and workshops. Ninety percent of full-time faculty have the most advanced degree available in their field. Florida Tech is ranked of 82 of 217 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of best online bachelor’s programs.

7Champlain CollegeBurlington$$$$$246 S. Willard St
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 860-2700

Champlain, a private, nonprofit school in Burlington, Vermont, has been educating students since 1878. Most online courses are offered in seven-week sessions as part of a three-semester academic year, though several accounting classes are presented over 15-weeks.

In addition to practical accounting skills, the 120-credit online bachelor’s degree in accounting program emphasizes business and tax law, risk analysis, and problem solving. The curriculum is aligned with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Core Competency Framework standards, and Champlain boasts that graduates who take the CPA exam have a “near-perfect” success rate. Online accounting bachelor’s students can access web-based tutoring at any time, and get help with writing from consultants at the Online Writing Center. All students are assigned an academic advisor to help them reach their goals. The Career Collaborative office helps students find a job and internship, prepare for interviews, and improve their resumes. Financial aid is available, and through the truED Alliance program, employees of nearly 60 businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits are eligible for tuition benefits.

8Regis UniversityDenver$$$$$3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111

Regis, a Jesuit Catholic, nonprofit university in Denver, Colorado, was founded in 1877. The school welcomes students—currently more than 9,000—of all faiths. The online bachelor’s degree in accounting program is taught through Regis’ College of Business and Economics. Students are required to earn 128-credits in classes like accounting, economics, statistics, auditing, business law, and marketing. Students learn the most current accounting methods. Graduates are prepared for accounting careers in the public and private sector.

Regis’s Learning Commons offers web-based tutoring and writing help. The Ask a Librarian message system is always available. Regis students received more than $134 million in financial aid during the 2015-16 academic year. Graduates preparing for the CPA exam receive a discount on Becker™ CPA Exam Review courses. Regis is ranked 23 of 141 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Regional Universities West.

9Saint Leo UniversitySaint Leo$$$$$33701 State Road 52
Saint Leo, FL 33574-6665
(352) 588-8200

Saint Leo, located outside of Tampa, Florida, was founded in 1889. It’s the oldest Catholic school of higher education in the state, and has been offering online degrees—including one of the best online accounting degrees—for nearly 20 years. Currently, Saint Leo serves about 6,000 adult distance learners.

Students in the online accounting program take 120 credits in accounting, auditing, financial statement analysis, individual federal income taxes, business information systems and analytics, management decision making, business law, and more. The program emphasizes the development of leadership skills. Saint Leo’s active online community includes clubs and associations (including one for accounting students) that provide valuable virtual networking opportunities. Peer mentors guide and support one another. Free online tutoring is available any time, and academic advisors and career services offer support and guidance. Saint Leo is ranked 43 (out of 217) in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Online Bachelor’s programs.

10Keiser University - Ft LauderdaleFort Lauderdale$$$$$
Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Keiser, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was founded in 1977. The school has campuses at 18 locations throughout the state. About 20,000 on campus and online students are enrolled.

Students take one class at a time; each class lasts four-weeks. The online bachelor’s degree in accounting requires students to earn 120-credits. Learners take courses in accounting, business law, taxation, financial management, decision making, statistics, auditing, accounting information systems, and international financial reporting. The program emphasizes the development of skills in accounting and tax software applications, research and communication, and professional accounting standards. The school’s Online Career Center provides help with resumes, job interview preparation, and provides guidance. Students have received nearly $44 million in financial aid from the university and the Keiser Mills Foundation. Keiser is ranked 23 of 113 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Regional Colleges South.

11Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City$$$$$4001 East 700 South, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
(801) 274-3280

WGU is a nonprofit, online college based in Salt Lake City. The school emphasizes skills development; accessible, affordable technology-focused programs; and preparing students for professional careers in today’s world. The university’s more than 2,000 full-time and 700 part-time faculty serve over 76,000 adult learners across the country.

The accounting degree requires students to earn 121 competency units (similar to credit hours). Learners will study quantitative analysis, finance, business law, and ethics. Students also learn about leadership and management, IT, human resources, and marketing. The web-based learning is enhanced by student learning communities, discussion forums, and student mentors (each student has one). The Ask a Librarian chat service is always available.
Western Governor’s fee structure is unusual: tuition consists of a flat rate per six-month term, and remains the same no matter how many courses you take. This makes it one of the most affordable online accounting bachelor’s degree programs available. Terms begin on the first of the month of your choosing.

12Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk$$$$$5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000

Old Dominion, a public research institution in Norfolk, Virginia, has offered some of the most affordable distance learning programs since the 1980s. In 2016, more than 10,500 online students were enrolled.

The online bachelor’s in accounting degree requires students to earn 120 credits. Students should have already obtained about 60 credits. Students learn about accounting, taxation, and information systems. They also take courses in statistics, economics, marketing, operations management, and strategy. Online tools include peer educator and tutoring programs, ePortfolio Student Support, DegreeWorks (a web-based academic advising app), web conferencing apps for study groups (including video archives of web conferences), an online training library, and more. The ePortfolio program helps students successfully navigate the technical and administrative demands of the online educational experience. Career Development Services offer videos, web events, a job board, and other programs. In state residents are eligible for discounted tuition fees.

13University of MemphisMemphis$$$$$Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000

Memphis, founded in 1912 in Tennessee, has a student body of more than 20,000. Undergraduates pursue an online bachelor of business administration degree with a major in accounting through the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, which boasts 97 full-time faculty, 90% of whom have doctorates.

Students must earn 120 credits in a combination of general education courses (41 credits), business core classes (42 credits), major requirements (30 credits), and electives (7 hours). Learners enrolled in the online accounting bachelor’s degree program study federal income tax, audits and assurances, and information systems. The school has an Adult and Commuter Student Services office, which offers programs and services for online students, including monthly training sessions, an e-newsletter, the Pinnacle Honor Society, and information about off-campus housing and scholarships. In 2012-13, Memphis students received $219 million in financial aid and scholarships.

14Columbia College - MissouriColumbia$$$$$1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
(573) 875-8700

CC, located in Columbia, Missouri, has been educating students since 1851. It has a covenant with the Disciples of Christ. The school serves more than 29,000 students of all faiths through its 36 nationwide locations and online program, which have been available to working adults and military students since 2000. More than 800 online classes are offered during Columbia’s eight week sessions, which start in January, March, June, August, and October.

The 120 credit online bachelor’s in accounting curriculum is one of the most affordable, and is aligned with recommendations from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs. Classes include financial, managerial, and fund/governmental accounting; auditing, and corporation and federal income tax. The program has general education and business requirements. Online students use the learning management system Desire2Learn to access coursework and interact with peers and instructors. Online tutoring is available.

15Auburn UniversityAuburn University$$$$$Auburn, Alabama
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-4000

Auburn serves about 25,000 students through its Auburn, Montgomery, and online campuses. Students who have a business degree that’s accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business can obtain an online bachelor’s degree in accounting in just 30 semester hours, or five-semesters.

Students take classes in business practices and internal controls, auditing and assurances, income tax, and information systems. Distance learners can view lectures at any time. Ninety-three percent of Auburn instructors have the most advanced degree available in their field. The school’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business is home to several centers, including the Small Business Development Center and the Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management. Online students can take advantage of all Auburn offerings, including access to academic advisors, libraries, activities, and events. Alabama residents are eligible for discounted tuition.

16Bellevue UniversityBellevue$$$$$1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
(402) 291-8100

Bellevue, a private, nonprofit institution located in Bellevue, Nebraska, offers a 127-credit online BS in accounting. Students complete a common business core that includes classes in business policy, ethics and law, financial and managerial accounting, and principles of marketing, management, and finance. Taxation and tax planning courses are also required. There are several options for accounting students, including a specialization in taxes, and the opportunity for students with 90 or more credits to take graduate-level courses. Undergraduates who have completed 60 credits can enroll in an accelerated cohort program, where students progress through courses with the same group of classmates. This program is scheduled over 72-weeks.

Undergraduates must complete the school’s Kirkpatrick Signature series, a nine-credit, 12-week series that explores western traditions and philosophies as they relate to the American experience. All students are assigned a student coach/advisor, and everyone has access to free peer tutoring and the school’s writing center. Active military members are eligible for exclusive tuition discounts.

17Central Methodist UniversityFayette$$$$$411 Central Methodist Square
Fayette, MO 65248-1198
(660) 248-3391

Central Methodist, located in Fayette, Missouri, was founded in 1854. CMU currently has about 5,200 students. Online students pursuing one of the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in accounting must earn 124 credits. Courses include economics, statistics, business ethics, applied computer skills, fraud examination, income tax, information systems, and electives.
Instructors deliver lectures through PowerPoint presentations and videos, and students take part in threaded discussions on online forums. Online classes are taught in eight or 16-week terms, and CMU has an eight-member staff devoted entirely to online programming.

The school’s library contains about 75,000 titles and multiple electronic resources. Distance learners can access PowerPoint tutorials, subject guides, and all available electronic resources.
Grants and loans are available, and Missouri residents are eligible for discounted tuition. Central Methodist also offers a minor and an associate in accounting.

18Bellevue UniversityBellevue$$$$$1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
(402) 291-8100

Bellevue, a private, nonprofit institution located in Bellevue, Nebraska, offers a 127-credit online BS in accounting. Students complete a common business core that includes classes in business policy, ethics and law, financial and managerial accounting, and principles of marketing, management, and finance. Taxation and tax planning courses are also required. There are several options for accounting students, including a specialization in taxes, and the opportunity for students with 90 or more credits to take graduate-level courses. Undergraduates who have completed 60 credits can enroll in an accelerated cohort program, where students progress through courses with the same group of classmates. This program is scheduled over 72-weeks.

Undergraduates must complete the school’s Kirkpatrick Signature series, a nine-credit, 12-week series that explores western traditions and philosophies as they relate to the American experience. All students are assigned a student coach/advisor, and everyone has access to free peer tutoring and the school’s writing center. Active military members are eligible for exclusive tuition discounts.

19Central Methodist UniversityFayette$$$$$411 Central Methodist Square
Fayette, MO 65248-1198
(660) 248-3391

Central Methodist, located in Fayette, Missouri, was founded in 1854. CMU currently has about 5,200 students. Online students pursuing one of the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in accounting must earn 124 credits. Courses include economics, statistics, business ethics, applied computer skills, fraud examination, income tax, information systems, and electives.
Instructors deliver lectures through PowerPoint presentations and videos, and students take part in threaded discussions on online forums. Online classes are taught in eight or 16-week terms, and CMU has an eight-member staff devoted entirely to online programming.

The school’s library contains about 75,000 titles and multiple electronic resources. Distance learners can access PowerPoint tutorials, subject guides, and all available electronic resources.
Grants and loans are available, and Missouri residents are eligible for discounted tuition. Central Methodist also offers a minor and an associate in accounting.

20Saint Joseph's College of MaineStandish$$$$$278 Whites Bridge Rd
Standish, ME 04084-5236
(207) 892-6766

St. Joseph’s is a private, Catholic liberal arts college that was founded in 1912. The student body consists of approximately 1,000 students in Standish, Maine.

Students in the online bachelor’s degree in accounting program take general education courses, business core requirements, accounting classes, and electives. Learners are required to earn 128 credits. Courses include, financial, cost, and managerial accounting; auditing, economics, business law and ethics, strategic management, and federal income tax. Most courses begin every month. Online students are assigned an academic advisor, who helps them map out their degree path. The Fast Track program allows students who receive at least a “B” in select courses to waive several classes as they pursue a master of science in accountancy. This allows a quicker path to being eligible for the CPA exam. A banking major and accounting minor are also available.

21University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham$$$$$Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011

Interested in exploring one of the South’s best online accounting degrees? At UAB’s Collat School of Business, students take classes in financial, cost, and international accounting, and income tax, auditing, and management and information systems. Ninety-percent of faculty hold Ph.Ds.

Online programs at Alabama-Birmingham are well established: U.S. News & World Report ranks the school 86 of 217 on its list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. There’s also a dedicated Online Academic Advisory Council and website (UAB Online) for distance learners. Online students can access 24/7 technical help, plus networking opportunities and preparation assistance for professional exams, including the CPA. UAB online accountancy students can participate in the business school’s 17 business student organizations, and qualifying students may join Alpha Sigma Lambda, the honor society for adult learners. Loans, grants, and scholarships make this program one of the most affordable options for online learners.

22Temple UniversityPhiladelphia$$$$$1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
(215) 204-7000

Temple is located in Philadelphia. Students pursuing an online bachelor of business administration with a major in accounting attend the Fox School of Business, which in 2015 had 1,103 undergraduate accounting students. Students learn about transactional and cost analysis, accounting information systems, taxation, auditing, and professional and business ethics.

This online bachelor’s degree in accounting involves scheduled live sessions, which are accessed in the evening; Most work can be done on your own time. Students can record and replay materials. These real-time virtual meetings encourage a truly collaborative and authentic classroom experience. Online students have access to tutoring, writing support, the Math and Science Resource Center, instructional videos, and the Fox School of Business Center for Student Professional Development. The Fox Center provides virtual coaching and resume and interview guidance. Temple is ranked 48 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best college business programs.

23Northwood University - FloridaWest Palm Beach$$$$$2600 N Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL 33409-2911
(561) 478-5500

NU, founded as the Northwood Institute in the late 1950s, is a nonprofit university that has prepared more than 35,000 graduates for business careers. Northwood has a residential campus in Midland, Michigan, and regional educational centers in Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, and California.

Students need to accumulate 123 credits to earn an online bachelor’s degree in accounting. Courses include economics, financial management, business law, taxation, managerial and cost accounting, auditing, ethics, and general education subjects. Northwood students start taking accounting classes during their first semester; courses on business management also form an important part of the curriculum. Almost all of the faculty (97%) have advanced degrees.

Northwood’s Career Advancement Center has a career network for job seekers, and helps students prepare for interviews. The school’s library services include an always-available Ask a Librarian chat service and 35 online databases.

24Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids$$$$$6191 Kraft Avenue S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396
(616) 698-7111

Davenport was founded in 1866 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has been offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees since the 1980’s and 90s. Davenport has campuses throughout the state and an established online presence: approximately 3,300 (42%) of Davenport learners complete their coursework online.

Online bachelor’s degrees in accounting students in the college of business take 120 credits, which are split between general education, business, required, and elective accountancy classes. Courses include federal, payroll, and state taxes; fraud examination, auditing and assurances, information systems, and more. Students can take a four-class, 12-credit specialization in internal auditing or management accounting. The school’s Career Service office provides job search, resume, and interview help; information about internship opportunities and assessment and research services. Students can reach librarians through chat or text, and there are video tutorials, course and writing guides, study resources, and online tutoring.

25City University of SeattleSeattle$$$$$521 Wall Street, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98121
(800) 426-5596

This private, nonprofit university has locations in the northwest and a robust online presence: More than 30% of City University’s nearly 6,400 students complete their studies entirely online. Another 20% are enrolled in a combination of online and in-person classes. Programs are geared towards working adults.

Students can earn a 180-credit online bachelor of science in business administration with an emphasis on accounting in three-years. Students must complete general education, business, and accounting requirements, studying everything from federal income tax and management accounting to operations and marketing. The school operates on a quarter-term system.
The Career Center regularly offers webinars for job seekers, and City University is ranked 27 of 217 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

There are need and merit-based scholarships, and scholarship opportunities for transfer students, veterans, and members of ethnic minorities.

26Southwestern CollegeWinfield$$$$$100 College Street
Winfield, KS 67156-6224
(620) 229-6000

Southwestern, founded in 1885 in Wichita, Kansas, is a nonprofit school affiliated with the Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church. Southwestern educates adult learners through its online Professional Studies program. Students who have completed at least six college credits can enroll in the online, 124-credit bachelor of science in accounting program. Students take up to two, six-week-long classes in subjects including forensic, cost, managerial, and financial accounting; federal taxation, and auditing theory. Learners also complete core general and business education classes in subjects such as statistics, economics, information literacy, ethics, and more. Terms begin eight times a year

Every student is assigned an Academic Success Coach and has access to the SC Writing Center, which provides virtual consultations through Skype and answers questions through email. On average, financial aid applicants receive close to $8,000 a year in aid. Students in the military (and their spouses) receive tuition discounts. Southwestern also offers scholarships for adult learners.

27Brenau UniversityGainesville$$$$$500 Washington Street SE
Gainesville, GA 30501-3668
(770) 534-6299

This Gainesville, Georgia, school was founded in 1878 and began serving adult learners in the 1970s. Brenau currently has about 3,500 students on its Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida, campuses, including online. Brenau has been offering online classes since 1998; 29% of its students are online learners.

The bachelor of business administration with a major in accounting is a 120-credit program. It consists of a liberal arts education and business classes, and courses in taxation, auditing and assurance services, and fraud examination. Students with a 3.0 or higher GPA who are planning to take the CPA exam can continue their education with Brenau’s master of accounting or MBA in public accounting program. Classes are seven-weeks long. Online classes are limited to 20 students. U.S. News & World Report ranks Brenau 52 of 146 on its list of Regional Universities South.

Online Master’s Degree in Accounting

A master’s degree in accounting ensures a higher level of speciality in the field, and can equip candidates for careers in corporate accounting, financial analysis, tax examination, and even business management. Professionals with a master’s degree in accounting typically pursue CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA (Certified Management Accountant) licenses. Online accounting degrees are available at the master’s level and can be completed in less than two years. The average cost for a master’s online accounting degree is $19,748.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Auditing, Business Law, Corporate Management, Quantitative Analysis, and Financial Reporting

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Financial Accounting, Management, Corporate Strategy, and Auditing

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Compliance Manager, Budget Analyst, Treasurer, Tax Examiner, Actuary, and Auditor

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $55,600

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    3% growth (2014-2024)

Online Accounting Degrees
For the 2016 rankings, OnlineColleges.net has greatly refined its approach to evaluating schools and their respective programs. Our innovative method of assessing schools is what makes our rankings so distinctly authoritative. On the surface, every ranking we produce employs a basic formula: Academic Quality + Online Offerings + Cost and Student Aid = Final Score. This final score determines where a school ends up in our rankings. Of course, there's a lot more than meets the eye. Visit our methodology page to discover the data points that shape our formula and to learn more about our process.

Download Seal

PNG (web) EPS (print)

Accounting Master’s Degree Rankings

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Rank School Name School Logo City Cost Address & Contact Info School Links Acclaim for Online Programs School Description
1University of ConnecticutStorrs$$$$$352 Mansfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269
(860) 486-2000

The online MSA program at UC prepares students for careers in public and private accounting. Core accounting classes cover topics including business law, research, financial reporting, and taxation. Completion of the program requires 30 credits and fulfills the requirements needed to become a CPA in most states.

All courses are offered online except one mandatory in-residence class: a four-day course at the Storrs campus, typically taken in May. All other classes are accessed through the online HuskyCT portal, hosted on the Blackboard platform. Classes are asynchronous, and students may enroll on a part-time or full-time basis to complete the ten required courses.

2Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton$$$$$777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991
(561) 297-3000

FAU offers a two-year Executive Master of Accounting with a concentration in Forensic Accounting. An entirely online program, graduates gain skills and knowledge in the areas of fraud investigation, litigation support, valuation, expert testimony, money-laundering, dispute resolution and other criminal investigations. Coursework emphasizes communication and critical thinking skills, investigative writing and forensic accounting content.

Courses are offered asynchronously, allowing students flexibility to complete coursework on their own schedule. Classes are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. Online learners also have access to academic support and technical assistance.

3Nova Southeastern UniversityFort Lauderdale$$$$$3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

An online Master of Accounting degree from NSU prepares graduates for careers in accounting and the CPA credential. Students complete core accounting classes for a broad base of knowledge and skills, as well as several electives. Electives include tax policy, business law, real estate taxes, forensic accounting, and international accounting. All students are required to take a one-week non-credit course, Internet Technology, to prepare students to use the internet for classroom and research purposes.

All courses required to obtain a master's degree in accounting online are offered through a Blackboard learning management system. The 39-credit program can be completed in 21 months. Start times are offered in August, January and May. Admission to the program requires a minimum 2.5 GPA on previous undergraduate coursework.

4Syracuse UniversitySyracuse$$$$$900 South Crouse Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-1870

Syracuse University offers a Master of Science in Professional Accounting in a two-year online format. Distance learners complete the same curriculum as on-campus students. Depending on their previous coursework, students will follow one of three tracks:

  • Accounting Sequence – 30 credits. This track is for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting. Classes cover accounting basics including auditing, reporting, management and fraud.
  • Business Sequence – 33-42 credits. Students with an undergraduate degree in business will follow this track. Courses include financial accounting, taxes and business strategy and international accounting.
  • Foundational Sequence – 45-48 credits. This track allows students with an undergraduate degree in any subject other than business or accounting to complete the master’s level degree. Courses cover topics such as accounting, taxation, auditing, and fraud.

All courses are completed online through a Blackboard learning management system in a 12-week, semester format.

5Liberty UniversityLynchburg$$$$$1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

Distance learners can obtain a online master's in accounting through Liberty. Coursework emphasizes written and oral communication skills, research, computer literacy and analytical reasoning. Course topics include taxation, accounting, auditing, and national and international accounting practices.

Completion of the program requires 30 credit hours; up to six hours can be transferred from previous studies. Coursework is completed online through a Blackboard learning management system. Upon graduation, students are prepared to take the CPA exam and launch careers in areas such as auditing, finance, tax or business ownership. The program typically takes two years to complete.

6University of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham$$$$$Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011

Graduates of UAB’s online Master of Accounting program are prepared to take the Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor and Certified Fraud Examiner exams. Program curriculum covers concepts including forensic accounting, auditing, fraud, business law and governmental accounting. Courses emphasize the development of communication, technological, research and interpersonal skills.

A combination of core accounting courses and intriguing electives offers those with an accounting background, as well as those from non-accounting backgrounds, the chance to develop a strong foundation of knowledge in this field. Students can complete all courses online through the Blackboard collaborate platform.

7University of Massachusetts - AmherstAmherst$$$$$374 Whitmore Building 181 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
(413) 545-0111

Completion of the Master of Science in Accounting at UM Amherst prepares students to quickly launch into accounting careers. Graduates of the online master's in accounting are prepared for the CPA exam, and can forgo the one-year experience requirement for CPA certification in Massachusetts. Coursework emphasizes taxes, technology, business accounting and business writing.

Students can complete the 30-credit degree entirely online, or choose a hybrid option. The hybrid program involves taking 18 credits online and completing a 12-week intensive in-residence summer session. All online courses are accessed through the Blackboard learning management system. The degree typically between eight months and two years to complete.

8Auburn UniversityAuburn University$$$$$Auburn, Alabama
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-4000

Courses for the master's degree in accounting online at Auburn emphasize technical skills, research and communication, preparing students to pass the CPA exam. Electives include income tax, fraud, investments and global financial markets. Students currently employed full time can complete the program in two years, taking two classes per term for five semesters. Full-time students can complete their degree in just one year (three semesters.)

Online accounting students at Auburn receive the same instruction and assignments as on-campus students. For added flexibility and convenience, lectures may be viewed live or recorded. All coursework is accessed through the Canvas learning management system. A three-day on-campus residency is required for all students, completed during the final spring semester at the end of April. Students will participate in a leadership summit consisting of business seminars, leadership workshops and social events.

9Stetson UniversityDeLand$$$$$421 N Woodland Blvd
DeLand, FL 32723
(386) 822-7000

Graduates of the Stetson University online Master of Accountancy program are prepared for the CPA exam and equipped with knowledge and skills to advance their career. Coursework emphasizes contemporary issues in accounting, tax issues, auditing and business law. Studies provide the groundwork for careers in accounting, information systems and business law.

The program is made up of ten classes, totaling 30 credit hours. Classes are offered in five-week format, with three start dates each year. All course material is accessed online through the Blackboard learning management system. Students can complete their studies in as little as one year.

10Golden Gate University - San FranciscoSan Francisco$$$$$536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105-2968
(415) 442-7800

Students graduating GSU with an online master's in accounting are prepared to sit for the Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant exam. This program is offered in a fully online accelerated format. Each online class includes asynchronous discussions and quizzes as well as synchronous video conferences with the professor and classmates. Admission requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and students complete their degree within 12 months.

Offered in a cohort format, classes begin in late July and seven courses are completed by mid-December. In the spring, eligible students may opt to complete a six-credit internship accompanied by two courses online. Otherwise, students complete 12 credits online for this semester. The final four core courses and a capstone project are completed during the summer. Classes are accessed through the school’s eLearning online portal.

11University of ScrantonScranton$$$$$800 Linden Street
Scranton, PA 18510-4629
(570) 941-7400

The online Master of Accountancy program offered through the University of Scranton is made up of ten courses totaling 30 credit hours. This includes 12 credits of foundational courses and at least 18 credits from four to eight electives. Elective options include International accounting, fraud and abuse and advanced auditing. Foundational courses provide knowledge in economics, financial reporting, taxation and financial management. Emphasis is placed on communication skills, ethics, leadership roles and problem solving.

Students can complete the program in 20 months part-time or 10 months full-time. All classes are accessed online through the Brightspace learning management system. Graduates are prepared to take the CPA exam.

12St John's University - New YorkQueens$$$$$8000 Utopia Pky
Queens, NY 11439
(718) 990-6161

Fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the M.S. in Accounting program at St. John’s prepares graduates for a career in accounting and for the CPA exam. Students can attain their degree in just one year, although enrollment options for both full-time and part-time are available. Admission to the program requires an undergraduate major in business.

Completion of the degree requires 30-33 credits. Courses are accessed online through the Blackboard learning management system. Online activities emphasize the application of accounting to the global marketplace and application of accounting theory to practical business problem solving.

13Regis UniversityDenver$$$$$3333 Regis Blvd
Denver, CO 80221-1099
(800) 388-23662111

A master's in accounting online from Regis University prepares graduates to meet the requirements for the CPA exam or the CMA designation. Completion of the program requires ten three-credit courses. A broad range of elective options include auditing, forensic accounting and international accounting. Emphasis is placed on ethics, technology and accounting basics to launch students into careers as accountants, auditors, financial analysts and more.

Students without previous accounting experience may be required to complete 10 to 15 credit hours of prerequisites. The basic program requires 30 credits, consisting of six credits in core requirements, 21 credits in degree electives and a three-credit capstone course. All classes are online, delivered through the Blackboard-supported student portal.

14Edgewood CollegeMadison$$$$$1000 Edgewood College Drive
Madison, WI 53711-1997
(608) 663-4861

Within one year, Students can attain an MS in Accountancy online through Edgewood College. The program incorporates the Edgewood core values of compassion, truth, partnership, justice and community. Students choose from three career paths to direct their coursework - CPA in public accounting, management accountant in private industry and accountant in governmental or non-profit sectors. Upon graduation, students are prepared to sit for the CPA exam.

Students enjoy small class sizes of 15 or less and a curriculum infused with interactive activities. Some classes follow an eight-week accelerated format, while others follow a semester schedule. All classes are accessed online through the Blackboard learning management system.

15Brenau UniversityGainesville$$$$$500 Washington Street SE
Gainesville, GA 30501-3668
(770) 534-6299

Brenau University offers an online MBA with a concentration in accounting. Courses are completed online via the Canvas learning management system. Students may choose from two accounting concentrations for their studies:

  • Public Accounting concentration – This option is designed for students who wish to take the CPA exam and enter a career in public accounting.
  • Management Accounting concentration – This track is for those who wish to practice accounting in the area of management accounting, such as accounting practice in a small business, or as a CFO or controller.

Completion of the program requires 45 credits, consisting of two foundation courses, eight courses in MBA core curriculum and five courses in the chosen concentration. For professionals with a graduate degree, Brenau offers the option of earning an accounting certificate by completing only the courses required for either concentration.

16National UniversityLa Jolla$$$$$11255 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037-1011
(800) 628-8648

The master's in accounting online program at National University is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in any discipline except accounting. To earn this degree, students must complete a 63-quarter unit course of study. Up to 13.5 quarter units may be awarded for previous coursework at another institution.

Classes emphasize the development of eight core skill sets. These include ethical practices, effective communication and information analysis. Fourteen courses cover basic accounting principles and practices. Main topics of classes are financial accounting, auditing and taxation. Students access their coursework through the Blackboard learning management system.

17Southern Utah UniversityCedar City$$$$$351 West University Blvd
Cedar City, UT 84720
(435) 586-7700

Graduates of the Southern Utah University online accounting master's degree program are prepared to launch careers as auditors, tax accountants and controllers in firms or government agencies. For admission, students must first have completed the 49 credits of foundation courses; the master’s degree requires 30 additional credits.

Students can complete their graduate degree in just two semesters of full-time courses. Part-time enrollment is also an option, allowing up to six years to complete the program. Courses are completed online through the Canvas platform. For their studies, students choose electives to create a managerial emphasis, public accounting emphasis or tax emphasis.

18Indiana Wesleyan UniversityMarion$$$$$4201 S Washington St
Marion, IN 46953-4974
(765) 674-6901

Students enrolled in the online Master of Science in Accounting at IWU complete their degree in 18-26 months. The program emphasizes development of knowledge in forensic accounting, auditing, financial reporting and tax preparation. Coursework encourages skill growth in the creation of communication strategies, building ethical standards and meeting organizational goals. Students are encouraged to integrate a biblical framework to guide their professional interactions.

Coursework consists of 30 credits required for completion. Classes are typically taken sequentially, one at a time. All courses are accessed through the Learning Studio platform. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum GPA of 2.5.

19Western New England UniversitySpringfield$$$$$1215 Wilbraham Rd
Springfield, MA 01119-2684
(413) 782-3111

Obtaining a master's in accounting online from Western New England University prepares graduates for careers in government agencies, accounting firms and financial institutions. Students will also be ready to take the CPA exam. Coursework enhances communication and critical thinking skills, as well as emphasizes the development of decision-making and leadership.

The degree requires the completion of 30 credits. Students may choose to focus their studies in a Forensic Accounting/Fraud Investigation concentration requiring nine credit hours of concentration courses. The entire program can be completed in as little as 15 months part-time or 10 months full-time. Courses are accessed through the Kodiak online learning environment.

20Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester$$$$$2500 North River Road
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
(603) 668-2211

Students pursuing an online master’s degree in accounting at SNHU can choose one of three available concentrations: auditing, forensic accounting and taxation. Studies focus on the enhancement of analytical skills and the use of current technology. Coursework covers core accounting principles with classes on financial reporting, business law and auditing. Upon graduation, students will have completed the 150-credit-hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam.

Completion of the degree requires 12 to 17 courses (36-51 credits), depending on the student’s undergraduate major. The program can be completed in as little as 15 months. Courses are offered in 10-week format, accessed online through the Blackboard learning management system.

21Upper Iowa UniversityFayette$$$$$605 Washington St
Fayette, IA 52142-1857
(563) 425-5200

Upper Iowa University offers a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in accounting. Completion of the program requires 36 credits. The core curriculum covers economics, market analysis and business theory. A research seminar provides a capstone experience, for which students prepare a report to demonstrate their capacity to integrate course knowledge into a professional environment. All coursework emphasizes both theory and application with the development of strong leadership, ethics and risk assessment skills.

Courses are offered in six eight-week terms per year, delivered online through a Pearson LearningStudio portal. Classes are asynchronous in format, allowing students maximum flexibility in their schedule; many require team projects to help students develop highly valued teamwork skills.

22New England CollegeHenniker$$$$$98 Bridge St
Henniker, NH 03242
(603) 428-2211

The online accounting master's degree at New England College offers a general accounting track and a concentration in forensic accounting. The forensic concentration prepares students for the Certified Fraud Examiner designation. The 40-credit program covers coursework in financial reporting, taxation, accounting, auditing and mergers and acquisitions. Desired learning outcomes include risk analysis, reporting, research and strategic thinking skills.

The program can be completed in less than two years. Classes may be started every seven weeks throughout the year. Blackboard provides access to all coursework online. There are no residency requirements. Graduates are prepared to take the CPA exam.

23University of Maryland - University CollegeAdelphi$$$$$3501 University Blvd East
Adelphi, MD 20783-8010
(301) 985-7000

Students desiring to pursue a career in financial operations can complete an online accounting master's degree at the University of Maryland. Students who complete their undergraduate studies at UM may be able to reduce their master’s coursework by six credits. All classes are accessed through Learning Experience Online, the school’s distance learning portal.

Required coursework consists of five accounting classes, six financial management classes and a three-credit capstone course, totaling 36 credits. Accounting courses cover international accounting, ethics and fraud. Financial management courses include topics such as decision making, investments and strategy. The capstone course involves the presentation of case studies by student teams. Students will also complete a research paper that addresses a current issue in the field.

24Saint Joseph's College of MaineStandish$$$$$278 Whites Bridge Rd
Standish, ME 04084-5236
(207) 892-6766

Saint Joseph’s Master of Accountancy program prepares students for a career in public accounting. The curriculum focuses on ethics, leadership and accounting; integrating interdisciplinary course work to develop strategic, critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Classes are delivered through heavy dialogue, with assignments encouraging clear reporting and written skills. All classes are accessed through the Brightspace learning management system. Courses are 10-weeks long, offered in five terms per year.

Completion of the program requires 36 credits. Students may have up to six credits waived with the appropriate prerequisites completed. Students are not required to have an undergraduate degree in business; however, those without this degree may need up to five prerequisite courses to prepare for this program. Graduates are equipped to sit for the CPA exam.

25Utica CollegeUtica$$$$$1600 Burrstone Rd
Utica, NY 13502-4892
(315) 792-3111

Utica College offers an MBA with a Finance/Accounting specialization entirely online. Finance and accounting coursework introduces students to managerial accounting, cost management, financial statements, financial analysis and real-world financial models and tools. Classes include Managerial Economics and Advanced Managerial Accounting. The capstone course involves completion of a project using a real-world company.

The program has no residency requirements. Completion of the degree consists of 30 credit hours: 15 hours in core business classes, 12 credits in the finance/accounting specialization and a three-credit capstone course. All coursework is delivered through the Angel learning management system. Admission to the program requires a bachelor’s degree and a minimum GPA of 2.7.

Online Doctorate Degree in Accounting

A doctorate in accounting is the terminal degree for the field. Doctorate degree-holders stand out among their peers as exceptionally skilled finance and accounting experts. A doctorate online accounting degree is also an ideal objective for professionals wishing to teach or enter the world of academia. These programs are usually completed in four years.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Global Economics, Quantitative Research, Data Mining, Linear Algebra, Empirical Research, and Mathematical Statistics

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Accounting Theory, Auditing, and Accounting Research

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Forensic Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, Business Researcher, and Consultant

Online Accounting Choose Your Career

Average Accounting Salaries

$102,750
$65,940
$78,620
$36,430
$36,260

Management Accountant

Salary: $102,750
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 2,467,500 Bachelor's MBA / CPA / MAcc / CMA recommended; not required

A management accountant is a high-level position in a business or professional organization, responsible for overseeing and managing a wide range of financial activities. They are expected to monitor spending, explain financial outlooks, cut unnecessary expenses, and even formulate growth strategies. Because management accountants are expected to fill a variety of roles, they are usually equipped with several licenses, certifications, and online accounting degrees. Many will be Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Some earn their accounting degree online while working.

Certified Public Accountant

Salary: $65,940
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
11% 1,332,700 Bachelor's CPA Exam

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accredited title given to professionals who have completed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. This authorizes accounting professionals to prepare, evaluate, and consent to the viability of financial statements. CPAs are also certified for the process of auditing clients’ financial statements. Many accountants strive to become CPAs to improve their employment prospects and diversify their skillsets. They are usually required to complete a five-year degree program, which may be obtained through an online accounting degree.

Financial Analyst

Salary: $78,620
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
12% 227,600 Bachelor's FINRA often required, most employers will sponsor licensure

Financial analysts provide insight on matters related to investment activity. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, acquisitions, and other ventures, and offer financial guidance to managers and executives. They may work independently on a contract basis, or as salaried employees of a large corporation. Financial analysts are usually required to be certified by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to work with securities, although many employers will sponsor the licensing process. Online accounting degrees help working financial analysts advance their professional standing and salary expectations.

Accounting Clerk

Salary: $36,430
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-8% 1,760,300 Bachelor's None

Accounting clerks typically specialize in one area of the accounting department, such as billing, payroll, or compliance. Successful accounting clerks will have at least a bachelor’s, master’s, or other accredited online accounting degree. While the growth rate for accounting clerks is expected to decline in coming years, many in this job position set their sights on a more general professional accounting role, such as a bookkeeper.

Billing Clerk

Salary: $36,260
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
6% 1,426,500 High School Diploma or Equivalent None

Billing clerks create and send invoices to clients and customers. They are also expected to calculate and keep records of any data related to billing and invoicing. Billing clerks are not always required to have an accounting degree, but a higher degree typically results in a higher salary.

Online Accounting Professional Requirements

CPA Exam

The Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (CPA Exam) is taken by accounting professionals who wish to become certified public accountants in the U.S. CPA-certified workers are equipped with a range of accounting skills, including technical know-how, commitment to procedure, analytical skills, and communications. The exam is divided into four sections: business law and professional responsibilities; auditing; accounting and reporting (taxation, managerial, and governmental and nonprofit organizations); and financial accounting and reporting (business enterprises). Some states require CPAs to maintain and improve their skills through continuing education and professional development courses.

Is it required?

Varies by state

How long will it take?

2 days

CMA Exam

The Certified Management Accountant is taken by professionals who are seeking accreditation for financial and accounting management skills. Those who are qualified to sit the exam have experience in financial planning, business decisions, analytics, and control. The exam itself emphasizes financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. CMA candidates must complete a number of educational and professional experiences, including a bachelor’s degree, two years of continuous professional/workplace experience, and 30 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Two 4-hour sections

CIA Exam

The Certified Professional Auditor (CIA) is the professional designation administered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and is taken by accountants who plan to specialize in the field of internal auditing. CIAs are required to take continuing education courses to maintain their IIA certification.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

3 parts totaling 6.5 hours

CFE Exam

The Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) Exam is taken by accounting professionals looking to specialize in the field of fraud prevention, detection, and investigation. It is administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. CFEs demonstrate a wide professional skillset relating to fraud, including deterrence, scheming, investigation, and law. Those wishing to take the CFE Exam must be ACFE members and have approved CFE Exam applications on file.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Four sections totalling 500 questions

Enrolled Agent

Enrolled Agents (EA) are federally licensed tax practitioners who are authorized to represent taxpayers at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). EAs advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for individuals and organizations. Enrolled Agents must pass the Enrolled Agent Exam, which assesses the candidate’s knowledge of all areas of U.S. tax code, or they must have worked at the IRS for at least five years in a position heavily involved in tax code application and regulation. To renew their licence, EAs must complete 72 continuing education (CE) credit hours over the three-year renewal period.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

1 day (three parts)

Certified Government Financial Manager

Certified Government Financial Managers (CGFM) are accounting professionals who have been accredited by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). These professionals have experience in government accounting and financial management. CGFMs must pass three examinations: Governmental Environment, Governmental Accounting, Financial Reporting and Budgeting, and Governmental Financial Management and Control. To maintain their certification, CGFMs must renew annually and complete 80 continuing professional education credits every two years.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

Three parts (2 hours, 15 minutes each)

Certified Financial Planner

Certified Financial Planners (CFP) are granted their certifications by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Those who pass demonstrate for employers that they are equipped to practice as independent financial planners. To maintain their certification, CFPs must complete 30 credit hours of continuing education every two years. This process also involves a renewal application and fee.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

1 day (170 multiple-choice questions)