25 Best Online Accounting Degree Programs [2020 Guide]

We’ve ranked the 25 best online accounting degree programs. Compare top schools and get a glimpse of what you could be doing after graduation.

Online Accounting Degree

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that jobs in accountancy are growing by 6%, and professionals make between $40,000 and $127,000 per year.

Earning an online accounting degree can help you launch your career as an accountant. You’ll learn essential skills that are critical to the success of organizations. If you’re good with numbers and can keep accurate records, consider preparing for a productive career by getting a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Online Accounting Degree Courses

Online Accounting Degree Courses

Earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting usually requires students to accumulate about 120 credit hours. Some of these credits will come from general education classes that cover subjects like math, writing, science and the humanities.

The rest will focus on business and accounting topics. The following list may resemble your accounting curriculum.

  • Accounting Fundamentals: This introductory class will serve as the foundation for your accounting studies. You may learn about preparing reports, analyzing statements, and making business decisions.
  • Accounting Tools: You’ll become familiar with some of the software programs and other systems that accounting professionals use to keep track of financial data. There may be opportunities for hands-on practice with some of these programs.
  • Auditing: The skills you learn in this class will help you carefully review financial statements and records to affirm the integrity of an organization or catch mistakes in the documents.
  • Business Law and Ethics: This course will guide you through constructing a personal ethical framework that you can use in decision-making situations throughout your career. The local and federal regulations that govern business leadership and transactions should be influential in your choices.
  • Economics: In one or more classes, you’ll explore the topics of macroeconomics and microeconomics. Your studies will cover economic theories and the ways that they apply to real-life situations.
  • Financial Accounting: To prepare you for an accounting career, you’ll take at least one class on keeping track of an organization’s revenue and cash flow.
  • Taxation: This course will introduce you to the principles of federal taxation for businesses, individuals, and estates.

Your school may offer the opportunity to earn a degree concentration by taking a set of classes related to a specific topic. Concentration options may include auditing, management accounting, or tax accounting.

What Can You Do with a Bachelor’s in Accounting?

Bachelor’s in Accounting Career and Salary

Positions for accountants and auditors are increasing at a rate of 6%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 90,700 more jobs in these areas by 2028 than there was a decade earlier.

Earning an accounting online degree can prepare you to take one of those positions or pursue a different line of work related to records or finances.

Career Job Summary Median Annual Salary
Financial Manager Oversee financial activities of an organization $127,990
Financial Examiner Evaluate whether organizations are in compliance with financial regulations $80,180
Budget Analyst Prepare budgets and keep organizations on track with their spending $76,220
Credit Analyst Use data to determine whether loaning money to an applicant is a good idea $71,520
Accountant Carry out financial tasks, such as maintaining and examining records $70,500
Auditor Go over financial records to make sure that they are correct and honest $70,500
Tax Examiner Collect taxes and ensure proper payments $54,440
Bookkeeper Maintain records of income and expenditures $40,240

Many organizations need accounting professionals. With your degree in accounting, you could find work in businesses, nonprofit organizations, schools, healthcare systems or government agencies.

You could also work in an accounting firm where you assist organizations or individuals with their tax or bookkeeping needs.

Professional Organizations for those with an Accounting Degree

logos of Professional Organizations for those with an Accounting Degree

You can enhance your academic or professional life by joining an industry organization. These groups bring together people from around the country who work in the accounting field.

  • American Accounting Association: AAA represents the academic side of the accounting field. The organization drives research and education and encourages accounting professionals to advance the field by sharing ideas.
  • American Institute of CPAs: AICPA represents certified public accountants by providing learning opportunities, standards for practice, advocacy, and information. The organization is also in charge of the Uniform CPA Examination.
  • National Society of Accountants: NSA’s membership is geared to those who work in small or midsize accounting firms. The organization offers professional discounts and avenues for collaboration.

Membership benefits vary, but you are sure to find many networking or educational opportunities when you join one of these associations. Your professional organization may offer publications, meetings, online forums and more.

Before paying dues, you may want to check whether your company has a group membership that covers all employees.

Certification and Licensure Following a Finance Degree Online

accountant receiving a certificate

Many accountants pursue certifications as part of their professional development. Industry-specific certifications can garner the respect of employers and clients and may boost your career opportunities.

  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA): If you work in financial accounting or have a management role in accounting, then it’s smart to consider CMA certification from the Institute of Management Accountants. Obtaining this credential may qualify you to move into higher leadership roles in your company’s financial department.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA): Going on to earn your master’s degree may prepare you to take the Uniform CPA Exam and become a licensed CPA. This credential is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Earning these certifications will require you to put in additional time and effort after earning your bachelor’s degree. The process might not be easy, but it will pay off when you can promote yourself as a certified professional with advanced knowledge and skills.

Accreditation for Online Accounting Degrees

logos of the six regional accreditors

Always consider accreditation when searching for the best accounting schools. There are two types of accreditation to look for: regional and programmatic.

Regional accreditation is a distinction that is conferred upon colleges that meet general quality standards throughout their many programs and departments.

It is granted by approved regional accreditors; there are seven of these organizations that are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Never settle for online accountant schools without regional accreditation.

Programmatic accreditation comes from industry-specific organizations and focuses on particular departments or programs.

The main programmatic accreditor for business and accounting schools is AACSB International. This organization’s main accreditation is given to business programs; schools may choose to pursue an additional level of accreditation that is specific to their accounting programs.

AACSB accreditation is not essential, but many of the top accounting schools pursue this designation.

Financial Aid for an Accounting Degree Online

screenshot of FAFSA website

For the cheapest online accounting degree, it’s a good idea to look into financial aid. You may qualify to receive grants or loans from the federal government.

The process of applying for government assistance begins with submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form may also help you get state grants or loans.

Government assistance often covers only a portion of college tuition. For additional help, look into private funding sources. Private loans are one option, but they often have high interest rates. If possible, it’s a good idea to look into financial aid that you won’t have to pay back after school, such as scholarships.

The following organizations offer scholarships that are specifically for accounting for finance students.

  • AICPA/Robert Half Student Scholarship: This one-time scholarship of $10,000 is awarded to students who plan to become CPAs. Four students receive this award each year.
  • AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students: Minority students who want to pursue CPA credentials someday are encouraged to apply for this award. The scholarship ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, and recipients may be able to renew it.
  • AICPA Transfer Scholarship: Students who are transitioning from a junior college to a bachelor’s program for their accounting degree can apply for this $5,000 scholarship.
  • Paul S. Mills Scholarship: Undergraduate students in financial fields can apply for this scholarship from the Foundation for Financial Service Professionals. 18 $1,000 awards are given each year.
  • Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship: This award from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is for students who plan to pursue careers in anti-fraud. The prizes range from $1,000 to $10,000.

If you need additional help with paying for your accounting online degree, talk to your school’s financial aid department. The college may be able to recommend other scholarship opportunities, or the school may allow you to pay your tuition in installments.

Questions Related to Earning an Accounting Degree Online

Here are our answers to a few more questions you might have.

What Can You Do with an Accounting Degree?

As an accounting professional, you are likely to work with financial records or other money matters. You could become a public or private accountant, a financial analyst, a revenue agent, an internal or external auditor, or a budget analyst.

Your employer could be a consulting firm, a corporation, a nonprofit group, or another organization.

What’s the Difference Between Finance and Accounting?

Accountants maintain records and databases of financial data. They track money that goes out and money that comes in, and they produce reports that show this information.

Those in finance may be responsible for using that data as the catalyst for future decisions. They may make projections and choose investment opportunities.

BS Accounting vs BA Accounting – What’s the Difference?

Choosing a BA program for your accountant degree means that you’ll be able to take plenty of liberal arts classes or electives along with your accounting courses. In a BS program, you may take more math or science courses that are directly relevant to your future career goals in accountancy.

Can You Earn an Accounting Degree Online?

Yes, you can earn an accounting degree online. Accountant online degrees are common. Taking online classes can be a great method of earning a bachelor’s degree without compromising on your job, your family or your other responsibilities.

For a solid education, always make sure that you choose online accounting courses accredited by one of the nation’s regional accrediting organizations.

Can You Get an Online Accounting Degree Masters?

Yes, you can get an online accounting degree masters. After finishing your bachelor of accounting online, you may be interested in pursuing a similar format for your master’s program.

Fortunately, there are many online master’s programs for accounting, so you’ll have plenty of options. Getting your accounting master’s degree may prepare you to take the Uniform CPA Exam or pursue other industry credentials.

What Is the Best Online College for Accounting?

There are many good online accounting colleges. It’s important to find one that offers appealing classes, has a format that fits your schedule, and gives you the student supports that you need.

Just keep in mind that the best colleges for accounting are always regionally accredited and may also hold AACSB accreditation.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Accounting Degree Online?

Standard bachelor’s degree programs take about four years to finish.

If you’d like to get through school more quickly than that, you’ll be glad to know that many online programs are designed for speedy completion. Accelerated course schedules and year-round enrollment may allow you to finish school in 18 months to three years.

How Do You Get a Degree in Accounting?

To earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you’ll need to complete about 120 credit hours of schooling. Your coursework will cover a variety of topics, including math, science, and English.

Of course, you’ll also take classes focused on accounting; areas of study will include auditing, cost accounting, business law, and taxation.

List of Schools Offering Online Accounting Degree Programs

Rankings Methodology

Each of these colleges and universities is fully accredited and offer accounting programs online.

#1  Auburn University

auburn-university-logo

Auburn University was established in 1856 in Auburn, East Alabama. This is a public university with a strong focus on research, as well as the flagship of its state university’s system.

It started out as a male-only institution but became the first coeducational university in its state back in 1899. Its student body is approximately 30,000 students.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accountancy

Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#2  Bellevue University

Bellevue University campus

Located in Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue University is a private but not-for-profit university. It was originally established in 1966 and was designed to focus on older students with prior work experience from the very start.

Almost 80% of its graduates are over 25. Nowadays, Bellevue University serves more than 10,000 students in its suburban campus.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  Colorado State University-Global

Colorado State University campus

Colorado State University is a public and state-funded university system that encompasses the entire state of Colorado. The Global Campus is its latest foray into long-distance and online education.

It was originally established in 2007 and now has over 19,000 students. Its main administrative offices are located in Aurora, but students hail from all five continents.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

CSU Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Concordia University – St. Paul

Concordia University St Paul campus

Concordia University at St. Paul is one of the main colleges that make up the Concordia University System. This is a private institution affiliated by the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church. It was established in 1893, and it was originally founded by the same congregation that now runs it. It has over 5,000 students.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Concordia University, Saint Paul, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#5  Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University campus

Located in Boca Raton, Florida, the Florida Atlantic University is a public higher-education center that dates back to 1961. It is the main organization within the State University System of Florida devoted to serving the Southern End of the state.

As such, it has a student body of over 30,000 and 5 satellite campuses in Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, and Fort Pierce.

  • Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

FAU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#6  Florida Institute of Technology

florida institute of technology campus

Sometimes also known as Florida Tech, the Florida Institute of Technology is a private, space-grant university based in Melbourne, Florida. It was originally established in 1958 as a private and independent college, meant to serve as a feeder for the local space center.

They currently have over 6,400 students on their residential campus.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#7  Fort Hays State University

fort-hays-state-university-logo

Fort Hays State University is a public and coeducational institution located in Hays, Kansas. It was originally established in 1902 as part of the state’s Normal School system. Its rural campus encompasses over 200 acres of lecture halls, residential facilities, and its own Museum of Natural History.

Its student body of 15,908 makes it the third-largest university in its state.

  • BBA – Accounting

FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8  Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University campus

Indiana Wesleyan University, formerly known as Marion College, is a private university that was established in 1920. It was founded by the Wesleyan Church, and they have kept this affiliation after their name change.

Most of its 13,000 students are enrolled in long-distance programs rather than at their main suburban campus, which is located in Marion, Indiana.

  • Bachelor of Science with a major in Accounting

Indiana Wesleyan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#9  Northeastern University

Northeastern University campus

Dating back to 1898, Northeastern University is one of the most prestigious private universities on the East Coast. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, this university has over 27,000 students and high research activity.

It has been recognized as one of the top 30 universities in the country and as the 1st in Internship and Career Services.

  • Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management

Northeastern University

#10  Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University campus

Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is a public research-focused university. However, it was originally established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the private College of William and Mary.

After being acquired by the State in 1969, its student body grew to 25,000 students and is, therefore, one of the largest in the state of Virginia.

  • Accounting BSBA Online

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#11  Pennsylvania State University – World Campus

Pennsylvania State University campus

Often known as “Penn State,” the World Campus of the Pennsylvania State University is one of the highest-ranked long-distance learning initiatives in the country.

Although the university itself is over a century old, the World Campus was created in 1998 but now serves 13,411 students. Its main offices are located in University Park, Pennsylvania.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Penn State World Campus is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#12  Purdue University Global

Purdue University campus

Purdue University Global Campus is a division within Purdue University devoted to online learning. It was established in 2018, and it’s run by the same board of trustees as the public Purdue University.

Most of the content delivered in Purdue Global is done online, and they have a state-of-the-art system in place to ensure customized attention for their long-distance students.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Purdue Global is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#13  Regis University

Regis University campus

Regis University is a privately run Catholic University affiliated with a Jesuit Congregation. It was established in 1877 and was originally named Las Vegas Collage. Their main campus is located in Denver, Colorado, and encompasses 90 acres of academic buildings and libraries. They serve almost 9,000 students.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Regis University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#14  Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University campus

Established I 1889, St. Leo University is a private university affiliated with the Catholic Church. As it was originally founded by a group of clergymen trained by the Order of St Benedict, they have kept a strong commitment to hard work and charity from the very start. Their main campus is located in St Leo, Florida, where they serve 4,600 students.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#15  Southern Illinois University Carbondale

southern illinois university campus

Sometimes known as SIU, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is a public institution that dates back to 1869. The city of Carbondale houses its 1,133-acre campus, which is the oldest one in the Southern Illinois University System.

They currently serve over 11,695 students, most of them undergraduates from within the state.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

SIU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#16  SUNY Plattsburgh

suny plattsburg campus

The Plattsburgh campus of the State University of New York dates back to 1889, when it was founded as a Normal and Teacher Training School. Nowadays, this University is a public institution that owns a 300-acre campus. The overwhelming majority of their 5,704 students are undergraduates from nearby towns.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

SUNY Plattsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

#17  The University of Minnesota Crookston

university of minnesota crookston campus

The University of Minnesota at Crookston was originally established in 1966 as one of the five main campuses of the University of Minnesota system. It is based on a rural campus that offers over 108 acres of space for its 1,821 students, which include residences, research plots, and lecture halls.

Their student body encompasses people from 20 different countries.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

The University of Minnesota Crookston is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#18  Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University campus

Thomas Edison State University is a public but online-based public university. Its administrative offices are located in Trenton, New Jersey. However, their well-developed online platform serves mostly long-distance students.

This University was established in 1972 by the state’s board of education in order to serve adult learners.

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Accounting

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#19  University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Alabama Birmingham campus

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is based on the city of the same name, and it is a fully independent organization within the University of Alabama System. It was founded in 1969 to serve the central part of the state. It currently has over 21,000 students, and almost a third of them are pursuing graduate degrees.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#20  University of Mary

University of Mary campus

The University of Mary, located in Bismarck, North Dakota, is a private university affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded by the Order of St Benedict in 1959. In addition to their main campus, they also have foreign campuses and programs in Rome, Italy, and Arequipa, Peru. As of 2019, they had 3,802 students enrolled.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

The University of Mary is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#21  University of Maryland – University College

University of Maryland campus

The University College of the University of Maryland, also known as its Global Campus, is a long-distance division that was established in 2009. However, the University of Maryland itself dates back to 1847, and it’s a highly ranked public institution.

The College’s administrative offices are located in Adelphi, Maryland and serve approximately 47,000 students.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

University of Maryland University College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#22  University of Massachusetts Amherst

University of Massachusetts Amherst campus

The Amherst Campus of the University of Massachusetts (also known as UMass Amherst) is the flagship college of its state’s public university system. It was founded in 1863 as an Agricultural College.

Currently, they occupy a 1,400-acre urban campus that serves over 30,000 students. It also houses one of the Top 10 Varsity football teams in the country.

  • Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#23  University of Memphis Global

university of memphis campus

The University of Memphis Global is a public college based on Memphis, Tennessee, and devoted mostly towards long-distance learning. They are a part of the University of Memphis system, and its administrative offices are located within the main campus.

The university has a student body of over 17,000 students, most of them hailing from within the state of Tennessee.

  • Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

UofM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#24  University of Toledo

university of toledo campus

The publicly run University of Toledo was founded in 1872 in the city of Toledo, Ohio. It was originally established as a private trade school by Jesup Wakeman Scott, and the university later developed on the land grant he awarded.

Its urban campus encompasses over 813 acres, not including its Medical Sciences complex. It serves over 23,000 students.

  • Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting

The University of Toledo is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#25  Washington State University

Washington State University campus

Based in the town of Pullman, Washington State University was originally established in 1890 as an Agricultural Research Station.

Nowadays, they are a public university with a total enrollment of over 29,686 students. They are the second-largest public university in its state, as well as one of the oldest land grant universities in the country.

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting

Washington State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Is an Online Accounting Degree Worth It?

accountant working in a modern office

Yes, an online accounting degree is worth it. After graduation, you could be earning between $40,000 and $127,000 per year.

If you’re interested in a dependable job that focuses on facts and figures, then earning your bachelor of accounting online is a smart way to get started. This program of study can prepare you to work as an accountant, an auditor or a financial examiner.

Accounting professionals are in demand by individuals and organizations, so you may have your pick of employment settings throughout your working years.

Accounting can be a fulfilling, rewarding career. The sooner you start exploring the best business colleges and submitting applications, the sooner you’ll be able to graduate with your bachelor’s degree in accounting.

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