To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:
- Offer at least one degree or certificate in that subject online
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15
Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on six criteria, using the weights specified:
- In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 20%
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
- Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 10%
- Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded by the school in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 30%
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar programs that the school offers at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%
- Variety of degree levels, based on the number of degree and certificate levels out of a possible nine that the school offers in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014: 15%
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-6
- Accountants and Auditors, Similar Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm#tab-8
- Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm
- American Institute of CPAs, http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/GETTINGSTARTED/FREQUENTLYASKEDQUESTIONS/Pages/default.aspx
- Bachelor of Accountancy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Accountancy
- Budget Analysts, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm
- Campus & Online, Herzing College, https://www.herzing.edu/locations
- Colorado Technical University, http://www.coloradotech.edu/degrees/associate/accounting
- Dakota State University, http://dsu.edu/academics/distance-education/online-degrees
- Davenport University Accreditations, Davenport University, http://www.davenport.edu/college-health/accreditation
- Davenport University Fact Sheet, Davenport University, http://www.davenport.edu/system/files/2015-05-05%20-%20Fact%20Sheet%20%281%29.pdf
- Dickinson State University, http://dsublue.com/online-degrees/
- Florida Atlantic University College of Business, Florida Atlantic University, http://business.fau.edu/undergraduate/current-students/meet-the-advisors/index.aspx#.VplmW_krLIU
- Kennesaw State University, http://learnonline.kennesaw.edu/student-resources/online-courses.php
- Master of Accountancy, Golden Gate University, http://www.ggu.edu/programs/accounting/master-of-accountancy
- Northern State University, http://www.northern.edu/Online/Pages/programs.aspx
- Rutgers Business School, http://www.business.rutgers.edu/phd/programs/accounting
- Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/tax-examiners-and-collectors-and-revenue-agents.htm
- UMassAmherst, https://www.isenberg.umass.edu/programs/depts/accounting
- Undergraduate Degrees, Post University, http://www.post.edu/degrees-and-programs/online-programs/undergraduate-degrees
- Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Certified_Public_Accountant_Examination
- W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, https://wpcarey.asu.edu/masters-programs/accounting-taxation
- Associate of Science in Accounting Technology, Broward College, http://www.broward.edu/academics/programs/Program%20Sheet%20Library/2100.pdf
- Degrees and Certificates, Broward College, http://www.broward.edu/academics/online/Pages/Degrees-and-Certificates.aspx
- Online Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, Strayer University, http://www.strayer.edu/degree/bachelors-degree/accounting
- Accounting Degrees, Strayer University, http://www.strayer.edu/degrees/accounting
- Online Accounting Degree, Moraine Park Technical College, http://mptconline.morainepark.edu/online-college-programs/associate-online-degree-programs/online-accounting-degree/
- Online Accounting Courses, Moraine Park Technical College, http://mptconline.morainepark.edu/online-college-programs/associate-online-degree-programs/online-accounting-degree/online-accounting-courses/
- Online Learning, Georgia Piedmont Technical College, https://www.gptc.edu/content.cfm?PageCode=online
- Associate of Applied Science, Accounting, Georgia Piedmont Technical College General Catalog, page 69, https://www.gptc.edu/docs/catalog/2016-2017_GPTC_Catalog.pdf
- Accounting, National American University, http://www.national.edu/programs/college-of-business-accounting-and-technology/accounting/
- Accounting, Klamath Community College, https://www.klamathcc.edu/Academics/Programs/Accounting
- Accounting, Rasmussen College, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/accounting/
- The Associate's Degree in Accounting, University of the Potomac, https://potomac.edu/associate-degree/accounting/#tab-id-3
- Associate, Diploma and Certificate Programs, Haywood Community College, https://www.haywood.edu/distance-learning/fully-online-programs
- Accounting, Haywood Community College, https://www.haywood.edu/instruction/programs-of-study/accounting
- Accounting, Chattahoochee Technical College, http://www.chattahoocheetech.edu/accounting-2/
- Accounting Associate of Applied Science Degree, Chattahoochee Technical College, http://chattahoocheetech.smartcatalogiq.com/en/2016-2017-UPDATED/General-Catalog/Programs-of-Study/Accounting/Accounting-Associate-of-Applied-Science-Degree
- Online Accounting Bachelor's Degree, UMUC, Accessed July 2017 http://www.umuc.edu/academic-programs/bachelors-degrees/accounting-major.cfm
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting, Univerity of Albany, Accessed July 2017, http://www.albany.edu/business/school-of-business-undergraduate-accounting.php
- Sykes College of Business, The University of Tampa, http://www.ut.edu/accouting/topics/
- Become a CPA, American Institute of CPAs, Accessed July 2017, http://www.aicpa.org/BecomeACPA/FAQs/Pages/default.aspx
- Taking the Exam, IMA's CMA, Accessed July 2017, https://www.imanet.org/cma-certification/taking-the-exam?ssopc=1
- How to Become a CFE, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Accessed July 2017, http://www.acfe.com/become-cfe-qualifications.aspx
- States with Firm Mobility Map, AICPA, Accessed July 2017, http://www.aicpa.org/Advocacy/State/DownloadableDocuments/Firm-Mobility-Map.pdf
The world of business is built on numbers — a lot of numbers. Accountants are the professionals who crunch those numbers and use them to show performance, notice problems or make predictions. This means that accountants play an integral role in most companies and government agencies.
Students with a degree in accounting can find a wide range of jobs beyond basic bookkeeping. Many work as financial or budget analysts, financial advisers, cost estimators and auditors. Those who earn a certified public accountant (CPA) designation often have additional opportunities for advancement.
There are many types of degrees and specializations to consider when pursuing an education in the field of accounting. Online colleges in accounting, in particular, can provide a flexible and accessible way to attain a degree. On this page, you'll find:
- The best accredited online colleges for accounting
- An expert's view of this field of study
- A look at the different degree types
- Information about earning a CPA certification
- Career options for those with a degree in accounting
Best Online Colleges for Accounting in 2018
Students can earn accounting degrees from accredited universities anywhere in America without even leaving their homes. With so many choices, it's important to make a good decision, and to help you do so, we have created this list of the 10 best online colleges for accounting. We used data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and our unique methodology (details at the bottom of this page) to make this list. Furthermore, every school on this list has been accredited by a legitimate accrediting agency.
Moraine Park Technical College
Georgia Piedmont Technical College
National American University-Albuquerque
Klamath Community College
Rasmussen College-North Dakota
University of the Potomac-Washington, D.C.
Haywood Community College
Chattahoochee Technical College
who apply and meet the requirements ... will be eligible for additional education
benefits if they are unable to obtain employment within six months of graduation.
Accounting and Finance Department Chair
Accounting and Finance Department Chair
Q: What qualities make Davenport's online accounting major an outstanding program?
A: Our online accounting bachelor's degree was created to move seamlessly into our Masters of Accountancy. Students can specialize in Internal Auditing or Management Accounting within the accounting program. The Donald W. Maine College of Business also offers an additional degree in Accounting Fraud Investigation. Launched in 2014, all accounting students are eligible for the Employment Guarantee. Students who apply and meet the requirements of the Employment Guarantee program will be eligible for additional education benefits if they are unable to obtain employment within six months of graduation.
Q: What support does Davenport offer its online student body?
A: We offer a complete suite of student services that support our online students. These include:
- academic and financial aid advising
- career services for resume review, internship opportunities and job placement
- dedicated online library services for research and writing assistance
- wellness counseling for stress and life challenges
Q: How does the online accounting program differ from the on-campus program?
A: Just like on-campus options, all programs at the Global Campus of Davenport University meet the learning outcomes and objectives of the curriculum. Programs in the Donald W. Maine College of Business and College of Technology all require an internship or project-based field experience learning option. Students will be advised of states where internships may be limited due to state authorization policies.
Degree Overview: Accounting
The coursework assigned during degree programs in accounting, off- or on-campus, is designed to prepare students with knowledge of general business concepts and the intricacies of various accounting practices. Upon graduation, students should have a foundational understanding of how to conduct financial operations for an organization, how to use accounting software, and more.
Online Accounting Courses
Although accounting degree programs vary by institution, you will find that many of the major courses will be similar in nature. Most students working toward an online Bachelor of Accountancy degree will have to take accounting classes (of course), as well as some entry-level business courses and liberal arts classes to fulfill their core requirements. Some level of competency in multiple fields is important, since accounting often involves working with clients in many different industries.
A traditional accounting program may include subjects such as managerial accounting, budgeting, accounting systems, financial analysis, financial reporting, internal and external auditing, taxation and more. Sample accounting courses that may be required or offered as an elective may include:
- Financial accounting
- Managerial accounting
- Accounting information systems
Other course requirements in related business areas might include:
- Business communications
- Business law
Graduating with an online Bachelor of Accountancy degree can help you launch a career, but for those aspiring to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), upper-division schooling will usually be necessary. Since most states require a minimum of 150 credit hours to take the CPA exam, which is more than you'd earn in a bachelor's degree program, many accounting students go back to school to earn a master's degree in accounting, or an MBA with an accounting concentration.
Advanced degrees in accounting are usually aimed at preparing students to sit for the CPA exam. There will likely be many of the same courses you'd find in an online Bachelor of Accountancy program (since some master's students majored in other fields as undergraduates and need to learn those foundational accounting skills). However, for those with an accounting background looking to develop more technical skills, most programs offer ample electives and specialization areas devoted to topics such as auditing, taxation, and financial statement analysis.
Career-Related Skills to Develop
Pursuing a degree or advanced degree in accounting is a wise way to become exposed to marketable skills that can be applied in the workplace. Here are some of the most important skills to pay attention to during your program:
- Attention to detail: Accounting is all about the tiny numerical details. One misaligned number in a column could cause an entire organization to commit fraud by mistake; conversely, one seemingly insignificant number could be the clue that cracks a company-wide conspiracy.
- Ethics: Dealing with money, especially in large amounts, requires a strong sense of morality and ethics. Since accountants are basically the police of the financial world, it's vital that they hold themselves to that ethical standard in order to help keep the corporations of the world, both large and small, as honest as possible.
- Communication skills: In order to report their analyses and findings, accountants must file large amounts of paperwork and keep open lines of communication between themselves, their firms and their clients. Believe it or not, the job is not all being hunched over endless manila folders in a solitary office; communication skills are a vital part of an accountant's daily routine.
- Technological skills: Since records are mostly kept electronically, knowing how to work with the necessary tools and programs to access these records is one of the most important accounting skills to learn.
If you're interested in pursuing a career in accounting or a related field, you should consider earning an accounting certification. These credentials will open up many career doors, increase your income potential, and signify that you are recognized as a top professional in your field.
Here are three accounting certifications to consider:
CPA - Certified Public Accountant
The most well-known accounting certification, the path toward becoming a CPA is a long one. First, you must complete a program of study in accounting at a college or university, usually up to the master's level (since 150 semester hours are required, more than a typical bachelor's program provides). Then, you must pass the Uniform CPA Exam. Finally, you must obtain a certain number of professional work hours in public accounting (the required amount and type of experience varies by state) to be awarded your state's CPA license.
Under the CPA Mobility Act, most states allow a licensee to work across state lines for temporary projects or out-of-state clients, but if you move, you will likely need to apply for a new license. Check the AICPA's map to see which states have firm mobility.
CMA - Certified Management Accountant
For accounting pros who wish to focus on financial accounting and management, the Certified Management Accountant designation is a good one to pursue. It demonstrates that you are qualified to make strategic business decisions. In order to earn a CMA, you must have a college degree, two years of work experience, and completion of the Institute of Management Accountant's (IMA) two-part certification exam.
Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
If you're interested in a career investigating financial fraud, earning a CFE certificate is the way to go. To become a CFE, you must join the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), and pass the CFE Exam.
Accounting Career Outlook
The various careers related to accounting all have promising futures, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. Here are a few career options for students who are studying accounting.