Education

Best Online Accounting Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Accounting programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

As an accounting graduate, you’ll become an expert in the gathering and interpretation of financial data, and the ways in which that data can affect a company. You’ll learn how companies can present their financial data to shareholders and potential investors. You’ll learn the ways in which taxes and regulations affect a company’s financial performance. You will be trained to speak authoritatively on the effects of business decisions—mergers and acquisitions, capital investments, executive compensation, etc.—on a company’s bottom line.

This specialization is not just for aspiring accountants. It’s useful for anyone who needs to measure a firm’s performance in order to evaluate past business decisions, accurately gauge current financial status, and determine the best course of action going forward. And, of course, these skills are needed in the government and non-profit worlds as well as in business.

The career outlook for those who specialize in accounting is bright. Whether you become an accountant, a consultant, a manager, or a financial advisor, you’ll be valued for your ability to conduct rigorous quantitative analysis of a product or firm.

How to Choose the Right Accounting Program

When it comes to choosing the right accounting degree program, there are a few key factors that prospective students need to keep in mind. The first is cost. Accounting degree programs can be expensive, so it is important to research the tuition rates of different schools before making a decision.

Another important factor to consider is the curriculum. Accounting degree programs typically require students to take a number of classes in accounting, finance, and economics. Prospective students should make sure that the program they choose offers the courses they need to take in order to meet their career goals.

Finally, students need to consider the location of the school. Many accounting firms recruit from specific schools, so it is important to choose a program that is located in an area where there are many opportunities for employment after graduation.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs

The best online programs for Accounting ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Seton Hill University
Greensburg, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Seton Hill University is a comprehensive degree designed to prepare students for a career in accounting. The curriculum provides a solid foundation in accounting principles and practices, as well as hands-on experience through an optional internship. Students in the program also have the opportunity to earn an MBA in Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination through the FastForward Bachelor’s to MBA Program.

Rank 2
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Pennsylvania State University is a comprehensive and diverse program that gives students an appreciation of how accounting intersects with other areas of business. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

Rank 3
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

The online Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Minnesota provides students with the theoretical and analytical frameworks required to work effectively in public, private, or governmental accounting. The program teaches students the fundamental and advanced techniques needed to assist future clients and firms with financial reports. Small class sizes help tailor the program to the flexibility of completing courses on-campus and online, with the ability to take certification examinations through campus.

Rank 4
Texas A & M University-Commerce
Commerce, TX

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree from Texas A & M University-Commerce is a four-year program that prepares students for careers in accounting. The program provides students with the skills necessary to sit for the CPA and CFA exams. The program includes foundation courses in math for business applications, principles of accounting, principles of management, and business computing systems, as well as core finance courses in global financial statement analysis, accounting information systems, and individual and corporate income tax accounting. The program is offered in a flexible format that meets the needs of working professionals, with classes available online, in person, or in a blended format.

Rank 5
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Whitewater, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a great choice for students who are detail-oriented, enjoy working with numbers, and have an aptitude for technology. Beyond the principles of accounting, students gain knowledge of tax law, financial and managerial accounting, cost management, auditing, accounting information systems and advanced applications of technology such as data analysis and visualization programs.

Rank 6
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Plattsburgh, NY

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from SUNY College at Plattsburgh is a web-based program that is designed to give students a strong foundation in accounting. The curriculum is taught by academically and professionally qualified faculty located at the SUNY Plattsburgh campus. The program has a smooth pathway for transferring credit and students can take advantage of the articulation agreement with SUNY Old Westbury to help them move seamlessly into their online M.S. in accounting program. The program also offers strong alumni networking opportunities and a robust internship program.

Rank 7
Champlain College
Burlington, VT

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Champlain College is designed for working adults who want to advance their career in the accounting field. The program is built around the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Core Competency Framework and emphasizes hands-on experience, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Rank 8
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of South Carolina is designed to prepare students for success in accounting-related fields. The program will teach students how to communicate clearly, work independently and in diverse groups, and solve problems from local to global levels. The program is also designed to help students prepare for the CPA exam.

Rank 9
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Arizona State University is a highly respected program that will prepare students for a career in accounting. The curriculum is designed to give students a solid foundation in the principles of accounting and to develop your critical thinking, communication, and information technology skills. Students will also have the opportunity to explore authentic business processes and strategies, including the latest software and technologies. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exams.

Rank 10
Utica College
Utica, NY

The Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree from Utica College is an online program that focuses on contemporary business issues and explores the effective application of managerial decision-making techniques in a variety of professional settings. The program also serves as a stepping stone to the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential. By completing both the B.B.A. in Accounting degree online and UC’s graduate accounting program, students can graduate with the 150-credit hour academic requirement to take the CPA exam and begin their career as a certified accountant.

Rank 11
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Aurora, CO

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Colorado State University-Global Campus is designed to prepare students for a career in accounting. The program covers topics such as accounting principles, financial statement analysis, risk management, and corporate finance. Students also have the opportunity to choose a specialization in areas such as organizational leadership, project management, or human resources. The program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Rank 12
Bemidji State University
Bemidji, MN

Bemidji State University’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting program is designed to give students the technical and theoretical knowledge needed to be an accountant. The program is offered both online and on-campus, and students have the option to focus on advanced accounting courses to prepare for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The program requires 120 credits for completion, and up to 88 credits can be transferred from a community college.

Rank 13
King University
Bristol, TN

The B.S. in Accounting program at King University provides a curriculum that follows a structured course schedule that builds knowledge from one class to the next. Through a cohort model, students will develop relationships and support systems with peers while guided by faculty with extensive accounting experience. The personal attention and support from instructors and staff allow students to flourish on their path towards the CPA exam.

Rank 14
Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree from Elizabethtown College’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies is designed to develop students into critical thinkers who can help shape the financial future of their organizations. The program emphasizes accounting and business principles, business ethics and law, and provides an international perspective. Students who wish to become CPAs can take additional courses to fulfill Pennsylvania’s 150-credit hour requirements.

Rank 15
Ball State University
Muncie, IN

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Ball State University is a comprehensive program that covers the fundamentals of accounting and related fields such as economics, business law, finance, management, marketing, operations, information systems, and more. The program emphasizes experiential learning, small class sizes, excellent faculty, and a clear pathway after graduation to move directly into a career or pursue graduate work.

Rank 16
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Saint Louis, MO

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Maryville University of Saint Louis is an online program that provides students with a comprehensive curriculum that covers topics such as financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and more. The program is flexible and can be completed in as little as two years. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to sit for the CPA exam and pursue a career in accounting.

Rank 17
Regis University
Denver, CO

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Regis University is a four-year program that provides students with a solid foundation in accounting principles and practices, as well as the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of interest. The program also offers the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) through a collaborative effort between the faculty of the Anderson College of Business and Computing. Students who complete the program will be prepared to take the CPA Exam.

Rank 18
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs, NC

The Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Gardner-Webb University provides students with a foundation in accounting principles and practices. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in accounting and to help them develop the quantitative and problem-solving skills necessary for success in the field. The program also emphasizes Christian ethics and provides opportunities for internships, networking, and business-related events.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Program

An online bachelor’s in accounting program typically requires 120 credits, including general education coursework and major classes. Students take classes in accounting, auditing, tax, and finance. They also learn about business law, ethics, and management.

Most programs include an internship, which gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the accounting field. Some schools also require a capstone course or project.

Accounting programs typically do not offer concentrations, but students may be able to choose electives that align with their specific interests. For example, some students may choose to take courses in auditing or tax if they plan to pursue a career in those areas.

Overall, accounting programs require students to have strong math skills and be detail-oriented. They should also be able to work independently and be self-motivated.

Common Accounting Courses

A typical accounting degree program will cover a broad range of topics related to business, finance, and economics. The courses below are just a few of the classes that students might take while working towards a bachelor’s in accounting.

Managerial Accounting

This course covers accounting concepts and their application to management decision-making. Topics include cost behavior, cost-volume-profit analysis, job order costing, process costing, variable costing, budgeting, standard costing, and activity-based costing. Emphasis is placed on the use of accounting information in managerial planning and control decisions. Upon completion, students should be able to apply managerial accounting concepts to business decision-making.

Calculus

This course covers the study of limits, continuity, derivatives, and integrals of functions of one variable. Topics include limits and continuity, derivatives of algebraic and transcendental functions, applications of derivatives, integrals of algebraic and transcendental functions, and applications of integrals. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the concepts of calculus to business and economic problems.

Accounting Information Systems

This course covers the use of accounting information systems in the accounting profession. Topics include the role of accounting information systems in the accounting cycle, manual and computer-based systems, system documentation, internal controls, and auditing. Upon completion, students should be able to apply accounting information systems knowledge to the solution of accounting problems.

Ethics for Accountants

This course covers ethical issues and decision-making in the accounting profession. Topics include the role of ethics in accounting, the impact of ethical issues on the profession, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the role of the accountant in society. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze ethical issues in the accounting profession and apply ethical decision-making models to accounting problems.

Macroeconomics

This course covers economic principles at the aggregate level. Topics include economic growth and development, inflation, unemployment, national income accounting, the monetary system, fiscal policy, and international trade and finance. Emphasis is placed on the role of government in a market economy and how economic policy is made. Upon completion, students should be able to analyze the impact of aggregate economic activity on business decision making and understand the role of government in the economy.

Career Options for Accounting Graduates

Graduates of accounting programs work in a variety of industries, including finance, business, and government. They may also work in fields such as auditing, tax preparation, and financial planning.

Accountant

Accountants are responsible for maintaining and examining financial records to ensure that they are accurate and compliant with laws and regulations. They may also prepare tax returns, perform audits, and provide consulting services to individuals and businesses. Many accountants work for accounting firms, but they can also work for businesses in a variety of industries, or they may be self-employed.

Auditor

Auditors are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s financial statements are accurate and comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). They do this by examining financial records, such as invoices, bank statements, and payroll records. Auditors may also interview employees and observe business operations to get a sense of whether internal controls are effective. Many auditors work for public accounting firms, but there is also a growing demand for auditors in the corporate world and in government.

Accounts Payable Manager

Accounts payable managers work in the accounting or finance department of a company and are responsible for the day-to-day management of accounts payable (AP). This can include processing invoices, issuing payments, reconciling accounts, and maintaining vendor relationships. Accounts payable managers often oversee a team of AP clerks or analysts and are responsible for ensuring that the AP department runs smoothly and efficiently.

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts are responsible for ensuring that an organization’s money is being spent in the most efficient way possible. They put together the organization’s budget and track actual spending to see where money can be saved. They also work with department heads to ensure that they are adhering to the budget. Budget analysts typically work in the government, for nonprofits, or in large corporations.

Controller

Controllers are responsible for the financial planning and record-keeping of a company. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies to ensure the long-term financial health of the organization. Controllers also oversee the work of accounting staff and ensure that the organization’s financial practices are in compliance with regulatory standards.

Insights From an Accounting Graduate

Emilio Todd is a Tax Accountant at KPMG. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern California. Emilio has over 3 years of experience in tax accounting.

ClimbtheLadder: How did you make the most of your Accounting degree program so that it prepared you for post-graduation jobs?

Emilio Todd: I made the most of my Accounting degree program by taking advantage of the career services offered by the university. I met with a career counselor who helped me fine-tune my resume and gave me advice on how to network effectively. I also participated in an internship program which allowed me to gain real-world experience in the accounting field.

ClimbtheLadder: What type of person is successful and thrives in an Accounting career?

Emilio Todd: A person who is successful and thrives in an accounting career is someone who is detail-oriented, can work independently, and is able to meet deadlines. In addition, it is helpful if you are able to communicate effectively and have strong problem-solving skills.

ClimbtheLadder: What was the most challenging course you took? What advice would you give to students who are about to start this course?

Emilio Todd: The most challenging course I took was tax accounting. The reason it was so challenging is because the tax code is constantly changing. You really have to stay on top of the latest changes in order to be successful.

My advice to students who are about to start this course is to be prepared to do a lot of research. You will need to be constantly reading and updating your knowledge in order to be successful.

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