Online Accounting Universities
Those who graduate with a certificate or degree in accounting may seek employment in the accounting or finance industry. Online accounting programs may provide students with the training and abilities required to be an underwriter, accountant, auditor, forensic actuary, or financial analyst.
Available Degree Levels
- Career Diploma: Varies
- Certificate: One to two years to complete
- Associate Degree: Two years to complete
- Bachelor’s Degree: Four years to complete
- Master’s Degree: One to two years to complete
- Doctoral Degree: Three to five years to complete
Online diploma programs in accounting may provide students with a strong foundation in general accounting principles. These programs are designed to teach students the basic accounting concepts, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, computerized accounting, and spreadsheets.
An online certificate in accounting may provide students with basic accounting skills or improve their overall knowledge of the industry, depending upon their level of experience. Students may learn how to apply basic accounting principles and practices, and how to interpret financial statements. Coursework may consist of financial and managerial accounting, federal taxation, working capital, and bookkeeping.
Online associate degree programs in accounting may provide the foundation for students to obtain entry-level employment, or to further their education by transferring credits into a bachelor’s degree program in accounting. These two-year programs include a majority of accounting credit hours as well as general education requirement hours. Coursework may cover payroll, accounting software programs, spreadsheets, and personal taxes.
Students interested in online bachelor’s degree programs in accounting may choose a basic accounting program or opt for one with a specific track, including CPA and forensic accounting. Those interested in the CPA track gain the knowledge needed to take the CPA exam, while those in the forensic accounting concentration prepare for the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) exam. Coursework in either program may include auditing, cost accounting, business law, investments, and accounting ethics. Additionally, some bachelor’s programs offer students an option to pursue a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification through the Institute of Management Accountants. Applicants must have worked for at least two years in management accounting, pass a two-part exam, comply with specific standards, and agree to continuing education requirements.
An online master’s degree in accounting may provide students the skills needed to seek employment in either the private or public accounting field. Students may take courses covering financial accounting, business taxation, global financial accounting, financial planning, and business ethics. Most master’s degree programs in accounting prepare students with the educational requirements needed to sit for the CPA exam.
Doctoral-level accounting programs focus on theory and research within the accounting industry. Areas of focus may include ethical theory, scholarly writing, strategic implementations, theoretical frameworks, and systems thinking.
Accounting programs may provide students with the skills needed to gain employment, but many students who wish to work in the accounting industry seek out internships before they sit for the CPA exam. Students may find these internships at business or public accounting firms, and some schools may allow students to receive course credit for the internship. Individuals may find employment performing a range of accounting-based tasks, including taxes, consulting, auditing, and accounting.
Possible career fields include:
- Financial Analyst
- Forensic Actuary