Today’s financially driven world often demands the skills and flexibility of the best accounts, whose expertise in bookkeeping enables CEOs and other executive managers to smartly funnel their monetary resources in a way that improves a company’s bottom line. Information technology has made accounting a lithe and powerful profession, creating consistent openings in jobs across the United States and the world. Accredited online business, finance, and accounting schools – which are similar to their traditional on-campus counterparts – extend flexibility and opportunity to people who have an interest in the sector. In fact, online programs make advancement possible while a student continues to work in the fast pace of business.
Types of Accredited Online Accounting Degrees
Accounting is a wide field of study and is one of the oldest financial occupations on earth. Because accurate finance information is integral to running any business, accounting specialists work in virtually all industries where profit and loss are the only universals. Finance and accounting professionals may specialize by industry or by types of clients, and individuals with a penchant for mathematical analysis tend to enjoy accounting careers for corporations where monetary flow is dependent on a network of divisions and clients.
Degree options specific to United States accounting include:
- The Bachelors Degree (B.S./B.A. in Accounting)
As the first crucial step in attaining entry to the finance and accounting field, the B.S./B.A. degree takes from three to five years to complete depending upon previously completed studies and the student’s timeline in place to complete courses. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree allows students to apply for a variety of entry-level roles as junior accountants, financial analysts, or accounting clerks. Many graduates take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam to bolster their credentials.
Nationally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), Kaplan University’s School of Business and Management offers the Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. A graduate holding a bachelor’s degree may then sit for the Certified Public Accounting exam (the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination) offered by the AICPA. As the most recognized financial credential in the U.S., the student must hold a bachelor’s degree, or 150 undergraduate credit hours in order to register for the two-day examination.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46 out of the 50 United States determined that candidates for the CPA must complete 150 college credit hours. Only CPAs may attest to the accuracy of financial opinions and statements in the U.S. Kaplan’s program bachelor’s degree in accounting offers both general education and finance or accounting courses. As an accredited online program, students must take both general education and program-specific courses.
Regionally accredited by the State of Connecticut and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Post University Business School’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree is completed by most students in four to five years. (One hundred percent of bachelor candidates in the program completed the study course within this period, according to the school). Additionally, Post University’s Business School is a candidate for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).
- The Master of Business Administration (M.S./M.B.A. in Accounting)
An advanced degree such as the M.S./M.B.A. in Accounting may assist candidates in ultimately achieving executive level finance and accounting posts, such as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). CFOs sometimes rise to the position of President or Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a company, institution, or organization – growth is dependent on a person’s interests. Some accredited online colleges offer a combined bachelor and master degree program. A master of business administration or accounting isn’t required in order to sit for the CPA exam.
After earning a traditional or online bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, completion of an online master’s program may support a student’s success in the job market. Graduates compete for careers in risk management, auditing, management consultation, corporate accountancy, government and non-profit organizations, tax, banking, and financial services.
The Master of Science in Accounting is offered online by Benedictine University. According to the University’s website, the program helps students prepare for the Certified Public Accountant exam, the Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.), and Certified Internal Auditor (C.I.A.) examinations. These elite financial designations distinguish job market candidates seeking accounting, finance, and auditor roles. ”U.S. News & World Report” ranks Benedictine University as number 37 out of 140 Best Universities — Master’s Programs in the central United States. In 2008 the publication ranked Benedictine University as a top Midwestern school, ranking it sixth in the state of Illinois and 13th throughout the Midwest.
Also, New England College’s online Master of Science in Accounting allows students to add accounting depth to an undergraduate accounting or related degree. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges regionally accredit New England College.
The Benefits of an Accredited Online Accounting Degree
Earning an accounting degree offered from an accredited online education institution helps students in a variety of ways. Life moves quickly, and an online program enables the disciplined student to attend class at times whenever they wish. Attending to the needs of career, family, and school may prevent otherwise motivated students from enrolling and completing a valuable program of study. Graduating from an online school demonstrates the individual’s ability to multi-task and speaks to their personal creativity and dedication.