Our 2021 ranking of the Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs will help you find the best online undergraduate accounting programs from the most prestigious business schools from around the country. Online bachelor’s degrees with majors in accounting give students a strong foundation in skills like communication, leadership, management, and critical thinking. This, combined with specific accounting skill sets, gives graduates the ability to communicate important mathematical information to stakeholders, understand investments, properly manage resources, and make confident decisions within the context of the business world. Every accounting degree in this list is highly respected and fully accredited.
Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs
Accounting professionals are a vital part of organizations across the globe. Accountants use their business expertise, exceptional math understanding, and communication skills to support companies through accurate financial record keeping, budgeting, analysis, and strategic decision making. Online accounting programs make it easy for those who have many responsibilities to complete their undergraduate degree and work towards the requirements for the CPA exam. Those who love numbers, work well with others, and give close attention to detail can benefit greatly from pursuing an Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs.
This ranking of the very best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs is a consensus ranking of distance-based bachelor’s programs in top business schools around the nation. We combined information from three leading ranking systems: Quacquarelli Symonds, U.S. News and World Report, and Times Higher Education. Each online bachelor’s ranking was converted to a score on a 100-point scale, weighted equally, and then averaged to find a Consensus Score. In the event of a tie, the base tuition of the Online Bachelor’s in Accounting was used as the tie-breaking factor.
University of MinnesotaCarlson School of Management
The University of Minnesota offers an online Bachelor’s in Accounting with start dates in spring, summer, and fall. Courses cover a variety of field-specific topics such as accounting systems, income tax, managerial finance, auditing, and business ethics. The program carries esteemed accreditation with the AACSB, and graduates have the ability to take certification exams through the campus to become a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, or Certified Internal Auditor. A certificate in taxation is also available for those who plan to become tax preparers. The degree takes 120 credit hours to finish, with 63 hours assigned to work within your chosen major. In addition to the program curriculum, UM students can also participate in four CPA review courses that are online and count toward college credits. The topics discussed within the review are regulation, financial reporting & accounting, auditing & attestation, and business environment & concepts.
Arizona State UniversityW.P. Carey School of Business
The W.P. Carey School of Business’ accounting program is ranked among the best in the nation by US News and Public Accounting Report. Their online option is well-respected and allows distance learners to participate in state of the art curriculum, advance their communication skills, gain information technology skills, and become experts in the accounting field. Arizona State’s accountancy program focuses on helping students gain experience that is easily applied to real-world scenarios. This degree is accredited by the AACSB and includes preparation for CPA and CMA exams. A few of the courses within the curriculum are Managerial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Business Statistics, External Reporting, and Taxes & Business Decision Making. Computer Information Systems courses are a vital part of this degree. The CIS courses are specifically designed for accounting majors, giving them the advantage of being up to date on the latest tech trends for their field.
Northeastern UniversityCollege of Professional Studies
Northeastern University students can earn an online Bachelor’s of Science in Finance and Accounting Management through the College of Professional Studies. Students can begin their learning in fall, winter, or summer terms. This AACSB accredited program gives participants a well-rounded knowledge of key topics like technology, globalization, sustainability, finance, accounting, and more. Students also learn practical skills such as interpreting financial statements, maximizing investments, leveraging assets, and creating & managing budgets. These skills are learned through many experiential learning opportunities that are integrated throughout the program. On average, students receive about $10,200 in financial aid towards their degree expenses, and many receive up to $10,000 in scholarships as well. Graduates of this top-notch program are prepared for a variety of positions in the fields of bookkeeping, real estate appraisal, financial specialist, accounting, loan officers, and insurance underwriting. Northeastern students benefit from an extensive partnership network of more than 3,300 companies. These connections are in the United States and across the world.
University of ArizonaEller College of Management
Online students can earn one of the top Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs through the Eller College of Management. Students can choose to pursue this online Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting degree on a full-time or part-time basis. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, making anytime a great time to start working towards your degree. All participants of the Eller business program begin their journey by completing business prerequisite courses such as Calculus, Economics, Business Analytics, Management Information Systems, and Business Communications. Students then apply for Professional Admission. At this point, Accounting participants will complete classes like Intermediate Financial Accounting, Information & Quality Assurance, Intermediate Financial Accounting, and Federal Taxation. The Accounting emphasis is a nine-unit program that is completed during one summer. Admissions are competitive and require that students have a minimum of 3.0 GPA in prior coursework to apply. The priority application deadline is mid-March each year.
Temple UniversityFox School of Business
The Fox School of Business at Temple University includes an Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Program. The Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting degree is 124 credits and covers general education, as well as profession-specific topics that help prepare students for professional certifications or a Master’s of Accountancy. Classes discuss auditing techniques, accounting information systems, data analytics for accounting, cost analysis and control, taxation, and financial accounting & reporting. Students involved in the distance learning format of this degree are taught by the same world-class faculty and have access to the same career development resources as those in the on-campus programs. Online learners can begin their studies in the fall or spring semesters. Semesters can either be 15 weeks in length or taken in an accelerated format with six or seven-week sessions. The online platform allows students to watch lectures and submit assignments online on their own schedule. WebEx conferencing keeps students and professors connected through weekly live chats.
Washington State UniversityCarson College of Business
The Bachelor’s of Arts in Business Administration at Washington State includes a major in accounting. This degree was voted among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in the nation for 2020. The degree is AACSB accredited, fully online, and offers start dates in spring, summer, or fall. The Accounting major is one of only seven prestigiously accredited AACSB programs in the Pacific Northwest. Upper-division courses for this program are completed in seven-week terms. This format allows students to finish four courses during a traditional 16 week semester. A few of the classes included in this dynamic degree are International Business, Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Auditing, and International Business. Carson College of Business students must complete an international experience requirement. This can be done through international internships, study abroad opportunities, or approved coursework. WSU business students gain a wide base of academic business knowledge, the ability to practice those skills, and opportunities to apply them in real-life accounting situations.
Three University of Colorado locations come together to offer CU Online’s Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. Business theory and experiential learning are woven together in a convenient distance-learning format. The faculty and curriculum are the same high quality as on-campus options and still uphold the same AACSB accreditation. A few of the central learning goals of this top-rated program are effective communication, business technology, ethical practice, critical thinking, and international perspectives. Accounting majors will dive deep into intermediate financial accounting, federal income tax, and auditing theory. Colorado University online students are supported by CU Online Navigators. These distance learning advisors assist with admissions, financial aid, graduation requirements, and everything in between. Online learners also have access to 24-hour-a-day library support, daytime and evening virtual writing consultations, a student technology guide, an easy to use platform, disability resources, and specialized veterans student services.
University of AlabamaCulverhouse College of Business
UA’s Culverhouse College of Business offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in Commerce and Business Administration with a focus in Accounting. This distance program carries elite accreditation from the AACSB and is ranked #44 on US News’s list of the Best Undergraduate Business Degree Programs in the nation. Students can apply for admission in the fall, spring, or summer and will appreciate the variety of business content covered within this four-year degree. All students in the Commerce and Business Administration program complete relevant courses like Organizational Theory and Behavior, Business Communications, Marketing, Introduction to Operations Management, and Business Finance. Those in the Accounting emphasis will also take Managerial Accounting Decisions and Cost Analysis for Planning and Control. The University of Alabama staff are prepared and ready to help distance learners in terms of financial aid. There are also several scholarships and grants specifically designated for online learners.
University of South FloridaMuma College of Business
Online learners at the University of South Florida receive the same access as on-campus students to Muma College of Business faculty and resources. The School’s Bachelor’s in Accounting is flexible, completely online, and accredited by the AACSB. Business foundations courses set students up for success with courses such as Principles of Financial Accounting, Business Workplace Skills & Best Practices, Business and Economics Statistics, and Principles of Finance. Accounting students are required to earn a minimum of a C in Principles of Financial Accounting and Principles of Managerial Accounting. Students can expect to graduate with a body of business and accounting knowledge that will prepare them for positions within the government sector, non-profit organizations, and public accountancy. Many participants also choose to move on to completing their CPA or other professional certifications. Recent graduates of the Muma College of Business’ Accounting program have been hired by top companies like Lockheed Martin, Metlife, Verizon, and Coca Cola Enterprises.
University of Massachusetts AmherstIsenberg School of Management
The curriculum for the Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting program at UM Amherst is AACSB accredited and available in a fully online format. US News recently listed this well-rounded business degree #1 on their Public Undergraduate Programs in the Northeast ranking. Courses like Financial Reporting, Managerial Accounting, Taxation, and Information Systems prepare students for a range of responsibilities within the field of auditing, accounting, taxes, and consulting. Distance learners receive the same personalized assistance while earning their degree as traditional students. Academic advisors lead program participants through choosing what classes to take each semester and making sure that they are on track for graduation. There are five accounting specific campus organizations that are a great resource for connection. These include the Financial Accounting Standards Board, Governmental Accounting Standards Board, Massachusetts Society of CPAs, International Accounting Standards Board, and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
University of ArkansasSam M. Walton College of Business
Offered at the University of Arkansas is a top Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Program. The Walton College of Business carries esteemed AACSB accreditation and was recently recognized among the Top 30 Public Business Schools in the Nation by US News and World Report. Their online bachelor’s degrees are mentioned among the best as well. This type of recognition assures students that even if they are learning from a distance platform, they will receive the best education possible. University of Arkansas students can earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting completely online. This BSBA degree is a great fit for students who are changing careers or working to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. All students participate in a well-rounded business core. A few of the classes include Principles of Economics, Accounting Principles, Survey of Calculus, Data Analysis & Interpretation, and Business Applications Knowledge. Classes follow a traditional 15-week format with built-in flexibility to turn in assignments around work and life responsibilities.
University of Massachusetts DartmouthCharlton College of Business
Accounting students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth come away with an AACSB accredited degree that can be completed completely online. Participants of this distance program will learn about important accounting topics like cost accounting, auditing, financial statement analysis, government & non-profit accounting, and taxation. UMassD’s business degree is ranked within the top 200 Best Undergraduate Business Programs in the nation by US News and World Report. The Accounting Degree Review also places the Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting within the Top 10 Undergraduate Accounting Programs in Massachusetts. All classes are taught by the same high-quality faculty as on-campus courses. Distance learners also benefit from personal advising, free tutoring and writing center, and easy transfer policies. The base accounting program prepares students for the CPA exam; however, CPA certification requires an additional 30 credits of coursework. The Charlton College of Business offers an MBA or MS in Accounting to meet those requirements.
Colorado State UniversityCollege of Business
The Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration at Colorado State University includes a comprehensive Accounting concentration. This BSBA program is designed for students who have completed their associate’s degree in business and is delivered in a hybrid format, which includes on-campus days at the Sturm Collaboration Campus in Castle Rock, Colorado. Students who complete this AACSB accredited degree will be eligible to sit for the Uniform CPA exam. The curriculum covers a comprehensive mix of accounting and business courses. A few of the classes include Auditing Practices, Introduction to Taxation, Intermediate Accounting, Foundations of Sustainable Enterprise, Supply Chain Management, and Contemporary Management Principles. To apply, prospective students must have an AA in Business from Colorado Community College, grades of B- or better in Calculus, Microeconomics, and ACT 210/220. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on at least 15 graded, college-level credits is also required. Students can easily apply online to start learning in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
Auburn UniversityRaymond J. Harbert College of Business
Students of Auburn University can complete an AACSB accredited Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting online through the Harbert College of Business. On-campus classrooms are equipped with smart technology making it possible for students to have access to instruction and materials that are just the same as their traditional format peers. In order to apply to this five-semester, program applicants must have previously completed a minimum of lower-level coursework. These classes include but are not limited to Principles of Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Principles of Finance, and Business Analytics. Once admitted into the program, students will explore the upper-level topics of intermediate accounting, cost accounting, income tax, accounting analytics, and auditing and assurance services. Online students are assigned academic advisors just as on-campus students. This makes sure that there is always someone to reach out to for questions and concerns about course load or anything specific to the online learning platform.
Old Dominion UniversityStrome College of Business
Students who have already completed the required prerequisite courses can complete a top Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Program through the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University. This online BSBA in Accounting program is AACSB accredited and listed within the top 200 on US News’s list of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs. A few of the accounting-specific courses that are included in the curriculum are Managerial Accounting, Taxation of Individuals, Essentials of Financial Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, and Taxation of Business Entities. The program has a unique partnership with the Virginia Community College System and other select institutions, which includes a Guaranteed Admissions Agreement. This collaboration makes transferring and beginning the undergraduate business program at Old Dominion simple and easy. Students are supported well in online learning at OD: One on one conferences can be scheduled with professors during virtual office hours, peers can be reached through web conferencing and emails, assignments are submitted through easy to navigate platforms like Blackboard, and most tests can be taken online using a focus-only web blocker.
Florida Atlantic UniversityCollege of Business
FAU’s College of Business offers junior and senior-level courses that allow students to complete their Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Accounting fully online. This degree prepares students for many aspects of an accounting career, including taking the CPA exam or completing certifications such as CIA, CISA, CFE, CGFM, or CMA. Several of the learning objectives for this program are identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information, auditing financial records, preparing tax returns and filing financial reports, and maintaining compliance with government regulations. Students will dive deep into the subject of accounting through relevant classes like Government & Nonprofit Accounting, Taxation, Cost Accounting, Auditing & Assurance Services, and Intermediate Theory. The Center for eLearning at Florida Atlantic provides distance learners with a wide range of support services such as online tutoring, career services, disability access, library services, and more. E-Success Consultations can be scheduled as an additional tool for online learning support. This unique service helps students create an action plan using research-based academic success practices and their own personally identified strengths.
University of ToledoCollege of Business and Innovation
Participants of the University of Toledo’s online Bachelor’s of Business Administration can choose to major in Accounting. This well thought out degree is AACSB accredited and prepares students for exams in Certified Management Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, and Certified Internal Auditor. Courses are varied and cover the subjects of management accounting, financial accounting, accounting systems, taxation, and auditing. Many of the classes are certified by Quality Matters, which means that they follow a nationally-recognized set of standards for design, structure, and delivery. University of Toledo distance learners are taught by the same faculty as on-campus students. They also benefit from accessible technical support teams, library services, user-friendly software, and tutoring through Ohio eTutoring Collaborative. Many online learners are on a strict budget. The University offers special financial aid and scholarships for 100% online students. Those who attend as freshmen are eligible for a tuition guarantee, which locks in tuition rates for all four years.
University of LouisvilleCollege of Business
The BSBA in Accounting offered through the College of Business at the University of Louisville is 100% online and accredited by the AACSB. US News recently listed this top-notch program within the top 100 on their ranking of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs. Students will complete 120 credit hours total, with 42 assigned to accounting courses and electives. A few of the accounting core courses include Introduction to Taxation, Intermediate Accounting, Auditing Theory & Practice, Managerial Cost Accounting, and Introduction to Accounting Information Systems. All classes are delivered in an asynchronous format that allows participants to complete assignments on their own schedule. Technology plays a critical role in today’s business and accounting world. Because of this, the curriculum includes components that develop skills in the latest technology resources such as Tableau, Microsoft Office, tax accounting databases, and more. Those who have already finished an undergraduate degree in another field can complete an online Certificate in Accounting in just three to four semesters.
University of Alabama at BirminghamCollat School of Business
The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting is not only AACSB accredited but also endorsed by the Institute of Management Accountants for meeting strict standards that enable students to pursue CMA credentials. Students can begin their studies easily with three start dates per year and are supported through a 24/7 technical help desk. The curriculum covers many facets of accounting, such as internal auditing, cost accounting, financial accounting, income taxations, and operations management. The degree culminates with a comprehensive Accounting Capstone course. Career preparation is vital to any program and can sometimes be missing from online options. At UAB distance, learners can connect with Career and Professional Development Services for resume support, job search tips, interview preparation, and networking opportunities. Graduates will be prepared for positions as budget analysts, staff accountants, cost estimators, tax reviewers, staff auditors, and more. Those who plan to complete exams for CPA, CMA, CIA, or CFE will have a solid foundation to build upon.
University of MemphisFogelman College of Business & Economics
The University of Memphis offers a top-notch Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Program. Their Fogelman College of Business and Economics is the only business college in the Memphis area that carries full accreditation with the AACSB. Their undergraduate business degrees are ranked within the top 150 on US News’s list of the Best Undergraduate Business Programs in America. The School of Accountancy includes a distance Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a major in Accounting. Graduates of this degree can expect to have obtained skills related to accounting as it pertains to technological competencies, critical thinking, problem-solving, functional support of organizations, utilizing communication skills to deliver data, and more. These foundational skills set the stage for preparation for the CPA exam. The University of Memphis utilizes UofM Global to bring the on-campus learning experience to students all around the world. Most classes follow a semester-based asynchronous schedule, which makes learning adaptable to any lifestyle. Distance learners are supported through academic advisors, technology support, library access, career services, and more.
University of WyomingCollege of Business
Online students at the University of Wyoming can earn an accredited Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting. This degree is a 100% distance learning program that is self-paced, making it great for those looking for part-time learning options. In order to participate, students must have completed a set of requirements through a community college or other institution of higher learning. Prospective students must also meet the requirements for Advanced Business Standing. These include a 2.5 GPA, 60 hours earned or Junior class standing, and the completion of ten prerequisite courses. Several of the required classes are Principles of Accounting, Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Communications, and Principles of Statistics. Once these requirements are met, students can meet with a UW advisor to make sure that they are ready to begin the online Accounting program. Courses are rigorous and cover relevant topics like auditing, taxes, cost accounting, accounting information systems, and more.
Southern Illinois University CarbondaleCollege of Business
Distance learners can finish their Junior and Senior requirements through Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s BA in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. SIU is Illinois only public university to offer an AACSB accredited online accounting option that qualifies students to sit for the CPA exam. This fast-paced program includes 20 courses that run in eight week semesters. This allows students to focus on only two classes at a time while still completing four courses per semester. Those who work full-time or have many responsibilities can also choose to take one class at a time, making this a very accessible program for students at any stage of life. Enrollment is available on a rolling basis, so students can begin their studies during any semester. A few of the classes included in the curriculum are Intermediate Accounting, Cost Accounting, Accounting Systems Operations, Business Ethics, and Advanced Tax.
University of Arkansas at Little RockCollege of Business
Students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock can earn an online Bachelor’s of Business Administration in accounting. This 120-hour program carries esteemed accreditation with the AACSB and meets all of the requirements necessary to sit for the Arkansas CPA exam. Students will complete a set of general business courses, professional business studies courses, and accounting specific courses. The accounting courses are comprehensive and include Intermediate Financial Accounting, Federal Taxation, Intermediate Cost and Managerial Accounting, Accounting Issues, Advanced Financial Accounting, and more. Students who are declared in approved online programs can stress less about paying for their degree. Many online learners at UA Little Rock receive reduced tuition rates with no additional fees. There are also payment plans, financial aid packages, and scholarship opportunities. Distance learners can connect with professors or academic advisors easily through email or during virtual office hours. The Ottenheimer Library, technical support teams, academic specialists, and easy to use Blackboard platform make it easy for students to ask questions and complete assignments.
University of South DakotaBeacom School of Business
An online BBA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting is available through the Beacom School of Business within the University of South Dakota. Busy professionals will appreciate the program’s flexibility and broad curriculum. Before entering into their major business, students must complete a Pre-Major Business Core. This includes Principles of Accounting, Survey of Business, Business Statistics, Principles of Microeconomics, and Principles of Macroeconomics. A minimum of 2.5 GPA is needed for consideration. Once accepted, students then move onto the business core and School of Business Electives. A few of the expected learning outcomes for this program are the ability to demonstrate knowledge of basic business disciplines and their role in a global economy, employ critical thinking skills & analyze business decisions, communicate effectively & professionally, and recognize the importance of ethics in business. The Beacom School of Business awards more than $400,000 in awards and scholarships each year. Many of these are designated for the Accounting and Finance Division.
Indiana State UniversityScott College of Business
The Scott College of Business at Indiana State University includes an online Bachelor’s in Accounting degree program. This program is perfect for the undergraduate student preparing for a career as a CPA, as well as those looking to pursue a master’s degree. Classes for this AACSB accredited online program are focused on the use of information to intentionally lead an organization. Students will study how to plan, control, and evaluate the activities of today’s global organizations. The Scott College of Business provides courses steeped in hands-on experiences to prepare students for exciting accounting careers in every sector. Courses in this 120 credit hour program include Business Information Tools, Introduction to Business Forecasting & Analytics, Accounting Systems, Auditing Theory and Practice, Cost Accounting, and Introduction to Management Information Systems. This accounting bachelor’s program also allows for students to choose between a full-time and a part-time schedule, as well as a minor among the following choices: finance, forensic accounting, and insurance and risk management.
What are some of the responsibilities of accountants?
Accountants wear many hats depending on the company or organization that they work for. One of the important jobs that many financial advisors carry is overseeing compliance with tax and regulatory requirements. These requirements are imperative to operating within the legal systems of today’s complex business environments. The financial information that accountants develop is also used to calculate growth and loss reports that can then be communicated and used as a measure of success. Well organized financial reports make it easy for corporations big and small to make informed decisions that affect their bottom line. Technology, markets, and strategy are constantly changing, but good financial data keeps business organizations on track.
Many accountants also assist top professionals such as directors, CEO’s, and CFO’s in creating actionable financial goals. These may include short-term or quarterly goals or long-term plans for the organization’s overall performance. Earning an online bachelor’s degree in accounting can open doors to many opportunities.
What is the job outlook for accountants?
The world of business is constantly evolving. This is due to many factors, including economic growth, technological innovation, and globalization. Because of this, the need for accountants and auditors has grown immensely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for accountants and auditors is projected to rise four percent from 2019 to 2029. The median salary for these positions is $71,550.
Accountants and auditors are needed in a variety of fields and industries. Government accountants can find positions at the local, state, or federal level. Managerial accountants specialize in creating financial plans for business decision making. This can include small businesses or large organizations. Public accountants can find positions in auditing, taxes, general accounting, or consulting. They often work with a broad client base ranging from corporations to non-profit organizations.
What level of education do I need to get a job?
For many positions, a bachelor’s degree is all that is needed. Job requirements will vary based on the industry and the position’s level within an organization. As with most fields, those who have goals of upper-level positions may want to begin working towards their master’s degree. An MBA with a concentration in Accounting or Master’s of Accounting make excellent options. Several of the programs on this list offer graduate degrees as well.
Do students have to take the CPA exam in order to find employment?
According to AICPA.org, all Certified Public Accountants are accountants, but not all accountants are required to be CPA’s. Passing the Uniform CPA Exam is indisputably an advantage when it comes to standing out in the accounting world. Initially, the pay for those with CPA distinction is similar to general accountants. However, those who have put in the time and effort to obtain certification are often applying for and qualify for advanced positions. Accounting Today states that “…the average salary for senior CPA’s with over 20 years of experience could command an average of $150,000 annually.”
What are the requirements to become a CPA?
It is a long and rigorous process to become a Certified Public Accountant. The first step towards certification is completing a respected undergraduate accounting degree, such as one of the top Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs in this list. The AICPA recommends a minimum of 150 credit hours of coursework. The majority of undergraduate degrees are 120 credit hours. Those who choose a degree that does not initially meet 150 credit hours always have the option to begin working towards their master’s, look for certifications that count for college credit, or possibly double major. Master’s of Business Administration, Master’s of Accountancy, or Master’s of Taxation are all advisable options for those who choose graduate work as their method of earning additional hours.
After educational requirements are met, the next step is to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam. Eligibility to take the exam is decided by the state board of accountancy in 55 US jurisdictions, which include all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, District of Columbia, Guam, and The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands. Prospective test-takers can find specific information for their area at AICPA.org. Once the exam is passed, certification is given. However, this is not the same as a license to practice. Each state has its own requirements for licensure as well, but all include annual education or professional development to maintain your license.
Outside of education, what skills should I have to become an accountant or CPA?
An extensive understanding of mathematical concepts is just the beginning of becoming a great accountant. Successful accountants will have strong communication skills. This includes the ability to present information in an easy to understand way, discuss important topics both formally and in casual settings, written communication methods, and the ability to build rapport with coworkers. Accountants should also have the drive to continue learning. New methods and technologies emerge constantly. Those in trusted decision-making circles must be up to date on top trends like workflow technology, eCommerce, or image processing. Familiarity with accounting software, databases, spreadsheets, presentation software, and internet trends is essential for success. Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are an obvious benefit to those in the field of accounting. Finding creative solutions while remaining ethical is one of the most important aspects of a financial advisor’s job. Accountants and CPAs can choose to work in an array of positions. Having top-notch customer service skills and a client-focused approach is something that will benefit both customers and employers. Project management skills are also vitally important. Accountants must be able to juggle multiple projects, meetings, and presentations at a time.
If you are thinking about entering into the field of accounting, a great first step would be to choose your budget and see what schools on this ranking fit within your desired price point. Remember that there are many options for financial aid, grants, and scholarships as well. After you have narrowed down your top choices, schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to see which of the accounting programs is the best match for your needs. Remember to account for flexibility, timeline, and the level of peer interactions that will help you find the most success. Next, choose your university and apply to start making your goals happen!