Accounting is one of the most in-demand professions today. It not only pays well but it’s also versatile. That explains why many accountants are moving up the ladder into top-level management in different corporations.
To meet demand, online accounting classes are becoming more common. From full-time undergraduate degrees to part-time master’s programs, there’s something for everyone.
While it may sound simple, concentrating on your education on top of other commitments like work and family is a daunting task. That’s why you need to choose a good accounting program that can fit into your schedule and help you achieve your goals.
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Choosing a Good Online Accounting Program
What Skills Will I Acquire from an Online Accounting Program?
Just like regular programs, online accounting classes cover basic accounting principles including taxation, auditing, cost management, cost analysis, income tax preparation, and financial management.
With an online bachelor’s accounting degree, you will be prepared for a lot of entry-level jobs to kick-start your career.
Will Online Accounting Classes Work with My Schedule?
Online programs are more flexible than traditional learning. You can save or download lectures and course readings, submit assignments online, communicate with your instructor more efficiently, and schedule when you can comfortably take exams.
With the current technology, you can study anywhere using your tablet, laptop, or smartphone. Additionally, most online classes are completed faster than traditional learning programs.
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What Career Can I Pursue After My Online Accounting Program?
With a certificate or bachelor’s degree in accounting, you can pursue a career as a general public accountant, serving a wide range of organizational and individual clients.
If you have a strong background in business and finance, you may want to lean more towards management accounting. And if you have proficient analytical skills and a keen eye for detail, you can choose to become an auditor.
What Are the Important Accreditations to Look Out for?
One of the most important things to look for in an online accounting program is the accreditation of the institution. Accreditation shows that the quality of education offered is topnotch and the curriculum is issued by professional education agencies and industry peer groups.
It is also a designation that ensures your online program is thoroughly vetted and approved by attaining accepted levels in the industry.
For accounting programs, there are specific credentials to look out for including the Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Council for Higher Education (CHEA), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
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What Are the Best Online Accounting Classes?
Choosing an online program is a very personal decision. You need to carefully evaluate whether a school’s strength and objectives match your educational needs.
If you are thinking of becoming an accountant and would like to pursue your education online, here are the best 7 online accounting classes to consider.
7 Best Online Accounting Classes
1. Penn State World Campus
The Penn State University is a public research university that was founded in 1855. It is known as one of the first schools to have correspondence courses and online programs.
Their online faculty includes the same instructors who teach at the university. This means that online students will receive quality education by a proficient faculty that is well-endorsed in their respective fields.
The Penn World Campus offers a number of accounting classes including an Accredited Accounting Graduate certificate (AACSB), a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree, Corporate Accounting Foundation certificate, as well as a Master of Professional Accounting degree (MPAcc).
These programs are suitable for students pursuing a Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) course and other similar certifications like the Chartered Global Management Accountancy (CGMA), Certified Internal Auditing (CIA), Certified Fraud Examining (CFE), and Certified Management Accountancy (CMA).
These accounting programs are designed to help you understand the different fundamental accounting principles, communicate effectively, think critically, and evaluate decisions in the general business world.
You will have the support and flexibility needed to complete and pass your specific program. You will need to complete 120 credit hours for the bachelor’s degree and 150 credit hours for the master’s degree.
At Penn State University, you can start with a graduate certificate and work your way up to the master’s program without the hassle of changing schools. The campus is AACSB-accredited.
2. University of Massachusetts Amherst
This university is located 90 miles north of Boston in the picturesque Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts. Founded in 1863, UMass Amherst is the largest education institution in New England. It is also known to be one of the best research universities in the country – ranked third after Harvard and MIT in terms of research grants.
With over 29,000 students enrolled in the graduate and undergraduate programs, you can be assured of quality education here. Even better, you can get this quality education at the comfort of your home. The online classes have 24/7 technical support and will offer you the opportunity to share ideas and network with others in the same field.
UMass’ Isenberg School of Management offers top-of-the-line online accounting programs. Online students are issued the same curriculum as regular students. The Bachelor’s in Accounting program consists of 9 accounting majors, 11 business courses, 12 general education courses, and 21 non-business courses.
The demanding curriculum will give you well-rounded skills and knowledge that will come in handy in your accounting profession. Most online students in UMass Amherst are already professionals who are looking to improve or change their career paths.
Isenberg’s AACSB-accredited accounting classes will offer you the much-needed freedom and flexibility.
3. University of Alabama, Birmingham
Opened in 1859, the University of Alabama is one of the first institutions of higher education in the state. It is one of the top online colleges on the basis of quality education and flexibility. The university is also known for its extensive cultural diversity.
It offers bachelor’s, master’s, as well as doctoral online programs. You can choose to have your classes 100% online or mix it with classroom sessions. Both campus and online students share the same curriculum, faculty, and admission process.
The university offers 100% online undergraduate and graduate accounting programs. These programs will prepare you to take on CIA, CFA, and CMA exams.
Additionally, the school is AACSB-credited in all their accounting and business programs. With its stringent curriculum and an extensive network of alumni already in the industry, you can be assured of a successful career.
4. Liberty University
Liberty University – the largest private online university in the country – offers one of the best online programs in business and accounting. It has been offering online classes since 1985.
There are 1135 part-time instructors and 1720 full-time professors. With a total student population of over 50,000, 14% of them are doing business, management, marketing, and accounting majors. Online programs are offered 100% online.
Liberty University offers certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate accounting programs. The school of accountancy aims at training their students to become top-level accounting executives, budget supervisors, auditors, certified public accountants, and certified management accountants.
The bachelor’s program requires 120 credit hours, the master’s program requires 150 credit hours, and the doctorate program requires 60 credit hours to complete. To be eligible for the doctorate accounting program, you need to hold a master’s degree with a GPA of 3.5 and higher.
And since the classes are offered online, the university has a state-of-the-art student portal complete with all features and resources that will help you unlock your accounting career potential.
5. Washington State University - Global Campus
The Washington State University (WSU) created its Global Campus in 2012. The campus offers online-based instructional programs that are designed to bring quality education to a wider audience regardless of the location.
The WSU Global Campus offers both undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees and allows its students to select a minor to supplement their accounting programs. The programs focus on auditing, business principles, taxation, and strategy.
An online Bachelor’s degree program from this university stands out from the rest because it is certified by a number of business and accounting accreditations. The university aims at preparing their students with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for the in-demand financial sector.
6. University of Minnesota Crookston
The UMC is one of the six University of Minnesota public campuses – others are Twin Cities, Morris, Duluth, Waseca, and Rochester. It was founded in 1993 and offered baccalaureate programs only. Today, it offers 34 undergraduate programs with 39 areas of concentration and 22 minors.
The 108-acre campus is located in Crookston and it is known for giving out laptops to all full-time faculty and students.
UMC offers a reliable online bachelor’s degree program in accounting. The program is designed to provide you with analytical, theoretical, communication, and leadership skills that you’ll need in your workplace. You will also learn how to solve business problems with accounting principles as well as be prepared to take on CPA, CIA, and CMA examinations.
Offering the program fully online allows students to pursue their accounting degree on a schedule that fits their professional and personal lives. It provides greater flexibility and convenience for part-time students and working adults.
It is also beneficial for students who would love to get a University of Minnesota degree but are not living in close proximity to the campuses or don’t have the ability to attend a physical class.
The UMC has a regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges.
7. Auburn University
This university was established in 1856 and was initially known as the East Alabama Male College. It later changed its name to Auburn University in the 1960s to better suit its location.
With more than 22,000 undergraduate students and a total enrolment of over 29,000 with 1260 faculty members, AU is one of the largest campuses in Alabama. It offers 140 degrees in 13 schools and colleges. This gives students a wide array of choices to study.
Online accounting classes are offered by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. This program majorly suits students who are looking for a second degree or a supplementary accounting certificate after working for some years and have decided to change or enhance their career paths.
You will be able to stream live classroom lectures or save and watch them when it’s most convenient for you. Online students share the same faculty and follow the same semester calendar as their on-campus counterparts.
The most common accounting program in the business school is the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. If you take it full time, you are required to complete 60 credit hours per semester and this will take you five or fewer semesters to complete the program.
To enroll for the course, you need to hold a bachelor’s degree from an AACSB-credited institution. You also need to complete a fundamental business course from your prior degree.
AU’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business is AACSB-accredited. So you can be assured of quality education.
What to Expect from Online Accounting Classes
Basically, your classroom will be your tablet, desktop, or even your phone. Most full-time online students designate a space in their home for their schoolwork, but you can also study at a nearby library.
Since studying online is flexible, students are required to schedule when to get online, attend classes, confer with professors and classmates, submit assignments, and take tests online. In most cases, you will have to accommodate a set schedule in order to meet up for group discussions, attend a special lecture, or take a continuous assessment test.
Some institutions have proprietary online tools for students. This means that they have their special e-learning platforms for online studying. Nonetheless, there so many software apps that can be used to connect online students to virtual classrooms. Some of the most widely used e-learning applications are Blackboard Learn and Moodle.
For accounting programs, online classes will incorporate software apps such as Intuit’s QuickBooks. While you may not need high-level computer skills to get into an online accounting class, expect the intensive use of Microsoft Office basics like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to complete assignments and presentations.
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