The accounting industry is a fast-growing field according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The job outlook for the industry looks favorable. As new financial laws and businesses are created, the demand for qualified accountants should rise. Also, many companies are placing more emphasis on financial accountability and transparency to protect themselves from fraud and other criminal activity and increase the confidence of their stakeholders. These companies will need accountants to audit their financial records.
To enter this promising industry, you will likely need at least a bachelor degree from an accredited school. The vast majority of entry level positions require a baccalaureate level of education. The best bachelor accounting degrees prepare you not only to fill a position but also to earn a profession certification like Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Certifications increase your earning power and give your more options for advancement.
The school you choose is important. A top school will help you learn the knowledge and skills to become a competent worker and pass a certification exam. One of the qualities to look for in an institution is regional accreditation. This type of accreditation is more credible than its counterpart, national accreditation. Compared to nationally accredited schools, more employers recognize degrees from regionally accredited schools and bachelor degrees from those schools are accepted in more graduate schools should you choose to further your education. Also, some states require degrees from regionally accredited schools to sit for their CPA exam.
To guide you in your education, we evaluated online accounting programs and chose the best online degrees with excellent education standards and regional accreditation. Also, we looked at other factors including tuition cost, special features, and reputation.
- Brandman University
- Liberty University
- Western Governors University
- Grand Canyon University
- Benedictine University
- Southern New Hampshire University
Regional accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Brandman University’s bachelor accounting program is helpful if you want to advance in your organization and prepare yourself for lower or middle management positions.
As a student, you will be exposed to the latest academic research on accounting issues in the workplace. The business professors are well-qualified with strong educational credentials and relevant work experience.
Course highlights include Intermediate Accounting I and II, Advanced Accounting, Income Taxation, and Auditing.
For over 50 years, Brandman has served working adults by providing them with a quality flexible education that meets the needs of their busy lives.
Brandman is part of the Chapman University System. Chapman is one of the most prestigious private schools in California and ranks in the top tier of American schools according to U.S. News and World Report.
Regional accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Liberty University’s online accounting program is a great bargain for students who want to save money on their education.
Along with being affordable, Liberty offers a quality education. The university was ranked 6th overall by Online Education Database in its 2009 rankings of online schools.
Liberty’s Bachelor of Science in Accounting helps you become an effective accountant through courses in financial, governmental, non-profit, and managerial accounting. Also, you will be exposed to auditing and taxation concepts.
The faculty will teach you computer and communication skills so that you can evaluate and synthesize the complex accounting issues in today’s business environment.
Liberty is a popular distance learning institution with over 50,000 students enrolled in its online programs.
Regional accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
If you want a rewarding online experience during your studies, consider enrolling in Western Governors University’s (WGU) Bachelor of Science in Accounting. WGU was given a Best Practices in Distance Learning award by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) for its online technology.
WGU’s accounting degree is highly respected. The university designed the program with input from business leaders and accounting experts. WGU’s National Advisory Board consists of high profile organizations such as Oracle, Google, and Microsoft. These businesses support WGU because of its focus on producing graduates with relevant skills for the workplace.
If you are a full time student, WGU offers one of the lowest prices for an online regionally accredited bachelor degree in accounting. 138 credits are required to graduate.
Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Accounting that prepares you to sit for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam. CMAs are recognized all over the world as accounting professionals with managerial skills who can help the companies they work with.
Also, the degree program allows you to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. You can take additional classes from Grand Canyon’s MBA program to qualify for licensure.
Grand Canyon was ranked 7th in the 2009 online school rankings by Online Education Database (OEDb). Also, OEDb gave the school high marks for its small classes. It tied for 4th in OEDb’s student-faculty ratio rankings with a ratio of 13 to 1.
Grand Canyon’s accounting program is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), one of the top accrediting agencies for business degrees.
Regional accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Benedictine University holds a respectable reputation as a top school. It is a tier one institution according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 study of the best colleges and universities in America.
As an online student, you will receive the same respected degree as an on-campus student. Your degree will not have an online distinction.
Benedictine’s faculty have real-world experience to help you apply the lessons and concepts from the classroom to the workplace.
Benedictine offers credits for professional experience. If you have relevant work experience, you may qualify for up to 18 credit hours and save time and money on your degree.
Course highlights include Cost Accounting, Federal Taxation, Accounting and Financial Management, and Computer Fraud.
The program is open to students age 22 and older with at least two years of work experience.
Southern New Hampshire University
Regional accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
The bachelor accounting degree from Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a great program if you want to get a head start on the certified public accountant (CPA) certification. To sit for the CPA exam, you need a certain number of upper level accounting credits. SNHU’s program provides 33 such credits, which is more than the majority of accounting programs.
SNHU business degrees are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), one of the two business school accreditors recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is the only U.S. nongovernmental organization that evaluates and certifies accrediting organizations. Also, SNHU is one of the few American institutions accredited by the prestigious European Council for Business Education (ECBE).
SNHU’s tuition is affordable and lower than the national average.