Accountancy is basically the preparing, analyzing and interpreting of financial data. It is fundamental to the operation of any business, and accountants are in high demand. So a qualification in this field can lead to a very well paid job, and campus and online accounting programs are a popular choice amongst students.
For students who are working it is very often more convenient to complete their accountancy courses online. This page tells you more about accounting, what the courses are, what employers expect, certification, and what you can earn after completion. This page also has details of where it is possible to obtain an online bachelors or a masters in accounting.
What is studied in online accounting programs?
The Associate of Arts (AA) program develops the foundation of knowledge in areas such as: business strategy, financial statements, cost information, economics, management, and ethical issues.
At the Bachelor’s level, core competencies in technology, critical thinking, and communication are emphasized throughout the curriculum, which typically includes: performance analysis, budgeting, managing controls, taxation, and auditing.
The Master of Science in Accounting will help you broaden your knowledge in a variety of accountancy specialties, such as forensic and international accounting. Coursework usually includes accounting theory and research, information systems, managerial accounting, financial reporting, auditing, taxation, not-for-profit and government accountancy, forensic accounting, and ethics. You can also specialize in accountancy in an MBA, in which you will study advanced financial reporting, auditing theory, taxation.
All these levels are available as online programs. Make sure the program you select helps you to meet the “150 Hour Requirement” for the CPA Exam and possibly also meet the requirements for the CMA designation (details below).
The profession of accounting
In the case of ‘Financial Accounting’ reports are mainly produced for external stakeholders such as creditors, investors, and lenders. But in the case of ‘Management Accounting’, reports are generated on a regular basis for the company’s managers and the chief executive officer to enable them to make day-to-day and short-term decisions. But an accountant is also very likely to be involved in the business planning process. Computer skills and the use of software is now an integral part of accounting, and will be included in any campus or online accountancy programs.
Most companies want their accounting employees to be certified by an appropriate body, for which you usually have to pass a series of tests offered by the relevant Institute. In the US, legally practicing accountants are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), and other non-statutory accountants are Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs), Certified Management Accountants (CMAs) and Association of Certified Project Accountants (ACPA) Accredited Business Accountants (ABAs).
The sort of salary you could expect will depend on any experience you might bring, which US state you work in, the size of the company, and many other variables. In the USA, with a Bachelor’s degree approximate salaries might range from an accountant $44,000 to a financial controller $79,000 (PayScale.com).
List of schools and programs