Best Online Accounting Associate Degree Programs

Some of the best online associate's degree programs in accounting provide hands-on learning experiences, flexible formats, and more. Compare and contrast some of these top degrees and get detailed program and career information. Schools offering Accounting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Best Online Associate's Degree Programs in Accounting

Online associate's degree programs in accounting are fairly common and help prepare students for a variety of entry-level careers in the field. We chose these associate's degree programs in accounting based on the format of the program, hands-on learning opportunities, affordability, and more.

1. Davenport University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Grand Rapids, MI$18,41497%

Davenport University has an online Associate of Business Administration (ABA) in Accounting that totals 64 credits, and students from Davenport University's Department of Business score higher than average on national exams in the field. The program is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) and includes hands-on learning activities. Students in the program take 21 credits in general education courses, 22 credits of core business courses, and 21 credits of core accounting courses. Accounting courses cover topics in taxation, cost accounting, and more.

2. Herzing University

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
St. Louis Park, MN$14,00097%

Herzing University offers an online Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting through its business college that emphasizes leadership development. Either program totals 65 credits and can be completed in 20 months. These programs are also accredited by the IACBE and help prepare students for entry-level accounting jobs. Students in the program are required to complete a final internship experience or a final research project, as well as general education, major, and professional development courses.

3. University of Toledo

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Toledo, OH$10,29395%

The University of Toledo provides an online Associate of Applied Business Accounting (AAB) in Accounting Technology. The school is part of an elite 5% of business schools that have earned accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The degree program totals 60 to 61 credits and can be completed in 2 years. The online program allows out-of-state students to pay in-state tuition rates with only a $5 surcharge per credit hour. Students in the program are eligible to apply their associate's degree to the school's 2+2 bachelor degree completion program.

4. Trine University-Regional/Non-Traditional Campuses

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Fort Wayne, IN$9,576100%

Trine University has an online Associate in Accounting that totals 60 credits and is taught by faculty with real-life experience in a variety of business settings, including Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and entrepreneurs. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and allows students to put their credits from the program towards a bachelor's degree in accounting. Students can complete the program in as little as 1 year and classes start every 8 weeks. Active military service members can receive a tuition reduction while pursuing their degrees.

5. University of Alaska Anchorage

LocationTuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
Anchorage, AK$8,58082%

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a hybrid AAS in Accounting that has evening and online courses. The program can be completed in 2 years and includes a capstone course with a mock internship experience that helps prepare students for their careers -- so much so, in fact, that 85% of graduates have landed a job in Alaska within a year of graduation. Students in the program may also choose to participate in the school's active UAA Accounting Club on-campus for various networking opportunities.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state)% Receiving Financial Aid
6Mercy CollegeDobbs Ferry, NY$19,04297%
7University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK$6,65784%
8Champlain CollegeBurlington, VT$41,010100%
9Saint Mary-of-the-Woods CollegeSaint Mary of the Woods, IN$29,960100%
10Campbellsville UniversityCampbellsville, KY$25,40096%
11Cleary UniversityHowell, MI$20,55098%
12Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH$31,13675%
13Northwood UniversityMidland, MI$27,06099%
14New England CollegeHenniker, NH$37,91495%
15Siena Heights UniversityAdrian, MI$27,124100%
16Hodges UniversityNaples, FL$14,18081%
17Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA$22,58497%
18Bethel UniversityMckenzie, TN$16,552100%
19Stark State CollegeNorth Canton, OH$4,07083%
20Tiffin UniversityTiffin, OH$25,00098%
21Indiana Institute of TechnologyFort Wayne, IN$26,900100%
22Community Care CollegeTulsa, OKN/A89%
23Baker CollegeFlint, MI$9,80097%
24Copiah-Lincoln Community CollegeWesson, MS$3,18092%
25Foothill CollegeLos Altos Hills, CA$1,56340%
26Fisher CollegeBoston, MA$31,38497%
27Pamlico Community CollegeGrantsboro, NC$1,86740%
28Northwest Iowa Community CollegeSheldon, IA$6,12085%
29Coastal Pines Technical CollegeWaycross, GA$2,74884%
30Holmes Community CollegeGoodman, MS$3,11091%
31Wisconsin Indianhead Technical CollegeShell Lake, WI$4,72980%
32Barton County Community CollegeGreat Bend, KS$3,58491%
33Northeast Mississippi Community CollegeBooneville, MS$3,59699%
34Iowa Lakes Community CollegeEstherville, IA$6,46086%
35Purdue University GlobalMason City, IA$14,343N/A
36University of Northwestern OhioLima, OH$11,35094%
37White Mountains Community CollegeBerlin, NH$7,97085%
38Olney Central CollegeOlney, IL$9,74399%
39Fox Valley Technical CollegeAppleton, WI$4,56568%
40Georgia Piedmont Technical CollegeClarkston, GA$2,92490%

All statistics provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition based on 2018-2019 school year

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Associate's Degree Programs in Accounting

Online associate's degree programs in accounting are most often offered as AA or AAS degrees and do not typically include additional concentration areas. However, some online ABA degrees have a concentration in accounting and online AAB degrees in accounting technology available. These different online associate's degree programs in accounting may range from 60 to 65 credits and many can be completed fully online. Some may be available in a hybrid format and/or offer students the chance to participate in in-person learning experiences, such as internships. Below we discuss more details of online associate's degree programs in accounting.

Length of Degree Program

Most online associate's degree programs can be completed in 2 years. However, some programs may allow students to complete the program in as little as 1 year. Students can also find programs that fit their schedules and allow them to finish at their pace.

Common Courses

Online associate's degree programs in accounting are composed of general education courses and major courses in accounting. However, some programs, especially ABA programs, may also include some core business courses. Some programs may require a final capstone course, which in some cases allows students to choose from an internship experience or final research project. Depending on the program, the curriculum may include courses in specific software programs used in the field, such as QuickBooks or Microsoft Excel. Other common course topics for these online accounting programs include:

  • Accounting- Students typically take multiple courses in accounting that advance in skill level throughout the program. Introductory courses may begin with foundational financial accounting concepts for businesses, while advanced accounting courses may explore accounting concepts at the partnership and/or corporation levels. Students in these courses may learn about topics in balance sheets, transaction analysis, accounts for investments, cash flows, and much more.
  • Taxation- Some programs may offer an introductory course in taxation, while others also offer an advanced course in the field and/or courses in specific areas of taxation, such as federal taxation. Introductory courses in the subject may explore how to determine the taxable income of corporations and/or individuals, property transitions, and employee tax issues. Advanced courses may discuss the federal tax system and topics like partnership taxation, accounting for inventory, and income exclusions.
  • Payroll- In these courses, students learn about laws concerning payroll, as well as payroll recordkeeping and taxation. Some of these courses may also focus on topics in state tax. Specific course topics for courses in payroll may include income tax withholding, computing payroll, social security taxes, and various government forms. Some courses may include hands-on projects to help students practice these various concepts.
  • Management- These degree programs may include one or more courses that examine different topics in management, such as project management, small business management, or management accounting. The overall goal of these courses is to equip students with critical thinking skills and various management techniques used in the field to help prepare for a future career.
  • Microeconomics- Courses in microeconomics examine how consumers behave within the larger context of the economy. Specific topics for these courses may include supply and demand, analyzing economic trends, effects of public policy, international trade, income distribution, and labor markets.

How to Find the Online Associate's Degree in Accounting That is Right for You

There are numerous factors to consider when choosing an online associate's degree program in accounting.

Flexibility

Students may first need to consider their schedules and/or needs for an accounting program. Some students may need to get their career started right away and may need a program that they can complete in fewer than 2 years. Other students may have transfer credit that they would like to apply towards the degree and some of these programs may allow students to transfer up to 75% of their credits.

Cost

The cost of a program is another big consideration, as tuition rates vary greatly amongst schools. Some of these programs may cost around $400 per credit hour, but students should also be sure to research any additional fees associated with programs and/or added costs for items like books or equipment needed to meet technical requirements for online learning.

School Choice

Students may also want to consider any personal preferences they have for a program, such as the type of school they attend and/or school size. Some students may wish to complete their associate's degree at a 4-year institution instead of a 2-year institution if they are fairly certain they want to go on to pursue their bachelor's degree. Some of these 4-year schools may even offer 2+2 programs to complete a bachelor's degree.

Class Size

Small class sizes may also be important to some students so that they can receive more individualized attention and some students may prefer attending a larger institution that offers more academic resources. Explore a couple of other points to consider for choosing a degree below.

Accreditation

Most students will want to search for an online associate's degree program in accounting that meets high academic standards to ensure they are earning a quality degree that helps prepare them for a career in the field. Most institutions that offer these degrees have accreditation from a regional institution, but often students can find degree programs in the field of business that have specialized accreditation from business-related organizations. This specialized accreditation helps ensure that these programs meet academic standards set specifically for business programs. Many online associate's degree programs in accounting have this specialized accreditation from organizations like the IACBE or ACBSP. Accreditation is also a requirement to apply for financial aid.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Students may also search for schools that offer various ways to help reduce the cost of an online program in accounting. Some schools may offer different tuition discounts, such as for military service members and/or charging out-of-state students similar tuition rates as in-state students. Most of these programs also accept various forms of financial aid, such as loans and grants.

Many schools also accept and/or offer scholarships to help students. Some schools may offer scholarships for associate's degree students at commencement. For example, a school may offer an accounting career scholarship for a student entering the field or a transfer scholarship for a student going on to pursue a bachelor's degree in the field. Students may also pursue scholarships from outside sources, such as professional organizations in the field of accounting like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). AICPA offers a range of scholarships for accounting students, including a 2-year transfer scholarship and minority accounting student scholarship.

Job Options and Salary Information for Graduates with an Associate's in Accounting

Graduates with an associate's degree in accounting may go on to pursue a bachelor's in the field and then careers as accountants or auditors, but other graduates may choose to begin their career right away. Many entry-level positions are available for those with an associate's degree in areas like payroll, purchasing, sales, or accounts receivable. A few possible job titles for graduates with an associate's degree include:

  • Payroll clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounts payable specialist
  • Billing clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks together and reported that these clerks had a median salary of $40,240 in 2018. The BLS also reported that these clerks had a job outlook of -4% (decline) from 2018 to 2028. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks typically use software systems to keep financial records for their organization. Based on their job title, they may be responsible for actions like preparing income statements, balancing accounts, receiving cash and checks, and ensuring accuracy on financial documents.

Financial Clerks

The BLS includes job titles like payroll, procurement, and billing clerks under the umbrella of financial clerks and reported that financial clerks made a median salary of $39,570 in 2018. The job outlook for these professionals was 5% from 2018 to 2028, which was as fast as average according to the BLS. Financial clerks perform a variety of administrative and financial duties for their organization. Job duties typically vary by job title, but in general, these clerks help perform financial transactions, maintain financial records, and calculate bills and finances.

Professional Organizations in Accounting

The field of accounting has a variety of professional organizations that help advance the field and provide accounting professionals with a range of resources. Many of these organizations offer membership, academic resources, and professional development opportunities. A few examples of professional organizations in accounting include:

  • AICPA- The AICPA may be an organization best suited for students wishing to pursue advanced education and eventually become a CPA. The organization offers membership at the individual, section, and firm levels and provides a variety of certificate programs and credentials. From the group's website, students can also get news, career resources, and continuing education information.
  • American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB)- The AIPB provides the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation for qualified students. The group also offers membership, bookkeeping tips, news, and a discussion forum from its website.
  • National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB)- The NACPB offers a 4-part Uniform Bookkeeper Certification Examination that awards passing students with the Certified Public Bookkeeper (CPB) certification. The organization also has membership, training resources, licensure information, and free bookkeeping resources on its website.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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