About Online Accounting Degrees
Online accounting degrees are one of the most sought after online degrees. Online degrees offer the flexibility that returning students need when managing family and work. Those with a full-time job can complete online accounting courses at their own pace, at any hour of the day. An online accounting degree allows you to sit for the CPA exam in your state. There are many career avenues to explore without a license to practice as a CPA, but it is a common route for many after they complete their online accounting degree. Accountants who specialize in business accounting will see plenty of opportunities for jobs in the next decade, as business tax laws are set to changes greatly in coming years. Laws and regulations will be changing because of the financial crisis seen in the past few years. Companies will be required to keep tighter records of finances and auditors, accountants and bookkeepers who know this area well will be sought after by businesses of every size.
You can apply for an online accounting degree program on a school’s site. You want to make sure it is a regionally accredited school. This gives your online degree the same clout as a traditional degree. The most common accounting undergrad degree is a BS in accounting. There are also many graduate level programs for online accounting degrees such as MBA in accounting, a MS in accounting and a MBA in finance.
An online accounting degree lets you study at your own pace. Typically an online course has a messageboard for interacting with other students. A syllabus outlines all of the expected course work for the duration of the semester and also designated when tests will happen. Many online accounting classes have only a mid-term and a final, which means you must score high in order to make a good grade in the course. Professors are available via email, phone and sometimes Skype or other instant messaging services. Often a professor will also interact with students on the messageboard to answer questions or clarify any issues.
What types of Accounting degrees are available?
Choosing the right accounting degree is a matter of knowing what career or career options you want available. An associate's program will establish a foundation in accounting and allow you to take several entry-level positions, but leadership and administrative jobs will require a higher level of education. Also, there are several specializations within accounting to choose from, including:
What jobs can I pursue with an online accounting degree?
Bookkeeper - A bookkeeper typically works for small to mid-size businesses. Bookkeepers keep payroll and track finances for a company. Bookkeepers are a valuable piece of a company because they must be number savvy, but also trustworthy. Business people who’ve ran a company for years know the value of a solid bookkeeper. The best way to gain employment as bookkeeper is to know someone who owns their own business. Larger companies tend to do away with the role of bookkeeper and break the position into more than one because of the number of employees and large revenue. The salary possibilities for a bookkeeper vary by company and city size, but most average about $50,000 per year.
CPA - A certified public accountant (CPA) can work for a small business, an individual or a large corporation. A CPA does your taxes and for large clients, usually work with them on a monthly basis overlooking anything the bookkeeper has done and can conduct audits. It is the a second pair of eyes for a small to mid-size business. For big companies, CPAs ensure everything is being done according to law. CPAs can make a very good living freelancing if they network regularly and understand how to build relationships that last. As a CPA, you can also do taxes for individuals during tax season. CPAs have an accounting degree and have also become licensed in their state to work as a CPA. In some states, you cannot use the term accountant to describe your job unless you are licensed. Even if you do not work as CPA, this credential can dramatically increase your earning power. CPAs earn an average of $60,000 per year.
Payroll - Working in payroll is similar to being a bookkeeper, but for larger companies you will only deal with employee payment. This position will not usually involve the company’s financial records as a whole as they do with a bookkeeper. Working payroll can be a lucrative position especially after you gain seniority for a large company with excellent benefits. Those working in payroll earn about $52,000 per year.