Timelines, Programs and Resources for Online Accounting Students
Accounting is a growing field, with an expected job growth of 11 percent by 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This high demand will need to be filled by accounting professionals, skilled in accounting analysis, record maintenance, and financial reporting among many other skills. By getting an online associate degree in accounting, students will be able to complete a self-paced program that can prepare them to earn entry-level positions in this growing field. Our guide has all the essentials to help prospective students learn more about earning an associate degree in accounting online.
Top 10 Best Online Associate Degrees In Accounting
|#1||Stark State College North Canton, OH|
|#2||Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Cincinnati, OH|
|#3||Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK|
|#4||Albany Technical College Albany, GA|
|#5||East Mississippi Community College Scooba, MS|
|#6||North Hennepin Community College Brooklyn Park, MN|
|#7||Iowa Lakes Community College Estherville, IA|
|#8||Columbus State Community College Columbus, OH|
|#9||Hinds Community College Raymond, MS|
|#10||Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE|
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Best Online Associate Degree in Accounting: 2017
OUR METHODOLOGY +
When it comes to juggling work, school, family, and other responsibilities, choosing a degree program that suits your personal needs can be challenging. Online accounting degree programs offer students the flexibility to create their own schedule and learn at their own pace, offering a solution to this time-demanding struggle. To help sort out the ever-growing list of schools, we have put together a ranking of the best online associate degrees in accounting programs for 2017.
Search Online Associate Degrees in Accounting
When looking to find the school with the perfect fit to begin your program, there are some important things to consider. Affordable tuition or financial aid packages, accreditation, a good academic programs, and a good reputation are just a few of the things that can set a school apart. To specialize schools to your needs, check out our search tool below.
The Online Associate Degree in Accounting Timeline
There are many qualifications that accounting schools look for while screening potential students, with each school having different requirements students need to complete when looking to enter the program. Once accepted, students generally complete around 60 credit hours of study, which leads to an associate degree and possible certification. The following timeline allows students to see at a glance what they can expect during their online associate accounting degree program.
Before sending in your application, make sure to check out the admissions process for the specific program to see if you can complete all requirements. Here are a few examples of steps students may need to complete in order to be enrolled in an online associate degree in accounting.
High School Transcripts
Students must submit an official copy of their high school transcripts. Students may also submit transcripts from any prior technical or post-secondary schools they have attended. Special attention may be given to grades in courses that relate to accounting, such as math, statistics and economics.
Standardized Test Scores
Although not all online programs require standardized test scores for admission, those seeking admittance to more competitive programs may need to take the SAT or ACT. After taking these tests, students must submit their scores to prospective schools, and in some cases, meet minimum score requirements.
Some online programs may set minimum GPA requirements, which are often about 2.0 or 2.5. If you do not meet the GPA requirements, you may be required to take an entrance exam before entering the accounting program.
Relevant College-Level Skills
Strong math and technology abilities are important skillsets that will be developed throughout an accounting program. Students with a good baseline for math skills as well as an ability to learn how to use different accounting software programs may be best fit for online accounting programs.
YEAR 1 MILESTONES
Overview of Accounting Software
Students will be exposed to the software and technology necessary for obtaining their associate degree in accounting. These include online spreadsheets, databases, bookkeeping software, and other computer applications.
Strong Mathematical Skills
Students must be able to demonstrate mastery of basic mathematical skills and college-level algebra and will take courses on mathematical reasoning and logic as the basis for data analysis.
Introductory Coursework in Accounting
Students also will take introductory courses to accounting and business to learn the basic principles of the industry that will help them to gain internships and other experience pertaining to the field.
YEAR 2 MILESTONES
Mastery of GAAP
In their second year of an online associate degree in accounting, students generally earn to maintain accounting standards, as put forth by the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The GAAP are a set of procedures, standards and principles that companies use when compiling financial information.
Preparation for CPA Exam
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination demonstrates to employers that you are a qualified professional accountant. Most states require candidates to hold a college degree in accounting before taking the exam, making the last year of an associate degree program an important part of the study and preparation process. The current CPA test is comprised of four sections and altogether takes 14 hours to complete.
Earn Associate Degree in Accounting
Upon successful completion of the course, students will graduate with an associate's in accounting, giving them the fundamental knowledge to jump straight into the workforce or continue their education.
TRANSFER & GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
After completing an associate degree, students can either go straight into the workforce, or pursue further education options. Those who go on to obtain a bachelor's or master's degree can pursue more advanced careers opportunities in accounting. The following are some requirements for students to take into mind when graduating or transferring into a bachelor's degree program.
Take Transferable Courses
Try to determine if your classes are transferable to a bachelor's in accounting program before you take them. Speak to an advisor or counselor and have them assist you in your plans to transfer credits to gain a higher degree in accounting.
Look for Academic Partnerships
Check to see if your school has an education partnership or transfer agreement with other online schools or universities. Many schools offering associate degree programs have a partnership with other academic institutions that allow students and graduates to transfer their credits to these schools and earn a higher degree.
Maintain a Good GPA
Request your official transcript from your college of the classes taken in your associate in accounting program. This will need to be sent to the new accounting program. In order to be accepted into the program, your GPA needs to qualify. To continue of the accounting path, colleges may pay special attention to the grades you received in major-related courses at the associate level.
Complete Required Major and General Education Courses
In order to complete an online associate degree in accounting, students will be required to take a combination of general education and major-specific courses. Keep track of your progress on the requirements for your program in particular to earn your degree.
What Can You Do After Earning Your Online Associate in Accounting?
An associate degree in accounting aims to equip students with a broad understanding of accounting basics and principles that can land them an entry-level position into the expanding industry. With an expected job growth of 11 percent by 2024, an associate in accounting degree can provide the education needed to get started in this promising field that with further education can lead to careers as a finance director, accounting software developer, or a forensic accountant.
Here are some careers that an associate degree in accounting can lead to for prospective students.
BROWSE ASSOCIATE IN ACCOUNTING CAREERS
Financial clerks keep track of records, help customers, and perform financial transactions for government agencies, medical offices, or banks. There are many financial clerk specialties that include billing and posting, gaming, payroll and timekeeping, and policy processing clerks.
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%
Median Annual Salary (May 2015) $37,040
Bookkeeping, Auditing & Accounting Clerks
Bookkeeping clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy. They must be proficient with math and technology software, such as online databases, spreadsheets, and bookkeeping software. The Certified Bookkeeper (CB) designation may be helpful for this career path.
Job Growth (2014-2024) -8%
Median Annual Salary (May 2015) $37,250
Administrative assistants work in a variety of settings, including business, medical, government and legal offices. Those with an associate degree in accounting would be best suited for administrative assistant positions that require basic bookkeeping and database filing duties. Certifications are available for those who want to specialize or advance in the field, including the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) exam as well as options in the medical and legal fields.
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3%
Median Annual Salary (May 2015) $36,500
Core Skills & Principles Learned in an Online Associate in Accounting
Associate in Accounting
Industry Guidelines for Accounting
Accounting, like many other fields, has industry guidelines that instruct professionals on how to analyze, record and interpret information. The overarching standards for accounting are the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which students in an online associate program should be introduced do. The basics of these guidelines form the building blocks to start working the in the field as well as a starting point for those seeking career and academic advancement.
Basics of Accounting Software
Bookkeepers, financial clerks and other entry-level accountants must be proficient in software such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel to succeed in the field. A solid understanding of the basic capabilities of these programs can prepare students to learn more advanced capabilities later on in their professional or academic careers. Look for online associate programs that provide courses and instruction that deal closely with these software and others, as it can prove to be a major resume booster.
Overview of Federal & State Regulations
In order to properly file taxes and payroll documents, entry-level accounting professionals need to know the state and federal guidelines governing these practices. An online associate degree in accounting should introduce students to introductory tax concepts, such as gross income, deductions, exemptions and like-kind exchanges.
Master's in Accounting
Bachelor's in Accounting
Online students have many of the same resources available to them as on-campus students. Accounting students at the associate level can join professional organizations early on in their educations to start networking and get more exposure to the field.