There are many colleges that offer online accounting degrees to those aspiring students who do not have the time to attend regular classes due to their commitment to jobs or other engagements. Since students can pursue their higher studies and enjoy financial security at the same time, online degree programs are becoming increasingly popular. Moreover, accounting programs can be delivered easily through online education portals. Accredited online accounting colleges offer associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and students can learn to use accounting software, work out taxes and learn general ledger balancing on their own at their convenience on their laptops.
The right mix of education and an eye for detail are essential to become an accountant. Different degrees and skills are essential to work at different levels of accounting jobs. Typically, online courses can be taken for obtaining accounting certificates and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The accounting curriculum does not require hands-on training or laboratory work and hence online courses can be offered without much of a problem. An accounting course offered online comprises of lectures, presentations, classroom discussions, online tests, etc. Parents staying at home, returning students and those in full-time employment can take advantage of the technology to learn and share information. The subjects covered in online accounting courses are the same as that offered in regular institutions and include financial accounting, accounting theory, contemporary auditing and project management, among many others.read more blogs post here.
Most accounting jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree due to the fact that fundamental accounting standards are covered in the curriculum. Online institutions offer a two-year associate’s degree as a technical skill and a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree. It is important that those opting for associate degree support it with internship experience. Internship is a great way to get hands-on experience for aspiring accountants. Many accounting firms offer internship programs with the expectation that the trained students will come back to them after graduation for employment. Some accounting firms pay the interns for the work they do.
Some of the accredited online accounting schools and colleges are listed below:
• Associate in applied science degree in accounting offered by Everest University Online trains students for entry-level jobs as bookkeepers, junior accountants, etc. Everest University Online is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The university provides round the clock support for online students and offers financial aid as well.
• Colorado Technical University Online offers a 15-month bachelor of science in accounting degree program, highlighting subjects such as taxation, government and non-profit accounting. Students who already have an associate’s degree or equivalent can apply for this course. High school graduates or GED holders can complete the program in 2 years and six months. Colorado Technical University Online is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
• The associate of arts in accounting degree course offered by Brookline College prepares first-time accounting students for prospective careers in the field. Brookline College has been accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Students are required to earn a total of 62 credits to successfully complete the course, read more at http://www.ucsc-extension.edu/page/accounting.
• Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, offers an online master of business degree in accounting program accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, emphasizing the business practices in the global marketplace and the application of soft skills to become successful in the financial world.
• Capella University, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and based Minnesota, offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in accounting. The online courses can be accessed any time and from anywhere. Duration of the programs vary based on the number of classes taken per semester.
Having completed an undergraduate and a graduate or master’s degree in accounting, it is important to obtain the right certifications for landing the right job and enjoying a career growth. This is because most accounting firms and corporations give preference to those certified by an accounting standards board. Candidates can opt to become a certified public accountant (CPA) or a certified managerial accountant (CMA).
The core responsibility of an accountant is to ensure that the business transactions of a company are recorded accurately and presented to the investors. However, the scope of job of an accountant may also include preparation of tax, auditing, consulting, analysis of budget, etc. Accountants are given different titles to handle such broad scope of responsibilities. A public accountant does these jobs for clients like individuals, corporations or governments. Accountants are paid to audit individual corporations. Public accountants work for individuals in preparing their income tax returns. Typically, managerial accountants handle accounting tasks for the companies where they are employed. Internal auditors are accountants hired by corporations as full-time employees. They check the company’s balance sheets and accounts for fraud and inefficiencies.
Certified accountants work for auditing firms, companies or as self-employed professionals. Technology firms and commercial banks are also major employers of accountants. There is a high demand for accountants with the tremendous growth seen in healthcare and insurance sectors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 22% growth is expected in the number of jobs available for accountants during the period 2008 – 2018, driven by an increase in the number of businesses and a change in the financial standards in the US. The demand for greater levels of accountability and transparency by investors and corporations is also fueling growth.
The average salary earned by accountants and auditors is around $70,000 a year, with the less-experienced ones and those employed in non-profit organizations earning about $40,000 annually and the top professionals making more than $105,000 per year. If the salaries are analyzed location and industry wise, accountants and auditors in Colorado and Delaware earn salaries that match with the national average, while those in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington D.C earned salaries above average.
On an average bookkeepers and accounting clerks earn around $40,000 a year. However, it can range from $30,000 at entry level to $55,000 based on experience, qualification, etc. In terms of location, South Dakota is one of the lowest paying states due to lower cost of living and higher availability of bookkeepers. Alaska, Massachusetts, and Maryland pay higher salaries with Washington D.C. paying the highest.