Best Accounting Degrees Online 2024 (2024)

Businesses of every kind require careful financial transaction management to ensure that they compensate employees, pay debts, and meet compliance regulations. This work is handled by accountants and other finance professionals.

Are you looking to work as an accountant? A bachelor's degree in accounting can set you up for career success and/or additional study in the field — required for certified public accountant (CPA) licensure.

As the popularity of online education has grown for its accessibility and flexibility, many schools have expanded to offer online bachelor's degrees in accounting.

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the amount of bachelor's degrees conferred in accounting dropped by 7.8% in the 2021-2022 academic years, signaling a decline in popularity. However, as need grows for the profession, this disparity creates opportunities for aspiring accountants.

Our ranked list rates the top accounting degrees with online delivery. This in-depth guide covers details like career pathways and common coursework for the major.

Popular Online Accounting Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Accounting Degrees Online

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#1 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $330
Out-of-State | $330

Credits to Graduate: 120

SNHU's online accounting BS degree welcoming transfer policy accepts up to 90 credits from past education. The curriculum explores financial analysis, auditing and taxation, and general accounting principles. You can also earn certificates and credentials while earning credits toward your degree. SNHU offers an optional concentration in forensic accounting and fraud examination.

The program, fully revised in 2022, aligns with the 2024 CPA requirements and prepares you to pursue the role. You can attend virtual classes asynchronously as your schedule permits.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$15,000

Out-of-state

$15,000

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$18,900

Out-of-state

$18,900

Retention Rate

62%

Acceptance Rate

92%

Students Enrolled

145,533

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

96%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

New England Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Term:
In-State | $3,955
Out-of-State | $3,955

Courses to Graduate: 41

WGU's online accounting BSBA program covers the generally accepted accounting principles, ledgers, and business performance management. The degree can help you take the first step toward earning your CPA certification and prepare for a career in accounting, bookkeeping, or auditing.

The curriculum includes classes like business law for accountants, accounting information systems, principles of financial and management accounting, and taxation. Coursework allows you to develop finance, communication, research, and financial analysis skills. You can advance through the program on your schedule after passing each course's exam.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$7,162

Out-of-state

$7,162

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$7,500

Out-of-state

$7,500

Retention Rate

63%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

150,116

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

Not provided

Accreditation

Yes

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Colorado State University Global Campus

  • Aurora, CO
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $350
Out-of-State | $350

Credits to Graduate: 120

CSU Global's online bachelor's in accounting program can prepare you for accounting careers in government, the nonprofit sector, and private companies. After graduation, you can qualify to take the CPA exam or CMA exam, depending on your state.

The fully asynchronous program lets you learn online while receiving live support for tutoring, technical help, and library services. The curriculum includes real-world case studies and a capstone that provides hands-on experience. Classes explore auditing, cost analysis and automation, and forensic accounting. Specializations include organizational leadership, project management, and marketing.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$8,400

Out-of-state

$8,400

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$9,000

Out-of-state

$9,000

Retention Rate

35%

Acceptance Rate

96%

Students Enrolled

10,844

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

Not provided

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Trine University Online

  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $299
Out-of-State | $299

Credits to Graduate: 120

TrineOnline's accounting BSBA degree from the College of Graduate and Professional Studies can help you get practical, hands-on experience in accounting and using tools like QuickBooks and Peachtree during internships. The curriculum includes classes like cost accounting, advanced managerial finance, personal income tax, and advanced accounting.

Trine Online also offers a combined bachelor's and master's in accounting program, which can save you up to $8,625 in tuition and only takes four years to complete. Classes start every eight weeks and occur asynchronously to best fit your schedule.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$9,576

Out-of-state

$9,576

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$10,350

Out-of-state

$10,350

Retention Rate

75%

Acceptance Rate

60%

Students Enrolled

1,367

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

97%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Pennsylvania State University

  • University Park, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: AACSB International

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $626-$671
Out-of-State | $626-$671

Credits to Graduate: 120

Penn State World Campus's online accounting BS program, available through the Harrisburg School of Business Administration, can prepare you for the CPA, CMA, and CIA exams. The degree can also prepare you for accounting careers in the nonprofit sector, government agencies, or corporations.

The curriculum covers federal income taxes, auditing, accounting information systems, and managerial and cost accounting. Other required courses focus on business and include basic management concepts, supply chain management, and business strategy.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$15,400

Out-of-state

$25,084

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$23,189

Out-of-state

$39,248

Retention Rate

87%

Acceptance Rate

92%

Students Enrolled

88,914

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

54%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Eastern New Mexico University

  • Portales, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $175
Out-of-State | $257

Credits to Graduate: 120

ENMU's BBA in accounting degree is available online through the College of Business and can prepare you to earn various accounting certifications. Career opportunities for accounting graduates include CPA, CIA, CMA, and CFA roles.

Required core courses include cost accounting, accounting information systems theory, governmental and not-for-profit accounting, and auditing. The degree also requires business foundation, business core, general education, and elective classes. The College of Business offers 29 scholarships, including seven for accounting majors.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$4,074

Out-of-state

$6,114

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$5,351

Out-of-state

$7,110

Retention Rate

59%

Acceptance Rate

33%

Students Enrolled

4,991

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

82%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

University of Arizona

  • Tucson, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: AACSB International

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $500-600
Out-of-State | $600-600

Credits to Graduate: 120

Arizona Online's BSBA in accounting degree from the Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy requires 30 professional core units and 21 accounting units. The curriculum includes classes like cost and managerial accounting, financial statement analysis, federal taxation principles, and accounting information systems.

Coursework explores auditing, general accounting knowledge, billing, and finance. You can also learn critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Potential careers for BSBA in accounting graduates include tax examiner and collector, budget analyst, and financial manager.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$10,990

Out-of-state

$33,739

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$12,106

Out-of-state

$32,290

Retention Rate

84%

Acceptance Rate

87%

Students Enrolled

48,274

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

56%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Arizona State University Online

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: AACSB International

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $714
Out-of-State | $714

Credits to Graduate: 120

ASU Online's bachelor of science in accountancy program, available through the W.P. Carey School of Business, requires 40 classes that last 7.5 weeks each. Students take courses like microeconomic principles, external reporting, taxes and business decisions, and principles of auditing. Accountancy majors can receive hands-on experience using e-business software.

You can develop teamwork, communication, information technology, and critical thinking skills. The accountancy BS program can prepare you for various professional certification and licensure opportunities, but requirements vary by state.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$10,710

Out-of-state

$12,984

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$9,774

Out-of-state

$9,774

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

70%

Students Enrolled

57,848

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

Not provided

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

National University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $370
Out-of-State | $370

Credits to Graduate: 180

NU's online BS in accounting program offers year-round enrollment and four-week courses that make it easier to balance your life with school. The curriculum aligns with industry exams for prospective CPAs and CMAs. You must complete at least 45 of the required 180 credits in residence at NU.

Courses explore financial accounting fundamentals, government and nonprofit accounting, accounting ethics, and applied technology for accountants. You can master skills in analyzing accounting information, understanding international financial reporting standards, and researching accounting information.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$13,320

Out-of-state

$13,320

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$15,480

Out-of-state

$15,480

Retention Rate

100%

Acceptance Rate

55%

Students Enrolled

17,135

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

80%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#10 Best Online Accounting Degrees of 2024

Purdue Global University

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $371
Out-of-State | $371

Credits to Graduate: 180

Purdue Global's online BS in accounting degree covers organizational behavior, finance, business law, and federal tax. You can choose from four accounting concentrations: auditing and forensic accountancy, managerial accountancy, public accountancy, or tax accountancy.

The school offers at least one start date each month. You can save time and money by earning credits for prior coursework, professional work, and/or military experience. Purdue Global also offers a three-week introductory period with no financial obligation, allowing you to explore the program without making a full commitment.

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$10,080

Out-of-state

$13,356

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$8,730

Out-of-state

$9,700

Retention Rate

75%

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

43,458

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

100%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

How We Chose These Schools

At TheBestSchools, we pride ourselves on our proprietary ranking methodology to help prospective students like you find the best fit. Our ranking system uses official government data to present schools without bias, taking into account key factors like academic quality, online offerings, and affordability.

Learn more about how our formula works on our ranking methodology page.

What Is an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Degree?

Online degrees for accounting students provide the knowledge and skills to earn professional accounting certification, pursue entry-level careers, or enroll in graduate school. Graduates can apply accounting principles to real-world businesses, analyze financial issues and make recommendations, and assess ethical issues.

The flexibility and expanded access of online programs attract high school graduates, working students attending college for the first time, and working professionals looking to change careers. Learners with associate degrees who want to become certified public accountants are also excellent candidates for an online bachelor's degree.

Graduates who earn an accounting bachelor's degree online gain skills in mathematics, research, communication, and specialized types of accounting.

What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Whether earning their accounting degrees online or on campus, students can expect the same foundational curriculum components: general education, major core, and electives. In an accounting program, courses cover topics like economics, finance, and business law.

Students looking to further specialize their curriculum can often select from concentrations in auditing and forensic accounting; managerial accounting; public accounting; or tax accounting.

Each concentration requires courses focused on field-specific knowledge and skills, such as corporate tax accounting, financial statement analysis, or cost accounting. Students may also choose to supplement their degrees with open electives.

Accounting Curriculum

  • Business Ethics: This course teaches students to apply ethical theory and practice in business contexts. Topics include different ethical systems, cross-cultural variations and similarities, and how organizations develop and implement ethics programs. Courses use case studies to help students recognize and analyze ethical issues in the workplace.

  • Auditing: An undergraduate auditing course introduces students to assurance services and the professional and ethical standards required of auditors. By examining audit programs and procedures, students gain skills in audit design, testing methods, and communication strategies for discussing results. Coursework emphasizes risk mitigation and compliance.

  • Taxation: Students in this course learn the procedures used to interpret personal (not corporate) tax information. Coursework explores the basic concepts of federal income taxation, including gross income, exemptions, deductions, and credits. Undergraduate accounting degrees may also offer courses in corporate taxation, focusing on requirements and procedures for businesses.

Accounting Jobs

A bachelor's in accounting gives students a strong foundation in finance principles, computer applications, and economics. Public accounting may be the most obvious career path for graduates, but an online degree in accounting is equally applicable to many jobs serving businesses, governments, and individual clients.

Undergraduate accounting programs are also an excellent choice for students who plan to attend graduate school before pursuing advanced positions in finance or economics.

Here are three of the most popular careers for accounting graduates. Some careers require additional education or certification.

Certified Public Accountants

  • Median Salary: $78,000
  • Projected Job Growth: 4%

Certified public accountants (CPAs) complete financial tasks for individual, corporate, and government clients. These tasks include bookkeeping and accounting, auditing, tax preparation, and consulting.

Accountants generally work independently while completing tasks, but they must communicate effectively with clients to explain their findings.

CPAs may operate their own businesses or work for public accounting firms. To become a CPA, candidates must earn at least a bachelor's degree in accounting and complete a national certification exam from the AICPA. CPAs need keen analytical, organizational, and mathematics skills to excel.

Financial Managers

  • Median Salary: $139,790
  • Projected Job Growth: 16%

Financial managers — also known as controllers, treasurers, and finance officers — safeguard the financial health of an organization. These professionals monitor legal compliance, prepare statements and reports, direct investment activities, and help craft long-term financial goals. They often work on management teams and act as advisors to top executives.

Employers typically look for financial managers with a bachelor's degree and several years of relevant experience in business or finance. Many financial managers begin their careers as accountants or financial analysts before seeking advancement. This position requires excellent analytical, communication, and mathematics skills.

Budget Analyst

  • Median Salary: $82,260
  • Projected Job Growth: 3%

Businesses, universities, and governments rely on budget analysts to help organize their finances and develop realistic budgets. Tasks include monitoring organizational spending, analyzing costs and benefits, reviewing funding requests, estimating future financial needs, and making recommendations to managers.

Education requirements vary by employer, but many budget analyst positions require a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or statistics. Budget analysts should have excellent communication, mathematics, and writing skills.

Learn More About Accounting Degrees Online

Which degree is best for an accountant?

You can pursue some accounting roles after completing an associate program, but most employers seek candidates with bachelor's degrees in accounting. CPAs need 150 total credits to qualify for certification, making a bachelor's program an ideal way to earn your first 120 credits.

Do you get a BA or BS in accounting?

Schools more commonly offer bachelor of science (BS) degrees in accounting, though some feature bachelor of arts (BA) programs in the subject. Both types of degrees can prepare you to become an accountant -- BA programs generally provide a broader liberal arts curriculum with more electives, while BS degrees cover more business, technology, and science classes.

How long does it take to get an online accounting degree?

The time it takes to earn an online accounting degree varies based on several factors, but a bachelor's degree in accounting will typically take four years. This timeline can be abbreviated with accelerated enrollment and transfer-friendly policies, however. Part-time enrollment can extend this timeline to five or more years.

Is a two-year accounting degree worth it?

A two-year accounting degree allows you to explore the field without having to commit to a four-year program. Some schools allow you to transfer associate credits into a bachelor's program, which may then count toward CPA licensure. If you plan to become a CPA, a bachelor's degree in accounting likely offers a better pathway than a two-year program.

Best Accounting Degrees Online 2024 (2024)

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