Best Online Bachelor's Degrees in Accounting 2022

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Updated October 20, 2022

Are you looking for a flexible way to obtain a bachelor's degree in accounting? Enrolling in an online program could be the solution for you.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

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As the job market continues to evolve, so does the landscape of higher education. Many students rely on online degree programs to accomplish their educational objectives. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) shows over 7 million postsecondary students enrolled in distance education courses in fall 2019. A 2020 study from Wiley Education Services revealed 79% of students who completed distance learning coursework felt the online experience felt the experience was worth the cost.

A bachelor's degree in accounting can provide a competitive edge in the job market. The profession demonstrates steady growth and higher-than-average salaries: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7% increase in accounting and auditing jobs from 2020 to 2030. The BLS also reports the median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $77,250 as of 2021, higher than the national average salary for all jobs.

Students in accounting bachelor's degree programs learn to use in-demand accounting software and apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations. Online accounting bachelor's degree graduates can pursue careers as certified public accountants (CPAs), forensic accountants, auditors, and financial analysts. Industries hiring accountants include finance, banking, insurance, and real estate.

Below, we provide a comprehensive guide to the best online bachelor's degrees in accounting.

What to Expect From an Online Accounting Bachelor's Degree

Online programs often employ the same faculty who teach in-person courses. The classes comprising on-campus and online degrees are also usually similar. However, a few differences separate the two styles of learning.

For instance, on-campus degree programs require students to attend classes in person. These courses have predetermined meeting times and offer opportunities for face-to-face interaction with peers and instructors.

Students in online programs, on the other hand, do not attend classes on a physical campus. Synchronous courses use technology like web conferencing to provide learners with live virtual lectures and class discussions. Asynchronous classes usually offer more flexible scheduling, as they do not require enrollees to log in at set times.

Top Five Accounting Bachelor's Degrees Online

As a popular business major, online accounting degrees can prepare aspiring accountants for CPA, certified management accountant (CMA), or certified financial manager (CFM) designations. Read on to discover the best online accounting degrees for 2022, and see below to learn more about our methodology for ranking the best bachelor's degrees in accounting.

  1. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    Location

    Little Rock, AR

    Tuition

    $13751

    Established in 1927, UA Little Rock is located in the state's largest city. The school enrolls about 9,500 students in 161 programs. Distance learners can choose from dozens of accredited programs delivered fully online. 

    BBA in Accounting

    The BBA in accounting provides a strong business background and accounting specialization. Students complete 120 credits entirely online. The curriculum requires general education coursework in several disciplines. 

    The major explores topics in business, finance, and operations management. Enrollees build accounting expertise in financial accounting, federal taxation, and auditing theory and practice. 

    Students receive preparation to sit for the Arkansas certified public accountant exam. The BBA's Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation helps ensure academic excellence. UA Little Rock offers one of the most affordable bachelor's in accounting.

    Applying to UA Little Rock

    Students admitted to UA LIttle Rock can begin taking business classes at any time. Admission to the BBA in accounting requires a minimum 2.25 GPA and college algebra and composition coursework.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Public
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
    • Tuition: $280/credit 
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Delivery Format: 100% online asynchronous
  2. Franklin University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Franklin University specializes in affordable programs for nontraditional learners. Students can take classes online or at locations throughout Ohio. A generous transfer policy allows more than 90% of students to transfer credit into the program.

    BS in Accounting

    Franklin offers the BS in accounting entirely online for students who work. Enrollees prepare for certification such as certified public accountant. The 124-semester-credit curriculum includes general education coursework. Enrollees complete business foundation courses that cover business law, management, and marketing principles. 

    The accounting major develops skills in auditing, cost management, and accounting research and analysis. Students learn how to use industry-standard accounting software. Participants can use elective credits for an internship experience. 

    The program culminates with a business simulation. This allows students to work with peers to conduct an audit that investigates financial statements.

    Applying to Franklin

    Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate. Transfer students submit all college transcripts for review. Students can transfer up to 94 credits during the admissions process.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; International Accreditation Council for Business Education
    • Tuition: $398/credit
    • Required Credits: 124 
    • Program Length: 4 years or fewer 
    • Delivery Format: 100% online asynchronous
  3. Brenau University
    Location

    Gainesville, GA

    Brenau is a private college located in Gainesville, Georgia. The university operates a women's college as part of the undergraduate school. Brenau also administers undergraduate and graduate programs online and on three campuses in Georgia and Florida.

    BBA in Accounting

    The BBA in accounting develops business and accounting expertise. The program enrolls both first-year and transfer students, preparing them for the certified public accountant exam. 

    The business foundation courses cover topics in business statistics, managerial finance, and strategic thinking and innovation. Enrollees learn cost accounting, fraud examination, plus auditing and assurance services. 

    All enrollees develop taxation and intermediate accounting skills. A maximum of 20 students in each class promotes personalized learning. Most classes run seven weeks so students can complete their degrees faster.

    Applying to Brenau

    Admission to the BBA in accounting requires a minimum 2.75 GPA for first-year students and a 2.0 for transfer students. 

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
    • Tuition: $690/credit
    • Required Credits: 120 
    • Program Length: 4 years or fewer
    • Delivery Format: 100% online asynchronous
  4. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, LU is one of the nation's top Christian colleges. In addition to on-campus programs, LU offers online degrees through their virtual college. The school's affordable tuition and generous credit transfer policy attracts students nationwide.

    BS in Accounting

    The BS in accounting teaches accounting principles and best practices within a Christian worldview. The degree prepares enrollees for the certified public accountant exam and other certifications. 

    Students complete 120 credits, including general education classes and supplementary coursework on the Bible and theology. Students learn how to use business computer applications to collect, store, and process financial data. Enrollees develop key skills in auditing and financial statement analysis. 

    Students can transfer up to 75% of the total required credits. LU provides electronic textbooks for undergraduate courses at no cost. Eight-week sessions help accelerate degree completion.

    Applying to LU

    Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA and high school and college transcripts. Applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission; Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
    • Tuition: $390/credit (full time); $455/credit (part time)
    • Required Credits: 120 
    • Program Length: 3.5 years average
    • Delivery Format: 100% online asynchronous
  5. McKendree University
    Location

    Lebanon, IL

    Founded in 1928, McK is the oldest college in Illinois. The school enrolls about 2,200 students in programs on campus in Lebanon and online. McK also offers online programs such as the BBA in accounting on the Scott Air Force Base.

    BBA in Accounting

    McK offers an online BBA with several majors. The BBA in accounting provides a sound business background. The major develops skills in auditing and managerial accounting. 

    Students learn how to present financial data and prepare tax returns. Students complete a business strategy and policy capstone course, applying the skills they've learned in the program. Graduates can apply their credits toward the educational requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination. 

    Students complete the BBA in eight-week classes. Online learners pay the same tuition regardless of residency status. Military personnel enjoy generous tuition discounts. Students can transfer up to 90 credits into the program.

    Applying to McK

    Admission to the BBA in accounting program requires a high school transcript or GED certificate. Transfer students must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

    Program at a Glance

    • School Type: Private
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; International Accreditation Council for Business Education
    • Tuition: $400/credit
    • Required Credits: 120 
    • Program Length: 4 years
    • Delivery Format: 100% online asynchronous

Top Online Bachelor's Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

How Does an Online Accounting Degree Differ From an On-Campus Bachelor's?

Comparing Online and On-Campus Bachelor's in Accounting Degrees
Factor Online Program On-Campus Program
Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour $239-$718 $682-$1,350
Course Load At least 12 credit hours for full-time students; at least 3 credit hours for part-time students At least 12 credit hours for full-time students; at least 3 credit hours for part-time students
Program Credit Hours 120 credits 120 credits
Scheduling Online accounting programs are available in synchronous and asynchronous formats. Asynchronous classes allow students to complete coursework on their own schedule, while synchronous courses arrange live virtual classroom sessions. At scheduled times, classes take place in a physical classroom. Some programs offer hybrid formats that combine online learning with on-campus learning opportunities.

Sources: Brenau University, Franklin University, Indiana University, Liberty University, NC State University, Purdue Global, Seton Hall University, Syracuse University

A key difference between online and traditional degrees is flexibility. Depending on course format, online accounting degree classes may not have the same rigid schedules as their on-campus equivalents. Students can view prerecorded lectures and complete assignments when their work and family obligations allow.

Online schools sometimes offer accelerated programs, which allow learners to complete their degree in fewer than four years of full-time study. Some institutions also offer special tuition rates for online students or charge in-state tuition for all distance learners regardless of state residency. This can make an online degree more affordable than an on-campus program.

Many on-campus accounting programs require students to complete internships or fieldwork to graduate, which may be difficult to arrange for remote students. However, learners can network with local organizations to develop approved internship opportunities.

Delivery Formats for Online Accounting Degrees

A major distinction between asynchronous and synchronous accounting degree programs is that asynchronous programs allow students to complete coursework on a more flexible schedule.

Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require students to meet online at predetermined times for video conferences or other real-time learning experiences. Fully online accounting degree programs are typically asynchronous.

Hybrid programs require learners to spend some time on campus, including in-person orientations, residencies, or full courses offered only on campus. One advantage hybrid delivery formats yield is more opportunities for in-person networking and collaboration.

Common online learning formats include:

  • Self-Paced Learning: This online learning format allows learners to move through course material at their own pace. There is usually no set schedule or deadlines beyond completing class assignments by the end of the academic term, and learners can access the material at any time.
  • Guided Learning: In this online learning style, students receive more structure and guidance from instructors. This can include weekly or monthly deadlines for quizzes and assignments. Learners typically have regular interaction with an instructor or mentor.
  • Collaborative Learning: This type of online learning takes place in a more interactive environment, where learners work together to complete tasks or solve problems. Collaborative learning occurs in synchronous and asynchronous environments.

Students should consider which of these formats suits their learning style and goals before choosing an online program.

Accreditation for Online Accounting Programs

Accreditation is a process that verifies whether schools and programs meet standards of academic excellence. Accrediting agencies are the independent groups that evaluate institutions and offer their seal of approval.

Completing an accredited online accounting bachelor's degree offers many benefits: Most schools only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. Only students who attend accredited schools are eligible for federal financial aid. Employers may only hire job applicants with accredited degrees.

There are three main types of accreditations: regional, national, and programmatic.

Institutional Accreditation and Programmatic Accreditation

Though there is no national board that oversees accreditation, the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education maintain lists of approved accrediting agencies. Regional and national accrediting bodies evaluate at the institutional level. Programmatic accreditors focus on specific departments and programs to confirm degree curricula prepare students for careers in the field.

Accrediting Agencies

Accrediting agencies assess schools to validate academic rigor and educational quality. Regional accreditors include the Higher Learning Commission, the New England Commission of Higher Education, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Relevant programmatic accreditors for accounting programs include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

State Authorization

State authorization protects distance learners by ensuring that institutions can legally deliver education to students in other states. Schools need to pursue state authorization to qualify for federal aid.

List of States with Accounting Degrees

Alabama Louisiana Ohio
Alaska Maine Oklahoma
Arizona Maryland Oregon
Arkansas Massachusetts Pennsylvania
California Michigan Rhode Island
Colorado Minnesota South Carolina
Connecticut Mississippi South Dakota
Delaware Missouri Tennessee
Florida Montana Texas
Georgia Nebraska Utah
Hawaii Nevada Vermont
Idaho New Hampshire Virginia
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico West Virginia
Iowa New York Wisconsin
Kansas North Carolina Wyoming
Kentucky North Dakota

How Much Will an Online Accounting Bachelor's Cost?

The typical cost of an online bachelor's degree in accounting varies. Typically, in-state public institutions charge the lowest tuition rates: NCES data for the 2019-20 academic year shows average full-time tuition for in-state public schools was $9,349. Full-time tuition for private schools in the same year was $32,769.

Public institutions sometimes charge all online students in-state tuition regardless of state residency. Other institutions may offer special tuition rates for distance learners.

Financial aid helps students cover the cost of tuition, books, and other expenses associated with their education. There are many financing options available for students pursuing an online accounting bachelor's degree. These include scholarships, grants, loans, employer reimbursement, and work-study programs.

Typically, students receive scholarships and grants based on financial need or academic merit. Learners must repay loans. Federal student loan programs may offer lower interest rates than private loans. Work-study programs allow students to earn money to help pay for their education.

In addition to tuition, online students should consider other costs like technology fees, textbook expenses, and monthly fees for high-speed internet access.

Why Get Your Bachelor's Degree in Accounting Online?

Earning an online bachelor's degree in accounting lets learners study at their own pace. Traditional students meet at established class times and locations, but online enrollees can complete courses from home.

Some distance learning programs are self-paced or accelerated. As a result, remote students may complete their degree faster than on-campus students, allowing them to finish in fewer than four years of full-time study.

There are other factors to consider when deciding to pursue online education: Is the school accredited? Does the learning style of the program meet your needs? Does the degree require in-person attendance for some components?

Pros

  • Online education grants students more freedom to select an online program that meets their preferences, regardless of location.
  • Students with varied personal and professional commitments can enjoy the flexibility of online learning when completing coursework.
  • Online programs may offer lower tuition rates, making a distance learning degree more affordable than its on-campus equivalent.

Cons

  • Students may find it difficult to complete an online degree because of the lack of face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates.
  • Online students may not have access to the same resources — such as job fairs — as in-person students.

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Questions About an Online Accounting Bachelor's Degree

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in accounting online?

It typically takes 2-4 years of full-time study to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Students with previous coursework can typically complete their degree in fewer than four years. Some programs offer accelerated tracks that can also hasten learners' completion timeline.

How much is an online degree in accounting?

The cost of an online bachelor's in accounting degree varies by institution. In-state public schools typically offer the lowest tuition rates, while private institutions and out-of-state public schools charge higher tuition. Some online programs charge in-state or online-only tuition rates, regardless of state residency.

Is an online accounting degree worth anything?

Yes. Given the rise in online learning, especially fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers often perceive online degrees as equal in value to on-campus degrees, especially if those degrees come from an accredited institution.

Which is better, a BA or BS in accounting?

A BS in accounting typically focuses more on the quantitative aspects of accounting and may be more beneficial to those planning to earn a graduate degree and pursue CPA licensure. Accounting BA programs usually require more liberal arts courses in the general education curriculum, which can allow students to take more classes outside the accounting and math fields.

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