2019 Best Online Master's in Accounting Programs
For affordable online master’s in accounting degrees with high earning potential, look no further than this list of the
2019 Online Colleges Offering Accounting Degrees - Ranking Details
Online master’s programs in accounting cover topics in theory, managerial principles, critical thinking, and analysis. These programs typically take between one and two years, and are geared towards students seeking to expand their accounting skill set, prepare for licensing exams, or make a pivot in their career.
Most Master of Accounting programs do not require applicants to have a bachelor’s in accounting, however many programs require foundational classes in accounting, business, and management. Some programs are specifically tailored for students with no prior accounting experience, and include all introductory coursework in the program’s curriculum. Beyond these prerequisites, typical programs require an accredited undergraduate degree and GMAT or GRE scores.
The accounting master’s curriculum revolves around advanced accounting concepts, specialized accounting topics, and business coursework. In advanced accounting classes, students learn how to manage accounts in a variety of settings. Management accounting classes discuss corporate mergers, contracts, and other business accounting topics, while classes in financial accounting cover financial statement preparation and analysis. Other courses discuss information systems in accounting, strategic management, business law, and taxation.
An MBA in Accounting offers a more general business curriculum with a partial focus in accounting, whereas a Master of Accounting program will focus heavily on advanced accounting principles. Due to their in-depth nature, Master of Accounting programs are often designed to prepare students to sit for licensing exams such as the Certified Public Accountant exam. Students in a Master of Accounting program can also often focus their studies on a specific topic such as internal auditing or taxation. Students seeking a broader variety of career options might prefer an MBA with a concentration in accounting.
For most graduates, the master’s degree in accounting is used to enter a more competitive position as a professional accountant. Students who have completed 150 credit hours of post-secondary education are eligible to sit for the CPA exam. The CPA credential is highly valued in the field and can be useful for finding a job. Master’s-level accountants may work in a variety of settings, including private accounting services, finance and insurance, state and local government, and manufacturing.
- What’s the difference between an MBA and an MS in Accounting? The University of Scranton. Accessed September 7, 2017. http://elearning.scranton.edu/resource/business-leadership/difference-between-mba-and-ms-in-accounting.
- The Difference Between a Specialized Master's Degree and an MBA Is...? Fisher College of Business. The Ohio State University. Accessed September 7, 2017. http://blog.fisher.osu.edu/specialized-masters-vs.-mba-what-is-the-difference-0.
- Accountants and Auditors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. Accessed July 24, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm.
- Accredited Programs. ACBSP. Accessed July 25, 2014. http://www.acbsp.org/?page=accredited_members.
- CFE Qualifications. Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Accessed July 26, 2014. http://www.acfe.com/cfe-qualifications.aspx.
- CFP Certification. CFP Board. Accessed July 26, 2014. http://www.cfp.net/about-cfp-board/cfp-certification-the-standard-of-excellence.
- CIA Eligibility Requirements. IIA. Accessed July 26, 2014. https://na.theiia.org/certification/cia-certification/Pages/Eligibility-Requirements.aspx.
- CPA Exam. NASBA. Accessed July 26, 2014. http://nasba.org/exams/cpaexam.
- Enrolled Agent Information. IRS. Accessed July 26, 2014. https://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Enrolled-Agents/Enrolled-Agent-Information.
- The Certified Government Financial Manager. Association of Government Accountants. http://www.agacgfm.org/CGFM.
- The Uniform CPA Examination. AICPA. Accessed July 26, 2014. http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/CPAEXAM/Pages/CPAExam.aspx.