Online Associates Degree in Accounting

On this page
Back to top

Online Associates Degree in Accounting is an entry-level degree in the field of accounting. Generally, it’s a two-year course, wherein students are exposed to accounting subjects at a very basic level. An associate degree in accounting would be the first step towards a career in this field. A two-year associate degree in accounting builds foundational skills in math, business, and accounting principles, preparing students to enter the workforce or transfer further into a bachelor’s program. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics accountants earn a median salary of around $73560 per year, and the profession is slated to grow 7% in the next 10 years. This article will delve into the field of accounting from an associate degree point of view and the scope and opportunities this field offers in terms of subjects being learned, job opportunities, and further studies this degree prepares students for. We will also try to answer all the frequently asked questions this field evokes.

Online Associates Degree in Accounting

Best Online Associates Degree
in Accounting Courses

We at FBD (Find Best Degrees) have vetted several accounting schools and have come up with a list of the best online associate accounting programs. Our vetting process involves a host of criteria including graduation rate, tuition fee, student placements, location of the college, college rankings, etc. Below is the list of our top picks (alphabetically arranged) for the best associate accounting schools:*

Copiah-Lincoln Community College is a public institution in Wesson, Mississippi. Its campus is rural with a total enrollment of 3,094. The school utilizes a semester-based academic year. The student-faculty ratio is 20-to-1. The highest degree offered at Copiah-Lincoln Community College is an associate degree. The school has an open admissions policy and offers credit for life experiences.
Univ Address
Copiah-Lincoln Community College 1001 Co-Lin Lane, Wesson, Mississippi 39191

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

Find Online Associates Degree
in Accounting Near Me

If you are looking at the best OT bachelor’s programs near you, you are in luck, below is a list of OT programs near your location:

What to expect from the Online Associates
Degree in Accounting?

The online, two-year Associate of Applied Business in Accounting program helps students develop the skills needed for a career as a professional in the field of accounting. This degree is a perfect choice for students that want a professional career in a high-demand job market, want a degree that will allow them to enter the workforce quickly and have the potential for career advancement, and students who are good with numbers and understand math. This degree also allows students to take their careers further stepping into higher degrees.

Below we discuss some of the subjects or classes required for an associate degree in accounting:

  • Fundamentals of Tax Preparation
  • Fundamentals of Topics in Accounting
  • Legal Environment of Business
  • Advanced Bookkeeping
  • Fundamentals of Fraud Examination
  • Financial Accounting
  • Introduction to Microeconomics
  • Fundamentals of Management
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • MATH/STAT etc.

Types of Associates Degree
in Accounting

An associate degree in accounting enables students to professionally practice financial accounting, management accounting, taxation, auditing, etc. But depending on the degree type, the specialization or concentration of subjects and hence the emphasis of the degree type is important to understand what students are getting into. Below we discuss the same.

Associate of Science in Accounting

Though the subjects are the same in an associate degree in finance irrespective of the degree type, the associate of science in accounting degree type has a bit of intensity on exploring and researching finance subjects. Since this is a very entry-level degree, most subjects would remain the same, just that the approach to exploring those subjects would be different.

Associate of Arts in Accounting

In this degree type the approach of studies is more classical, and more emphasis is put on understanding the theories related to the subjects being studied. This approach is more of a purist approach, looking at a vocation and protagonists would mostly delve into the policy implementation of the same.

Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

In this degree type the approach of studies is more applied, which means, more emphasis is put on applying the theories related to the subjects to solve everyday problems. This approach is more of a mathematical approach looking at a vocation and protagonists would mostly delve into the policy improvement and explore implementing new solutions depending on research and data analysis.

Areas of Specialization for Online
Associates Degree in Accounting

Students taking up a career in finance generally take up finance and accounting and math specializations in their associate-level studies. Here we discuss such specializations which lead you to career concentration in finance.

Area of Specialization Description Institutions availableCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Cashflow PerformanceCashflow is the broad term used to describe the path that cash can take; in, though, and out of a business. The performance part of this comes in when finance professionals analyze how this cash travels and what exactly those paths of travel mean for the company’s final numbers.Copiah-Lincoln Community CollegeCash Flow Analyst
Financial Statement AnalysisFinancial statement analysis is the methodical, professional approach to the deeper side of understanding financial statements. A professional specializing in this area of finance would essentially review all a company’s various financial statements and other closely related records, and then present the company with some of the finer insights and advice most would not be able to conjure from such a range of sophisticated data-culling and translation.Indiana Wesleyan University-National & GlobalFinancial Clerk
Personal FinancesPersonal finances are a specialty area of the finance and banking industries that focuses on the individual and their array of financial goals, bills, income, and many other elements. One of the most common professions built around this exact specialty area of finance is that of today’s accountant.Fox Valley Technical CollegeWealth Manager
InvestmentsInvesting is all about making the right decisions regarding the when, why, and how of smart buying. Investing can involve something like wisely buying the right home with which to live out one’s remaining retirement years, or it could involve rapid and complicated stock exchange action with high-paced buying and selling of stocks. While some may outwardly view investing as a rather straightforward concept, it can become quite complicated and specialization-driven.Liberty UniversityInvestment Analysts

Why should I do an Online Associates
Degree in Accounting?

At the onset, students might ask if an associate degree in accounting is worth it. Well, the short answer to that question would be an astounding ‘yes’. An associate degree in accounting is a stepping stone to an industry driven by a lot of government compliance, rules, and regulations. And accountants are the guiding angels of the same. In short, accounting is a very lucrative and sought-after career and due to compliance, the accountant would be needed as long as businesses are run. Therefore, accounting is a profession that has been there forever and will remain the same.

Students with an aptitude for numbers and basic math are well suited to take up this profession. It would also require a basic understanding of balancing sheets and accounts. Students would also be taught the basics of management and finance. This profession has seen stable growth for years and will keep on doing the same in the foreseeable future.

How to get into the Online Associates
in Accounting program?

The prerequisites for an online associate degree in accounting typical would be the below:

  • A high school graduate degree. 
  • Some colleges would need an SAT (scholastic aptitude test) or GED (general education development score) score. Or if someone is transferring in-between schools, then it should be in good academic standing. Which could be a minimum GPA of 2.0 or above.
  • Submit the online application with a cover letter and at least 3 letters of reference. The no. of letter of reference depends on the university.

Students must submit proof that they have met all the above criteria to be accepted at a college or university.

How long does it take to complete the Online
Associates in Accounting?

An obvious question for any student is how many years is occupational therapy graduate school? Well, like any associate degree program, an online associate in accounting program takes around 60 credit hours and 2 years to complete. An associate program can be broken down into required courses, supportive courses, and elective courses. Students must pick a few elective courses and the rest of them would be core subjects. There might be some supportive coursework required to be completed for completion of the program.

But professionals who have full-time jobs could get into some accredited accelerated programs where students can get some credits for their work experience and can complete the program at a faster pace. There are also some asynchronous programs wherein working professionals can plan and complete their programs in their own space. So, there are a host of options to pick up from and one should choose according to the profile of the student.

Accreditation For Online Associates
Degree in Accounting

Accreditation is a vetting process wherein an institution has been evaluated by an independent accrediting body and found to meet the high standards of a rigorous education. Thus, accreditation in essence is enforcement of quality. Also, a few aspects of accounting practice require licensing from state/federal bodies. And only those with accredited degrees would get the opportunity to sit for those license examinations. Hence, getting an accredited associate degree in accounting is a must to practice the craft of accounting. Read more about Accreditation.

Hence, one must ensure that their degrees are regionally accredited online associate degree programs and recognized by the industry and fraternity they are getting into, and more importantly, to be eligible for US federal student aid students must ensure that the institution one is enrolling in is accredited by one of the federally recognized accreditation bodies.

Accelerated Programs for Associates
in Accounting

There are certain associated degree programs in accounting wherein students can pursue the degree where they get credits for their work experience. These programs will grant credits to students for their actual work experience and hence, the students can complete the degree at a very fast pace as lots of credits can be bypassed because of their work experience. These are very popular with working professionals who want to further their studies and get into the organized accounting industry.

Associates Vs Bachelors
in Accounting

While a bachelor’s degree in accounting is the entry-level course for students to get into the field of accounting and finance. An associate degree in accounting is more suited to professionals who are already accounting professionals and doesn’t have an educational background in it. It gives them the credit for their experience, at the same time preparing them for the further rigors of an advanced degree in the same. While a bachelor’s in accounting would be the right entry path for students trying to get into accounting, the associate degree would be more suited to professionals and full-time workers who would want to get credit for their work experience and have a more flexible program. One cannot say an associate degree in accounting to a bachelor is more advantageous or not, but it depends on the use case of the student as discussed above.

Free Courses for Online Associates
Degree in Accounting

Introduction to Financial Accounting

In this course students will learn to explain the format of the income statement and balance sheet, define various financial statement terms (e.g., accounts receivable, prepayments, etc.), record financial statement transactions (e.g., invoicing, raising equity, buying inventory, etc.), prepare a simple income statement and balance sheet and prepare a simple cash flow statement using the balance sheet and income statement.

Accounting Debits and Credits – Accounting Play

In this free course students would learn to understand accounting Debits and Credits, learn the accounting equation, and learn about financial accounting.

Excel for Accountants— Mapping Tables

In this course, students would learn to store data in tables so that new rows are automatically included in related formulas, perform conditional summing with the SUMIFS function and create an intermediate mapping table so that Excel has the information needed to translate labels and aggregate data rows.

Accounting Debits and Credits – Accounting Play

In this course, students would learn to Understand accounting debits and credits, learn the accounting equation, and learn about financial accounting.

How to Pay for Online Associates
in Accounting Programs?

Keeping in mind the cost of education these days and the amount of debt that each student carries it is of prime importance how you choose to fund your master’s in occupational therapy online program. The smartest way to fund education is a scholarship. For further reference, students can refer to this link here for scholarships.

It might happen that someone does not qualify for a scholarship, for such candidates if they are working professionals, they can check with their employers to reimburse the tuition fee. The other way of funding your associate in accountancy is to apply for a student loan. Students can also check if they are eligible for federal student aid. Here is a link to the application for FAFSA Application.

Typically, for an online associate degree in accounting, students might end up paying between $6000 to $23000 for total tuition. These figures change year on year and change depending on the universities.

FAQs about Online Associates
in Accounting Programs

What can one do with an associate in accounting?

After obtaining an associate degree in accounting, graduates can either start working in the field in entry-level positions, such as clerks or accountant assistants, or they can pursue a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.

Are you considered an accountant with an associate degree?

Is it better to get an associate or bachelor’s in accounting?

Are accountants well paid?

Do accountants do a lot of math?

How do you become a certified accountant?

What is CPA certification VS license?

How tough is accounting?

Is accounting a good career?

Is accounting a safe career?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after
Online Associates in Accounting

Accounting could be a very rewarding field if you are good at it. Starting from an accounting clerk to the chief financial officer, a degree in accounting can take you far. But to scale the heights of the profession, students would have to have a knack for interpreting numbers and be able to see what the numbers are trying to tell them or predict. Below we discuss a few starting positions with an associate degree in accounting:

Occupation Job DescriptionJob Growth (2018-2028)Median Annual Salary
Accountants and AuditorsAccountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records, identify potential areas of opportunity and risk, and provide solutions for businesses and individuals. They ensure that financial records are accurate, that financial and data risks are evaluated, and that taxes are paid properly. They also assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently. Many accountants and auditors specialize, depending on their employer. Some work for organizations that specialize in assurance services (improving the quality or context of information for decisionmakers) or risk management (determining the probability of a misstatement on financial documents). Other organizations specialize in specific industries, such as finance, insurance, or healthcare.7%$73,560
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing ClerksBookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy. Bookkeeping clerks, also known as bookkeepers, often are responsible for some or all an organization’s accounts, known as the general ledger. They record all transactions and post debits (costs) and credits (income). Accounting clerks typically work for larger companies and have more specialized tasks. Their titles, such as accounts payable clerk or accounts receivable clerk, often reflect the type of accounting they do. Auditing clerks check figures, postings, and documents to ensure that they are mathematically accurate and properly coded. For smaller errors, such as transcription errors, they may make corrections themselves. In case of major discrepancies, they typically notify senior staff, including accountants and auditors.3%$42,410
Financial ClerksFinancial clerks do administrative work for many types of organizations. They keep records, help customers, and carry out transactions that involve money. Billing and posting clerks calculate charges and generate bills, which they then prepare to send to customers. They review documents such as purchase orders, sales tickets, charge slips, and hospital records to calculate fees or charges due. They also contact customers to get or give account information. Brokerage clerks help with tasks associated with securities such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and other kinds of investments. Their duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, calculating transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting, and delivering securities, distributing dividends, and recording daily transactions and holdings. Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks review the credit history and get the information needed to determine the creditworthiness, of individuals or businesses applying for credit. Credit authorizers check customers’ credit records and payment histories to decide, based on predetermined standards, whether to approve new credit. Credit checkers contact credit departments of business and service establishments for information about applicants’ credit standing.2%$41,520
Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue AgentsTax examiners collectors and revenue agents determine how much is owed in taxes and collect tax from individuals and businesses on behalf of federal, state, and local governments. They review tax returns, conduct audits, identify taxes owed, and collect overdue tax payments. Tax examiners typically deal with simple tax returns filed by individual taxpayers who claim few deductions and by small businesses. Tax examiners also may contact individual taxpayers to resolve outstanding problems with their returns. Revenue agents, called internal revenue agents in the IRS, specialize in tax-related accounting. Like tax examiners, they review returns for accuracy. However, revenue agents handle the complex tax returns of large businesses and corporations. Tax collectors, also called internal revenue officers in the IRS, deal with overdue accounts. The process of collecting an overdue payment starts with the revenue agent or tax examiner sending a report to the taxpayer. If the taxpayer makes no effort to pay, the case is assigned to a tax collector.4%$55,640

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Associates in Accounting

Below are a few certifications required to practice accounting in a different state of the country:

  • The requirements for certified public accountant licensure vary by state. Nearly all states require at least 150 hours of education, which may mean those students interested in CPA licensure need to pursue master’s degrees or graduate-level coursework in addition to their bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, at least two years of public accounting experience is typically necessary to be eligible to become a CPA. Candidates must also pass the Uniform CPA Examination.
  • A CMA focuses on corporate accounting, including financial planning and management. CMA requirements typically include a bachelor’s degree, passing the CMA Exam, two years of work experience in management accounting or financial accounting, and membership in the Institute of Management Accountants. There are no state requirements.
  • A CIA is the highest designation of internal auditors in the United States. CIA requirements typically include a bachelor’s degree, passing the CIA exam, and two years of work experience as an internal auditor. There are no state requirements.
  • A CISA focuses on information technology and business systems auditing. CISA requirements typically include passing the CISA Exam and having five years of relevant work experience. There are no state requirements.

Associates Vs Certificate
in Accounting

These two as in accounting certificate programs vs an associate degree and in accounting are different ball games altogether. An associate degree is a structured way of getting into the profession of accounting, whereas a certificate program is a specialization that students do when they are already into the profession and what to get into some specialization. With an associate degree you would study a whole lot of subjects which are all mandatory, but in certifications depending on what degree type you have completed you would study only one specialized subject. These are two very different ways of approaching a subject and come at very different stages of your study cycle.

Additional Resources for Online Associates Degree
in Accounting

An associate degree in accountancy is a gateway to an industry with huge potential. But to further their careers and keep being relevant in this fast-paced industry, professionals can become members and hence accredit themselves with a professional organization in their chosen state of practice. Apart from being a body that assists in developing and distributing knowledge, professional accounting associations keep their members informed about the newest developments and innovations. We discuss a few such organizational bodies below:

National Association of State Boards of AccountancySince 1908, NASBA has served as a forum for the nation’s 55 State Boards of Accountancy, which administer the Uniform CPA Examination, license more than 650,000 Certified Public Accountants, and regulate the practice of public accountancy in the United States.
The New York State Society of CPAs: NYSSCPAEstablished in 1972, the Foundation for Accounting Education (FAE) is a 501(c)(3) organization that administers an important strategic initiative of the NYSSCPA—to provide lifelong continuing education to certified public accountants in New York State. The FAE offers a wide selection of courses in accounting, auditing, taxation, industry-specific topics, ethics, and advisory services in multiple formats, including live and on-demand courses online, full- and half-day conferences and seminars; on-site learning and 1- and 2-credit CPE sessions provided through the NYSSCPA’s technical committees.
The Florida Institute of Certified Public AccountantsThe Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the premier professional organization representing Florida’s Certified Public Accountants. It serves the diverse needs of its members; enhances their competency and professionalism; supports professional standards; promotes the value of our members and advocates on behalf of the profession.
The Texas Society of Certified Public AccountantsThe Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TXCPA) is the largest, most influential association of accounting and finance professionals in Texas, dedicated to supporting one another, and promoting and protecting the value of the CPA designation. Since 1915, its members have counted on TXCPA for a wide array of professional resources and to stay up to date on critical professional issues. It advances the accounting profession in Texas from influencing policy and regulation to shaping the perception of CPAs across the state.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.