Top 25 Best Online Accounting Bachelor’s for 2021



We are in a moment of great transition as a country, world, and culture. This is a time we will read about in history books, as the world is changing right before our eyes. One thing to be aware of is that many industries are changing with the tides. The field of accounting is one that is safe from such shifts, as we will always need financial and specifically tax experts to support companies, government, and individuals.

Accounting to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of accounting is going to increase jobs by at least 6 percent between 2018 and 2028. So, while you may be wondering how to thrive in the moment of COVID-19 and the political uprising around us, picking a degree path which leads to a lucrative and in demand career. Achieving a bachelor’s degree in accounting can offer the first step to a career path that is only going to grow. Online programming in particular offers a flexible option of study for a variety of students, including those who require flexibility to successfully complete an academic program. We have compiled a list of the best online accounting degree programs based on the following metric:

  • Cost
  • Reputation
  • Success Rate

Take a deeper look and find a program that meets your criteria. 

1. Pennsylvania State University – World Campus 

The Penn State World Campus offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that is delivered entirely online. The Penn State World Campus is a well known online college, known for offering high quality academic opportunities. This program is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. This course of study is designed to support students in preparation to achieve the CPA exam. Each state has different regulations as far as completing the CPA licensure and the Penn State World Campus website gives students the state-by-state breakdown of how to achieve this licensure in each state. This program is fully accredited by the (AACSB) The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a prestigious accrediting body. The entire course of study is made up of 120 credit hours. Some of the classes include: business strategy, finance, marketing, business, and supply chain management, among other pertinent topics. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

2. University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers one of the best online accounting degree programs. The distinct program offered is a bachelors of business administration. This course of study is known for being a flexible option for students who require wiggle room when it comes to infusing their studies with their busy lives. Students in this program will take such upper level classes as cost accounting, individual taxation, corporate taxation, CPA law, accounting information systems, and auditing. Participatants must have at least 27 credits that are transferable. Twelve of the credits offered include general education requirements, 11 are business courses that include topics such as operations management, corporate finance, principles of management, and management communications. This program is fully accredited by the (AACSB) The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Graduates of the program go into career paths such as bank examiners, auditors, controllers, tax specialists, among many other positions. 

Degree Type Accounting, BBA

3. University of South Carolina Columbia 

The University of South Carolina Columbia offers a bachelors of science program in business administration accounting that is delivered entirely online. This course of study is known for being one of the best online accounting degree programs. Students in this course of study have many career options upon graduation that relate to the business sectors as a  result of the complex related coursework that they offer. For example, many students choose such careers as financial advising, audit, tax, risk management, forensic, or managerial. Students will also receive the preliminary preparation to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Certification Exam.  The coursework will train participants to build strong written and oral communication skills, participate in complex team dynamics, understand business technology, prepare for the CPA exam, establish an ethical compass that is transcendent to a myriad of disciplines. This program is fully accredited by the (AACSB) The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. 

Degree Type: Business Administration: Accounting, BS 

4. Northeastern University 

The College of Professional Studies at Northwestern University offers a bachelors in science program in finance and accounting management. This course of study is designed to train students to manage budgets, leverage assets, maximize investments, and achieve financial efficiencies. The program is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. It is fully accredited by (AACSB) The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Students can complete all of the coursework with a minimum of 120 credit hours and a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in all of their classes. Some of the required courses include principles of macroeconomics, principles of marketing, business law, business ethics, and principles of microeconomics. Graduates of the program have been known to go into careers such as budget analysts, bookkeeper, auditors, tax examiner, management analysis, and loan officer. All of the faculty are considered business aligned with expertise in their field. 

Degree Type: Finance and Accounting Management, BS

5. Temple University 

Temple University offers a bachelors of business administration program in accounting. This program has made our ranking as one of the best online accounting degree programs. This course of study is offered through the Fox School of Business. Students in the program are required to complete a minimum of 124 credit hours. The classes are delivered on their flexible online format that makes it easy and convenient to study at your own pace from anywhere in the world. Some of the classes offered include cost accounting, federal taxes and income, auditing, and intermediate accounting one and two. A number of factors has brought this program onto our list of best online accounting degree programs, including the fact that extra motivated students can achieve this degree in an accelerated fashion, which enables students to complete the program in three years. There are additional costs for non-Pennsylvania residents, even though the program is delivered online. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BBA 

6. University of Alabama 

The Collat School of Business at The University of Alabama offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that can be completed entirely online. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. This program emphasizes the offering of the tools to speak the language of business, which is incredibly beneficial in the financial sector. One of the perks about their online flexible learning format is that students will have access to 24/7 support services virtually that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. This way students will never feel alone in their studies, even though they may be sequestered at their dining room tables. UofA has many transfer opportunities that are enticing as well as a myriad of scholarship offerings, even for online students. They pride themselves on having a variety of networking opportunities that may provide additional job opportunities for graduates. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

7. Auburn University 

Auburn University offers a bachelors of science in business administration accountancy program that is offered entirely online. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. This flexible degree pathway was developed for a variety of students with different needs, including those who have full time employment and families to take into account. The course of study is fully accredited by the (AACSB) the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Prospective students must first complete a series of business administration prerequisite classes. Alumni of the program have achieved jobs in such fields as tax accountant, internal auditor, government accountant, managerial accountant, and financial manager. 85 percent of the graduates of this program have passed their CPA exam with flying colors. This program has been offered online since the year 2000, which is enough time to perfect the curriculum. Many students go on to achieve a graduate degree following completion of this bachelor’s degree. 

Degree Type: Business Administration: Accountancy, BS

8. Regis University

Regis University offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that can be completed entirely online. There is a great deal of flexibility in every aspect of this program, including the way it is delivered. Students can choose 5 week terms or 8 week terms as they complete their120 credit hours. Some of the classes offered in this program include forensic and fraud auditing, accounting ethics, and accounting and information sciences. Some of the career paths that graduates of this pathway have chosen include tax accountant, audit associate, certified public accountant, financial analyst, financial planner, and forensic accountant. The program gives students many chances to network with others in the field, making it easier when they are on the hunt for a career. Some students continue on to achieve a masters degree in accounting upon graduation. One unique aspect of this program is they give students the option to get their bachelors and masters at the same time.

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

9. Indiana Wesleyan University 

Indiana Wesleyan University offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that can be completed entirely online. In fact, it was designed for working professionals to have a flexible learning option that they can do alongside their other life commitments.  This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. This is considered a perfect program for students who work full time while undergoing their degree path. The vision of the course of study is to grow ethical leaders in the financial sector. Indiana Wesleyan is a christian institution of higher learning, and all of their coursework is shaped around this faith based ideology. This program is fully accredited by the prestigious ACBSP accreditation body, which stands for the accreditation of council for business schools and programs. Some of the required classes in this pathway include introduction to american business, payroll accounting and taxation, and personal finance. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

10. Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University or Jefferson Online offers an online bachelors of science degree program in accounting. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. The entire course of study can be completed within a 2-3 year time frame. The classes are delivered over eight week periods. Graduates of the program can easily achieve entry level positions in fields such as controllers, treasurer, business analysts, tax specialists, auditors, among others. Students will be required to participate in a variety of professional education core classes including: elements of organizations, leadership theory and ethical practices, principles of management, financial decision making, learning with technology, finding and evaluating statistical data, and economic decision making. There are many start dates students can choose from, which makes it easy for a busy professional to matriculate. A high school diploma and subsequent transcripts are required for prospective students to qualify. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

11. McKendree University

McKendree University offers a bachelors of business administration that can be completed entirely online. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. The flexible virtual format ensures students can have ease with their work, life, and student life balance. The course management system that they utilize is called Brightspace. Each class is offered over the course of an eight week period. Many students choose to undergo two classes over the eight week term. Though the course of study is made up of 120 credit hours, students can achieve the additional 30 hours required to sit for the CPA exam at McKendree. There are also additional graduate studies options following the bachelors completion that graduates can look into. Many people who complete the program go into fields such as tax planning, corporate, government, not-for-profit, tax planning, personal finance, among many others. Some of the required courses include taxation of individuals, business ethics, and auditing. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BBA

12. Bay Path University

Bay Path University offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that is delivered entirely online. This course of study is designed for the busy professional who has a lot to juggle while achieving their degree. They offer a three year accelerated program that automatically qualifies students for entrance into the one year graduate pathway. This ensures that students can achieve their bachelors and masters within a four year time frame. Students must qualify for the accelerated program by interviewing with an admissions counselor and submitting a writing sample. Alternative credits are accepted at Bay Path and come from a variety of places. Students are encouraged to participate in Bay Path’s summer session. Students in the program will learn the ins and outs of accounting and business strategies from a faculty of experts in the field. Even the online programming offers an intimate learning environment with small class sizes. 

Degree Type: Business: Accounting, BS 

13. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Maryville University of Saint Louis offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that is delivered entirely online. There are no on campus requirements, ensuring that students have the most flexible and convenient option available. They even offer early access classes, designed for students who are interested in getting a head start on their masters degrees. Students can complete their bachelors in as little as 2.5 years. Another perk of this program is that there are no prerequisite exams required, as students do not have to take the SAT or ACT for acceptance. The program is fully accredited by (AACSB) The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. They are also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This program has financial aid opportunities even though it is designed for virtual learning. Students will have a great foundation for taking the CPA exam, though some coursework will still be required upon graduation. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

14. Misericordia University

Misericordia University offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that can be completed entirely online. This course of study is designed for the motivated professional who requires flexibility to do it all. This program offering  responds to the ways accounting is considered the language of business, and they want their students to be experts in all of the verses. Students can choose to achieve a minor in forensic accounting, which trains them to detect fraud amongst all types of financial transactions. Misericordia University is fully accredited by the (IACBE) International Accreditation Council for Business Administration. They believe that experiential learning is a critical aspect of professional preparation. They engage hands on learning by giving students access to supervised learning internships at relevant sites including washington redskins, enterprise, highmark blue cross, frontier communications among many others. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of networking organizations. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

15. Alaska Pacific University

The Alaska Pacific University offers a bachelors of arts program in business administration that is delivered in a flexible format that includes online, evening, and weekend classes. Some courses are available in an accelerated format, enabling professional students to complete their coursework efficiently and alongside life’s other obligations and challenges. Many graduates of this program have gone on to pursue professions in the fields of hospitality and tourism, small business ownership and nonprofits, and accounting and finance. The coursework dives into the underpinnings of the world of business including entrepreneurial challenges and strategies. Students will also study values and ethics and strategic leadership. This major offers two concentrations including health care management and nonprofit management. There are also a variety of minors that students can consider that will supplement their education with more career opportunities. Some of the minors include healthcare management, business administration, and accounting and finance. 

Degree Type: Business Administration, BA 

16. Clarion University of Pennsylvania 

Clarion University of Pennsylvania offers both a bachelors of arts and a bachelors of science program in accounting program. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. There are a variety of concentrations that students can choose from including industry concentration, CPA concentration, and internal audit and forensic accounting concentration. Students can also minor in accounting at Clarion. In addition, Clarion offers certificate programs including a CPA eligibility certificate designed for both students who have previous accounting coursework under their belts and those who do not. The other certificate is internal audit and forensic accounting for those interested in the financial field of fraud remediation. They pride themselves on small class sizes, including for online students as well as the ability to work closely with expert faculty members. Many graduates of this program go on to take the masters of science in accounting program upon completion. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS/BA

17. Walden University 

Walden University offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that can be completed entirely online. This is one of the best online accounting degree programs according to our metric. They are fully accredited by (AACSB) The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In addition to this online degree program, Walden also offers certificate options, one that is preparation for the Certified Public Accountant Exam and one in preparation for the Certified Management Accounting Exam. The two concentrations that they offer include public accountancy and general program. There are many career options for students who complete this program including tax specialist, treasurer, assurance specialist, public accountant or auditor, risk manager, and cash manager. Something that is special about this program is that they offer students the option of participating in a fieldwork internship that will be beneficial for their career path, along with other relevant resume builders. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

18. Colorado Christian University 

The Colorado Chirstian University offers a bachelors of science program in accountancy that can be completed entirely online. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs. Colorado Christian believes they offer some of the strongest coursework when it comes to understanding the standards in regard to the ethics of business. Students will undergo accounting coursework that includes topics such as tax accounting, accounting for government agencies and nonprofits, as well as a range of specialized accounting fields. The entire course of study is made up of 120 credit hours, 39 of which are part of the major core. They have excellent transfer offerings for students who are interested in accelerated options. The program is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The small class sizes that they offer make it easy for students to learn from each other and their faculty. 

Degree Type: Accountancy, BS

19. DeSales University 

DeSales University offers an accelerated bachelors of science program in accounting and forensics accounting that is delivered entirely online. They implement an accelerated course format that is convenient enough to undergo while working full time. The program also offers courses over the weekend. There are many financial aid options, including a tuition deferment program. This course of study also offers many support resources including financial advising. The program is fully accredited by the (ACBSP) Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. Students can gain credits for non-college learning which includes non-traditional training, work experience and military training. Academic advisors are available for students to talk through learning and course options that might fit their unique needs. The coursework covers so many topics related to business including the ins and outs of financial reporting. They make it easy for students to learn about the program through information sessions that are delivered online. 

Degree Type: Accounting and Forensics Accounting, BS 

20. Northwood University

Norwood University offers a bachelors of business administration that is delivered entirely online. This program made our list as one of the best online accounting degree programs. The coursework includes a blend of management classes and traditional accounting classes. Norwood solely focuses on business as their primary mission, which makes them a ripe institution for successful accounting coursework. Their faculty members are experts in the fields of  business and accounting. The entire course of study is made up of 123 credit hours. Some of the classes include fundamentals of financial accounting, fundamentals of managerial accounting, principles of macroeconomics, fraud examination, environmental sciences, accounting information systems, and federal taxation. Graduates of the program may go into fields such as education, certified public accountant, treasurer, agent, internal revenue, tax lawyer, tax manager, among many others. 78% of Norwood graduates are employed in the accounting field soon after graduation. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BBA

21. Trine University 

Trine University offers a bachelors of science program in business administration accounting that can be completed entirely online. This is considered one of the best online accounting degree programs according to our metric. Even though the program is delivered online, they still ensure that all students will receive a significant amount of practical and hands on experience. Students will learn the most up to date software that is relevant to the discipline including quickbooks and peachtree. The entire course of study is fully accredited by (ACBSP) Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The entire course of study is made up of 120 credit hours including 35-36 credits dedicated to business core. Some of these classes include managerial finance, organizational behavior, marketing, accounting, among many others. The concentration requirements are made up of 30 credit hours of classes that include income tax, cost accounting, auditing, advanced accounting, among many others. 

Degree Type: Business Administration: Accounting, BS 

22. Champlain College

Champlain College offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that is delivered entirely online. There are no requirements to ever step foot on campus in this program. In fact, they designed the coursework to accommodate working adult professional learners. Students in the program are required to undergo a minimum of 120 credit hours, with three semesters per year. There are two seven week terms per semester. The program is designed to be extremely flexible and they ask students to account for the dedication of 10-17 hours per week per class. There are many resources available to students in this program, including advising and 24/7 access to the course portal. They pride themselves on the fact that the majority of their graduates pass the CPA exam with flying colors on their first try. Many program graduates have gone into fields such as accounting clerk, bookkeeper, tax accountant, financial analyst, among many others. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

23. Southern New Hampshire University 

Southern New Hampshire University offers a bachelors of science program in accounting that is designed to be flexible and convenient. This is known for being one of the best accounting degree programs. One of the real perks of this program is that it is delivered with an accelerated pace, meaning students can complete the degree in as little as three years. The fourth year can be used to pursue graduate coursework, including a masters or masters of business administration. This course of study covers such topics as teamwork, accounting procedures, written and oral communication, information technologies, and accounting regulations and ethics. They pride themselves on offering a supportive learning environment, expert faculty members that make themselves available to students, innovative programming, and access to all of the same clubs and resources that on campus students have available. There are also a myriad of networking opportunities that students have access to. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

24. Keiser University 

Keiser University offers a bachelors of arts program in accounting that can be delivered entirely online. This is considered one of the best accounting degree programs out there. Though it is an option to undergo this program at a variety of Florida campuses, students can achieve the coursework entirely online with access to the same resources as on campus students. There are three courses that are prerequisite to the major and they include macroeconomics, microeconomics and statistics. Some of the upper division classes include data analysis for accounting, governmental and institutional accounting, auditing one and two, legal and ethical environments of business, principle and managerial finance, among many others. The upper division classes include professional writing, management information systems, and intermediate statistics. The entire program emphasizes ethics, general business, accounting, communication and analytical skills. Prospective students are encouraged to register for Keiser’s virtual open house that offers a lot of insight into the programming offered as well as the learning environment. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BA

25. Strayer University 

Strayer University offers a bachelors of science in accounting program that is delivered entirely online. This program is one of the best accounting degree programs. The entire course of study is made up of 40 classes that each take 11 weeks to complete. Students in the program will learn how to analyze and prepare financial statements, develop cost models for business decisions, provide digestible information to stakeholders, and prepare tax returns for individuals as well as corporate partnerships. Some of the classes offered include an introduction to business, using math to inform your world, advanced accounting, auding, and advanced accounting. Students receive a lot of program support from the beginning to end of the program. Each student is sure to receive one on one support services from faculty, advisors, and other staff. 

Degree Type: Accounting, BS 

Why Should I Get My Accounting Degree Online?

Achieving a bachelor’s degree in accounting can pave the way for a lucrative and in demand career in the financial sector. There are many ways to go about achieving this goal, and many people, especially busy adults, seek out accounting schools online in order to find more flexible program options. There are many online programs for accounting out there, many are offered from the same schools that have traditional program offerings. In this case, clearly the online coursework does not skimp on quality. Many programs note that the online and traditional programs have the same faculty members and curricula. Some of the benefits of choosing online programs for accounting is that students can often make their own learning schedules. Many programs offer asynchronous learning options, which means students don’t have to log in at any set time and can study when it makes sense for their own schedules. The other thing is, studying online saves a lot of resources when it comes to cutting down on commute times and gas prices. Another thing to consider is when studying online is that students don’t have to look into bachelors in accounting near me, as in many cases, you can find a program anywhere in the country. 

How Do I Choose an Online Accounting Degree?

When looking at programs, it is good to think about finding an accredited online accounting degree program. Accreditation, especially from prestigious accrediting bodies such as the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) are known for heavily vetting programs and ensuring they meet the qualifications they’ve set up as high standards. Accounting school accreditation is especially important if you are interested in going to graduate school as such programs are often interested in accepting students who have a previously accredited academic background. 

What Will I Learn in an Accounting Program?

Accounting degree requirements vary a little bit, though most programs have a pretty similar curriculum. Basic accounting classes are required across the board. Whether it is your goal to become a CPA or play another role, you will learn the basic skills in a bachelors program. Some programs enable students to specialize in a niche that can include financial records, auditing, tax, among others. If you are wondering what classes to take for an accounting degree, consider looking at several programs and comparing the required coursework and the elective programming. Basic accounting classes vary, and can include coursework that relates to ethics and the law, fraud and tax evasion, among many others. Some programs offer experiential learning opportunities that include internship opportunities within relevant businesses and organizations. In addition, many programs train students to work in a variety of fields including internal auditors, financial analysts, public accountants, government accountants, management accountants, tax preparers, among others. Other skills that are gleaned from such programming include learning how to understand the world of business and the ethical and communication components that come with the discipline. Some programs dive into legality and the important associated  components that are relevant to the financial sector.

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