As an online accounting student, you’ll take the same rigorous coursework as your peers in traditional college degree programs, but you’ll have the flexibility and convenience to study on your own schedule. Below are some of the subjects students commonly take in some of the top online accounting programs in the country.
Introductory Through Advanced Accounting Courses
Naturally, any online accounting degree program will include coursework specifically in accounting. An undergraduate program will start with introductory accounting courses that teach basic accounting principles and applications. Students progress through intermediate accounting courses and may even move on to advanced accounting classes that cover more complex topics and higher level technical skills.
Accounting for Different Entities
In addition to the different levels of accounting courses, students will also take classes in accounting for different purposes. For example, students take courses in corporate accounting – also called cost accounting or managerial accounting – to learn to analyze financial information and create financial statements for a company’s internal use. Through these reports, management accountants contribute to high-level company decisions like budgets, investment plans and performance assessments, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Students also take coursework in accounting for other types of entities, including government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Business and Finance Courses
Accountants work within the business world, so they must be familiar with business principles and their applications. A few of the business courses online accounting students frequently take include:
- Business law
- Corporate finance
- Human relations
- Leadership and management
Today’s accountants have a role that goes far beyond preparing tax returns, but having an in-depth knowledge of tax regulations and processes is still an important part of an accountant’s educational foundation. Taxation is a subject with enough breadth and depth that some schools offer entire master’s degree programs in it, so it should be no surprise that many online accounting degree programs include at least one undergraduate taxation course.
Auditors work within or outside a business or other organization to analyze the accuracy of its financial data and statements and to detect and address any waste, fraud or other financial mismanagement, the BLS reported. To audit a company’s finances successfully, accounting students need to learn the process of planning and conducting a systematic review of the financial data. They need the technical skills to run a computerized audit as well as the knowledge to recognize inaccuracies and wasteful practices. Courses in auditing and assurance, which can teach students these skills, are often part of online accounting programs’ curricula.
An online accounting education includes core classes that equip students with general and specific knowledge of accounting and business practices at beginner through advanced levels of study. While every program includes different requirements, options and features, any accredited online accounting degree program will cover the basic information necessary to prepare students for a successful career in the field of accounting.