Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees 2021

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Best Nurse Practitioner Badge

Online accounting programs present the same professional options as on-campus programs since schools often use the same curriculum for both delivery formats. Most schools design their online bachelor’s in accounting programs as degree-completion programs.

The requirements typically include a minimum number of transferable credits set by the receiving institution or an associate degree in accounting from an accredited school. Most schools offering an online accounting degree consider the applications of non-accounting bachelor’s degree-holders.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects accounting jobs to grow 4% between 2019 and 2029, which is as fast as the average projected growth rate for jobs in all sectors. The BLS also reports that accountants earned a much higher annual median salary ($71,550) than the national average ($39,810).

Overall, students who complete an online accounting degree can look forward to entering a well-paying job market with plenty of opportunities for professional growth and advancement.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Trine Online Fort Wayne, IN
2 Maryville University Saint Louis, MO
3 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
4 Peirce College Philadelphia, PA
5 Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
6 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
7 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
8 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
9 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
10 Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield, MO

FAQ


  • What jobs can I get with an accounting degree?

    A bachelor’s in accounting typically qualifies holders for jobs such as compliance officers, credit analysts, and personal financial advisors.


  • What is the difference between bookkeeping and accounting?

    Bookkeepers maintain records of day-to-day transactions such as purchases and sales. Accountants analyze the data along with other information and make financial recommendations to business owners.


  • Is accounting a good career path?

    Accountants earn a higher median salary than the national average for other workers. The BLS projects a healthy growth rate for jobs in this sector between 2019 and 2029.


  • Is a certified public accountant (CPA) the same as an accountant?

    CPAs are accountants who passed the CPA exam and met other state licensure requirements. Non-CPA accountants hold an accounting degree, but they have not met licensure requirements to earn the CPA designation.


mini icon
Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Why Get a Degree in Accounting?

Most students enroll in an online accounting program because of the flexibility it provides. However, there are many reasons for pursuing an accounting degree, including the five below.

Licensure Requirement
States require candidates for the CPA exam to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting before they can take the test.
Establish Professional Credibility
Professionals with a bachelor’s degree in accounting present themselves as well-trained practitioners with specialized knowledge in a complex arena.
Expand Career Options
Employers often entrust accounting degree-holders with their company’s financial management, knowing they possess the knowledge, training, and ethical requirements to perform the job well.
Deepen Knowledge
A bachelor’s degree in accounting allows professionals to keep up with the field’s developments and regulatory changes.
Prepare for Postgraduate Study
A master’s or doctoral program requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s in the field. Some postgraduate programs (such as a master of business administration) also consider applicants with a bachelor’s degree in accounting for admission.

What Are the Requirements for an Accounting Degree?

In addition to the typical application requirements, some accounting programs also require a minimum GPA, often at least a 3.0. Applicants with a non-accounting academic background must often complete prerequisite coursework prior to acceptance or within the first year of enrollment if admitted to the program. Recent high school graduates must also submit SAT or ACT scores.

Graduation requirements for a bachelor’s degree in accounting vary greatly among schools. The usual degree requirements include passing a comprehensive exam or completing a capstone project. Some schools require candidates to write a thesis prior to graduation.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Courses in an Accounting Program

Most online accounting programs offer the same foundational coursework as on-campus programs. However, schools may not offer all specialization courses online. Classroom instruction and hands-on training prepare enrollees for the type of work they will likely perform as professionals.

Students develop analytical and critical thinking skills, prepare financial reports, and examine fiscal processes and procedures. They also learn how to conduct proper research and apply their findings to their practice. Many accredited colleges and universities offer the courses below in their accounting programs.

  • Auditing Theory and Practice

    This course covers topics such as statistical sampling, tests of controls, and generally accepted auditing standards. Students learn how to design audit plans, apply auditing procedures, and evaluate and assess the impact of current standards and emerging issues on the accounting practice. This course uses a variety of teaching tools, including case studies and computer applications.

  • Cost Accounting

    Enrollees learn how to evaluate an organization’s internal processes to identify deficiencies, measure effectiveness, and determine sustainability. The course also teaches students how to structure various production and business costs without sacrificing profitability or performance. Learners familiarize themselves with current regulatory requirements relevant to their industry to make sure they remain in compliance.

  • Federal Tax Accounting

    This course emphasizes key aspects of fundamental tax concepts so students learn how to incorporate them in day-to-day and long-term business decisions. Enrollees examine the components of good taxation and explore tax policy, decision-making and taxes, and generally accepted accounting principles.

  • Managerial Accounting

    Enrollees learn how to make timely and informed managerial decisions. Topics typically include cost-volume-profit analysis, budgeting, and activity-based costing. Students also learn about performance evaluation and variance analysis for the goal of modifying costs to maximize the use of resources and increase profitability.

Scholarships for Accounting Students

Students who pursue an accounting bachelor’s degree online can often apply to many of the financial assistance programs as on-campus enrollees. Learners can explore scholarships from professional accounting associations, nonprofit organizations, and various state and federal agencies. Accounting majors in search of financial aid can begin with the three scholarship opportunities below.

AICPA Scholarships


Who Can Apply: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants administers several scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full time or part time in an accredited accounting program. Application requirements vary among scholarships. AICPA offers financial assistance to various groups, including minorities, women, and transferees.

Amount: Varies

EFWA Undergraduate Scholarships


Who Can Apply: The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting offers scholarships for women who come from a variety of backgrounds pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Applicants must demonstrate financial need. The program welcomes applications from minorities, women returning to college after a protracted absence, and women who are their family’s sole breadwinner.

Amount: $1,000-$2,000

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship


Who Can Apply: Administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the scholarship welcomes applications from students enrolled in an accredited program in accounting, business administration, criminal justice, or finance. Undergraduate applicants must be at least in the second semester of their sophomore year and taking a minimum of nine credits. Graduate applicants must be enrolled in at least six credits per term.

Amount: $1,000-$10,000

Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Accounting Degrees 2021

  1. Trine Online
    Location

    Fort Wayne, IN

    Based in Indiana, Trine University offers one of the most affordable online accounting degrees in the nation, preparing graduates for career opportunities in CPA firms and businesses. Trine Online, the university's distance learning division, delivers a fully online accounting major within its bachelor of science in business administration.

    The program's 120-credit curriculum features asynchronous courses offered in eight-week sessions. In addition to general education classes and electives, distance learners must complete 35-36 credits of core business courses and 30 accounting credits. Relevant courses include cost accounting, accounting information systems, and auditing. Students planning to sit for the certified public accountant examination must take additional courses for a minimum of 150 credits.

    Trine is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Trine's accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  2. Maryville University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Established in 1872 as a small Catholic women's college in St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville University has grown into a comprehensive, coeducational private institution. The university features over 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including an online bachelor of science in accounting.

    Maryville's 128-credit accounting program, available entirely online, does not require any on-campus attendance. The curriculum consists of 13 core business courses and seven accounting courses in areas such as managerial accounting, forensic accounting and ethics, and financial reporting.

    Distance learners interested in earning an online master's in accounting can take advantage of Maryville's Early Access option. Through Early Access, undergraduate students may take three graduate-level courses, billed at the undergraduate tuition rate, that count toward both the bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting.

    Maryville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Maryville's Simon School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  3. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
    Location

    Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

    Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, founded in 1840 as an academy for women, is the oldest Catholic college in Indiana. SMWC became coeducational in 2015. SMWC currently administers over 50 undergraduate and graduate programs. Over the past four decades, the college has developed distance learning programs designed for working professionals, adult learners, and other nontraditional students.

    SMWC's 125-credit online bachelor of science degree in accounting prepares students for careers in accounting, banking, and finance. The curriculum features courses in accounting information systems, tax preparation, and managerial and cost accounting. The program offers two optional concentrations: entrepreneurship and professional prep.

    SMWC provides distance learners with year-round flexible start dates, eight-week and 16-week course schedules, and technological and academic support.

    SMWC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Peirce College
    Location

    Philadelphia, PA

    Established in 1865 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a business school, Peirce College offers career-focused, accelerated programs for nontraditional students. Peirce offers several specialized programs that enable students to earn their degree during the evening or weekend or through distance learning. The college offers most courses in seven-week formats during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

    Peirce offers a bachelor of science in accounting delivered entirely online or in a blended format. Requiring some face-to-face sessions, the program consists of 121 credits. The curriculum requires either a capstone or internship. This affordable online degree provides graduates with the core course requirements to sit for the certified public accountant, certified management accountant, and certified fraud examiner exams. The curriculum features courses in accounting principles, auditing, and global dimensions in business.

    Pierce offers credits for prior learning and partners with corporations to provide discounted tuition to employees.

    Peirce is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

  5. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale
    Location

    Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser provides undergraduate and graduate programs to over 17,000 students in campus-based and online formats.

    Keiser offers a bachelor of arts degree in accounting as a residential or online program. The online option delivers all courses asynchronously, enabling students to complete coursework on their own schedules. Online semesters last four months. Distance learners take one course per month in their first semester. Students who earn a 3.2 GPA or higher may enroll in more courses beginning in their second term.

    The accounting degree requires 120 credits, including 51 credits of upper-division accounting, finance, and business courses. The professionally-oriented curriculum emphasizes data analytics, office applications, and accounting-related software tools. This affordable online degree charges out-of-state learners the same tuition rate as in-state students.

    Keiser is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  6. University of Mary
    Location

    Bismarck, ND

    The only private Catholic university in North Dakota, the University of Mary features over 65 undergraduate degrees, including accelerated programs designed for working professionals. The university's bachelor of science in accounting offers evening, online, and blended options. Online classes begin every five weeks throughout the year.

    Distance learners who enroll in the fully online accounting degree can finish all requirements in 42 months. The 124-credit degree requires a capstone project and a culminating competency examination. Students planning to become certified public accountants must complete a minimum of 150 college credits to sit for the examination. Mary also offers students an accelerated pathway leading to a master's degree in five years.

    The curriculum provides a strong foundation in accounting principles and business practices with an emphasis on auditing standards, Internal Revenue Service regulations, and reporting requirements for the Security and Exchange Commission.

    Mary is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  7. Northwestern State University of Louisiana
    Location

    Natchitoches, LA

    Founded in 1884, NSU is part of the University of Louisiana System. The university has established more than 40 distance education programs through its online division, eNSU, including one of the most affordable online bachelor's programs in accounting.

    The 120-credit online bachelor of science in accounting provides online learners with financial analysis and business skills in courses such as cost accounting, auditing, and organizations and management. Graduates of this program meet state requirements to sit for the certified public accounting exam.

    All distance learners pay the same flat tuition rate regardless of residency. Fast-track courses, delivered in accelerated eight-week sessions during the fall and spring semesters, give students the flexibility to focus on one or two classes each term. Summer sessions feature both four-week and eight-week schedules.

    NSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  8. Indiana Wesleyan University
    Location

    Marion, IN

    Indiana Wesleyan University, the largest private Christian higher education institution in the Hoosier State, offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs, including an affordable online degree in accounting designed for working professionals.

    Applicants to this online degree completion program must hold an associate degree or have already completed at least 60 transferable credits. The 120-credit curriculum focuses on auditing, taxation, and preparing graduates to sit for the certified public accountant exam.

    IWU's accounting program features monthly start dates and a flexible, asynchronous delivery method. Distance learners complete the degree in 18-20 months depending on transfer credit. The program maintains small classes, encouraging online learners to interact with their peers and receive personal attendance from faculty.

    IWU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. IWU's accounting program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  9. Southern New Hampshire University
    Location

    Manchester, NH

    One of the fastest-growing universities in the United States, Southern New Hampshire University serves a student body of over 130,000 -- with a particular focus on working professionals and adult learners. Over 90,000 distance learners study at SNHU, which provides an open enrollment policy, flexible eight-week schedules, and low tuition. All online students pay a flat tuition rate and may receive further discounts for military service.

    SNHU's online bachelor of science in accounting ranks among the most affordable online accounting degrees in the country. In addition to core coursework in accounting principles and practices, auditing, and financial analysis, online learners may pursue optional concentrations in forensic accounting or fraud examination. The university also offers an accelerated pathway within the undergraduate degree for students interested in earning a master's in accounting.

    SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The accounting degree is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  10. Missouri State University-Springfield
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Missouri State University serves over 20,000 students through nearly 200 programs. Students interested in distance learning programs can choose from MSU's 11 affordable online degrees, including a bachelor of science in accounting.

    The program's 125-credit curriculum prepares students for professional roles in business management and accounting by developing financial analysis, decision-making, and ethical leadership skills. Students may take courses completely online or in a hybrid format that combines web-based instruction with evening classes. The curriculum fulfills the educational requirements for the certified management accountant and certified internal auditor exams.

    This adult-friendly, degree completion program costs well below the national average for similar degrees and less than most universities in the state. Roughly 78% of MSU's undergraduate students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, or loans.

    MSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

mini icon

Online College Resources

Helping you prepare and gain the most out of your educational experience.


Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

Most Affordable Online Law Schools 2021

April 19, 2021   |   CollegeChoice Staff

A law degree can increase earning potential and career opportunities. Here, we list the best online programs available.

Best Online Colleges and Universities

Best Online Colleges and Universities

April 19, 2021   |   Staff Writers

According to the , 6,932,074 students enrolled in at least one distance education course at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2018. The year 2021 marks an ideal time to pursue...

Advertisement CollegeChoice.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Search schools to find the program that is right for you.