Associate Degree in Accounting
Often called the ‘language of business,’ accounting is an integral aspect to financial literacy in today’s dynamic, globalized business world.
Accountants ensure businesses accurately track and report their profits and expenses, providing vital information to executives when making critical business decisions. Employment in the industry continues at a brisk pace, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting 10% growth through 2026 fueled by a growing economy, continued globalization of business, and the need to ensure regulatory compliance. An associates in accounting prepares you for entry-level jobs in the field, often working under the direction of an accountant.
Earning an online associates degree in accounting prepares you to tackle common bookkeeping tasks and complete essential reports. You become familiar with the principles of accounting and the technology used across the industry. The curriculum also develops the analytical and critical-thinking skills sought after by employers. Often, an associates degree serves as the first step in your career and your education, as many schools offer pathways to a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
What are the Best Associate’s in Accounting Degrees in the Country?
Below are the fifty best online accounting associate programs in the country. While some programs are business heavy in their curricular emphasis and others are strictly accounting driven, they all share one thing in common despite the difference of concentration: They are the best at teaching accounting through an online platform.
Top 10 Best Online Associate in Accounting Degrees
||University of Alaska Fairbanks
||Indiana Wesleyan University
||Southern New Hampshire University
||Fort Lauderdale, FL
||Milwaukee Area Technical College
||Portland Community College
||Wayne Community College
||Chemeketa Community College
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Here at College Choice we’ve collated and compared the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of graduates from online AA/AS in Accounting programs across the country to create a definitive ranking of the nation’s fifty best.
We first chose programs with the most renowned academic reputation and from those pared the list down to those with high retention rates (a reflection of student satisfaction) added those with the most economical accessibility, and finally we included the averages of early career salaries (care of PayScale) to arrive at a list marked by thorough research and extensive data aggregation.
Our figures come from the university and colleges’ websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Alaska Fairbanks
The University of Alaska-Fairbanks offers a foundation in general business management to complement its associates in accounting online degree path. The 60-credit Associate of Applied Science in Applied Accounting included embedded industry certificates in accounting technician and bookkeeping. The curriculum provides an in-depth study of theoretical principles of accounting and practical knowledge in areas of income tax preparation, databases, microcomputer accounting, and customer service. The online learning platform provides access to classes at any time, anywhere. Students typically have a week to complete readings and assignments, logging in at their convenience. All online students pay in-state tuition rates.
Indiana Wesleyan University
The online associates degree in accounting at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, provides a strong foundation in fundamental accounting principles and a Christian worldview to drive ethical decision-making. The school opened in 1920, catering to students seeking a liberal arts education or preparation for a career. That mission continues with a curriculum reflecting industry needs. The 60-credit program requires 26 months to complete. The school utilizes a cohort program, allowing students to develop strong friendships and professional networks while completing the program together. The bridge program allows students working on their associates degree to begin working requirements for a bachelor’s degree, as well.
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University prepares students in its associates in accounting online program to enter the accounting field with technical expertise and analytical skills. The 60-credit program includes courses in taxation, accounting, system analysis, and marketing, all taught by faculty members with academic credentials and professional experience. The eight-week semester allows students to focus on one or two classes each term before moving on to the next subject. SNHU welcomes transfer students, accepting up to 45 credits from regionally accredited institutions, and offers tuition discounts to military service members. Online students enjoy access support services, including dedicated academic and career advisors, an online library, and tutoring services.
Liberty University designed its online associates degree in accounting to prepare graduates for the workforce or continued study. Full-time students need two years to complete the 60-credit program, with 21 credits dedicated to accounting courses. Students also complete many of the general education courses required to complete a bachelor’s degree through Liberty or another accredited university. Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University serves more than 100,000 students online and on-campus. A pioneer in online and distance education, the school ensures all students receive personalized academic advising and the academic supports necessary to succeed. Courses meet for eight weeks, and students may attend classes asynchronously.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Keiser University offers a career-minded associate in accounting online degree that blends entry-level accounting skills with problem-solving abilities. The 60-credit program introduces students to financial statements, accounting standards, industry software, and regulatory requirements. Students also complete a general education curriculum that develops communication and analytical skills and prepares them for continued education at the bachelor’s degree level. The school offers accelerated class schedules, allowing students to complete one class every four weeks. Keiser University works with a panel of industry experts from the Florida region who review the curriculum requirements, equipment, and facilities regularly and provide suggestions for improvement.
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Students earning an online associates degree in accounting from Milwaukee Area Technical College also earn industry and software certifications with their academic degree. The degree requires 70 credits with instruction in tax, payroll, financial, and managerial accounting. Students learn to process financial transactions and analyze financial information. Students also earn an accounting assistant technical diploma and accounting bookkeeper trainee certificate as well as software certification in Quickbooks and Excel. MATC accepts transfer credits and awards academic credit for prior work experience or military training. A general education curriculum completes the degree requirements and allows students to transfer to a four-year university to complete a bachelor’s degree.
Portland Community College
Portland Community College in Oregon emphasizes practical job skills throughout its associates in accounting online degree. The Associate of Applied Science degree requires 92 credits with a curriculum that reflects current and future business skills. Students gain proficiency in the principles of accounting, business communication, and use of software and computing equipment used in the industry. The program is not intended for students wishing to transfer to a four-year college, with only 16 credits of general education courses required. However, students can work with their advisor to create a transfer plan while building the skills necessary to begin their career. The school also offers a one-year certificate option and an accelerated accounting certificate.
Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, offers a career-focused curriculum and transfer-friendly online associates in accounting degree. The school draws upon the expertise of their faculty members, who bring real-world knowledge to their students, to prepare graduates for entry-level roles in private businesses or government agencies. The 64-credit program includes a 24-credit general education curriculum that ensures students can seamlessly transfer to a four-year institution to continue their studies. Students also complete courses in accounting and tax preparation, databases and spreadsheets, and interpersonal communication. The school welcomes credits earned at other accredited schools or through standardized tests or proficiency exams. The school also offers a portfolio credit option to grant course credit for professional or military training.
Northcentral Technical College
Practical aspects of general accounting form the core of the Northcentral Technical College online associates degree in accounting. Students learn to analyze business records, prepare financial reports, and maintain accounting systems. Courses cover software applications often used in the field, such as Excel and Quickbooks, and students prepare for the Accredited Business Accountant exam, Accreditation in Accountancy exam and certification in Quickbooks. The school maintains transfer agreements with numerous public and private universities to complete a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field. Located in Wausau, Wisconsin, Northcentral Technical College opened in 1912, dedicated to helping prepare residents for jobs in industry and supporting local businesses.
Full-time students can complete the online associates in accounting degree from Albany Technical College in as few as 24 months. The school requires 102 credits with a focus on technical and professional skills needed for entry-level accounting, auditing, or income tax preparation positions. Students can complement their professional courses with business and management electives, such as leadership or office procedures. The school also offers a streamlined diploma program. Students who would like to take a few classes on campus may do so at the Albany, Georgia, campus. The school offers distance students ongoing academic advisement and support and 24-hour technical support.
Atlanta Technical College
Atlanta Technical College provides career-focused educational programs and professional development through its Atlanta campus and online learning platform. The 67-credit online accounting associates degree offers a strong foundation in financial accounting with students completing courses in computerized accounting, payroll accounting, and tax accounting. A capstone course ensures students understand internal controls, business ethics, and financial analysis. Students can complement their degree by taking the ACAT Comprehensive Examination for Accreditation in Accountancy. ATC previously offered hybrid programs but launched the fully online program to provide greater accessibility and flexibility. Online students enjoy access to the Georgia Library Learning Online System, online tutoring, and technical support.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has served the distance education needs of students since 1973. Its online associates degree in accounting program offers a foundation in accounting combined with a liberal arts education. The private Catholic school in Indiana connects 95% of students with financial aid to reduce college costs with a variety of scholarship opportunities, including the SMWC Woods Online Scholarship. Students complete 51 credits, with 33 credits in accounting, including courses in computerized accounting, tax preparation, and auditing theory and practice. Graduates may immediately enter the accounting profession or continue their education with the SMWC online bachelor’s degree with concentrations offered in entrepreneurship or professional preparation.
Champlain College offers generous transfer policies and accelerated class schedules to allow students to complete the online associates in accounting degree quickly. The school accepts up to 45 credits toward the 60-credit degree requirement and offers academic credit for work experience or other training. The professional courses ensure students gain skills they can immediately use in the workplace, with a career-focused curriculum. Classes include accounting, taxation, business law, organizational management, and internet security. The school designed its online programs with the needs of working and returning students in mind. Applicants should show an aptitude for the self-directed online learning environment and potential for academic success.
Technology continues to transform the accounting profession. The University of Toledo designed its online associates degree in accounting with an eye toward evolving job descriptions and industry-standard software. The degree also allows students to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree from the school. The two-year, 60-credit degree includes instruction in workplace communications and business principles as well as general education courses in English, science, and math. Accounting courses include financial, business, and payroll accounting, QuickBooks, Excel, and Microsoft software applications. Online students may access library resources and online tutoring services. The school welcomes transfer students from accredited schools and offers credit for military or professional training.
North Arkansas College in Harrison, Arkansas, offers students career-focused instruction through its online Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration with an accounting emphasis. The 60-credit program includes the in-depth study of accounting principles along with business ethics, information technology, and communication. Students may complete an internship or a capstone program that addresses real-world business questions. The AAS degree is not designed for transfer to four-year accounting programs; however, the school maintains articulation agreements with several public and private universities. Advisors can work with individual students to ensure a successful transition to the school of their choice
Professional accountants teach the career-focused courses in the Baker College online associates degree in accounting. The 45 major credits mix study of theoretical principles with hands-on work applying standards of accounting combined with a 15-credit general education curriculum. Students also gain a foundation in overall business management so they understand the impact financial decisions may have on the whole organization. Headquartered in Michigan, the school reaches students around the world through its online campus. The asynchronous programs provide flexibility for working students or students in the military. The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency awarded Baker a gold ranking as a veteran-friendly school, and the school ensures deployed students do not lose credits while serving.