Home > Top 25 Online Associate in Accounting Programs for 2018

Top 25 Online Associate in Accounting Programs for 2018

An online associate degree in accounting can help prepare you for a number of careers in a growing field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that 89,300 financial clerk positions will be added in the U.S. between 2014 and 2024. Alternatively, although a number of jobs are available to graduates of this degree program, many students choose to further their education and pursue a bachelor’s degree. The following guide helps you evaluate the merits of an associate degree in accounting by informing you about the opportunities and challenges associated with this degree; a ranking of the best online associate in accounting programs is also provided.

What are the Best Online Associate in Accounting Programs?

1

Champlain CollegeBurlington, VT

Degree Associate of Science in Accounting
Admissions Rate 66%
Default Rate 5%
Retention Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 44%

The online associate degree in accounting from Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, allows students to earn professional certification in accounting while completing the general education courses needed to obtain a bachelor's degree. The associate degree consists of 60 credits, and students can transfer up to 45 credits or receive credit for professional training and job experience. The accelerated class format allows students to complete most classes in seven weeks, with two seven-week terms per semester. The online program is flexible and learners are able to access class materials at any time. Champlain College admits new students at the start of each semester. Champlain earned regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

2

Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA

Degree Associate of Arts in Accounting
Admissions Rate 22%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 47%
Online Enrollment 82%

Liberty University is an evangelical Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, and offers an associate accounting degree online. The 60-hour curriculum includes instruction in the areas of finance, management, nonprofit accounting, taxation, and audits. The college accepts transfer credits and also offers credit for military training and professional experience. While some graduates may choose to enter the workforce, many associate degree holders seamlessly transfer into bachelor's degree programs. Because full-time students receive tuition discounts, online students can decrease tuition costs by taking more courses. The school offers several scholarship opportunities specifically for online students, and also offers interest-free payments plans. The accounting program at Liberty is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

3

Pamlico Community CollegeGrantsboro, NC

Degree Associate in Applied Science in Accounting Retention Rate 76% Graduation Rate 72% Online Enrollment 25%

The online accounting associate degree offered by Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro, North Carolina, provides introductory courses in the areas of business law, finance, and economics. The degree prepares graduates for jobs in tax preparation, accounts payable, and payroll management. The 65-credit program takes about two years to complete and trains students in industry standard software. PCC students can transfer into East Carolina University to continue their education at the baccalaureate level. The Moodle learning platform allows degree candidates to complete courses according to their own schedules. The Virtual Student Success Center provides access to free tutoring in all subjects through phone or video conferencing, while the Online Support Center ensures the availability of ongoing technical support. PCC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

4

Indiana Wesleyan University-MarionMarion, IN

Degree Associate of Science in Accounting
Admissions Rate 95%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 60%
Online Enrollment 45%

Students entering the associate in accounting online program at Indiana Wesleyan University progress through the 60-credit program as a cohort. Indiana Wesleyan pioneered online learning, launching its programs in 1997. Annual enrollment in online courses tops 8,000, and all students enjoy access to services such as personal academic advisors. Classes start every few weeks and meet once each a week online or at convenient off-campus locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Online library services ensure students have access to learning materials. The accounting program prepares students for American Payroll Association certification. A bridge program provides a convenient path to a bachelor's in accounting program at Indiana Wesleyan. The school infuses its programs with a Christian worldview.

5

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods CollegeSaint Mary of the Woods, IN

Degree Associate of Science in Accounting
Admissions Rate 59%
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 50%
Online Enrollment 44%

St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana, brings more than 40 years of experience in distance education to its online accounting associate degree. The Catholic college serves over 400 students through its online platform and also allows online students to attend classes on campus. Year-round start dates encourage prospective students to begin their education whenever it suits their busy schedules. The program offers concentrations in entrepreneurship and professional preparation. Graduates of the 51-credit program obtain the skills necessary to achieve certifications in management accounting, internal auditing, and financial management. Students can transfer credits from other accredited schools and can also receive credits for professional certifications and military training. St. Mary-of-the-Woods College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

6

Keiser University-Ft LauderdaleFort Lauderdale, FL

Degree Associate of Arts in Accounting
Default Rate 18%
Retention Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 68%
Online Enrollment 44%

The accounting associate degree online program at Keiser University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, prepares students to enter the field with practical instruction in the areas of financial accounting and federal taxation. The 60-hour associate degree includes 24 credits in accounting that cover how to use industry-standard office and accounting software. The asynchronous, accelerated class format allows students to complete each class in only four weeks, focusing on one subject at a time. Keiser University serves more than 20,000 students through its online degree programs, with regional accreditation granted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Online students enjoy access to an array of student services, including professional development and career services, student clubs, honor societies, and student government.

7

Northwest Iowa Community CollegeSheldon, IA

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 56%
Online Enrollment 36%

Northwest Iowa Community College boasts one of the highest graduation rates in the state, with 96% of graduates finding employment and 86% working in their chosen field. The school offers an associate degree in accounting online program through the Iowa Community College Consortium. Students choose between a pre-professional associate in arts degree, which prepares them to continue their education at the baccalaureate level, or an associate of applied arts, which allows them to enter the workforce quickly. Both programs require four semesters to complete, though students earn a clerical accounting certificate after only two semesters. The asynchronous classes include weekly deadlines. Online students can also access campus resources, such as the library, career center, and academic counseling.

8

Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH

Degree Associate of Science in Accounting
Admissions Rate 92%
Default Rate 8%
Retention Rate 61%
Graduation Rate 58%
Online Enrollment 88%

SNHU in Manchester, New Hampshire, began in 1932 with accounting and secretarial programs. The school now serves more than 80,000 students through its 200 degree options. Among the best online associate in accounting programs in the country, SNHU's curriculum teaches students how to maintain financial records and statements. Courses also develop students' analytical skills so that they can anticipate the financial impact of business decisions. The 60-credit program offers asynchronous, accelerated classes, with six eight-week terms each year. The associate program has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the North East Association of Schools and Colleges. Veterans and active duty members of the armed services, along with their spouses, qualify for reduced tuition rates.

9

Davenport UniversityGrand Rapids, MI

Degree Associate of Business Administration in Accounting
Admissions Rate 89%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 39%
Online Enrollment 41%

Davenport's accounting track of the associate in business administration degree provides a strong foundation in accounting principles while also teaching students to use industry software. The program requires 64 credits in areas such as accounting foundations, accounting information technology, and professional ethics. The private university in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has earned accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. More than 3,300 students attend classes through the school's online platform, which offers asynchronous and scheduled classes. Graduates can take advantage of the school's "brush-up" policy, which allows them to retake a class to ensure their skills are up-to-date. Tuition discounts are available for out-of-state students, veterans, and active-duty military students.

10

Moraine Park Technical CollegeFond du Lac, WI

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 46%
Online Enrollment 23%

Though the online associate degree in accounting at MPTC is a distance education program, the curriculum includes practicum and capstone experiences that teach students to apply their skills in real-world environments. Benefitting from instructors with extensive industry experience, students learn about Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and how to use common software applications. The flexible program offers online tutorials and asynchronous classes. Students can complete the 66-hour program in as few as four semesters, or faster if they are transferring credits. Students have the option of taking traditional 16-week classes or accelerated courses that last four to eight weeks. The school hosts virtual career fairs so that students can learn about earning credits for prior college coursework, AP courses, or professional and military training.

11

Southwest Virginia Community CollegeRichlands, VA

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Retention Rate 64% Graduation Rate 37% Online Enrollment 16%

Students investigating online colleges for associate degree in accounting programs will find a career-focused curriculum at SVCC in Richlands, Virginia. The two-year, 65-credit program covers the fundamentals of accounting along with the technology used in the industry. The capstone seminar and supervised study provide hands-on learning opportunities. While online students enjoy the flexibility of asynchronous class schedules, distance learners can take advantage of scheduled video classes available at outreach centers in the southwestern region of Virginia. The associate degree curriculum includes core courses that satisfy the general education requirements for a bachelor's degree. The college earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and maintains transfer agreements with more than 20 colleges and universities in the state.

12

Stanly Community CollegeAlbemarle, NC

Degree Associate in Applied Science in Accounting Retention Rate 59% Graduation Rate 29% Online Enrollment 53%

The online accounting associate degree at SCC in Albemarle, North Carolina, is a 70-credit program that includes specialized courses in accounting theory and business. A course in entrepreneurship is also available for motivated students. The program prepares associate degree candidates to transfer into a four-year college, and counselors assist learners in planning their degree to allow for a smooth transition. SCC maintains articulation agreements with colleges across North Carolina. Distance counselors provide specialized assistance to online students, such as tutoring and library assistance. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges.

13

Foothill CollegeLos Altos Hills, CA

Degree Associate of Art in Accounting
Default Rate 16%
Retention Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 62%
Online Enrollment 27%

Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, offers more than 74 associate degree programs, including an online associate in accounting. The 90-unit program teaches students how to use accounting software such as Excel and Quickbooks, and also instructs them in accounting principles, tax preparation, and small business accounting. The curriculum prepares graduates for entry-level employment or fulfills the general education requirements of a bachelor's degree program. The department also awards certificates in bookkeeping, tax preparation, and payroll accounting. Courses are delivered asynchronously through Canvas. Online students also have access to the California Community College Online Course Exchange and off-campus library and student services. Foothill College is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

14

University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Applied Accounting
Admissions Rate 73%
Default Rate 12%
Retention Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 28%
Online Enrollment 26%

The University of Alaska at Fairbanks offers an accounting associate degree online that provides practical, real-world knowledge in business and financial oversight. The two-year, 60-credit program includes instruction in the principles of banking, customer service, and nonprofit accounting. A capstone experience ensures students can manage the accounting cycles of various businesses, and the program's certifications for bookkeepers and accounting technicians are another asset for students. Graduates can easily transfer into the school's bachelor's program in accounting, which is also available online. Almost 3,000 students take advantage of the university's eLearning program, which offers asynchronous classes and open enrollment. All online students pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

15

Ogeechee Technical CollegeStatesboro, GA

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Retention Rate 63% Graduation Rate 45% Online Enrollment 10%

Ogeechee Technical College's associate accounting degree online program includes certification in the areas of computerized accounting, office accounting, and payroll accounting. Students can complete the 64-credit degree program in five semesters. OTC earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers more than 100 degrees and certifications in high-demand career fields, both online and on campus. Since courses are offered asynchronously, students can schedule their weekly classes around other commitments. Many exams must be proctored, and proctoring services are available either on campus for students in the area or through learning centers in the surrounding region. Online learners can access the same student services as on-campus students, including career counseling and library resources. The Technical College System of Georgia provides governance for the school.

16

Western Wyoming Community CollegeRock Springs, WY

Degree Associate of Science in Accounting
Default Rate 19%
Retention Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 38%
Online Enrollment 22%

WWCC in Rock Springs, Wyoming, offers an associate accounting degree online for students planning to continue their education at the bachelor's level. The associate degree option requires 64 credits and can be completed in as few as two years. A certificate option requires 36 credits, or about one year of study. Students in the associate program learn about various information systems used in accounting so that they can track transactions and generate financial reports. The curriculum also covers payroll accounting and the laws governing personnel management. The public two-year college operates outreach sites across southwestern Wyoming, providing additional support to distance learners. The school earned accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, with transfer agreements in place with several colleges throughout the state.

17

Northeast Community CollegeNorfolk, NE

Degree Associate of Arts in Accounting
Default Rate 14%
Retention Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 48%
Online Enrollment 16%

Roughly 99% of graduates from NCC in Norfolk, Nebraska, find employment in their field or transfer to a four-year college. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the school offers an online associate degree in accounting for students planning to earn their bachelor's degrees. Students can earn either a 60-credit associate of arts with a concentration in accounting, or a 45-credit associate of applied science degree in accounting. The 60-credit program includes courses in accounting methods, standard computer software, and business ethics. The online Center for Enterprise provides access to professional development courses. Online students receive support through academic advisors, an online writer's clinic, and tutoring services. The school's library also serves distance learners through interlibrary loans and database access.

18

Central Carolina Community CollegeSanford, NC

Degree Associate in Applied Science in Accounting Retention Rate 58% Graduation Rate 25% Online Enrollment 29%

Problem-solving and analytical skills make up the core of the associate in accounting online degree program at Central Carolina Community College. By learning the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, students gain the skills necessary to perform auditing, tax preparation, payroll accounting, and bookkeeping. Students also have the option to complete certifications in income tax preparation, payroll accounting, and small business financial advising. Students can complete the 69-credit program in five semesters. Located in Sanford, North Carolina, Central Carolina maintains articulation agreements with numerous four-year colleges and universities, though the associate of applied science accounting degree focuses on career preparation. Students wishing to transfer to a four-year college should consult their advisor.

19

Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite Falls, MN

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Default Rate 16%
Retention Rate 67%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 32%

MWCTC in Worthington, Minnesota, offers hands-on education and job training. More than 64% of students take classes part-time, while 32% choose online courses. The accounting associate degree online program includes 60 credits, only 15 of which are considered general education core classes. The curriculum covers subjects such as financial management, auditing, payroll management, or bookkeeping. Internships provide practical experience and offer valuable networking opportunities. Classes are delivered asynchronously through the Desire2Learn platform. Students can complete an orientation online or in-person at one of the school's six campuses. A free introduction to online learning allows students to familiarize themselves with the platform before classes begin. All online students enjoy access to the Academic Resource Center and online advising.

20

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical CollegeShell Lake, WI

Degree Associate in Accounting
Default Rate 16%
Retention Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 59%
Online Enrollment 16%

Part of the Wisconsin Technical College system, WITC offers more than 70 career-focused degree options. The school in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, earned accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and currently enrolls about 5,000 credit-seeking students. Connecting students to in-demand careers is the primary focus, with 93% of graduates reporting employment in their field within six months of graduation. The online accounting associate degree is a 60-credit, two-year program that includes certifications for accounting assistant technicians, billing and posting clerks, and tax preparer assistants. Students learn to use software such as Excel, Access, and Quickbooks, and must complete a one-credit professional development course to assist in their job search. Online students enjoy access to tutoring, library resources, and academic support services.

21

Coastal Pines Technical CollegeWaycross, GA

Degree Associate in Applied Science in Accounting Retention Rate 59% Graduation Rate 43% Online Enrollment 8%

Coastal Pines Technical College in Waycross, Georgia, offers an associate degree in accounting online program. Students can complete the 64-credit curriculum in six semesters and have the option of pursuing an office accounting specialist certification. The school works with advisors in the industry to develop a rigorous and relevant curriculum that prepares students for entry-level employment. The school earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and maintains articulation agreements with numerous colleges. Students should consult with an advisor to ensure their credits will transfer into a bachelor's degree program. CPTC offers no-interest payment plans and participates in state and federal financial aid programs, including programs for veterans.

22

Hutchinson Community CollegeHutchinson, KS

Degree Associate of Arts in Accounting
Default Rate 7%
Retention Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 33%
Online Enrollment 21%

Hutchinson Community College's associate in accounting online degree prepares students to pursue an education at the baccalaureate level. Located in Hutchinson, Kansas, the school's 64-credit curriculum includes coursework in managerial accounting, economics, statistics, and microcomputer applications. Electives are also available in the categories of business, humanities, and laboratory science. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Hutchinson offers flexible start dates for its online associate degree. Asynchronous classes allow nontraditional students to balance school with work and family obligations, and all students enjoy one-on-one interaction with instructors. Graduates can enter the workforce as accounting clerks, or work in the areas of accounts receivable, payroll, and bookkeeping.

23

Lanier Technical CollegeOakwood, GA

Degree Associate in Accounting Retention Rate 56% Graduation Rate 31% Online Enrollment 16%

Lanier Technical College provides career-focused education for high-demand fields. The associate in accounting online program is taught using an asynchronous online learning platform, though students may need to take some classes at the school's campus in Oakwood, Georgia. The 64-credit degree prepares students to pursue office accounting specialist or bookkeeper certifications. Because students learn fundamental accounting principles and how to use standard industry software, they find work in almost every industry. Though its programs are not designed for students planning to transfer to four-year schools, Lanier does maintain articulation agreements with several colleges in Georgia and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Students may qualify for scholarships, and the school participates in state and federal financial aid programs.

24

Southeast Technical InstituteSioux Falls, SD

Degree Associate of Applied Science in Accounting
Default Rate 13%
Retention Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 44%
Online Enrollment 18%

The associate degree in accounting online program from Southeast Technical Institute prepares students to analyze and interpret financial statements and transactions. The 67-credit associate of applied science also teaches students to develop standard financial statements, complete computerized accounting tasks, and understand basic business structures and their tax implications. STI is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and earned accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The school participates in state and federal scholarships, including the Build Dakota scholarship for students who are entering high-demand workforce programs. STI earned Military Friendly designation for educational programs that serve active duty military members, their families, and veterans.

25

Indiana Institute of TechnologyFort Wayne, IN

Degree Associate of Science in Accounting
Admissions Rate 70%
Default Rate 11%
Retention Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 31%
Online Enrollment 53%

The Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne serves more than 5,000 students through its online, evening, and weekend programs. A member of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Indiana Tech maintains a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The online associate degree in accounting provides students with the foundation needed to enter the workforce or make a seamless transition into a bachelor's degree program. The 63-credit curriculum includes courses in accounting, information systems, and business. An accelerated and asynchronous format allows students to complete courses in as few as five weeks. To ensure students take courses in the proper sequence, Indiana Tech organizes Tracked Educational Adult Modules of 12 to 18 students, who move through the program as a cohort.

How to Choose an Online Associate in Accounting Program

Choosing an educational path is a complex process that can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, identifying and comparing key features of a degree program can help break this decision down into manageable steps. As you evaluate different online accounting associate degrees, you may want to pay attention to the length of the program; this can vary from school to school. Programs also differ in terms of their curriculum. This is important to consider because transferring into a bachelor’s program or securing employment may depend on the completion of certain courses. The overall cost of a degree program is another crucial factor for most students.

You may also want to consider whether pursuing an accounting associate degree online at a particular school involves any on-campus attendance in addition to online coursework. Accreditation is another valuable factor to account for when comparing programs; some employers only hire graduates who attended an accredited institution/program. Weighing the various pros and cons will help you find the best online associate in accounting program for your educational goals.

Educational Paths for Graduates of Associate in Accounting Programs

After completing your associate program, you may decide to pursue a more advanced degree. Many schools allow students to transfer credits from an online associate degree in accounting into a bachelor’s program. Associate degree holders may choose to pursue a bachelor’s in accounting, management, marketing, or business, among other options. Graduates from accounting programs generally find that a more advanced degree qualifies them for employment in more lucrative careers. For example, the BLS reports that the median salary for bookkeepers, accounting clerks, and auditing clerks, which are jobs that only require an associate degree, is $38,390. Alternatively, the median salary for accountants and auditors, which are jobs that require a bachelor’s degree, is $68,150.

  • Bachelor’s in Accounting

    To obtain a bachelor’s in accounting, students take additional courses in cost accounting, management, organizational theory, and taxation. They may also need to complete classes related to business finance, financial statement analysis, and accounting information systems.

  • Bachelor’s in Management

    Degree candidates in management bachelor’s programs study business law, entrepreneurship, human resource management, management information systems, and organizational behavior. They also become familiar with strategic management, human resource management, and supply chain management.

  • Bachelor’s in Marketing

    Students pursuing a bachelor’s in marketing focus on understanding consumer behavior, sales communications, and market research. They also learn to develop marketing plans in accordance with a company’s business goals and use data to improve the positions of products in the marketplace.

  • Bachelor’s in Business

    Students enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in business program gain a broad perspective about all aspects of running a business, including planning, finance, business law and ethics, management, and taxation. Students also learn leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

Career Paths for Accounting Graduates

Graduates of online associate degree in accounting programs have a host of career options available to them, and many of these opportunities can be relatively lucrative. This degree prepares you to work as an accounting clerk, a bookkeeper, an accounting assistant, an accounts receivable clerk, or a billing clerk, among many other options. These jobs vary somewhat in terms of the skills they require and the day-to-day tasks they involve. The table below describes these roles and includes the corresponding median salaries.

Job Outlook and Salary for Accounting Associate Degree Graduates

Graduating from one of the best online associate in accounting programs prepares you to find employment in several fields that are expected increase in size in the coming years. The number of financial clerk positions available in the U.S. is projected to grow by more than 6% between 2014 and 2024. Many factors contribute to an employee’s salary level and different positions are compensated at different rates. For example, the particular industry in which you work and where you live can both have a significant effect on your salary.

Employment Growth for Accounting
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
1,426,500 1,515,800

Salary Growth by Experience for Graduates of Accounting Associate Degrees

Students who have earned their associate degree in accounting online can expect to gain more money as they earn increased experience. The following table provides median salaries for accounting clerks, bookkeepers, and accounting assistants based on a worker’s level of experience; these are three common careers held by individuals with an associate degree in accounting.


To determine the best online Associate in Accounting programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online Associate in Accounting programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.