Best Online Accounting Programs of 2022

Accountants need specialized training to enter the workplace or earn CPA licensure. We make it easier to choose one of the nation's best bachelor's in accounting.

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by Doug Wintemute

Updated June 3, 2022

Reviewed by Lizzette Matos, CPA

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A bachelor's degree in accounting opens the door to various professions with strong projected growth, earning potential, and flexibility. These programs equip students with the skills they need to help organizations manage their finances and make more informed financial decisions. Learners develop management, strategy, and critical thinking skills that can apply to various fields.

Many top online universities offer accounting programs that last four years, although some schools may offer accelerated options. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the cost of one year at a four-year institution averaged $28,123 during the 2018-2019 academic year.

www.bestcolleges.com 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.

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The outlook for accounting careers appears strong, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting the addition of more than 96,000 jobs between 2020 and 2030. These professionals also earned a median annual salary of $73,560 in May 2020, which is over $30,000 more than the median annual wage for all occupations in 2020.

Benefits of an Accounting Degree


Accounting is a dynamic field suitable for anyone with a knack for numbers.

Graduates can pursue many career paths, most of which are quite lucrative. The median pay for accountants in 2021 was $77,250, according to the BLS.


Certain industries offer accounting majors particularly high earning potential.

For example, the top-paying industry for accountants in 2021 was pipeline transportation of crude oil, with workers earning an average salary of $123,230. Other top industries include computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing and information services.


Accounting is a stable career that is relatively recession-proof.

The BLS projects 7% job growth for accountants from 2020-2030. The financial manager role is projected to grow by 17%, with these workers earning a median pay of $131,710 in 2021.

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of online programs to produce our annual Best Online Bachelor's in Accounting ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 243 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best online schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (50%), affordability (25%), and the availability and popularity of online programs (25%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

BestColleges' Ranking Factors

Academics (50% of total score)

  • Admissions Rate
  • Enrollment Rate
  • Full-Time Retention Rate
  • Graduation Rate
  • Number of Bachelor's Degree Graduates in the Given Subject

Affordability (25% of total score)

  • Average Net Price
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Federal Loans
  • Average Loan Default Rate

Online Programming (25% of total score)

  • Percentage of Bachelor's Degree Programs Offered Online
  • Percentage of Programs Offered at the Bachelor's Level
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Online Courses

Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs of 2022

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

School Information
Location Little Rock, Arkansas
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $280

Out of State | $280

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

The online bachelor's in accounting at UA Little Rock prepares students for certified public accountant (CPA) licensure. Learners complete general education and business administration classes. Students explore federal taxation and cost and managerial accounting. Enrollees also study auditing theory and practice.

The program fulfills the requirements to sit for Arkansas' CPA exam. Learners who successfully pass the exam must complete an additional 150 semester hours for licensure. Admission requires a minimum 2.25 GPA and college algebra and composition courses.

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#2

Franklin University

School Information
Location Columbus, Ohio
Graduation Rate 28%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $398

Out of State | $398

Credits to Graduate

124

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Franklin's online bachelor's in accounting program serves nontraditional learners. Students complete general education coursework in various subjects. The program covers foundational accounting knowledge for students new to the field. 

Enrollees develop advanced accounting skills in areas such as auditing and accounting information systems. Students apply their knowledge during an accounting research and analysis capstone. 

Learners can transfer up to 94 credits. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma.

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#3

Brenau University

School Information
Location Gainesville, Georgia
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 46%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $690

Out of State | $690

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Brenau's online bachelor's in accounting program provides a strong foundation in business administration. Coursework prepares enrollees to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam. Learners study accounting principles such as cost accounting and taxation.

Enrollees also learn how to conduct fraud examinations. A course focuses on standards for auditing and assurance services. The program prepares learners for Brenau's MBA or master of accountancy program. First-year applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA. 

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#4

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $390-$455

Out of State | $390-$455

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Students can complete Liberty's online bachelor's in accounting program in 3.5 years. Coursework covers financial accounting and financial statement analysis. Students learn how to use accounting information systems. 

Enrollees explore aspects of business operations such as marketing and business law. Degree-seekers can use up to 21 credits in free electives to pursue training in other areas. 

Students can transfer up to 90 credits. 

Free electronic textbooks save students money. Eight start dates provide enrollment flexibility. Applicants need a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.

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#5

Southern Utah University

School Information
Location Cedar City, Utah
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $300

Out of State | $300

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

SUU's online bachelor's in accounting program prepares learners for auditing and managerial and financial accounting. Enrollees learn how to apply accounting information systems best practices in the workplace. 

Coursework covers general business topics such as business law and strategic management. SUU notes that almost 100% of accounting graduates find jobs right after graduation. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA in pre-business foundation coursework.

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#6

McKendree University

School Information
Location Lebanon, Illinois
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $400

Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | International Accreditation Council for Business Education 

McK's online bachelor's in accounting program develops professionals with business administration and accounting expertise. Students learn how to prepare tax returns and present financial data. They explore auditing techniques and learn how to perform advanced financial accounting. A course focuses on business ethics and corporate social responsibility. 

The program helps students meet the requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam. Students can transfer up to 90 credits. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma. Transfer students need a minimum C grade on transfer credits. 

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $400

Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | International Accreditation Council for Business Education 

McK's online bachelor's in accounting program develops professionals with business administration and accounting expertise. Students learn how to prepare tax returns and present financial data. They explore auditing techniques and learn how to perform advanced financial accounting. A course focuses on business ethics and corporate social responsibility. 

The program helps students meet the requirements to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam. Students can transfer up to 90 credits. Admission requires a high school or GED diploma. Transfer students need a minimum C grade on transfer credits.

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#7

Utica College

School Information
Location Utica, New York
Admission Rate 87%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $420

Out of State | $420

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Utica offers a 120-credit bachelor's in accounting degree. This fully online program requires limited general education coursework. Students learn foundational business skills such as marketing and technology management.

The major develops accounting expertise in auditing and cost management. All students learn how to prepare income tax returns. Students can use the degree as a stepping stone to certified public accountant certification. 

Degree-seekers can transfer up to 90 credits. First-year applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer students need a minimum 2.5 GPA.

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#8

Ottawa University-Online

School Information
Location Ottawa, Kansas
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission

 100% Online  | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $499

Out of State | $499

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

OU develops programs for nontraditional learners. The school's bachelor's in accounting program runs fully online. Students gain broad accounting skills through classes such as auditing and cost accounting. 

Students explore federal income tax laws and their implications for individuals and businesses. A course explains how to manage a company's finance and investing activities. Degree-seekers choose one of four concentrations: actuarial science, economics, finance, or leadership and management. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma.

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#9

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

School Information
Location Portales, New Mexico
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 36%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Self-Paced and Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $170

Out of State | $255

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs 

ENMU offers all business degrees online. The school's bachelor's in accounting program prepares learners for entry-level accounting careers and certified public accountant certification. The program includes both live and asynchronous classes.

Coursework covers various business areas, including marketing and finance. Enrollees study auditing, cost accounting, and tax return preparation. All students learn about accounting information systems theory. 

Online students receive tutoring support and access to the writing center. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. ENMU requires SAT or ACT scores.

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#10

Florida Atlantic University

School Information
Location Boca Raton, Florida
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

 100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $203

Out of State | $722

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree-Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

FAU's online bachelor's in accounting program builds on a required pre-business foundation. Students learn how to complete business administrative functions such as marketing and financial management. An accounting course teaches students money and banking principles. 

Enrollees learn the accounting applications of data analytics. Students can use elective credits to study business law or develop advanced taxation skills. 

Applicants need at least 60 credits and a minimum 2.5 GPA on the pre-business foundation. Prospective students must complete an accounting competency exam.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Accounting Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Online bachelor's in accounting programs often appeal to students with strong math and analytical skills. However, the field requires communication and organizational skills as well. An online bachelor's degree typically requires learners to complete 120 credits over four years.

Some online accounting programs deliver coursework asynchronously, which allows learners to study during the hours that suit them best. Online students may still need to complete practical components, such as practica or internships. Distance learners can often meet these requirements at approved sites in their communities.

Undergraduate accounting programs usually award bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) degrees. Humanities-focused BA degrees may lead to more interdisciplinary careers, whereas BS degrees focus more on business and accounting management. Some BS programs offer additional credits that can contribute to the requirements needed to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

While degree type may influence their eventual career paths, students can often choose concentrations in areas like management, financial, forensic, and tax accounting. Concentrations can lead to specific employment opportunities and certifications after graduation.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Accounting Ethics

This course examines professional standards and ethical frameworks for accountants. Coursework may look at common dilemmas in the field and how accountants can apply professional principles to manage difficult situations.

Managerial Accounting

This course teaches students how to use financial information and planning to make better managerial decisions. Learners look at ways of applying these lessons and activity-based management tools to costing, budgeting, and estimating.

Auditing

In this class, learners examine the processes and reasons for auditing financial statements. They also learn about auditors' legal and ethical responsibilities, how to plan an audit, and how to communicate its findings.

Taxation

Students in this course learn about accounting for income taxes and how to handle taxes on corporate financial statements. They learn best practices for tax planning and gain an understanding of disclosures and compliance requirements.

Business Law

In business law courses, students learn common legal terminology and processes. Covered topics may include employment, corporate, and sale and consumer protection laws.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Admission requirements vary by school and program, but prospective students can still get a general idea of what to expect. For example, many schools require students to possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and a strong GPA. The following section details some other common requirements.

Application

The typical undergraduate application requires prospective students to include their personal information and pay a processing fee. Applicants can submit their applications individually through a school website or apply to multiple schools through The Common Application, typically known as the Common App.

Test Scores

Students' college entrance exam scores can indicate their preparedness for higher education. While many schools have suspended test score requirements because of COVID-19, prospective accounting students may still need to submit ACT or SAT scores. When required, strong scores usually lead to higher acceptance rates.

Letters of Recommendation

Most colleges require up to three lettersof recommendation from former teachers or employers who can speak to the applicant's program readiness. These letters allow schools to gain professional insight into the student's past experiences and qualifications.

Essays

College application essays give prospective students room to discuss their personal journeys and reasons for applying to a program. Most applications request personal essays, which give the applicant freedom to write on any topic. However, some accounting programs may ask specific questions about the field.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts highlight the applicant's prior studies. Transcripts may help schools identify a student's readiness, prerequisites, and outstanding courses. Transcripts can also lead to transfer credit.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Degree?

Career Outlook

Graduates with bachelor's degrees in accounting can look forward to a promising job outlook. The BLS projects 7% growth for accountants and auditors between 2020 and 2030, roughly on par with the rate for all occupations.

Like many of the most popular college majors, accounting offers great career flexibility. In addition to accounting positions, graduates can pursue various business and finance careers. Possible industries include business management and government.

Financially, accounting graduates often perform well. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for accountants and auditors was $73,560 in May 2020. The highest 10% of earners in the field made more than $128,680.

See where a bachelor's degree in accounting can take you. Learn more about accounting careers.

Career Paths

Financial Manager

Financial managers supervise the financial activities of an organization, looking for ways to improve financial health and meet goals. They may manage budgeting, planning, and legal requirements. They also use financial information to make decisions, manage risk, and seek future opportunities.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $134,180

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts work with organizations to develop and review budgets. They may help consolidate, check for compliance issues, optimize spending, and analyze proposals. They also break down funding requests, provide budget forecasts, and offer alternatives or adjustments.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $78,970

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts help people and organizations improve their financial decisions. They may look at investment opportunities, study spending habits, review performance indicators, or evaluate financial statements to gather information. They then present reports and plans for the future, along with risk assessments and financial strategies.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $83,660

Cost Estimator

These professionals specialize in estimating the costs of projects, including labor, materials, and time. They often work in specific industries and collaborate with engineers and manufacturing managers to create the most accurate estimates.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $66,610

Tax Examiners and Collectors

Tax examiners review tax returns and perform audits to determine the amount of taxes owed by individuals and organizations. They ensure tax returns follow the law and regulations, investigating any issues they identify.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020): $55,640

Accounting Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Many graduates with online bachelor's degrees in accounting continue their education for various reasons. Some wish to pursue CPA certification, which requires more credits than the typical bachelor's degree provides. These learners may look at online graduate certificates to complete requirements.

Others may choose to tackle a graduate degree, such as an online master's in forensic accounting or even an online doctoral degree in accounting. Accounting graduates might also move into a business-related program to pursue an online MBA or business certificate.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Accounting Program?

Cost

Many prospective students look at tuition prices when searching for the ideal school and program. They should calculate the true cost of an online program and compare online vs. on-campus costs to get the most accurate assessment. NCES reports that the cost of one year at a four-year institution averaged $28,123 during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Program Format

A program's format and delivery method can greatly influence a prospective student's decision. For example, many online schools offer accelerated programs for learners or full-time and part-time options. Online students may also encounter synchronous and asynchronous programs, a distinction that impacts when and how they study.

Location

Even learners who decide to pursue online vs. on-campus programs should still factor in location. Online programs sometimes have on-campus requirements, and out-of-state students may pay higher tuition rates. However, many online schools accommodate distance learners by eliminating travel demands. Some even offer in-state tuition rates to out-of-state students.

Accreditation

Online college accreditation should rank very highly on every prospective student's school search checklist. The school should have the appropriate regional accreditation, which allows students to receive federal funding. Programmatic accreditation for accounting programs should come from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Student Support

Prospective students should investigate what kind of student services their potential schools offer. They can look into academic support, career services, mentorship programs, and internships. These services and programs can improve students' chances at success.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Accounting Programs

Is a bachelor's in accounting worth it?

A bachelor's degree in accounting can be very worthwhile for many students. These programs provide comprehensive training in accounting and foundational business, which gives graduates the flexibility to pursue various accounting and business careers.

According to the BLS, the outlook for the accounting field is strong and jobs are often lucrative for professionals with up-to-date training and skills. Online degree programs, with reduced travel and flexible scheduling, makes pursuing a bachelor's in accounting more accessible.

What can I do with a bachelor's in accounting?

With a bachelor's in accounting, graduates typically pursue accounting, tax, and auditing careers. However, there are more career options, including many business and financial occupations. Graduates can also pursue CPA certification, which often requires additional training.

Continuing education is a common pathway for graduates with bachelor's degrees in accounting. They can pursue master's degrees for management positions or doctoral degrees if they wish to teach or impact policy. Accounting graduates can qualify for advanced business degrees as well.

Are accounting majors in high demand?

Yes. The BLS projects the addition of more than 96,000 new accounting jobs between 2020 and 2030. Job-seekers with advanced training, certifications, and analytical and advisory skills should have access to many opportunities.

Since business and financial occupations often require financial expertise, accounting graduates may qualify for entry-level positions in these fields as well. The BLS projects the addition of over 750,800 new business and financial jobs between 2020 and 2030.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in accounting?

Salaries vary considerably by occupation, location, and individual experience. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for accountants was $73,560 in May 2020. The top 10% in the field made over $128,680.

The median annual wage for business and financial occupations was $72,250 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. Some of the positions available to accounting graduates earned median annual wages even higher than that, including budget analysts at $78,970, financial examiners at $81,430, and financial analysts at $83,660.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in accounting?

The highest-paying position available to graduates with bachelor's degrees in accounting is likely financial manager. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual wage of $134,180 in May 2020, and the top 10% earned more than $208,000.

Financial managers earn some of the highest median annual wages among management occupations. The combination of financial and business skills keeps these professionals well-compensated and in high demand. Depending on the employer, accounting graduates may need experience and additional training to qualify for these positions.

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BestColleges.com 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.

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