Compiled and Written By Staff
Last Updated: March 2020

Students with an online associate degree in accounting gain foundational knowledge and job experience that prepares them for a career in an expanding field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of accounting jobs is predicted to grow by 11% over the next 10 years. In this job market, a bachelor's degree is the standard education level needed to gain employment and earn a CPA certification, but there are many benefits to earning an online accounting associate degree. This includes shorter completion time and the opportunity to earn your bachelor's degree more affordably than a traditional four-year program.

What Can I Do with an Associate in Accounting?

Online accounting degree graduates often find jobs as office managers, financial controllers, or accounting managers. The median salary for these jobs vary, with office managers making an average of $44,775, and financial controllers making an average of $53,458. These jobs are similar to those with an accounting certificate, but associate degree graduates have more career advancement and continuing education opportunities.

The Top 10 Online Associate Degrees in Accounting

Rank School Location
1 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
2 Haywood Community College Clyde, NC
3 Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, WI
4 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Shell Lake, WI
5 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
6 Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA
7 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS
8 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE
9 Coastal Pines Technical College Waycross, GA/td>
10 Stanly Community College Albemarle, NC

Why Should I pursue My Associate in Accounting Online?

There are many benefits to studying accounting online, as most online classes are asynchronous, so students can complete their degree on a timeline that fits their lifestyle and schedule. The flexibility of online accounting programs allow students to balance work and family obligations as they complete their degree.

Earning an accounting degree online is also less expensive than on-campus programs at the associate and/or bachelor degree level. Online learning is usually more affordable; most students don't pay for on-campus housing and fees. Many colleges who offer online classes do so at a discounted rate in comparison to their on-campus courses, providing cheaper tuition to students who are committed to earning their online associate degree in accounting remotely. This learning situation is a practical and advantageous option for students who are self-motivated and organized, and who work well independently. Most colleges provide substantial online resources and access to academic advising, but students should be prepared to stay on top of assignments and deadlines themselves.

What are the Best Online Associate in Accounting Programs?

The following online accounting associate degrees are offered in fully online and hybrid formats. Using our proven methodology, we have ranked the top programs known for producing qualified accounting experts. Here are the best online master's in accounting programs:

How We Rank Online MBA Programs

Want to know how we create our rankings? We assess schools based on affordability, academic quality, student success and online flexibility.

Quality (35% of total score)

Quality schools are those with a low student-to-faculty ratio and high retention rates of returning freshmen, that ideally also offer a wide range of specialized accounting programs.

Affordability (15% of total score)

When weighting affordability, a low net price and high percentage of students receiving financial aid were particularly important, though a low percentage of graduates defaulting on their student loans also factored in.

Online Flexibility (15% of total score)

Schools with a high percentage of fully online graduate students ranked highest for online flexibility, but consideration was also given to those with a good percentage of students enrolled partially online in hybrid programs.

Student Success (35% of total score)

When calculating student success, the metrics of a high graduation rate and a high 20-year net present value (i.e., a student's ROI on their tuition 20 years later) were weighted equally.
Rank Logo School Name Type Accreditation Description Quick Facts

Northwest Iowa Community College

603 W Park St
Sheldon, IA
(712) 324-5061

Northwest Iowa offers more than 750 courses and numerous programs for online students, including the associate of applied science degree in accounting. The degree can be earned completely online or in a hybrid format. The AAS in accounting is a two-year program with two semesters each year; it requires 63 credits to graduate. There is also a clerical accounting diploma option which requires two semesters of study. Students pursuing the online associate degree in accounting are prepared for entry-level jobs in bookkeeping and general accounting positions in banks and CPA firms. The program is divided between lectures and lab time. Most courses are not self-paced, so full-time students must begin classes in the fall; part-time students can begin anytime.

Based in Sheldon, Iowa, NCC is part of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium, which provides many online options. Some online classes are taught by instructors from other participating community colleges, but students will earn their credits through NCC.


Haywood Community College

Public SACS/CC
185 Freedlander Drive
Clyde, NC
(828) 627-2821

The associate in applied science degree in accounting at Haywood is offered completely online. The school is located in Clyde, North Carolina. This 67 to 70-credit program teaches students accounting principles and theories and practice to prepare them for entry-level accounting positions in small businesses, manufacturing companies, hospitals, schools systems, banks, and government agencies. The course also covers business law, finance, management, economics, and ethics. The online accounting associate degree program takes five semesters to complete, including a summer semester. Online courses are presented through the Moodle learning platform. The school also offers a diploma and three certificates, each of which can be completed in two quarters or less.

Out-of-state students may enroll in the online program if they reside in one of the 16 states that make up the Southern Regional Education Board.


Moraine Park Technical College

235 N National Avenue
Fond du Lac, WI
(920) 929-2483

Moraine Technical caters to adult students. The associate of applied science degree in accounting program is one of seven, two-year online degree programs offered at the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin college. The school also offers technical diplomas, professional certificates, and apprenticeship programs, and most courses are available fully online. The 69-credit accounting program teaches students how to prepare financial statements and record business transactions. Students will study payroll, taxes, and auditing, including Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, accounting procedures, and software applications. Students pursuing the online associate degree in accounting are prepared for careers as accounting technicians, cost accountants, payroll accountants, or staff accountants. Learners use the web-based Canvas system for their online classes, but books are required for most. Many classes and assignments require Microsoft Word and other programs within the Microsoft suite. Computer software can be purchased at the Moraine Park Bookstore at a discount. Online students do not pay out-of-state fees. They may gain credit for prior work experience, military experience, training, or coursework.


Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

505 Pine Ridge Drive
Shell Lake, WI
(715) 468-2815

The two-year associate of applied science degree in accounting is an entirely online degree that is also offered at the Ashland, New Richmond, Rice Lake, and Superior campuses of Wisconsin Indianhead. The school offers 57 programs leading to an associate degree or technical diploma. The online associate degree program in accounting will teach students how to assemble, analyze, interpret, and forecast financial information in a corporate, government, or nonprofit environment. Preparing financial statements, cost studies, and tax reports are also part of the curriculum. Accounting students should be comfortable using a 10-key calculator and working with numbers. Graduates can process financial transactions, analyze data to support decision-making, and perform organizational tax accounting preparation, reporting, and analysis. Graduates find entry-level work that may lead to mid-management roles as accountants, bookkeepers, and tax accountants; some graduates choose to continue their education at a four-year institution.

The school's Career Pathways program lets students advance their education with an accounting assistant specialty to expand their career options. Accounting assistants maintain accounting records, such as receivables, payables, purchasing, billing, inventory, and payroll.


Fox Valley Technical College

1825 N Bluemound Dr
Appleton, WI
(920) 735-5600

Fox Valley is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System, a consortium of 16 college districts offering 400 programs of study. FVTC offers more than 200 associate degree, technical diploma, and certificate programs to 50,000 individuals annually, along with instruction for 15 apprenticeship trades. The associate of applied science curriculum teaches students how to handle business transactions for sales, expenses, payments, and inventories. It's offered online or on campus in Appleton. Graduates will know how to prepare financial reports and use computerized accounting software. Technical studies, which account for 45 of the 69 credits needed to graduate, include courses on financial fraud detection and business law. Writing, psychology, ethics, and economics courses make up 21 credits. An academic skills assessment is required for program admission.

FVTC's other main campus is in Oshkosh; there are four other regional centers. All FVTC courses may contain some online assignments. Hybrid programs offer another option. Classes held on campus are offered part-time, in the evenings, on weekends, and in accelerated formats.


Lanier Technical College

2990 Landrum Education Dr
Oakwood, GA
(770) 531-6300

LTC is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, which provides technical education programs for seven counties. Lanier offers an unusual guarantee to graduates: If an employer finds an LTC graduate to be deficient in a core competency, LTC will retrain that employee at no cost to the employee or employer. LTC partners with industry leaders to develop curriculum requirements. The Oakwood, Georgia, institution offers an associate of applied science degree in accounting online and at its Barrow, Forsyth, and Oakwood campuses. The program requires students to earn 64-credits. The degree can be earned in five semesters, and includes courses in personal finance and fraud investigation. Students enrolled in the online accounting associate degree program will practice tax preparation, payroll, corporate accounting, cost accounting, and computerized accounting. All graduates must complete a work ethic course. Students will use Blackboard to access courses, and they can access the Georgia Library Learning Online system, an electronic library that combines thousands of periodicals and research databases.


Hutchinson Community College

1300 N Plum St
Hutchinson, KS
(620) 665-3500

Hutchinson is a full service community college and vocational school that serves 5,000 students every semester. The school is located in Hutchinson, Kansas, and has two off-campus sites in McPherson and Newton. HCC has 250 online courses and 120 major programs, including fully accredited associate of arts/associate of science degrees and specialty certificates that are available entirely online.

The associate of arts in accounting program covers the first two years of a bachelor's degree in accounting across four semesters, enabling students to graduate with the required 64 credit hours. Courses include QuickBooks, public speaking, and calculus, among others. Classes for the online associate degree in accounting start monthly. Credentialed instructors help faculty members design their online courses. The Step Ahead program enables high school students to enroll in HCC classes while still in school. High school students who graduate and attend HCC full-time will be reimbursed for courses taken while they were in high school, provided they maintain a grade of C or higher. Tuition reimbursement is available for on or off-campus students, including students taking internet classes.


Northeast Community College

801 E Benjamin
Norfolk, NE
(402) 371-2020

Northeast offers two-year program degrees, diplomas, and certificates at its main campus in Norfolk, Nebraska, and at satellite campuses in O'Neill, South Sioux City, and West Point.

The online associate of arts in accounting degree requires at least 60 credit hours and is designed for students planning to transfer to a four-year institution. The core courses, which total 27 credits, focus on business statistics and communications, spreadsheet applications, microeconomics, and business law. The remaining credits are earned through general education courses. Full-time students pursuing the online associate degree in accounting who take at least 15 credits each semester can complete the degree in two-years. Ninety-nine percent of NCC graduates continue their education or find a job. Of those who decide to work, 83% are employed in a position related to their program of study. Tuition is the same for online and residential students.


Coastal Pines Technical College

Public SACS/CC
1701 Carswell Ave
Waycross, GA
(912) 287-5818

Coastal Pines offers 20 fully online programs, leading to an associate of applied science degree, diploma, or technical certificate. CPTC also offers traditional classes at its campus in Waycross, Georgia, and over 17 instructional sites. The online associate of applied science degree in accounting requires 64 credit hours. Occupational courses make up 49 credits and include courses in document production and individual tax accounting. Online students should commit at least 15 hours a week for each online course they take. The courses are not self-paced. Depending on the course, synchronous instruction may be required for group activities.

To encourage a strong work ethic, CPTC monitors attendance for all online courses, dropping those who don't participate in classes for seven consecutive days. Students must complete a proctored end-of-term exam. Online courses are priced the same as on-campus courses. Georgia residents over age 62 may attend CPTC credit courses without charge, space permitting.


Stanly Community College

Public SACS/CC
141 College Drive
Albemarle, NC
(704) 982-0121

Stanly, located in Albemarle, North Carolina, offers a variety of online degree programs, certificates, and diplomas. The online associate of applied science in accounting degree covers coursework in accounting principles, theories, and practice. Online students use the Moodle learning platform to study economics, finance, business law, and management. Representative courses include quantitative literacy, federal income taxes, and principles of marketing. The five-semester program can be completed in two years after students earn 65-credit hours. The program teaches students how to complete a financial statement and understand how to prepare managerial accounting reports. Graduates are ready for entry-level accounting positions, in accounting firms, small businesses, schools, hospitals, banks, and government agencies.

Online programs are available to residents of 35 states and the District of Columbia. High school juniors and seniors with a 3.0 or higher GPA can earn up to 30 hours of college transfer credits.