Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

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Updated May 31, 2024

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Online accounting students can attend programs across the U.S. Discover the best degrees and factors to consider when choosing accounting programs.

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Accounting associate degree programs teach attendees the skills they need for entry-level accounting jobs. Compared to on-campus degrees, online programs offer additional flexibility and accessibility — online enrollees can often complete coursework on less structured schedules and attend programs across the country.

While upper-level accounting careers, including certified public accountants (CPAs), require at least a bachelor's degree, completing an associate program can help prepare you for entry-level roles in the field. Use this guide to discover top accounting programs, including the admissions process and tuition rates for these schools.

Popular Online Programs

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

Top Online Associate in Accounting Programs

#1 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Herkimer County Community College

  • Herkimer, NY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $189
Out-of-State | $189

Credits to Graduate: 62

Herkimer's AAS in accounting spans four semesters of content focused on accounting essentials. First-year students in this online accounting associate degree build foundations in financial accounting, managerial accounting, and business management. Coursework becomes concentrated in upper semesters, covering computerized accounting systems, economics, personal finance, taxation, and intermediate accounting concepts.

Herkimer is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It's the system's flagship two-year institution. Your entire degree can transfer into four-year programs at multiple SUNY schools if you continue at the bachelor's level.  

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,116
Out-of-state
$5,116
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
59%
Acceptance Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
2,024
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

York County Community College

  • Wells, ME
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $96
Out-of-State | $144-$192

Credits to Graduate: 60

YCCC's AAS in accounting teaches key accounting concepts for businesses and nonprofits. The program emphasizes accounting technologies, critical thinking skills, and core fundamentals of professional practice.

While YCCC offers flexible enrollment options, online students typically complete 15 credits per semester. To aid progress, YCCC highlights "program milestones" as students move through the curriculum.

Enrollees can begin in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. YCCC encourages students seeking the most direct path to graduation to start the program in the fall. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,880
Out-of-state
$5,760
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
55%
Acceptance Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
1,381
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
74% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#3 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Community College of Vermont

  • Montpelier, VT
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $280
Out-of-State | $560

Credits to Graduate: 60

CCV's AS program in accounting prepares graduates for entry-level accounting positions and positions them for further accounting studies. Requirements focus on basic and intermediate concepts in financial, managerial, and cost accounting. Learners supplement this core coursework by studying spreadsheets, computerized accounting systems, and economics. 

Notably, CCV offers tuition-free learning opportunities. You may qualify if you do not already have a bachelor's degree and come from a household with an annual income under $75,000.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,720
Out-of-state
$13,440
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
57%
Acceptance Rate
59%
Students Enrolled
5,541
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
81% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Barton County Community College

  • Great Bend, KS
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $160
Out-of-State | $160

Credits to Graduate: 60

Barton's technical accounting specialist AAS program teaches the hard skills students need to transition to the workforce. Coursework focuses on general accounting and payroll concepts, covering them in detail across a four-term curriculum.

The program may attract working professionals and budget-conscious learners. In addition to scheduling flexibility, online students gain full access to Barton's Open Educational Resources. This program can help you save on textbooks while providing immediate online access to course-specific learning tools.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$2,880
Out-of-state
$3,528
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
69%
Acceptance Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
3,748
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Ozarks Technical Community College

  • Springfield, MO
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $131-$193
Out-of-State | $247

Credits to Graduate: 60-61

OTC's online AAS in accounting and business management balances accounting theory and practice with explorations of taxation, economics, and cost control. In your final semester, you can participate in an optional internship or co-op program, even if you complete all other degree requirements online.

You can pursue a standard AAS track or an alternate path supporting easy degree transferability with one additional credit. Both options cover the management and processing of digital and physical financial records.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,104
Out-of-state
$5,256
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
62%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,506
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Reading Area Community College

  • Reading, PA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $209-$363
Out-of-State | $401

Credits to Graduate: 60

RACC's online accounting associate degree suits students who plan to transfer into four-year accounting degree programs. The standardized curriculum covers the first two years of a bachelor's program, allowing graduates to make seamless transitions into junior-year studies.

Major requirements cover one-quarter of the degree's 60 credits. They emphasize financial accounting and business management essentials, along with economics coursework and accounting electives. In selecting your electives, you can consult a faculty advisor who can direct you to courses that best match your learning and career goals. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,400
Out-of-state
$9,450
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
61%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,737
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Finger Lakes Community College

  • Canandaigua, NY
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $220-$434
Out-of-State | $308

Credits to Graduate: 63-64

FLCC's online AAS in accounting emphasizes an 11-course accounting core. Specific subjects include financial, managerial, and tax accounting, along with marketing, business, and computerized accounting systems. The program also includes a business internship.

General education components expand your perspective, introducing further technology requirements and economics coursework. FLCC's online learning model prioritizes flexibility with asynchronous classes you can complete wherever and whenever you want.

FLCC is part of the State University of New York system. Its curriculum aligns with state standards for certified public accountant licensure and certified management accountant certification.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,968
Out-of-state
$5,956
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
47%
Acceptance Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
5,414
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#8 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Fox Valley Technical College

  • Appleton, WI
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $205
Out-of-State | $205

Credits to Graduate: 63

FVTC's online accounting associate degree offers excellent flexibility. You can study on a full-time or part-time day or evening schedule and earn your degree entirely online or through hybrid learning. FVTC offers the program at six Wisconsin locations.

The curriculum covers payroll accounting at introductory and advanced levels, along with financial accounting, cost accounting, and business and personal taxation. You also learn about fraud detection and accounting technologies as you build toward a culminating capstone experience.

Alumni enjoy excellent outcomes — the school reports that 95% of 2021-22 graduates found employment within six months.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,860
Out-of-state
$6,977
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
11,664
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Carroll Community College

  • Westminster, MD
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $142-$241
Out-of-State | $337

Credits to Graduate: 60

Carroll's online AA in accounting program operates as a concentration within the school's associate business management degree. This framework highlights its dual emphasis on foundational accounting skills and general business concepts.

Required accounting classes cover financial, managerial, and intermediate accounting. Other requirements introduce statistical methods, mathematics, economics, and business law. Graduates emerge with versatile skills that transfer well to entry-level positions and four-year degrees.

Carroll's online student experience includes a combination of live, synchronous online courses and pre-recorded asynchronous classes. You can also choose a hybrid format if you live close to the school's campus in Westminster, Maryland.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,400
Out-of-state
$6,912
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
69%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,770
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online Accounting Associate Degrees 2024

Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City

  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $130
Out-of-State | $371

Credits to Graduate: 60

OSU-OKC's online AAS in accounting takes a skills-focused approach to learning. Technical coursework covers payroll, financial, and managerial accounting, along with computerized accounting systems and popular accounting software. You can supplement this coursework with business courses that place accounting concepts in their broader functional context.

Part of OSU-OKC's mandate is to train students to fill large job vacancies in Oklahoma's 100 critical occupations, which include accountants. To help meet this goal, OSU-OKC offers a convenient and flexible online learning format with a 24/7/365 asynchronous model.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,630
Out-of-state
$9,468
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
80%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,456
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

Accounting.com ranks the best accounting degrees using reputable sources such as the U.S. Department of Education. We build our rankings with four main metrics in mind: academics, cost, reputation, and program availability. We also consider subfactors like retention rate, federal aid amounts, and return on investment to help you find the right program for you.

This ranking is from 2024. Learn more about our process by visiting our school rankings methodology page.

What to Expect From an Online Accounting Associate

Accounting associate degrees teach basic accounting skills, including bookkeeping, payroll preparation, and how to use accounting software. Most programs require 60 credits, typically comprising courses in finance, federal tax, and managerial accounting. Enrollees must also complete general education classes. Full-time students can usually earn an associate degree in two years.

Individuals with prior postsecondary credits may be able to transfer them toward an accounting associate program. Similarly, graduates of associate programs can often transfer their credits toward a bachelor's degree. Schools may allow up to 75% of credits to come from other institutions. Each institution maintains its own policies for accepting transfer credits, so research these procedures or schedule an appointment with advisors before applying.

Admissions Process

Every school has its own admission requirements, but many institutions stipulate similar guidelines. Associate degree applicants usually need a high school degree or equivalent. Prospective online enrollees should be proficient in basic technology, including Microsoft Office and email.

Applicants typically submit official transcripts and application fees. Institutions may also request SAT or ACT scores for admission or scholarship purposes. Unlike with bachelor's in accounting programs, you may not need letters of recommendation, a resume, or a minimum GPA to apply for an online accounting associate degree.

Online Delivery Formats

Schools offer online accounting degrees through 100% online and hybrid delivery modalities. 100% online programs do not require campus attendance, so degree-seekers complete all academic requirements through virtual learning platforms.

Hybrid degrees blend online and classroom-based learning. In some cases, in-person attendance requirements extend only to accounting internships or occasional on-campus learning modules. Other hybrid programs have more extensive physical attendance requirements. Some schools also allow hybrid learners to choose how they balance the two formats.

Online learning offers two course delivery formats: Synchronous online classes require learners to attend virtual classes at set times. Students in synchronous classes can ask instructors questions about course material in real time. This interactivity can be beneficial for complex subjects like accounting.

Asynchronous delivery uses prerecorded lectures or instructional sessions. Students do not log into an online learning platform, instead engaging with coursework when convenient, often turning assignments in on weekly or monthly deadlines. Asynchronous classes maximize scheduling flexibility. They can benefit degree-seekers with busy schedules, jobs, and family obligations.

Tuition

The total tuition cost for an associate degree in accounting program can range from under $3,000 to over $30,000. Tuition varies based on several factors, including school prestige, public or private institution status, and student state residency. Students can compare programs and costs online to find a program that fits their budget.

Online enrollees should account for expenses like an internet connection, a laptop, and required software licenses. Typically, distance learning students can save on costs that in-person learners pay, including parking and campus facility fees.

Students can pursue a variety of financial aid sources to help cover the cost of their degree. These funding options include:

  • Scholarships: Students can receive scholarships based on financial need, merit, or demographics. These awards do not require repayment.
  • Grants: Government agencies usually provide grants based on financial need. They do not require repayment.
  • Loans: Public and private lenders can offer student loans, which typically require repayment with interest.

Accreditation for Online Associate Degrees

Prospective online accounting associate degree enrollees should ensure their school holds institutional accreditation, a designation from accreditation agencies that verifies whether a school meets standards of academic excellence. Employers, professional organizations, and other schools may not accept courses or degrees from nonaccredited institutions.

Programs and departments can also receive programmatic accreditation, an optional designation that affirms how well a program prepares students for careers in the field. Organizations like the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and AACSB International provide programmatic accreditation for accounting.

You should also investigate if online programs have valid state authorization in your jurisdiction. Each state maintains their own requirements for higher education institutions, so some jurisdictions may not recognize degrees from schools in other states. Enrolling in a program without authorization can cause problems if you plan to pursue a bachelor's degree or CPA designation later in their careers, so investigate these laws before applying.

How Does an Online Program Differ From an On-Campus Program?

Schools offer online, in-person, and hybrid accounting associate degrees. These programs usually provide similar courses across delivery models. However, the accessibility and flexibility of online programs means factors like tuition cost, graduation timeline, and class size can vary.

Comparing Online and On-Campus Associate in Accounting Degrees
Factor Online Program On-Campus Program
Cost Some schools charge in-state and out-of-state enrollees the same tuition rate for online courses. Online course prices may vary from on-campus programs. Public schools typically determine tuition rates based on student state residency. Private institutions usually charge all learners the same rate.
Class Size Some online programs may include courses with large enrollments, while others maintain small class sizes. To maximize classroom spaces, some in-person programs may run introductory classes with large enrollments, while more advanced courses may be smaller.
Program Length Online programs usually take two years of full-time study, requiring 12-15 credits per semester for two years. Some programs offer accelerated or part-time study options. On-campus programs usually take two years of full-time study, requiring 12-15 credits per semester for two years. Some programs offer accelerated or part-time study options.
Schedule In asynchronous classes, students can finish coursework at their own pace throughout the semester. Classes occur at predetermined times throughout the week.
Sources: Point University, Herkimer County Community College, York County Community College

Because of the added flexibility of asynchronous coursework, students who pursue an online degree can also work while studying or graduate early to start their career faster.

Common Questions About Online Accounting Associate Degrees

How many credit hours is an associate degree in accounting online?

An associate degree in accounting usually takes two years of full-time study and consists of 60 credit hours. In addition to general education classes, students take accounting courses like financial accounting, income taxation, and management principles.

How much does an online accounting associate program cost?

An online accounting associate degree can cost $3,000-$30,000. Tuition depends on many factors, including student state residency, private or public school status, and institutional reputation.

What can you do with an online accounting associate?

Online accounting associate degree graduates can pursue entry-level accounting jobs, including bookkeeper, accounting clerk, and payroll assistant. More advanced jobs typically require credentials like a bachelor's degree or CPA licensure. Graduates who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree may be able to transfer their associate degree credits.

Are online accounting degrees respected?

Yes, potential employers and schools respect online accounting degrees. Most online programs offer identical curricula and degrees as their in-person counterparts. However, students should ensure that their online accounting program holds accreditation and state authorization.

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