Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

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Updated January 5, 2024

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Are you looking for a flexible way to obtain a bachelor's degree in accounting? Enrolling in an online program could be the solution for you.

Accounting.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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You're wrong about accountants. They aren't a bunch of boring, bean-counting nerds. AI can count the beans now — but it can't provide the insight and analysis that expert accountants have to offer. Well-trained, thoughtful accountants and auditors are more valuable than ever.

A bachelor's degree in accounting can provide you with the kind of specialized finance, taxation, and business insight that corporations and individuals look to when making big money decisions. It's a skill set you can leverage across industries, and the pay isn't bad, either. In 2022, accountants and auditors made a median annual salary of $78,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

If you're looking for a fast, flexible, and convenient path into your accounting career, we've rounded up all the best online accounting degrees out there. Check them out — and forget about the beans.

Explore Featured Online Accounting Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Top Accounting Program Rankings Summary

Rank School In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition Acceptance Rate
#1 The University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL
$3,735 $16,004 53%
#2 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
$29,950 $29,950 70%
#3 Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, NM
$4,074 $6,114 33%
#4 University of Minnesota-Crookston
Crookston, MN
$10,822 $10,822 48%
#5 National University
San Diego, CA
$13,320 $13,320 55%
#6 Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, UT
$7,162 $7,162 Not provided
#7 Buena Vista University
Storm Lake, IA
$37,518 $37,518 66%
#8 Trine University
Fort Wayne, IN
$9,576 $9,576 60%
#9 Brescia University
Owensboro, KY
$26,000 $26,000 53%
#10 Illinois College
Jacksonville, IL
$34,752 $34,752 75%

Best Accounting Online Bachelor's Degrees

#1 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

The University of West Florida

  • Pensacola, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $219

Out-of-State | $342

Credits to Graduate: 120

The College of Business at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, offers a fully online accounting BSBA that provides a foundation in operations, marketing, strategy, and business systems before moving on to more specialized accounting classes. In UWF's online accounting BSBA program, students can learn communication, problem-solving, and technical accounting skills.

The curriculum includes courses like accounting information systems, auditing, forensic accounting, and taxation of individuals. Students can complete an optional accounting internship. Program graduates meet the state of Florida educational requirements to take the certified public accountant (CPA) exam. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$3,735
Out-of-state
$16,004
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,088
Out-of-state
$22,166
Retention Rate
84%
Acceptance Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
13,288
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

  • Saint Mary of the Woods, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $496

Out-of-State | $496

Credits to Graduate: 120

Located in Saint Mary of the Woods, Indiana, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers an online BS in accounting that can prepare graduates for various accounting careers in government, industry, and the nonprofit sector. The program can also prepare students to complete various accounting certifications.

The curriculum requires classes like individual tax preparations, auditing theory and practice, accounting measurements and disclosures, and accounting information systems. Students can choose from two optional concentrations in entrepreneurship or professional preparation.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$29,950
Out-of-state
$29,950
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$13,500
Out-of-state
$13,500
Retention Rate
74%
Acceptance Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
1,127
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Eastern New Mexico University

  • Portales, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $175

Out-of-State | $257

Credits to Graduate: 120

The completely online bachelor of business administration in accounting from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, prepares students for various positions in the accounting field and to earn professional certifications. Enrolled accounting majors can apply for ENMU Foundation scholarships.

Required major courses include cost accounting, governmental and not-for-profit accounting, and accounting information systems theory. The program combines synchronous and asynchronous learning, giving students flexibility as well as the chance to interact with classmates and instructors in real time.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,074
Out-of-state
$6,114
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,351
Out-of-state
$7,110
Retention Rate
59%
Acceptance Rate
33%
Students Enrolled
4,991
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
82% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

University of Minnesota-Crookston

  • Crookston, MN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $441

Out-of-State | $441

Credits to Graduate: 120

UMN Crookston offers a fully online BS degree in accounting for students who want to work in public, private, or governmental accounting. The business department collaborates with Gleim CPA Review to offer four online CPA review courses as well. 

Crookston accounting students take 40 credits of liberal education courses in addition to 63 credits of specialized accounting, business, and management training. The program teaches analytical, theoretical, communication, and leadership skills to help graduates thrive in their careers. Recent graduates earned starting salaries of $41,600-$60,000 a year.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,822
Out-of-state
$10,822
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
70%
Acceptance Rate
48%
Students Enrolled
2,304
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

National University

  • San Diego, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education

2023-2024 Tuition Average: $13,284

Credits to Graduate: 180

National University offers a bachelor of science in accounting totally online or on-site at locations across California. It's a great program for adult learners who need extra flexibility and support. A four-week course structure can help you balance your responsibilities and finish faster.

Program coursework is aligned with industry-standard tests, including the CPA, CFA, and CME exams. The curriculum includes six general education courses, four business courses, and 13 accounting courses. All live teaching sessions are recorded so students can watch and learn at their own convenience. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$13,320
Out-of-state
$13,320
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,480
Out-of-state
$15,480
Retention Rate
100%
Acceptance Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
17,135
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#6 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Western Governors University

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Six-Month Term:

In-State | $3,955

Out-of-State | $3,955

Credits to Graduate: 120

Distance learners can earn a flexible online accounting BSBA degree from the College of Business at Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah. WGU's asynchronous, competency-based programs let students move on to the next class at their own pace after they demonstrate subject mastery by passing an assessment.

The career-focused curriculum includes 41 courses that cover topics like values-based leadership, financial accounting, business law for accountants, and principles of management. Most students finish the program in less than three years.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,162
Out-of-state
$7,162
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,500
Out-of-state
$7,500
Retention Rate
63%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
150,116
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#7 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Buena Vista University

  • Storm Lake, IA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $465

Out-of-State | $465

Credits to Graduate: 120

Located in Storm Lake, Iowa, Buena Vista University offers a completely online accounting bachelor's degree through its Harold Walter Siebens School of Business. Every accounting student graduates with a double major in accounting and business, which can give them an advantage over other job candidates.

The curriculum covers data communication and interpretation and can prepare students to take the CPA exam by the time they graduate. Accounting courses include cost accounting, business taxation, advanced Excel spreadsheets, and business and professional communication. Students can complete an optional accounting internship. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$37,518
Out-of-state
$37,518
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,936
Out-of-state
$9,936
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
66%
Students Enrolled
1,959
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Trine University

  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online

Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $299-$399

Out-of-State | $299-$399

Credits to Graduate: 120

Trine University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, offers an ACBSP-accredited online BSBA in accounting from the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Major courses include cost accounting, auditing, advanced managerial finance, and personal income tax. Trine's BSBA in accounting classes take place asynchronously and last eight weeks. 

Students can optionally earn graduate credit toward a master's in business analytics or business administration while taking classes for this degree, saving up to $8,625 and earning two degrees in the process. The program includes hands-on experience using QuickBooks and Peachtree software.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,576
Out-of-state
$9,576
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$10,350
Out-of-state
$10,350
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
60%
Students Enrolled
1,367
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
97% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Brescia University

  • Owensboro, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit: $450 

Credits to Graduate: 120

Brescia University is a private, Catholic, liberal arts school in Owensboro, Kentucky, that offers a fully online bachelor of science in accounting. Brescia's BS in accounting maintains a curriculum that meets credit hour requirements for licensure in all 50 states as well as in Washington, D.C. 

Brescia strives to offer affordable education and flexible coursework for online students. The school's BS in accounting is a comprehensive program designed to equip students with both broad and specific professional training and skills. Major courses include accounting, business law, ethics, microeconomics, taxation, and auditing. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$26,000
Out-of-state
$26,000
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,500
Out-of-state
$15,500
Retention Rate
66%
Acceptance Rate
53%
Students Enrolled
841
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
71% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online Accounting Degrees 2024

Illinois College

  • Jacksonville, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:

In-State | $375

Out-of-State | $375

Credits to Graduate: 120

Illinois College offers an accelerated online BA in accounting that takes as few as 15 months to complete, depending on how much prior college credit you hold. The curriculum explores risk assessment, business analytics, financial accounting, and income tax.

Students must complete an accounting capstone course to graduate and can get hands-on experience through optional internships. The program offers full-time and part-time options. Major courses include agricultural finance, statistics, and principles of economics. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$34,752
Out-of-state
$34,752
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,000
Out-of-state
$9,000
Retention Rate
76%
Acceptance Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
1,097
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

What Is an Accounting Degree?

An accounting degree is a four-year undergraduate program that teaches the fundamentals of finance, accounting, and business — including topics like:

Why Should I Get an Online Accounting Degree?

There are several benefits to studying accounting online.

  • Use your time wisely by enrolling in accelerated accounting courses.
  • Save money by reducing commuting costs, room and board expenses, and on-campus fees.
  • Enjoy the flexibility to study from wherever you are, whenever works best for you.

Even better, getting your accounting degree online will prepare you for a slew of well-paid careers in corporate, small business, nonprofit, and government settings. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for accountants in 2022 was $78,000, with the highest earners pulling more than $132,690 per year.

The key to landing a great accounting job is picking the right online program. Fortunately, we've already done the work of ranking the best programs for you.

What to Expect From an Online Accounting Bachelor's Degree

Online programs often employ the same faculty who teach in-person courses. The classes comprising on-campus and online degrees can be similar. However, a few differences separate the two delivery methods.

For instance, on-campus degree programs require students to attend classes in person. These courses have predetermined meeting times and offer opportunities for face-to-face interaction with peers and instructors.

Students in online programs, on the other hand, do not attend classes on a physical campus. Synchronous courses use technology like web conferencing to provide learners with live virtual lectures and class discussions. Asynchronous classes can offer more flexible scheduling, as they do not require enrollees to log in at set times.

Is an Online Accounting Degree Worth It?

Earning an online bachelor's degree in accounting lets learners study at their own pace. Traditional students meet at established class times and locations, but online enrollees can complete courses from home.

Some distance learning programs are self-paced or accelerated. As a result, remote students may complete their degrees faster than on-campus students do. Many remote learners graduate in fewer than four years of full-time study.

There are other factors to consider when deciding to pursue online education: Is the school accredited? Does the delivery style of the program meet your needs? Does the degree program require in-person attendance for some components?

Pros

  • Online education grants students more freedom to select an online program that meets their preferences, regardless of location.
  • Students with varied personal and professional commitments can enjoy the flexibility of online learning when completing coursework.
  • Online programs may charge lower tuition rates, making a distance learning degree more affordable than its on-campus equivalent.

Cons

  • Students may find it difficult to complete an online degree because of the lack of face-to-face interaction with professors and classmates.
  • Online students may not have access to the same resources — such as job fairs — as in-person students.
  • Online learners must have reliable access to certain technology, like the internet.

How Much Will an Online Accounting Degree Cost?

There's no getting around it — school can be expensive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average cost for one year of public tuition in 2021-2022 was $9,700. Private schools averaged closer to $38,800.

However, there are a few strategies to keep the cost of your online accounting degree as low as possible:

  • Choose an in-state, public institution that charges lower tuition.
  • Identify additional costs you might face as an online student (like technology, subscription, or materials costs).
  • Find programs that offer asynchronous scheduling and flexible coursework, which will make it easier to hold a job while taking classes.
  • Prioritize schools that offer the kind of financial aid you won't have to pay back: grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
  • Research other common financing options, which include federal loans, federal work-study, and private loans.
  • See if your employer will cover some of your tuition and fees.
  • Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for federal and institutional aid.

Accounting Bachelor's Online vs. On Campus

If you haven't been an online student before, there are some important differences between the online and the on-campus experience that you should consider:

  • Delivery Method

    In-person programs require students to attend classes and take examinations on campus. Online programs allow students to complete lectures, assignments, and other learning activities through online platforms.
  • Relationships and Networking

    Many students find it easier to build relationships with classmates and professors face-to-face. The best online programs facilitate connection through other means — like Zoom meetings, discussion boards, and group projects. But developing a robust network online may take more dedication and effort.
  • Access to Resources

    In-person students have direct access to campus facilities, professors, and student resources. Online students must rely on digital access to those resources.
Comparing Online and On-Campus Bachelor's in Accounting Degrees
Factor Online Program On-Campus Program
Admission requirements
  • High school diploma or GRE certificate
  • Minimum GPA
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized Tests
  • Application form
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • High school diploma or GRE certificate
  • Minimum GPA
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized Tests
  • Application form
  • Letters of Recommendation
Cost per credit $219-$465 $328-$1,674
Course Load Full time: 12 credit hoursPart time: 3 credit hours Full time: 12 credit hoursPart time: 3 credit hours
Program Length 120 credit hours3-4 years of full-time study 120 credit hours4 years of full-time study

Sources: University of West Florida, University of the Cumberlands, Buena Vista University, Western Governors University, Mayville State University

When requirements, course load, and program length are more or less the same, your decision to study online will come down to potential cost savings, convenience, and your preferred learning style.

Online Accounting Programs Accreditations

Accreditation verifies whether schools and programs meet standards of academic excellence. Accrediting agencies are the independent groups that evaluate institutions and offer their seal of approval.

Completing an accredited online accounting bachelor's degree program offers many benefits: Most schools only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. Only students who attend accredited schools are eligible for federal financial aid. Employers may only hire job applicants with accredited degrees.

There are two main types of accreditations: institutional and programmatic.

Though there is no national board that oversees accreditation, the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education maintain lists of approved accrediting agencies. When a school has been institutionally accredited, you can trust that all of its programs of study meet certain academic criteria and that your degree will be taken seriously. Programmatic accreditors focus on specific departments and programs to confirm curricula prepare students for careers in certain fields. Accrediting agencies assess schools to validate academic rigor and educational quality. Institutional accreditors include the Higher Learning Commission, the New England Commission of Higher Education, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Relevant programmatic accreditors for accounting programs include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
State authorization protects distance learners by ensuring that institutions can legally deliver education to students in other states. Schools need to pursue state authorization to qualify for federal aid.

Questions About an Online Accounting Bachelor's Degree

How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in accounting online?

It takes around 2-4 years of full-time study to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Students with previous coursework can complete their degrees in fewer than four years. Some programs offer accelerated tracks that can also hasten learners' completion timelines.

How much is an online degree in accounting?

The cost of an online bachelor's in accounting degree varies by institution. In-state public schools tend to offer the lowest tuition rates, while private institutions and out-of-state public schools charge higher tuition. Some online programs charge in-state or online-only tuition rates, regardless of state residency.

Is an online accounting degree worth it?

Yes. Given the rise in online learning, especially fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers often perceive online degrees as equal in value to on-campus degrees, especially if those degrees come from an accredited institution.

Is a BA or BS better for accounting?

A BS in accounting focuses more on the quantitative aspects of accounting and may be more beneficial to those planning to earn a graduate degree and pursue certified public accountant (CPA) licensure. Accounting BA programs tend to require more liberal arts courses in the general education curriculum, which can allow students to take more classes outside the accounting and math fields.


The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by Accounting.com.

Page last reviewed Nov. 10, 2023

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