18 Tips to Get Online Accounting Business Degrees

Online Accounting Business Degrees: As the Internet grows and becomes more and more established.

Online degree programs are becoming more common.

Everything from community college certificates to master’s degrees from top universities are now offered online.

Careers that involve accounting can be achieved with educational plans.

Ranging from two-year associate’s degrees to one hundred and fifty credit CPA programs.

It’s up to you to determine which is the right educational path for you.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees:
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1. Improve your accounting skills to help manage a business.

If your goal is to improve your ability to manage your own business or would like to work as a bookkeeper or personal assistant, you have a number of options regarding accounting programs to look into.

  • Many jobs that involve accounting only require an associate’s degree in accounting or in business with an emphasis on accounting. Earning a bachelor’s degree may take longer than an associate’s.
  • But it will likely pay off in the long run. You may earn as much as 50% more with a bachelor’s and experience than someone with an associate’s.
  • Some positions that rely on accounting require a bachelor’s degree in similar fields.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

2. Pursue a career as a Certified Public Accountant.

Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs.

Need to complete 150 credit hours at the college or university level before they can take the CPA exam.

Which is thirty more credits than is required for most bachelor’s degree programs.

  • Some people choose to complete a bachelor’s or four-year degree program in accounting or business first, then return to graduate school to complete the additional credits necessary before taking the CPA Exam.
  • Consider completing your undergraduate education, then finding a job in the accounting field. Your employer may offer tuition reimbursement for advanced education and may reimburse you for your master’s or additional hours needed to sit for the CPA exam, as well as for the exam itself.
  • There are schools that offer five-year, 150-credit Master’s programs that prepare you to take the CPA exam.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

3. Consider choosing an area to specialize in as a CPA.

If your ultimate career goal is to become a CPA.

You may want to choose an area to be your specialty.

You will orient the courses you choose along the path to your exam based on the specialty you pick.

Some of the common areas CPA’s specialize in are:

  • Internal Auditing
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting
  • Tax Accounting

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

4. Gather the necessary documents.

Once you have decided what type of education you want to pursue online.

You will need to gather up the documents needed in order to apply to schools.

Different schools have different requirements, but the most common requirements are:

  • High school transcripts are required to ensure that you graduated from high school and to help determine what level of courses you should take.
  • Transcripts from any other colleges you have attended in the past can help by reducing the number of courses you will need to take in order to complete your degree program.
  • If you are pursuing graduate school, you will need your undergraduate college transcripts as well as those from your high school.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

5. Look for online colleges and universities.

There are a number of search engines available to help you find accredited online colleges and universities.

Look for schools that offer programs related to your ultimate career goal.

If you intend to become a CPA, look for schools with specialized CPA programs.

  • Websites like OEDB.org offer searchable databases of colleges and universities all over the country, including those with online programs.
  • CollegeBoard.org and AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org both offer ways to search for schools with different criteria like majors and concentrations.

Online Accounting Business Degrees

6. Verify the national accreditation of the school.

Accreditation is a certification a school is awarded when it can demonstrate.

Adhering to an academic standard required for its students to be able to transfer to other reputable institutions.

  • National accreditation has less stringent standards than regional accreditation.
  • Credits from nationally accredited schools transfer to many schools throughout the country, but may not transfer to all schools if you choose to pursue a postgraduate degree or transfer schools before completing the program.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

7. Analyze your goals and education plans of the schools you’re considering.

It’s important to know your education plans.

And validate them with the schools you are considering.

While nationally accredited institutions will usually accept credit from regionally or nationally accredited institutions.

Regionally accredited schools often do not accept credit from nationally accredited institutions.

This is often because regional accreditation is reserved for schools that adhere to the highest educational standards.

Programs in these schools often cost more than nationally accredited programs, but their credits also transfer to more institutions.

  • Regional accreditation is considered to be the “gold standard” in college accreditation.
  • Regionally accredited schools may require more liberal arts coursework in their accounting programs than nationally accredited ones.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

8. Look for the specific degree program you are interested in.

After you narrow down the list of schools you want to apply to.

Look at the concentrations and majors they offer to find a program that fits your needs.

Some schools offer similar programs with slightly different names.

So you may need to read the descriptions of the programs.

  • CPA programs will offer areas to specialize within the program.
  • Business and accounting degrees may have concentrations you can choose between based on your interests.

Online Accounting Business Degrees

9. Research the school and program’s reputation.

Simply being accredited is not always the best indicator as to the quality of the school or the program.

You may also want to look into the reputation of the school and its accounting program.

Because many online schools operate for-profit.

Some have been accused of price gouging or using predatory practices with their customers.

  • Read reviews about the schools on your list online.
  • Check the school’s rating with the Better Business Bureau if it is operating for-profit.
  • Websites like OnlineDegreeReviews.org and BestCollegeReviews.org offer rankings of online schools and their programs.

Online Accounting Business Degrees

10. Apply to the schools of your choice.

Each online school has different requirements when applying.

You can usually complete the application on the school’s website.

You will likely also need to contact your high school.

And any colleges you may have attended to have them send your new school official copies of your transcripts.

11. Make sure you have the appropriate equipment and software to take your courses.

Taking classes online will require that you have a computer that can support the work.

You will need to do and has access to the internet.

Depending on the school and the classes you take, those requirements can vary dramatically.

  • Most schools will require you to have a word processor program of some sort. While Microsoft Office is often not required, it is the industry standard.
  • Many schools offer discount programs on computers and software suites that you can use while taking courses.

Online Accounting Business Degrees

12. Establish a course plan.

Once you have been accepted to a school, work with your school counselor to create degree or course plan.

Degree plans are a list of the courses you will need to take in order to complete the degree or certification you’ll need to achieve your professional goals.

  • Your course plan should be adjusted for transfer credits you may bring in from other colleges or universities you have attended.
  • Use your course plan to register for your first semester of classes.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

13. Attend online classes and complete your assignments.

Each school offers a slightly different approach to the online college experience.

Some schools will require you to log on as certain times.

While others will provide you with assignments and deadlines to complete.

Along with interactions with your professor through the website or by e-mail.

Make sure you pick a program that will work best with your schedule and workload.

So you can give yourself the best opportunity for success.

  • Make sure to complete assignments on time and to ask your professor for help if you feel that you need it.
  • Attending online schools can require an increased level of responsibility and commitment, as you are less involved with your professors to keep you on task.

Online Accounting Business Degrees

13. Stay organized.

Because you will be completing your school work at home.

It’s important that you establish a schedule and stay organized with your work.

Create a schedule you can stick to and create a workspace that you use particularly for your school work.

  • Write assignment deadlines in your calendar to make sure you don’t fall behind on work when its due.
  • Utilize your workspace only for school work if possible to help keep you in a productive mindset while sitting at it.

Online Accounting Business Degrees

14. Complete your degree plan.

Depending on what level of education you are pursuing.

And if you transferred any courses from other colleges and universities.

The amount of time it will take to complete your plan can vary widely.

Regardless of how long it takes, it’s important that you stay motivated and keep at it.

  • Don’t let the occasional bad grade bring you down; focus on the big picture and improve on the areas you find yourself falling short.
  • Remember that if your plan is to become a certified public accountant you will need to complete an exam after graduation for your certification.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

16. Apply to take your CPA exam.

While often the only requirement to sit for the CPA exam is the education requirement of the completion of 150 credit hours.

You’ll want to check your state’s requirements as they can vary.

Fill out an application to take the exam and send it along with all of your school transcripts and the state application fee to the Board of Certifications for your state.

Other common requirements include:

  • Proof of completing a 150 credit hour degree course in accounting.
  • Valid identification as a U.S. citizen or appropriate documentation for foreign students.
  • Proof that you are over the age of 18.

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

17. Become a certified public accountant.

After scheduling and completing your exam.

You may have to wait some time before being notified of passing or failing.

Exam scores are released twice per exam window and the duration of time between score releases is determined by the body conducting the testing.

  • You can schedule to take each section of the exam separately.
  • But must pass the entire exam within 18 months in order for the passed sections to be considered valid.
  • Each testing window is two months long, so if you take your exam early in the testing window, you may have to wait up to two months to receive your score.
  • Once you receive your passing score you can begin your career as a CPA!

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Online Accounting Business Degrees

18. File for your CPA license.

Once you’ve passed the exam, consult your state’s Accountancy Board website on how to file for your CPA license.

  • There is a specified amount of time that you must work in public or industry accounting in order for your application to be approved.
  • You will need to provide your exam scores, take an ethics exam, and pay the required fees.
  • The CPE requirements are waived for the first year.

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