Bachelors Degree in Accounting Programs

Bachelors Degree in Accounting programs offer students the opportunity to prepare for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) status and to potentially assume junior accounting ...

positions in entry-level jobs. Whether you are transferring credits from an associate’s accounting degree or not, the Bachelor of Accounting, also known as the Bachelor of Accountancy, is the principal academic degree in accounting that is recognized for practice as a professional accountant.[i] If you have strong math skills, enjoy analysis, finance and know how to budget, why not leverage these talents and consider an undergraduate accounting degree?

Bachelors Degree in Accounting: Program Basics

A Bachelors Degree in Accounting is most often a 4-year undergraduate degree, although some schools offer a 5-year combined bachelor’s and master’s program; CPA candidates are required to complete 150 credits of college coursework to be certified which is 30 hours more than a 4-year program.[ii] There are also accelerated 3-year programs and students who are entering college with an associate degree or transfer credits may also complete their programs in fewer than four years.

Certified Public Accountant

Many accountants choose the CPA route; if you are filing a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) you are required by law to be a certified public accountant[iii]. From here, many CPA’s also continue to earn a graduate degree, whether a Master’s in Accounting, an MBA, or a Master’s in Finance, making the Bachelor’s degree all the more important as a stepping-stone to continued education.

FUN FACT Most accountant and auditor positions require at least a bachelors degree in accounting or a related field and some employers prefer to hire applicants who have a master’s degree, either in accounting or in business administration with a concentration in accounting. [i]

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Types of Bachelor of Accounting Degrees

A bachelor's degree program in accounting includes at least 120 credits. Students generally take 60 credits or more of business and accounting-related coursework and 60 credits of general education classes and electives. Some Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting programs include 30 or more additional credits in order to help students fulfill the 150 hours towards the CPA requirements. That being said, there are several different types of undergraduate accounting degrees; the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Accounting, the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting and the Bachelor of Business Administration – Concentration Accounting. Your best rule of thumb is to speak with a guidance counselor or a professional who is currently in the type of job you aspire to get in order to figure out your best options.

Bachelor of Arts in Accounting

A Bachelor of Arts in Accounting is granted to those who have satisfied the course requirement in liberal arts and social sciences, and usually features more elective course hours (e.g. foreign language). This might be a good fit for someone who wants a well-rounded education and is thinking ahead to a master’s program, whether in accounting, business or finance.

Bachelor of Science in Accounting

A Bachelor of Science in Accounting is typically considered a more technical type of degree since your 4 years at college are spent focused on all aspects of accounting. This means mathematics, business practices, economics and all kinds of accounting practices. This might be a good fit for someone who wants to focus in on accounting.

Bachelor of Business / Accounting

A Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in accounting is different in that, like an MBA, there are general business course requirements plus course hours spent on accounting theory and practices. These days, many top executives hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work[v] so if you are thinking “hmmm…Chief Financial Officer” as opposed to professional accountant, this might be a good fit with potential to specialize even further in graduate school.

Potential Bachelors of Accounting Curriculum

Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting programs are likely to vary between schools; some may offer different concentration tracks such as risk management, auditing, tax accountancy, forensic accountancy or financial management. Usually, core business and accounting courses address such topics as[vi]:

  • Financial accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Auditing
  • Taxation
  • Business law
  • Economics
  • Management theory
  • Business mathematics
  • Statistics

On-Campus or Online Accounting Bachelor Degree

Bachelor’s degree in Accounting programs are offered in campus and online program formats. Since accounting requires more study and less participation, it may lend itself well to distance-learning, If commuting to class is impossible due to factors such as work, family or geography, an online accounting degree may be a great alternative to a campus program. If you are excited about studying at college, participating in the social learning atmosphere, maybe even choosing a school that is out of your city or state, there are many programs and schools to look into.

Accreditation

Since accounting and finance are regulated fields, looking into accredited accounting programs is wise in terms of academic and professional outcomes. Accreditation should be granted by an institutional or programmatic association recognized by the US Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In terms of accounting programs, the AACSB programmatic accreditation is required to take the Certified Public Accountant exam in some states[vii].

Continued Education

Earning a Bachelor in Accounting is a great foundation for further studies, and the trend in the current marketplace favors a Master’s degree or MBA for advancement if you hope to work in financial services[viii] and accounting.[ix] Graduate degrees that you might want to consider could include Masters in Finance Degrees such as banking and financial planning, Masters in business programs, Master of Science in Taxation, MAcc and MS Accounting, as well as Master of Financial Economics. If you are thinking ahead, make sure your undergraduate degree supports future academics.

Take the Next Step

Professional accountants are in demand, with job growth in the sector looking favorable – an 11% increase from 2014 to 2024[x] is anticipated. Why not prepare for this trend by reviewing sponsored listings such as Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Accounting, and B.A. in Accounting. Use the green tab to request more information from each school so you can make a well informed and calculated choice for your undergraduate degree.


sources: [i] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Accountancy |[ii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm |[v] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm |[vi] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Accountancy |[vii] aacsb.edu/accreditation/accounting |[viii] bls.gov/ooh/sales/securities-commodities-and-financial-services-sales-agents.htm |[ix] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm |[x] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/accountants-and-auditors.htm |

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