A top online MBA in accounting prepares graduates for lucrative business careers in accounting, taxation, financial management, and auditing, and distinguishes graduates from competitors with bachelor's degrees. Accountants and auditors made a substantial median salary of $70,500 in 2018, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects healthy growth in accounting, auditing, and related business and financial careers between 2018 and 2028.
Designed to assist you in choosing the right online MBA in accounting program, the following page provides an overview of curricula, online program formats, and potential career paths for this degree. Also see below for relevant scholarships and professional organizations that can support your career journey.
Here are the 10 Best Online MBA Programs in Accounting:
- University of Scranton - Scranton, PA
- University of St. Francis - Joliet, IL
- Maryville University - St. Louis , MO
- St. Bonaventure University - Saint Bonaventure, NY
- Regis University - Denver, CO
- Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
- Endicott College - Beverly, MA
- Lewis University - Romeoville, IL
- Seton Hall University - South Orange, NJ
- Misericordia University - Dallas, PA
Top Online MBA Programs in Accounting
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
University of Scranton
|Location Scranton , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 97||Student Population 5,286||Tuition $34,740||School Type Private||
A Jesuit university based in northeastern Pennsylvania, the University of Scranton offers an online MBA in accounting aimed at working professionals. Available entirely online, this 36-credit program grounds students in the fundamentals of modern business. It does so from a Jesuit perspective, emphasizing ethics and socially just practices.
The asynchronous curriculum splits into three parts, offering distance learners unique flexibility. Everyone must take the cornerstone course on social justice. Within certain parameters, learners can adjust their core courses and electives to meet their career goals.
With eight concentration areas, this program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The university requires three years of work experience before application. It does not ask for GMAT or GRE scores.
University of St. Francis
|Location Joliet , IL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 98||Student Population 3,927||Tuition $28,728||School Type Private||
Saint Francis created its online MBA in accounting to meet modern business needs. The Catholic university in Joliet, Illinois, takes a globally minded and technologically enhanced approach to the degree, preparing the next generation of business leaders. Students can progress at their own pace, earning their diplomas in as few as 12 months.
Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, this program's curriculum focuses on experiential learning. Students participate in team exercises, case studies, and directed discussions. Unlike in many other programs, learners can begin their concentrations immediately.
Saint Francis features rolling admissions, allowing distance learners to begin their programs any semester. Students can transfer in as many as nine credits and do not have to submit GMAT or GRE scores.
|Location St. Louis , MO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 9,139||Tuition $27,846||School Type Private||
A mid-sized private school in St. Louis, Maryville offers an online MBA with 12 concentration options, including accounting. The university requires no previous business experience and develops students' technical, critical thinking, leadership, and networking skills.
Maryville's online MBA prepares students for management careers and the CPA exam. The program runs asynchronously in accelerated eight-week sessions. Focus areas include forensic accounting, tax preparation, financial planning, and strategic accounting.
The university's John E. Simon School of Business cultivates partnerships with business leaders like Centric, Edward Jones, Scottrade, and Ameren to promote networking opportunities. Many ambitious distance learners complete this program, which holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, in just over a year.
Admission requires an undergraduate record and an essay explaining the applicant's qualifications for graduate study. Maryville does not request GRE or GMAT scores. Six admission points each year allow scheduling flexibility.
St. Bonaventure University
|Location Saint Bonaventure , NY||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 2,379||Tuition $32,340||School Type Private||
St. Bonaventure aims to create complete business professionals in its online MBA in accounting. Set in St. Bonaventure, New York, this small, private university boasts intimate classes with a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. This creates a personalized experience and fosters lots of interaction between professors and peers.
The MBA curriculum takes students through 39 credits, including nine in foundation courses, 12 in the business core, and 18 electives. This gives students the freedom to tailor their learning experience to their personal career goals. The accounting concentration delves into financial statement analysis and preparation and advanced cost accounting.
Distance learners take one seven-week class at a time for a focused experience. Admission does not require GMAT or GRE scores. Students must submit previous academic transcripts, a resume, and a writing sample.
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|Location Denver , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 97||Student Population 7,907||Tuition $40,170||School Type Private||
A Jesuit institution based in Denver, Regis hosts an online MBA in accounting through its Anderson College of Business. In keeping with its core values, the school cultivates ethical decision-making through its curriculum. Many students complete the program in about two years, taking six classes annually while continuing to work.
The experiential coursework features 33 hours of required business administration classes, six elective credits, and 12 credits in accounting itself. Courses progress in quick, eight-week sessions. The university boasts a scholar-practitioner model, meaning professors both teach and work in business. This brings the latest practices and networking opportunities to the classroom.
Admission requires proof of a bachelor's degree, a writing sample, and a current resume. Regis expects students to bring work experience to the program. The school provides six start dates. The Anderson College of Business states that MBA graduates earn starting salaries exceeding $100,000.
Carnegie Mellon University
|Location Pittsburgh , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 60||Student Population 14,029||Tuition $136,000||School Type Private||
Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon offers a hybrid top online MBA online MBA. Students must attend "access weekends" six times each year in various locations. This builds community, enhances networking, and develops leaders.
During these intensive weekends, distance learners meet their peers and professors. They also visit leading businesses for a first-hand look at how they work. These classes meet weekly for real-time sessions, while the rest of the program's classes follow an asynchronous format.
Carnegie Mellon has offered accounting as part of its core curriculum since the university's inception in 1949. Students may now study the subject as a concentration. Degree candidates immerse themselves in more than just day-to-day bookkeeping elements. They develop skills in analytical thinking, decision-making, strategizing, business ethics, and the use of tech in the field.
The Tepper School of Business requires program participants to select a concentration, and many complete multiple specializations. Admission requires a previous academic record, a resume, a recommendation, a writing sample, and GMAT scores. The program carries accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
|Location Beverly , MA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 96||Student Population 4,794||Tuition $31,962||School Type Private||
Endicott designed its online MBA in accounting to accommodate working professionals' schedules. The 42-credit program offers asynchronous classes, and students can earn their degrees in as few as 18 months. They can also complete some requirements at the college's campus in the Boston area.
Through their curriculum, the Van Loan School of Business emphasizes ethical decision-making, real-time skills, and a project-based approach. The accounting concentration requires learners to complete four three-credit courses. These include classwork in financial reporting and analysis, managerial cost accounting, taxation, and intermediate accounting.
Endicott allows program participants to complete up to two specialty areas. It does not require the GMAT. Applicants must submit a resume, academic credentials, two letters of recommendation, and an essay stating their career goals.
|Location Romeoville , IL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 6,440||Tuition $28,800||School Type Private||
Based in the Chicago suburb of Romeoville, Lewis offers its online MBA program to working professionals and students from any undergraduate background. The degree combines an immersion in theory with opportunities to test those precepts with practical application. The university keeps classes small, with a 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.
Lewis' online MBA features 54 credits: 21 in foundational courses, 24 in the program core, and nine in the accounting concentration. Learners with business degrees may waive several foundation course requirements. Lewis also allows people with subject matter expertise to waive classes through proficiency exams.
Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA while working through the program. Classes run asynchronously in fast, eight-week sessions. Lewis follows a rolling admissions format, letting degree candidates begin classes at any of five start dates each year. Applications do not require GMAT scores.
Seton Hall University
|Location South Orange , NJ||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 10,162||Tuition $52,200||School Type Private||
Seton Hall's online MBA in accounting takes advantage of the school's proximity to the center of the business world, New York City. This 40-credit course of study takes place primarily online, but the university also gives students opportunities to make connections in the city through a two-day residency and guest lectures by leading executives.
The program, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, stresses ethics, cross-disciplinary learning, communication, and effective leadership. Degree candidates must earn 25 core credits and 15 elective credits, including the four classes in accounting concentration. Students must also complete a capstone project, which gives them hands-on experience and real-world business insights.
Classes run asynchronously, allowing for scheduling flexibility. Distance learners without business experience may need to take pre-qualifying courses before beginning the program. Applicants must submit a resume, previous transcripts, letters of recommendation, an essay, and GRE scores.
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|Location Dallas , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 2,566||Tuition $28,080||School Type Private||
A small Catholic school in Dallas, Pennsylvania, Misericordia offers an online MBA in accounting, which promotes business ethics and develops the "human side" of management. The program holds accreditation from the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, and it provides graduates with an understanding of how their decisions impact the wider community.
The 36-credit curriculum takes participants through 24 foundational credits and 12 in the accounting specialization. Most part-time learners earn their degrees in 2.5 years or less. Students with bachelor's degrees in accounting earn the educational credits required for the CPA exam.
Misericordia prides itself on small class sizes and personalized attention. The school does not require GRE or GMAT scores or letters of recommendation. Applicants simply submit their previous transcripts and resumes.
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|Location Jackson , TN||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 3,247||Tuition $22,140||School Type Private||
Union's online MBA in accounting fulfills all the requirements to sit for the CPA exam. Set in Jackson, Tennessee, the university ranks as the oldest institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. Its Christian heritage informs its business curriculum, especially when it comes to ethics.
The curriculum, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, splits into two parts, requiring 24 credits in core coursework and 12 in the accounting concentration. Students take online courses once weekly in accelerated, eight-week sessions. The program focuses on decision-making, analytical thinking, leadership, effective communication, and Christian behavior.
Applicants submit a resume, proof of undergraduate degree, and GMAT or GRE scores. Those with more than five years of business experience can waive the testing requirement. Though Union does not mandate prerequisite classes, it expects applicants to understand basic economics, accounting, management, and statistics.
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University of Miami
|Location Coral Gables , FL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 76||Student Population 17,331||Tuition $85,260||School Type Private||
The University of Miami designed its online MBA in accounting for flexibility. The 51-credit course of study allows distance learners to shape their education to meet personal career goals. Learners can select from specialty areas, then use electives within those concentrations to further customize their studies.
The Coral Gables, Florida, institution's accounting concentration takes the typical student a little over two years to complete. Degree candidates enroll in a single class at a time, with each asynchronous class following a fast, seven-week schedule. The curriculum steeps students in financial and managerial accounting, taxation practices, and accounting information systems.
The University of Miami does not require campus visits, but it offers an optional orientation weekend. The program requires no previous accounting experience. The application requires GMAT or GRE scores, but students with a wealth of business experience may waive testing requirements.
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|Location Center Valley , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 3,438||Tuition $30,780||School Type Private||
A private Catholic school in eastern Pennsylvania, DeSales infuses its brand of Christian humanism into its academic offerings. The school's online MBA in accounting boasts accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and it ranks among the nation's best. DeSales' curriculum emphasizes executive skills development, management ability, and business ethics.
The course of study involves seven core courses in MBA staples including business and society, finance, marketing, and leadership. The accounting component includes three classes, which distance learners can select from a list of options. The capstone class in policy and strategy gives students an opportunity to put learned theories into practice.
DeSales uses rolling admissions and offers multiple start dates each year. The university requires the GMAT for students with GPAs below 3.0. Applicants do not need business degrees to enroll.
University of Dallas
|Location Irving , TX||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 2,542||Tuition $37,500||School Type Private||
Available entirely online, the University of Dallas' MBA in accounting allows students to shape their degrees to their own professional interests. The program, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, requires participants to pass 10 classes. The MBA coursework grounds learners in business fundamentals like finance, marketing, and management.
The accounting concentration allows students to select from several possibilities. Those interested in taxation can focus on tax preparation coursework. Others can lean toward information systems or business ethics.
The university created its 30-credit curriculum to accommodate working professionals' busy schedules. Most take two classes per semester and finish in 2-3 years. All degree candidates finish the program working as consultants for businesses or nonprofits, finding solutions to real business problems.
Applicants must hold undergraduate degrees in any field and demonstrate a minimum 2.0 GPA. The program also requires six prerequisite credits in accounting at the baccalaureate level.
|Location Syracuse , NY||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 73||Student Population 22,803||Tuition $87,480||School Type Private||
Syracuse's MBA program exists entirely online. Its Whitman School of Business, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, offers a cohort-based program, which takes most students two years to complete.
The 54-credit curriculum involves three residencies, held on-campus in Syracuse and in major world cities. These hands-on experiences spread across long weekends, giving distance learners opportunities to meet their peers, their professors, and visiting business leaders.
The course of study involves both asynchronous and real-time learning. Participants meet weekly for live classes in which cohort members collaborate and work on projects. These sessions may include prominent guests, as well. Graduates become part of the Whitman School of Business' global network of 30,000 alumni. This can lead to immediate connections in the business world.
A survey of recent program graduates showed that 59% earned raises or promotions upon obtaining their MBA. These raises increased salaries by 31% on average. Applicants with five years' professional experience may waive GMAT requirements.
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La Salle University
|Location Philadelphia , PA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 98||Student Population 5,191||Tuition $24,981||School Type Private||
A Catholic institution in Philadelphia, La Salle offers an online MBA in accounting, which readies students for leadership roles in accounting, taxation, auditing, financial reporting, and research. Participants earn a wealth of the credits they need to sit for the CPA exam. The program boasts accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and it focuses on issues facing today's accountants, including ERP systems, online privacy, and financial security.
The curriculum comprises 33-39 credits, depending on each student's background. Classes follow an accelerated format, and most students take less than 18 months to complete the degree. Aspiring accountants must complete two foundation courses, four core classes, three specialization classes, four executive perspective courses, and a culminating capstone.
All distance learners pay in-state tuition. Students who meet work and educational requirements may not have to submit GMAT scores.
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|Location River Forest , IL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 100||Student Population 2,990||Tuition $41,400||School Type Private||
A Catholic school in the greater Chicago area, Dominican hosts an MBA that allows students with serious business experience to waive all foundational courses. The university built its program around small classes, hands-on experience, and collaborative projects. The degree features 46 credits and holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Distance learners in Dominican's online MBA in accounting receive a comprehensive education in business strategy, leadership, and operations management. The accounting component requires nine credits, which can come from an array of accounting courses.
Students quickly gain experience at Dominican. One of the first classes, the business gateway practicum, functions much like capstones at other schools. Participants get a real business problem to solve from a real business client.
The university boasts a simplified application process, with GMAT waivers for many. The program does not require previous business education and accepts bachelor's degrees from accredited universities in any field. Many degree candidates graduate in as few as 18 months.
University of Massachusetts - Lowell
|Location Lowell , MA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 91||Student Population 18,242||Tuition $17,250||School Type Public||
A large public school northwest of Boston, UMass Lowell offers an MBA program that prides itself on flexibility. Designed for working professionals, the 42-credit curriculum proceeds asynchronously, providing students with the freedom to study according to their own schedule. Distance learners can earn their degrees entirely online, without venturing to Lowell.
The program, accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business, allows students to create their own course of study using electives. Those pursuing an online MBA in accounting can select the required three classes from more than a dozen options. These include taxation, forensic accounting, globalization, fraud, and sustainability.
Degree candidates must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
UMass Lowell requires GRE or GMAT scores, unless applicants possess more than eight years of experience. Candidates must submit academic transcripts, recommendations, a resume, and an essay. Those with undergraduate degrees in business can waive as many as 12 credits.
|Location Jacksonville , FL||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 97||Student Population 4,213||Tuition $28,800||School Type Private||
Set in northern Florida, Jacksonville established its online MBA to serve the needs of professional businesspeople. They can complete the 36-credit program from the comfort of their homes, earning all required credits online. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the curriculum covers business essentials.
Highlights include classes in innovation, optimization, and globalization. The Davis College of Business also stresses leadership in all of its programming. Most coursework runs asynchronously in eight-week sessions, giving students the opportunity to progress at their own pace.
The curriculum breaks into three primary parts, including foundational courses, core courses, and the concentration. Jacksonville allows those with undergraduate business degrees to waive foundation classes where appropriate. Distance learners with professional experience can also test out of these courses.
Jacksonville utilizes rolling admissions. The university waives GRE requirements for those with a minimum 3.3 GPA from AACSB-accredited undergraduate business programs.
University of Maryland
|Location College Park , MD||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 68||Student Population 41,200||Tuition $88,776||School Type Public||
The Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland offers a 54-credit online MBA in accounting, known for its experiential focus. Through two residencies and "action learning projects," the program gives students first-hand knowledge of business fundamentals. This course of study, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Learning, emphasizes the use of data to make solid business decisions.
The curriculum splits into two foundations and includes mandatory visits to the school's College Park campus. Designed for completion in two years, the program takes participants through entrepreneurship, the global economy, operations, finance, and leadership. The accounting concentration focuses on taxation, fraud, and financial planning and control.
Classes run both asynchronously and in real time.
Admission requires submission of transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores. The university recommends two years' of work history before applying. Average base compensation for program graduates sits at nearly $100,000.
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University of Hartford
|Location West Hartford , CT||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 6,770||Tuition $28,584||School Type Private||
The University of Hartford hosts an MBA in accounting, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Learning and available entirely online. The 36-credit program comprises nine core classes and three in the accounting concentration. Aimed at working professionals, the curriculum equips students to step into management roles, and most complete the program in two years.
Hartford designed the core of its MBA for students with no prior business degree. Classwork explores business basics like statistics, economics, financial strategy, marketing, and business law, all taught with a focus on leadership. A capstone project synthesizes the program's themes and requires students to make strategic business decisions.
The university schedules classes in focused, seven-week sessions. Distance learners must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must provide undergraduate transcripts and GMAT scores. Admissions proceed on a rolling basis, allowing for maximum scheduling flexibility.
Thomas Edison State University
|Location Trenton , NJ||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 52||Student Population 10,934||Tuition $27,846||School Type Public||
A top online MBA, TESU's accounting program readies graduates for careers in the growing accounting market. Learners can complete this program, which holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, in two years. The course of study gives students advanced communication, leadership, and analytical skills. They also take away a thorough understanding of taxation, auditing, and financial essentials.
The Trenton, New Jersey, university's 39-credit curriculum requires students to first complete 21 credits in core MBA coursework. This includes basics like ethics, marketing, strategic operations, and organizational research. Degree candidates can then complete 18 credits of electives and concentration courses. All learners must complete the management capstone as their final class. TESU schedules courses in accelerated eight-week terms.
Program prerequisites include financial accounting, statistics, and microeconomics. Some candidates can waive GRE and GMAT requirements. This program does not meet all educational credits for CPA licensure, but it provides many of them.
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University of Texas at Dallas
|Location Richardson , TX||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 74||Student Population 28,755||Tuition $40,757||School Type Public||
UT Dallas' Naveen Jindal School of Management offers several MBA options. These include a professional online MBA in accounting, which features 12 credits of specialized coursework. Electives help distance learners focus their accounting studies in areas like taxation, assurance services, and internal auditing.
Jindal's online program typically brings together adult students with more than five years of working experience. The 53-credit curriculum comprises 32 credits of core courses in traditional business disciplines like finance, marketing, and management. Students can combine concentrations and select from 13 double degrees options. Online attendees can complete all required credits online with no visits to Dallas necessary.
UT Dallas' MBA graduates enjoy high demand. More than 90% of full-time program graduates receive employment offers within three months of graduation. The university accepts up to 12 transfer credits from approved sources.
Western New England University
|Location Springfield , MA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 3,780||Tuition $32,112||School Type Private||
Set in the city of Springfield, Massachusetts, Western New England built its online MBA to give aspiring business leaders a convenient way to advance their careers. The 36-credit program develops learners' organizing, planning, team-building, controlling, and communication skills. This curriculum, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, equips MBA candidates for the ethical and social responsibilities inherent in the global business environment.
WNE's online MBA in accounting takes a collaborative approach, fostering camaraderie, networking, and teamwork among its students. Learners work together on projects, consult with each other, and improve their management skills in tight-knit communities. Distance learners can pursue their degrees entirely online. Most finish the program within 18 months, taking two courses a week.
The accounting concentration entails selecting three classes from an available list in taxation, auditing, financial analysis, assurance, fraud, and law.
The university requires GRE or GMAT scores. Students from any undergraduate degree may apply, but their resume must include classes in finance, accounting, and statistics.
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University of La Verne
|Location La Verne , CA||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 99||Student Population 8,064||Tuition $31,860||School Type Private||
A private school in La Verne, California, the University of La Verne offers an online MBA intended for experienced professionals with three or more years of experience. Students receive the same high-level MBA coursework that La Verne has delivered for over 35 years on-campus, plus the convenience and flexibility of working around their own schedules.
The 33-credit curriculum includes theories and practical techniques, which distance learners can test and implement in their own workplaces. Core courses explore management, technology, marketing, and the global economy. All classes follow an asynchronous format.
The accounting concentration requires degree candidates to complete two core classes in corporate accounting. They then select two more electives in areas like taxation, government and nonprofit accounting, cost accounting, and auditing. A culminating capstone in strategic management closes the program.
Applicants must submit previous collegiate transcripts, a resume, an essay, and letters of recommendation. The University of La Verne accepts up to six transfer credits toward the program. Candidates with an undergraduate degree in business can waive certain foundation classes.
How We Rank Online MBA Programs
Want to know how we create our rankings? We assess schools based on academic quality, affordability, online flexibility, and student success.
Quality (30% of total score)
|A low student-to-faculty ratio, a wide breadth of specialized MBA programs, and a high retention rate of students returning after their first year are all indicators of a quality university.|
Affordability (10% of total score)
|The amount of financial aid offered factors into a school's net price; this, paired with a low loan default rate, indicates that students may find a school's tuition within their budget.|
Online Flexibility (20% of total score)
|Scores for online flexibility focus on schools that have a high percentage of fully online students, but consideration is also given to schools that enroll partially online students using hybrid programs.|
Student Success (40% of total score)
|Both strong hallmarks of student success, we look for programs with high graduation rates whose students go on to have higher-than-average median earnings.|
What Is an MBA in Accounting?
Combining business fundamentals with accounting specialization, an online MBA in accounting contains courses such as financial analysis, auditing, and budget management. This versatile degree also usually meets education prerequisites for certified public accountant (CPA) certification, and many graduates become professional accountants in industries such as accounting, insurance, management, and government.
The BLS identifies transportation, government, and finance as top-paying industries for accounting and auditing professionals. Other popular careers for accounting MBA graduates include management analyst, budget analyst, and financial manager.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Accounting?
Earning an online MBA can benefit students in many ways. The advanced curricula of accounting MBAs enable students to build specialized skills and knowledge in areas of interest such as taxation regulation, forensic accounting, or accounting information systems.
Often boasting asynchronous attendance options, online degree options allow busy professionals to advance their careers without relocating or taking time off from work. For professionals or students from non-accounting-related backgrounds, this degree can pave the way for transition to new careers. MBA programs also offer excellent opportunities for internship and networking with professionals in your desired field.
For accounting and tax professionals with related bachelor's degrees, the accounting MBA often opens doors for promotion and salary advancement. The BLS reports the median salary for accounting and auditing professionals at $70,500, and senior accountant salaries usually range from $58,000-96,000, according to PayScale.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Accounting?
- Tasked with compiling and reviewing tax returns and other financial statements, accountants facilitate their clients' financial operations and tax law compliance. Accountants also sometimes play advisory and/or bookkeeping roles for their clients. Skills required include comfort with numbers, attention to detail, and business acumen. BLS data on this profession reports a median salary of $70,500 annually and projects 6% job growth between 2018 and 2028.
- Financial Analyst
- Often employed in banking, insurance, or investment/securities industries, financial analysts help to guide client investments. Related job titles include risk analyst, ratings analyst, fund manager, and portfolio manager. These professionals need expert knowledge of financial markets and skills in advanced math, financial analysis, and decision-making. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $85,660 and may anticipate a 6% job growth rate between 2018 and 2028.
- Management Analyst
- Also called management consultants, management analysts advise executives on means for cutting costs and generating more revenue. These professionals analyze financial reports and other data, observe and meet with employees, and suggest solutions for increasing company efficiency. The BLS indicates that management analysts made an $83,610 median annual salary as of May 2018, and projects 14% job growth for this career between 2018 and 2028.
- Financial Manager
- Responsible for organizational finances, financial managers perform financial monitoring, analysis, and reporting. These professionals also collaborate with executives on strategic planning, goal-setting, and decision-making. Financial managers boast skills in management, data analysis, and market trend analysis. BLS data places financial managers' median annual salary at $127,990 and projects 16% employment growth between 2018 and 2028.
- Budget Analyst
- Budget analysts help with organizational finances by generating and reviewing budget proposals and reports, monitoring spending, and advising company executives regarding funding and finance organizing. These professionals are skilled in analysis, organization, and communication. Budget analysts make a median annual salary of $76,220 and may anticipate a projected growth of 4% from 2018-2028, according to the BLS.
Online MBA in Accounting Curriculum
While online accounting MBA programs vary in the concentrations and courses they offer, all programs include foundational business administration coursework and advanced accounting coursework. See below for sample courses available in most online accounting MBA programs.
This course teaches students how to formulate financial business strategies and plans. Financial analysis courses focus on how to analyze financial reports and assess investment suitability.
Taxes and Business Strategy
Particularly important to aspiring tax accountants, this course investigates the relationship between tax regulations and business activities such as investments, acquisitions, and employee compensation.
Forecasting courses cultivate knowledge and skills in operating budget preparation and spending decision-making. Students learn to analyze business trends and risks, cut costs, and consider legislation that affects business.
See More Top MBA Programs
How to Choose the Right Online MBA in Accounting Program
As you research online MBA in accounting programs, choose from well-reputed programs only. Attending a highly regarded school in your desired geographical area can make sense; however, getting your degree online means you can apply to high quality programs anywhere, so do not hesitate to apply to distant but well-known schools.
Also keep in mind that students at either nationally or regionally accredited schools may receive federal financial aid, but credits and degrees from nationally accredited schools do not usually transfer to regionally accredited schools because the latter meet higher academic standards.
The best online MBA programs also boast programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE).
Earning an accounting MBA can get expensive, so compare tuition rates carefully. Regionally accredited schools sometimes charge higher tuition, but they may offer more financial aid and work-study opportunities. Note whether schools charge per credit or a flat rate per semester, as taking more credits at schools with flat semester rates can save you money. Accelerated programs offering more academic terms per year can also save you money, provided you have adequate time for intensive academic study.
Busy working professionals often opt for part-time online MBA programs that allow them to continue their education without relocating or taking time away from work. However, many programs require internship experience, periodic on-campus visits, and/or a capstone thesis or project. Before applying, make sure that you can meet extracurricular requirements.
Scholarships for Accounting MBA Programs
Students seeking financial support should take the time to examine the many need-based, merit-based, and identity-based scholarships offered to college students by schools, professional organizations, private funders, and governments. Students pursuing an online MBA in accounting should consider scholarships specifically designed for accounting students. See below for a selection of these scholarships.
American Institute of CPAs John L. Carey Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Designed to encourage students new to accounting, this scholarship awards $5,000 to non-business degree holders pursuing CPA licensure and graduate degrees in accounting.
Amount: $5,000Apply for Scholarship
Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance Master's Scholarship
Who Can Apply: AFWA grants this scholarship to women master's degree students enrolled in master's programs at accredited schools.
Amount: $1,000-3,000Apply for Scholarship
American Institute of CPAs Minority Scholarship
Who Can Apply: AICPA grants this scholarship to minority students enrolled full time in accounting-related degree programs. Eligible applicants must hold a 3.0+ GPA and must be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.
Amount: $5,000Apply for Scholarship
Alice L. Haltom Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents pursuing an Illinois accounting degree and CPA licensure. Applicants need to demonstrate financial need, progress in accounting coursework, and have a 3.0+ GPA.
Amount: $4,000Apply for Scholarship
New York State Society of CPAs Excellence in Accounting Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Created to support worthy accounting students, this need-based scholarship provides $1,250 to part-time and $2,500 to full-time accounting students.
Amount: $1,250-2,500Apply for Scholarship
Professional Organizations for Accounting
The professional organizations described below provide education, networking, mentorship, and employment resources for accounting professionals and students. Offering a wealth of information on related fields, careers, and industries, accounting professional organizations may help you clarify your career interests, identify compatible MBA programs, and advance your career.
- American Accounting AssociationFounded in 1916, the AAA supports accounting academics and others interested in accounting research and education. The organization provides annual conferences, publications, and educational resources.
- Association for Financial ProfessionalsThe AFP provides events and networking, treasury professional certification, and training for treasurers and other financial professionals. The AFP website provides current industry trend information to help you plan your career path.
- Institute of Management AccountantsThis organization provides networking, leadership, and continuing education for management accounting professionals. The IMA also runs the certified management accountant certification and publishes white papers, books, and reports.
- National Society of AccountantsThe NSA advocates for accountants' rights, provides continuing education, and shapes ethical and practical standards for the profession. Member benefits include subscription discounts and a tax help desk.
- Institute of Internal AuditorsIAA leads the internal auditing field by establishing practice standards, advocating for auditors, and providing continuing education. Member benefits include access to industry-specific networks and discounts on team development training.