You may be surprised to learn that the first accountants are believed to have originated in ancient Mesopotamia before the 15th century. They worked in temples, keeping track of taxes paid (usually in livestock and vegetables) and may have developed a system of writing to keep records.
Fortunately, today’s accountants don’t have to track sheep and cows to follow investments, finances, or budgets. Online bachelor’s in accounting degrees provide a springboard to qualifying for a well-paying accounting job.
What Do Accountants Do?
21st century accountants perform a variety of business functions, in fact, many consider accounting to be the bedrock of business. Accountants create, prepare and audit financial records for individuals, small businesses, government agencies, or large corporations.
The key responsibility of an accountant is accuracy. Professional accountants organize financial records, maintain records, assess the health of financial data and make recommendations for improvement, and advise ways to increase profits, reduce costs, or improve revenue. Accountants can help drive the ethical management of a business, corporation, or industry.
How Do You Become An Accountant?
Colleges and Schools of Business provide accounting degrees, either as a stand-alone degree or a major under the Bachelor of Business Administration degree. You can also receive either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in accounting.
You’ll need to enroll in a business program which is accredited by associations such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Accredited programs will assure your education meets standards to prepare you to sit for professional licensure or certification exams. Professional exams include Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Auditor (CFA), Certified Bank Auditor (CBA), etc.
Careers in accounting are projected to grow at an average rate of 6% between 2018-2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary for a professional accountant is $70,500 a year and can increase to as much as $122,840 annually.
What Classes Are Needed for an Accounting Degree?
Undergraduate programs will be a blend of general education and business courses. You can expect to take courses in business ethics, basic and advanced finance, principles of accounting, micro and macroeconomics, income tax, marketing principles, global economies, and more. You can find online undergraduate programs which offer internships, study abroad programs, or project-specific reports.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Accounting?
Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in how robust the school’s online education is, how well that school delivers on its promises, how affordable the program is, and how selective the school as as a whole. For more information, see our methodology page.