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Online Accounting Degree Program

Earn your bachelor's degree or associate degree in accounting online or on campus today.

Today more than ever, accountants are vital to the success of any business. Accountants are key players in any group, from small businesses to global corporations. They prepare asset, liability and account entries; document financial transactions, and analyze accounting options and provide recommendations.

Business graduate - Joshua Wolfe

Due to widespread corporate fraud, the US Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), which required strict reforms to prevent accounting fraud and ensure compliance. This has created a greater-than-ever demand for accountants and increased the availability of accounting careers. An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in accounting from Herzing University helps prepare you to meet this demand with the skill necessary to succeed.

Accounting Job Responsibilities

Typical accounting job duties include analysis and verification of financial data and reports, and communicating their findings to management/clients.

Accountants who prepare taxes and provide similar service to clients may also act as a financial advisor. They may help clients create personal budgets, manage investments, and save for retirement.

While there are many specialties within the accounting field, there are four main types of accountants:

  • Public accountants – May perform duties related to taxes, audits, financial reporting, fraud investigation, and advising on employee benefits and asset security. Most public accountants hold the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. A large percentage run their own accounting firm or work for a public accounting firm that consults for businesses.
  • Management accountants – Records and analyzes financial data for their employer. They are often part of strategic planning or new product development teams and report on key financial information. Executives then use this information and recommendations for strategic planning and decisions. Other responsibilities typically include cost and asset management, budgeting and financial analysis/reporting.
  • Government accountants and auditors – Often work in the public sector and are employed by the government at the state, federal or local level. Government accountants maintain and examine financial records for government agencies. Government auditors conduct audits on businesses or individuals to make sure they are following regulations and paying taxes properly.
  • Internal auditors – Examine organizations’ financial records to check for accuracy, fraud, waste, and proper security/management of assets. Internal auditors play a large role in evaluating the organization’s compliance with policies (both internal and external) and efficiency in their operations. They may also work closely with technology managers to review and evaluate the information systems.

Earning your bachelor's degree or associate degree in accounting online or on campus will prepare you for a career in any of the four types of accounting.

Skills needed for accounting success

Success as a bookkeeper or accountant starts with attention to detail and skill with numbers. Most often this information is processed electronically, so you must be comfortable using computers and accounting software.You should enjoy paperwork and be able to work with minimal supervision.

What can you do with an accounting degree?

As an accountant, you’ll enjoy a high degree of occupational mobility. Not only can accountants find work in virtually any geographical location, they can also find employment in any sector of the economy. Every company needs skilled accounting help; some businesses may use a single accounting consultant while global corporations have teams of accountants specializing in different areas.

The accounting field offers professional growth and upward movement. Internal auditors are often prepared for executive positions within a company. Many public and management accountants eventually shift to internal auditing for career growth.

  • Public accountants - Entry-level public accountants typically receive more responsibility and advancement opportunities after one or two years in the field. With five years' experience, you may be prepared for a senior accountant role. With increasing years of experience, you can expect to possibly manage other accountants, open your own accounting business, or transition to an executive-level position.
  • Management accountants - Most management accountants enter the field as cost accountants, junior internal auditors or trainees for other specialized accounting positions. Typical advancement includes promotion to chief cost accountant, budget director, manager of internal auditing, and accounting supervisor.
  • Internal auditors - Internal auditors often start in the public accounting or management accounting fields. As you begin a career in internal auditing, you’ll learn auditing basics, as well as your organization’s internal business unit makeup. As you progress as an internal auditor, you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls and learn more about fiscal management. You may also investigate information systems for proper use and accuracy. Because of this in-depth knowledge of the organization’s internal operations, internal auditors often progress into executive position.

Where do accountants work?

Accountants typically work in an office setting, although an increasing number of companies are allowing accountants to complete some work online from home. Some accountants and auditors frequently travel to audit other branches, satellite offices, or client sites.

A 40-hour work week is standard, although additional hours may be required before important deadlines such as year end and tax time (January through April). Self-employed accountants often work beyond 40 hours, especially if they have a large number of clients. Other accountants may work on a contract basis. For example, tax specialists might choose to work only during tax season.

How do I advance in my accounting career?

If you’re interested in an accounting, bookkeeping, or auditing career, you should have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, or a related field. An associate’s degree in accounting and relevant experience is also a great foundation and can also lead to a successful career. A bookkeeping diploma is useful for getting started in the bookkeeping field, but more education is generally required.

Obtaining a master’s degree in accounting or business with a concentration in accounting can help you advance faster. Earning additional credentials, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification, can help you achieve the greatest career opportunities.

NOTE: The Bachelor of Science in Accounting program at Herzing University does not fulfill all of the requirements for a graduate to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam or apply for licensure as a CPA in most states/jurisdictions. Most states/jurisdictions require a specific amount of study beyond a bachelor's degree (typically, a total of 150 semester credit hours, but this varies by state/jurisdiction) as well as several years of professional experience working in accounting to be eligible to apply for licensure. Some states (including, but not necessarily limited to, Texas) require the program to have a specific programmatic accreditation for graduates to apply for licensure as a CPA, which this program does not have at this time, and no representation has been made to when or if such an accreditation will be obtained. Applicants interested in becoming a CPA should check with their state board of accounting prior to enrolling in any accounting program. Students planning to pursue certification other than the CPA exam should also contact their state board of accounting prior to enrolling in any accounting program.

Herzing University’s practical, career-oriented approach to earning a bachelor's degree and associate’s degree in accounting is clearly demonstrated in our different accounting degree programs. Each is designed to help you reach your specific career goals. As a graduate of one of our accounting degree programs, you’ll have the academic credentials and hands-on skills employers look for to fill critical accounting and auditing positions.

Accounting Degree Program Comparison Chart

Program availability varies by location.

ProgramCreditsMonths
Bachelor of Science in Accounting12336
Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Accounting6520
Diploma in Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting256-8
*Average number of months for students to complete program

Master of Business Administration in Accounting

Students enrolled in a Herzing University bachelor's degree program who are interested in pursuing a master's degree can save time and money with the Herzing University online Master of Master of Business Administration in Accounting!

  • Dual Enrollment – This program allows current bachelor's degree students the opportunity to exchange up to four courses (12 credits) in their bachelor's degree program with MBA courses.
  • Herzing bachelor's degree students and alumni receive a 15% tuition scholarship on their master's degree courses while an undergraduate student!

Note: The MBA and Dual Enrollment are not offered at all locations; please check with your local campus for availability.

Bachelor of Science in Accounting

The Herzing University bachelor’s degree in accounting is designed for those who want to pursue a career in accounting. Graduates have a solid core of capabilities to be highly eligible for a wide range of career opportunities in accounting and business. Classes are offered online or on-campus.

View Program Course Sheet

Associate and Associate of Applied Science in Accounting

This accounting associate's degree program, which is available online or on-campus, adds general education and additional specialization classes to the core fundamentals taught in the diploma program. Graduates are well prepared for a variety of entry-level business and accounting positions in a wide range of industries. 

View Program Course Sheet

Diploma in Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting

Herzing University’s 8-month diploma program is a great way to get into the accounting field. Graduates qualify for positions as entry-level bookkeepers as well as support positions in payroll and accounting. 

View Program Course Sheet

What certification/licensure does this program prepare you for?

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – Only professionals with this credential are able to file reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Every state uses the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) 4-part Uniform CPA Examination, but each state has different eligibility criteria so check with your state before beginning a degree program to make sure it will meet the educational requirements. Because a larger number of college credits than what is required for most bachelor's degrees in accounting is required for exam eligibility, students might consider continuing in the MBA program to fulfill the educational requirements. Also, most jurisdictions also require several years' experience working in accounting to be eligible to take the CPA exam. See the State Board of Accountancy website to learn more about each state's requirements.

Bookkeeping and Payroll - Graduates of the Herzing University Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting Diploma program will have met the education requirement for the following certification opportunities:

  • American Payroll Association (APA)
    Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC) – This exam is for entry-level payroll professionals who wish to prove basic payroll competency. Examinees are given three hours to complete the 150 multiple-choice question electronic test. Upon passing, the credential is good for three years and requires continuing education credits to re-certify. These credits can be earned by taking courses, attending APA industry seminars and programs, or retaking the exam.
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Classes Start March 6