Online College Courses in Accounting
Anyone interested in pursuing a degree focused on handling monetary transactions will have to take at least one course in accounting. This includes finance and accounting majors, as their respective fields require a comprehensive knowledge of financial communication and organization. Depending on their degree level, school, and program, accounting majors will spend anywhere between two to six years taking classes that focus on budgeting, cost accounting systems, and the connections between company actions, events, and managerial accounting decisions.
Finance majors, on the other hand, typically only take a few accounting classes to fulfill degree requirements. For example, at the University of Houston, students who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in finance must take four accounting courses — two in introductory-level accounting topics, like the fundamentals of managerial accounting, and two in more intermediate accounting topics, like conceptual frameworks of accounting and basic financial processes.
Though accounting may seem like a specialized field, there are many benefits to taking an accounting class, even if your educational or career goals do not venture into this discipline. Traditional, classroom-based or online accounting college courses will allow you to better understand how to manage your personal expenses and investments, as well as how to handle your tax returns each year. Students who wish to save themselves a trip to a school campus can enroll in online accounting college courses, as many traditionally campus-based and exclusively online schools offer this class for distance learners. An online version of an accounting class, if taken through a reputable and accredited online school, can often be used as credit towards a degree. To see if your online school of choice is accredited, check the U.S. Department of Education's database. However, guidelines for transfer credits vary, so be sure to check with your school first to ensure that whatever online college accounting courses you take will count towards your degree requirements before enrolling.
Accounting and Your Career
The knowledge and experience gained from online college courses in accounting allow accounting majors the opportunity to work as Certified Public Accountants or internal auditors, as they'll know how to keep public records, handle the payment and filing of taxes, and keep organizations running efficiently in general once employed. An accountant without certification typically has fewer employment opportunities than CPAs, so taking an accounting course can give you the preparation you need to pass the certification examination. Some may also take specialized accounting courses in public accounting, management accounting, government accounting, or internal auditing, as all of these specialized courses can lead to different career fields. In addition, those who work in finance can benefit from accounting courses because finance deals with helping organizations make money, as well as how to create a long-term plan for companies regarding monetary investments and expenditures. As such, finance majors must understand the basics of accounting — or the more immediate and short-term tracking and handling of money — to have a truly in-depth comprehension of the finance discipline.
In general, taking accounting courses online can help anyone looking for a better understanding of business taxes, bookkeeping, and even business law, as all accountants are responsible for ensuring that revenue is made and recorded legally. In addition, the accounting career is a stable one because businesses in every field — from healthcare facilities to media management firms — need those with accounting expertise. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the hiring of accountants will increase 22% between 2008-2018. Those with accounting experience can even jump into the fast-growing environmental engineering field, doing their part to save the environment by crunching numbers for organizations that research and produce alternative energy solutions.
Free Online Accounting Courses:
- Financial Accounting – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Accounting – Kaplan University OpenCourseWare
- Accounting 615 – New Jersey Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare