Accounting is an expertise in the business world that does not enjoy sufficient respect, with the possible exception of tax time and when the business goes up for sale. Accounting is, however, an important area of study for the business student; many schools provide business majors with specialization in accounting. The Dickensian image of the accountant perched on his stool with a green eye shade has lingered far too long. Accounting managers are responsible for complex database management, employee costs and, to an increasing extent, fiscal strategy within business management.
Online business schools provide a number of degrees that include accounting within the context of different professional orientations. Jones International University has a bachelor’s degree in business administration available with specialization in accounting. They recommend that the student check with his or her state of residence to determine the requirements for CPA status.
Jones International University also offers an MBA degree with specialization in accounting. At the master’s level, an incoming employee with expertise in accounting may be thrown into any number of roles. As a member of the management team, the MBA in accounting may be involved in budget analysis, financial and investment planning, and perhaps advising on legal decisions that involve fiscal matters.
University of Phoenix Online has a bachelor’s degree in business with an accounting specialty, along with an MBA program with a similar focus. Their bachelor’s program includes careful focus on technology for the accountant, including the use of networking functions for the accumulation of financial data. This accounting major also has courses in organizational behavior, economic, statistics, and finance – in short, all of the skill sets required to make strategic business decisions based on “the numbers.”
The University of Phoenix MBA in accounting includes coursework in advanced accounting information systems, advanced cost accounting, advanced business taxation, accounting theory, and auditing. A Phoenix MBA graduate in accounting will also be trained in making financial presentations, typically the role of a chief financial officer or VP in finance. The online MBA programs in accounting train their graduates for high level management roles.
Capella University also has both a bachelor’s in business and an MBA program with specialization in accounting. One of the courses in Capella’s bachelor’s program focuses on e-business. Web based retail is one of the hottest business segments in our economy, and the back-office functions for both payment and accounting are different than for a standard consumer-oriented business. Online degrees tend to be pragmatic in their approach with the primary goal of getting the student successfully into the job market. Capella University’s e-business class is an example of including contemporary market trends with the classics of accounting.
Capella’s MBA program in accounting includes the standard advanced accounting courses, but also courses in economics and finance, leadership skills and ‘accounting for decision making’. This last course is another example of preparing the student for management presentations and participation in strategic fiscal decisions. Many online colleges also have associate’s degrees in business available that specialize in accounting, providing the student with a lower entry level – and the opportunity to continue studies at a later time while still working.