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Associate in Arts Degree (AA): Accounting Degree Overview

During an Associate in Arts program in accounting, students can learn about business strategies, financial organization, and tax law. See program details, coursework and job opportunities.

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Essential Information

Students in accounting associate's programs learn the ins and outs involved with business strategies, financial organization, and tax laws in accounting. The program usually takes two years to prepare students for entry-level work in investment planning, auditing, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. Some schools encourage students to create personal portfolios that can later be used to highlight their financial talents when seeking employment. Schools offering this program usually require a high school diploma or the equivalent.


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Associate in Arts Degree in Accounting

Students typically explore ethical issues in banking and finance and learn the basics of creating and analyzing financial statements. Coursework typically totals 61-70 semester hours. Students usually take coursework in social science, natural science, math, history and English to comply with most schools' degree requirements. Coursework within the program could include:

  • Statistics
  • Tax law
  • Economics
  • Business finance
  • Accounting for federal income tax
  • Cost analysis

Popular Career Options

Graduates are typically qualified for entry-level employment with companies that have finance departments or accounting divisions. They are prepared to assist financial analysts, cost estimators and financial data auditors. They can also seek opportunities with accounting firms, banks or tax preparation companies. Some possible job titles could include:

  • Bank teller
  • Bookkeeper
  • Financial planner
  • Tax preparation specialist
  • Accounts payable clerk

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Over the period spanning 2014-2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects slower-than-average employment growth of 2% for tax preparers and an employment decrease of 8% for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks. The mean wage in May 2015 was $44,730 for tax preparers and $38,990 for bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks. A decrease of 8% in employment is expected for tellers from 2014-2024, and they earned a mean wage of $27,260 in May 2015.

Continuing Education

Employment opportunities beyond entry-level work can be enhanced by higher education credentials. Upon completion of the degree program, students interested in continuing their education can apply to a bachelor's degree program in accounting. Students can also pursue programs in other business-related majors, such as finance, management, human resources or marketing.

An associate's degree program in accounting gives students the necessary business and finance skills to work entry-level jobs as bank tellers, financial planners and more. Graduates may also choose to pursue higher education to advance their careers.

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