Students in AS and AAS programs acquire strong business skills and learn to use computer software for accounting, reporting and payroll functions. They also learn to interpret financial statements and tax laws, communicate in business settings and apply knowledge of technology to accounting. Graduates of these two-year programs are prepared for work as accounting or auditing clerks, or they can transfer to a bachelor's program. In order to apply, prospective students must have a high school diploma or GED.
Associate in Specialized Business
In associate-level accounting programs, students take beginning- through intermediate-level courses in a variety of accounting processes and procedures, as well as business and management courses, to prepare them for roles as accounting professionals. Required courses usually include:
- Financial accounting
- Managerial accounting and cost accounting
- Federal income tax
- Computer applications for accounting
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many beginning accounting positions require at least a high school education, though some employers may only accept applicants with a minimum of an associate's degree (www.bls.gov). Accounting job duties vary depending on company size and the experience of the clerk, but many oversee the financial records of a business or organization, the BLS said. Additionally, they track expenditures, monitor accounts and interest, take care of bank transactions and ensure compliance with tax laws. Possible job titles for graduates of an associate's degree in accounting include:
- Accounting clerk or assistant
- Accounts payable specialist
- Accounts receivable clerk
- Bookkeeping clerk
- Auditing clerk
Job Prospects and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for accounting, auditing and bookkeeping clerks are expected to decrease 4% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The agency also reported that people in these jobs earned a median salary of $40,240 in 2018.
Continuing Education Information
Associate degree programs in accounting can prepare students for immediate entry into the workforce, or students may consider transferring to a 4-year bachelor's degree program in business, accounting or management. A graduate may also consider becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which requires additional credits beyond a standard bachelor's degree, as well as successful completion of an exam.
Although there are no ASB programs in accounting, AS and AAS programs train students for entry-level accounting work as clerks and assistants. Graduates can also pursue further studies in related subjects, such as management or business.