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Associate of Business Administration (ABA): Accounting Degree Overview

Oct 20, 2019

Associate of Business Administration (ABA) in Accounting programs train students in the basics of business accounting. They can serve as an initial step toward a job as an accountant.

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Essential Information

In an ABA program in accounting, students typically take classes in accounting, economics, income taxes and business law along with general education courses. These programs require two years of full-time study to complete and are offered through community colleges. They can prepare students for entry-level accounting positions and, in some cases, to transfer to 4-year baccalaureate programs.


ABA in Accounting

The coursework involved in this type of degree program combines hands-on learning opportunities with accounting theory and business accounting cycles. Students also develop leadership, management and tax research competencies. In addition to accounting courses such as cost accounting, accounting process analysis and accounting for managers business, students can find courses that cover topics such as:

  • Microeconomics
  • Information technology
  • Organizational management
  • Payroll, federal and state tax
  • Marketing
  • Business ethics and law

Popular Career Options

In most cases, professional accountants must hold at least a bachelor's degree to enter the field. A variety of entry-level accounting opportunities are available that may require as little as a high school diploma, but an associate degree may be required for some positions, and could be preferred by employers. Some career opportunities can include:

  • Bookkeeper
  • Accounting clerk
  • Auditing clerk

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment of bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks to decline 4% from 2018 to 2028(www.bls.gov). Median annual earnings for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks were $40,240 as of May 2018.

Continuing Education Information

After completing an associate degree program, students can progress to a 4-year degree program to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Such a curriculum could be offered as part of a broader business administration program. Beyond this level, students can earn a master's degree in accounting, which could be designed to qualify them to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination in most states. The CPA designation may demonstrate professional competence to future employers and allows accountants to interact with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

After earning an ABA in Accounting, graduates have the basic finance and business expertise they need to get entry-level jobs in the field or continue on the educational track to becoming an accountant.

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