Associate of Science (AS): Accounting Degree Overview

Oct 14, 2019

Associate of Science (AS) programs in accounting combine required core courses in the liberal arts and sciences with basic studies in business-related areas. Get an overview of this program and what you can do with the degree.

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Essential Information

Many postsecondary schools, including colleges, technical institutes and community colleges, offer AS degrees in accounting. These programs integrate studies in management, marketing and other business topics in order to train students to prepare tax statements, compile financial statements, utilize technology-based accounting resources, manage payroll and work cooperatively with members of other departments. Some programs are available online. A high school degree or its equivalent is required for admission.

Associate of Science (AS): Accounting Degree

In these programs, students may take some of the following courses:

  • Business ethics, business organizations, business communication
  • Finance, cost accounting, financial planning,
  • Marketing basics
  • Managerial accounting
  • Payroll accounting, taxes

Popular Career Options

Bookkeeping or accounting-related positions are available in nearly every industry because all businesses needs professionals who know how to record transactions and keep track of finances. Graduates of associate's degree programs in accounting are able to begin their careers as:

  • Entry-level bookkeepers
  • Accounting clerks
  • Auditing clerks

Certification and Continuing Education

The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers grants the Certified Bookkeeper credential to qualified bookkeeping, auditing and accounting professionals. Applicants need sufficient experience and a passing score on an exam to receive the certification; continuing education is required to keep the certification valid.

Many AS in Accounting programs are designed so some or all of the credits can transfer to a bachelor's program in accounting. These programs provide more in-depth knowledge in the field and can prepare students to obtain their Certified Public Accountant license. Internship opportunities are also typically available to bachelor's students. Additionally, master's degrees in accounting are available and can help graduates obtain career advancements.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In 2018, accountants and auditors earned a mean annual salary of $78,820, while bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks earned $42,110, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Average employment growth was predicted for accountants and auditors by the BLS for 2018-2028, with an 6% increase, but an 4% decline was projected for the clerks.

By earning an AS in accounting, students gain the fundamental business skills they need to enter the field as a bookkeeper, accounting clerk or auditing clerk.

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