Master of Business Administration (MBA): Online Accounting Degree

Get info about online MBA programs in accounting. Read about program requirements, course topics and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Students may earn an MBA in Accounting entirely online; individuals also may enroll in hybrid programs with onsite and online coursework. Although some online graduate programs come with residency requirements, most online MBA in accounting programs do not mandate any campus visits, and students interact with classmates and professors through discussion boards and online forums. Courses cover financial reporting, auditing, taxation and economics. Prior to enrollment, students may need to have taken specific undergraduate coursework and have prior work experience.

MBA with an Accounting Concentration

Online accounting MBA programs are primarily designed for working professionals who desire advancement into upper-managerial or executive positions in corporations and small businesses. Students in these programs can learn how to make financial decisions by analyzing data and utilizing technological tools.

Many schools that offer the online Master of Business Administration in Accounting program require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree. Some institutions also require students to document related professional experience and complete prerequisite coursework that includes statistics, accounting fundamentals, computer literacy and finance.

Learning Environment

Online MBA programs in accounting can usually be completed in as little as 18 months, but they could take up to three years if pursued part time. Programs may provide the option of attending some classes on campus and working with other students on group projects. Students receive instruction and can communicate with instructors, as well as other students, through email and other virtual methods.

Common Coursework

Students in the online accounting MBA program will take core courses in business management, economics, finance, marketing and information technology. Additional required accounting classes prepare students to keep accurate financial records, produce necessary reports and solve issues to maximize profits.

Accounting Management

Students study the methods of data collection and interpretation. The techniques commonly used to utilize this information for strategic planning and decision-making purposes, in addition to controlling results, is examined.

Financial Reporting

The various types of financial reports are explored. Students can gain an understanding of the importance of measuring income and reporting earnings or losses to shareholders, retirees and appropriate government entities.


Courses focus on the elements of tax-planning and selecting the right legal structure for an organization. Students will analyze ethical issues that arise in business environments and will receive hands-on instruction in preparing tax documents.

Career Information for Graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the job opportunities for accountants and auditors would increase by 11% between 2014 and 2024. In 2015, the BLS reported that there were 1,226,910 accountants and auditors employed in the U.S. who earned an average annual salary of $75,280.

Continuing Education and Licensing Information

Accountants that perform functions involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are required to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Licensing requirements vary by each state but usually entail passing an exam, acquiring professional experience and completing additional college coursework beyond a bachelor's degree.

Coursework in the online MBA program can be used to meet the continuing education requirement. Although rare, online doctoral degree programs in accounting are available; however, students may be required to attend some of their classes on campus.

Overall, an online MBA in Accounting program provides instruction in advanced financial topics, and students can use the knowledge they have to pass the CPA exam. These programs typically give students the flexibility to tailor coursework around their schedules, so business professionals may continue to work while earning the degree.

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