Online MBA in Accounting: Degree Overview

Dec 03, 2019

Learn about online Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting programs. Get an overview of the program requirements, course descriptions and career information for this field.

Essential Information

Schools across the country offer online MBA in Accounting programs through their distance education programs. These programs are offered fully online. Many students who enter the program choose a focus, such as managerial accounting, taxation or auditing. The curriculum for the MBA program includes courses in financial reporting, economics, financial management and operations management. Those who wish to become Certified Public Accountants must pursue licensing after finishing the MBA program.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in business, accounting or a related field. Students without such a degree may need to complete specific business coursework prior to beginning the MBA program. Applicants also need access to MS Office Pro.

MBA in Accounting

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting programs offer comprehensive training in accounting skills and procedures for students, as well as general background training in business management and best practices. Students learn how to direct the fiscal and human assets of a company while taking into consideration its mission, organization and culture.

Information and Requirements

Typically, MBA in Accounting programs can be completed in as little as 18 months. Students may opt to complete the training at their own pace, and programs can be completed fully online. Students need a broadband connection and access to a computer. Additionally, most programs require students to purchase or have access to MS Office Pro.

Common Courses

Students without an undergraduate degree in accounting or business may be required to complete certain foundational business courses prior to commencing an MBA in Accounting degree program. Students studying for their MBA with a focus in accounting take a combination of general business classes and core classes in accounting. Typically, training programs offer core courses similar to the following:

Financial Accounting

Students learn the basics of financial accounting, including accepted principles and conventions in financial reports, such as assets, equity and liability reporting. In the course, students are exposed to these conventions as they apply to for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.


In taxation courses, students are trained in federal tax laws and regulations as those topics influence and determine business transactions. Additionally, students gain exposure to professional ethics and legal responsibilities of accountancy and tax reporting.


Auditing classes typically provide students exposure to the forensic examination of the financial records of a business in order to expose irregularities and confirm conformance to standards and regulations. Students also learn general principles related to the drafting of audit reports.

Career Information

Students who receive their MBA in Accounting may opt to work as managers and directors within corporations without additional certification. Graduates can also opt to become Certified Public Accountants (CPA) or Certified Management Accountants (CMA).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts average growth within accounting and auditing professions, anticipating the addition of 90,700 jobs in the decade spanning 2018-2028. As of May 2018, of the roughly 1.4 million accountants and auditors working nationally earned a median annual wage of $70,500 (

Continuing Education Information

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) administers the 4-part CPA examination, which is required by all states in order to become a CPA. CPA-designation and licensure is highly regulated at the state-level and requires a minimum of 150 hours of instruction prior to sitting for the exam.

Recipients must continue to take continuing education classes for license renewal. The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) administers the examination to graduates seeking to become Certified Management Accountants. Although it is not necessary to acquire a CPA or CMA to work in business, many auditing and accounting positions, particularly those with the U.S. government, require a CPA or CMA.

Students hoping to learn advanced concepts in accounting may be interested in a fully online MBA program in accounting. This accounting program allows students to work at their own pace completing business and accounting courses.

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