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Degree Overview: Associate of Financial Accounting

Majors Overview June 1, 2013

Associate degree programs in accounting usually cover financial accounting. Students who are enrolled in an associate degree program in accounting will gain skills in preparing spreadsheets for accounting departments, learn how to run accounting reports, and organizing financial documents; in addition, they will learn business operations practices, such as financial record-keeping.

Associate Degree Program in Accounting

Students in these degree programs will gain knowledge on how to monitor financial transactions of individuals and businesses. In the associate degree programs, students will learn how to conduct audits, prepare financial documents, utilize spreadsheets, examine spending records, balance budget ledgers, and record financial information. Typically, to qualify for the associate degree program, students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

The majority of degree programs in accounting cover topics concerning accounting procedures, human resources management, and business operations. Most of these degree programs teach students how to use accounting software applications and programs. The degree program course topics usually include the following:

•Business law
•Auditing
•Business communications
•Cost accounting
•Federal income taxation
•Financial accounting
•Government accounting
•Electronic spreadsheets
•Managerial accounting
•Business management

Career Options

Students who have graduated from an associate degree program in accounting generally do not qualify for positions such as accountants. However, these individuals may have the necessary skills to qualify for assistant or junior accounting positions. Individuals may earn the following job titles:

•Auditing clerk
•Bookkeeper
•Accounts payable clerk

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Certification may not be mandatory for bookkeepers or accounting clerks, but professionals who have earned their certifications will have more career opportunities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS – www.bls.gov). The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (www.aipb.org) offer the certification, and require applicants to have a minimum of two years of work experience in accounting and bookkeeping in order to become eligible for this certification.

Students have to earn a bachelor degree related to accounting or finances in order to advance to the position of an auditor or accountant. These degrees may be obtained as a concentration in a program, such as Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), or through a district program, such as Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Accounting. The B.B.A. program may offer a concentration in financing, or students may pursue specific financial education through a B.S. in Finance program.

Typically, candidates who want to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are required to complete one hundred fifty credit hours of study in order to satisfy certification and licensing requirements as mandated by their state. This may be achieved by completing a Master of Science (M.S.) in Finance or Master of Accountancy program.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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