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Online Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree Program in Accounting Overview

Majors Overview May 24, 2015

Get information about online Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree programs in Accounting and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) Programs in Accounting

Online MBA programs in Accounting are available through several schools across the country via their distance education programs. Students focus on areas such as auditing, managerial accounting and taxation. Coursework covers classes in operations management, financial reporting, and economics. Those who aspire for Certified Public Accountant positions must earn licensure after they finish the MBA program.

Related Degree Programs

MBA programs in various other financial and business concentrations are available to students who can use the knowledge gained through these programs to seek occupations as project managers, financial managers, or small business owners. Schools offer MBA specializations such as:

•Quantitative analysis
•Supply chain management

Online M.B.A. Programs in Accounting

Students enrolled in Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in Accounting programs are offered comprehensive training in accounting procedures and skills, in addition to general background training in best practices and business management. Students learn about directing the human and fiscal assets of the company while considering culture, mission, and organization.

Students typically take as little as 18 months to complete MBA in Accounting programs. Students may complete an online program at their pace. Access to a computer and a broadband connection are requirements for students enrolled in the program. Students enrolled in most programs are also required to buy or gain access to MS Office Pro.

Accounting Program Coursework

Certain foundational business courses may have to be completed by students without an undergraduate degree in business or accountancy before they commence an MBA in Accountancy degree program. Coursework combines general business courses and core coursework in accounting, as detailed in the paragraphs that follow.

Financial Accounting

The basics of financial accounting are taught, including accepted conventions and principles in financial reports, such as liability, assets, and equity reporting. Coursework exposes students to these conventions as applicable to not-for-profit and for-profit institutions.


Taxation courses are devised to train students in federal tax regulations and laws as business transactions are influenced and determined by these topic areas. Students also gain exposure to legal responsibilities and professional ethics of tax reporting and accountancy.


In auditing classes, students typically gain exposure to the forensic examination of the financial records of businesses aimed at exposing irregularities and confirming conformance to regulations and standards. Classes also include general principles that relate to the drafting of audit reports.

Career Choices

Armed with an MBA in Accounting, graduates may aspire for jobs as directors and managers within corporations without additional certified credentials. They may also choose to become Certified Management Accountants (CMA) or Certified Public Accountants (CPA).

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a faster-than-average job growth rate has been predicted for accounting and auditing professionals, with as many as 166,700 additional jobs expected to be created (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, the average annual wage ranging between $39,930 and $111,510 was brought in by about 1.2 million auditors and accountants working across the United States.

Continuing Education Choices

The 4-part CPA examination, the passage of which is mandatory in all states for those seeking to become a CPA, is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). There is a high state-level regulation of CPA-designation and licensure, and interested individuals have to complete at least 150 hours of instruction before they sit for the exam.

Licensure is renewable through continued education. The exam for graduates aiming to become Certified Management Accountants is available through the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). While a CMA or CPA designation is not a requirement in order to work in business, one of these designations is required in many accounting and auditing positions, particularly those with the U.S. government.

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