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Best Online MBA in Accounting Programs

Earn your accounting master’s degree through a quality, flexible online MBA accounting program. Discover some of the best programs offered for 2023 and the high-paying careers available to you after graduation.

Author: Blake Huggins

Editor: Staff Editor

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A focused woman with a pen reviews online accounting MBA program charts projected on a transparent screen in a well-lit office setting.

Earning an MBA in accounting online is a flexible, affordable, and accommodating experience. Most programs give you the convenience to study while working and equip you with the tools necessary for career advancement. Knowledge gained includes fundamental business principles and core skills in auditing and financial reporting.

This guide highlights some of the best online MBA in accounting programs currently available. It also breaks down possible career paths and potential program expenses. You’ll also find answers to often-asked questions about completion times and online learning outcomes and benefits. So, keep reading to start your journey towards earning your online MBA in accounting.

College Spotlights: Best Online MBA in Accounting Programs for 2023

We’ve spotlighted below our choices for the best-in-class online MBA accounting programs for 2023. These schools offer the affordability, flexibility, and professional development resources you need for academic success and career advancement. Find out which programs stand above the rest. And be sure to check back for our complete program rankings coming later this year.

University of the Cumberlands

Logo of the University of the Cumberlands featuring stylized text alongside an illustration of a tower, symbolizing its Online Accounting MBA Programs.

The University of the Cumberlands offers an online MBA with a concentration in accounting designed to be completed in four years, but most students finish sooner. The 37-credit program includes core instruction in finance, management, and economics along with specialized courses in accounting theory and tax policy. Up to six previously earned credits can be transferred in to the program allowing for quicker completion times.

The program achieves optimal levels of convenience and flexibility by using intuitive tools that combine self-paced study with structured class time in an interactive learning environment. Near the end of the program, students complete an applied learning practicum that bridges the gap between technical knowledge and practical implementation. Online accounting MBA students at UC have complete access to the school’s full range of career and student support services.

University of Maryland

Logo of the University of Maryland featuring a red and yellow emblem flanked by green text that spells out "Online Accounting MBA Programs" on a white background.

The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is home to an online MBA with a career-focused specialization in accounting that offers a flexible and engaging curriculum in management fundamentals with a focus on advanced managerial accounting. Graduates gain the hard skills in managing financial assets and communicating complex financial information needed to craft effective and efficient business strategies. Students in the online program experience the same academic rigor and learn from the same expert faculty as their on-campus counterparts.

Program electives cover a range of topics that include supply chain management, data-driven decision making, and business operations. Students complete 54 credits and most graduate in about 24 months. Two residency experiences bookend the program: an orientation session at the beginning of study and a capstone experience near the end. The University of Maryland delivers all other learning experiences and course materials entirely online.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University

Logo of Southeastern Oklahoma State University featuring a stylized yellow and white pillar design with the university name in blue text, representing its Online Accounting MBA Programs.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting program consists of 36 credits and is typically completed with one year of full-time study. The fully accredited program builds in-demand skills in business and accounting to prepare students for leadership roles in businesses and organizations throughout the economy. The curriculum focuses on core competencies in behavioral and financial management, economics, and marketing, and principles of forensic accounting.

The program prepares graduates for work auditing or assisting with corporate fraud cases rooted in finance. Most classes are 7 weeks in length and delivered completely online for maximum accommodation. SOSU features a streamlined admissions process that does not require a previous business degree or submittal of GMAT scores. The university also provides a range of technology, academic, and general orientation resources to all new and continuing students.

What to Expect from An Online MBA in Accounting Program

Online Accounting MBA programs begin with broad-based training in business, management, and organizational leadership. They then move on to specialized learning experiences focusing on how accounting informs decision-making in business and commerce. This interdisciplinary approach supports a versatile knowledge base and cultivates in-demand skills in communication, data analysis, and operations management.

Each program delivers a sequence of core courses combined with free electives that build expertise in the specialized areas of the accounting field that interest you most and support your broader professional needs. Some programs conclude with completion of an integrative capstone project.

The best online MBA in accounting programs employ a range of tools and technologies to deliver program content. This typically consists of a blend of synchronous and asynchronous elements designed to make the online learning experience more accommodating. This method also achieves an optimal balance between structured learning and self-paced study.

Communication components include traditional email, real-time videoconferencing, nested discussion boards, chat groups, and other collaborative communication tools. These tools help you engage effectively in common courses like these:

Common Courses

  • Financial Reporting

    Introduction to the main theories informing accounting practices and financial reporting, including professional standards, industry best practices, and liability issues. Students learn to analyze financial statements, audit accounts for stakeholders, and offer sound advice in light of business goals. Additional topics may include cash measurements, inventories, and receivables.

  • Accounting Information Systems

    Students in this course receive training in the accounting process as it interacts with information systems. Topics covered include common issues related to accounting data storage and the main tools and software packages used by professional accountants. Students develop facility with internal controls, account classification, and clerical functioning.

  • Regulation and Compliance

    This class offers an overview of current and historical regulations applicable to accounting and financial management. Students learn how to keep organizations compliant with ethical mandates and other legislation. They also investigate landmark case studies and develop reports based on analysis of conduct, disclosures, and court proceedings.

  • Taxation

    Examination of the historical development of tax law in the United States and core skills in tax preparation and auditing. Students build a sound knowledge base in financial accounting principles as they relate to taxation, financial planning, and compensation. The class also looks at the role taxes play in corporate decision making.

  • Financial Markets

    This class introduces financial markets, both international and domestic, and the investment strategies pertaining to each. Students learn how interest and exchange rates are determined, what market efficiency means, and how financial institutions maintain portfolios in the global marketplace. The class also looks at policy factors and term structure.

What You Can Do with an MBA in Accounting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in finance and accounting are expected to grow 5% by 2029. This is faster than the average for most professions, but that growth rate also means high levels of competition.

Earning your degree from one of the best online MBA in accounting programs available helps set you apart from other job candidates. It qualifies you for more challenging and rewarding roles and verifies your expertise in financial reporting and asset management.

The jobs listed below offer a sampling of the positions available to accounting MBA graduates. In addition to positive overall growth, each occupation listed offers above-average earnings.

Accountant

Accountants prepare financial documents and examine existing business records. They identify potential areas of opportunity and risk, and make recommendations to clients based on their findings. Accountants ensure that business records are accurate and in compliance with federal regulations. Depending on the employer, some work to reduce costs and expand revenue.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$44,480

$71,550

$124,450

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Financial Manager

Financial managers oversee all financial aspects of their organizations. They are responsible for maintaining fiscal health, monitoring investment activities, and finding new growth areas. They may also supervise employees and prepare financial statements. Some financial managers analyze market trends and create forecast models designed to increase profit.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$68,370

$129,890

$208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Financial Examiner

Financial examiners fulfill auditing and compliance roles. They ensure their employers operate within guidelines stipulated by local, state, and federal governments. They assess the financial condition of their organizations through the review of balance sheets, expense reports, and loan documentation. Financial examiners may also evaluate internal assets and liabilities.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$43,500

$158,200

$208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Business Executive

Top business executives are employed in jobs with titles such as chief executive officer, chief finance officer, and operations manager. Most professionals in these positions hold an MBA, and those with expertise in accounting are well situated to direct an organization’s financial activities and budget development. Additional responsibilities may include evaluating sales reports and other key performance indicators.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$62,290

$184,460

$208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial advisors offer counsel to private individuals in the management of their money assets and to improve their financial habits. Most are self-employed and provide tax preparation services, investment guidance, and tools for retirement planning. Some may also monitor their clients’ accounts for irregularities or opportunities for further development.

10th Percentile Median Annual Pay 90th Percentile

$42,950

$87,850

$208,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019

Costs and Financial Aid for Online MBAs in Accounting

Understanding the bigger financial picture before you commit to your online accounting MBA program of choice is important. As the table below indicates, tuition rates vary quite a bit from program to program, and depend on factors like the type of school (public or private), enrollment status, and the student’s state of residency. So, it is always best to consult individual schools in light of your own needs before enrolling.

Tuition rates aside, there are quite a few financial aid opportunities available to help mitigate education costs. Many schools offer their own scholarships or fellowships, but it’s also worth looking into private organizations and businesses, and even your current employer. Stakeholders in accounting often extend merit or need-based awards to promising employees.

How Much Your Online MBA in Accounting Might Cost

School Name No. of Credits Cost/Credit Est. Total Tuition Cost

30

$627/credit

$18,810

30

$375/credit

$11,250

44

$350/credit

$15,400

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Accounting MBA Programs

What are the typical admissions requirements for an online MBA in accounting?

Most online MBA accounting programs follow a similar admissions process. However, requirements such as GPA thresholds and application deadlines can vary, so always check with individual schools for updates on admission criteria specifics. Typical admissions requirements include:

  • Official academic transcripts verifying completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree program with a competitive GPA. Some schools require a business-related bachelor’s degree.
  • A current resume listing relevant professional experience. Some require specific business and/or management experience.
  • Recent GMAT scores. Some programs forego this while others offer waivers.
  • Course prerequisites for non-business majors, usually in the subjects of accounting and statistics. This is not a universal requirement.

Are there quality online accounting MBA programs that don’t require the GMAT?

Plenty of reputable and accredited schools, including some of the best online MBA in accounting programs profiled above, do not require GMAT scores for admissions. Other programs with no GMAT requirements include Colorado State, Maryville University, and Ohio University.

How long will it take to finish my MBA in accounting online?

Time to completion largely depends on your particular program and personal situation. Most online MBA accounting programs accommodate a variety of circumstances and desired timeframes. Accelerated and intensive programs, like those at La Salle, Fitchburg State, and the University of Southern Indiana, graduate students in just over a year (i.e., 12-16 months on average). Other programs adopt a slower pace for busier learners and working professionals. For example, students in programs at the University of Denver and the University of West Florida usually finish in about 2 years.

Can I earn my MBA in accounting 100% online or do I need to go to campus?

Many online MBA accounting programs deliver all coursework entirely online with no in-person components whatsoever. Some offer optional hybrid formats to learners wanting hands-on experience. Others require brief in-person sessions either at the beginning or the end of study.

What’s the difference between an MBA in accounting and a master’s in accounting?

Both MBA’s and master’s degrees in accounting advance your career in business or accounting, but they do so in different ways. A master’s in accounting uses the same structure as an MBA in accounting – starting broad, then narrowing focus – but it focuses solely on accounting and does not deal with broader business or management issues. A master’s in accounting begins with basic accounting theories and financial concepts and then moves to more technical considerations and practical applications. If you’re looking for more depth within the field of accounting, a master’s in accounting is a good choice. If you want a learning experience with more breadth and versatility, an online MBA in accounting is likely the best option.

Does a master’s in accounting sound like the better choice for you? If so, check out OMD’s guide to online master’s degrees in accounting.