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2023 Best Online Associate Degrees in Accounting

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 8/9/2023
2023 Best Online Associate Degrees in Accounting Badge

Accountants are vital in an organization’s bookkeeping practices, financial recordkeeping and reporting, and tax and payroll preparation. An online associate in accounting targets the development of these skills, among others, to help boost students’ marketability and earnings potential in the field. They can also help students prepare for online accounting bachelor’s degrees. While most online associate degree programs are traditional in length and take two years, accelerated online degrees in accounting are also available. 

We’ve organized our list based on Salary Score to find programs with the highest salary outcomes. View our methodology for more details about our list, or learn more about OnlineU. Alternatively, our list of the most affordable online associate degrees in accounting specifically features budget-friendly options.

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Online Accounting Associate Degrees You May Be Interested In


2023 Best Online Associate Degrees in Accounting

RankSchool Salary Score Median Starting Salary
# 1 #1 Dakota County Technical College 100 100 $48,125
# 2 #2 American Public University System 92 $38,790
# 3 #3 The Community College of Baltimore County 92 $38,709
# 4 #4 Rasmussen University Online 92 $38,663
# 5 #5 Front Range Community College 92 $38,336
# 6 #6 West Georgia Technical College 92 $38,320
# 7 #7 Des Moines Area Community College 91 $37,765
# 8 #8 Portland Community College 91 $37,686
# 9 #9 Hudson Valley Community College 91 $37,447
# 10 #10 Anoka-Ramsey Community College 91 $37,420

#1 Dakota County Technical College

  • Salary Score: 100
  • Median Starting Salary: $48,125
  • Locations: Rosemount (MN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Rural Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) in Rosemount, Minnesota, is a public institution offering an online Associate of Applied Science in Accountant that helps students build basic and intermediate accounting skills to prepare financial statements, tax returns, and government forms. Graduating requires 60 credits and takes about two years of full-time study. DCTC accepts all applicants due to its open admission policy, and 42% of students graduate on average.

DCTC uses the Brightspace learning management system (LMS) to deliver its online programming. Online associate-level accounting courses include Fund/Nonprofit Accounting, Accounting Computer Applications, Income Tax, Payroll Accounting, and Spreadsheets. The goal of this curriculum is to prepare students for professional accounting roles, and there are also options for certification in specific industries for those who are interested.

#2 American Public University System

  • Salary Score: 92
  • Median Starting Salary: $38,790
  • Locations: Charles Town (WV)
  • Accreditation: HLC

West Virginia’s American Public University System (APUS) is a private, for-profit institution with an online Associate of Science in Accounting accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. It includes a general concentration for those interested in becoming entrepreneurs or managers of small businesses. This 60-credit program takes about two years to finish. However, APUS accepts up to 45 transfer credits, which can save significant time and money. It also provides free textbooks and ebooks. APUS accepts all applicants, while 18% of enrolled students graduate, which is significantly lower than average.

APUS also uses Brightspace to deliver distance learning. Online accounting students take courses such as Managerial/Cost accounting, Law for Accountants, Auditing, and Individual Federal Taxes. The curriculum also includes the study of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and how they are established. With the immersive learning experience APUS provides, students are well prepared for careers in accounting.

#3 The Community College of Baltimore County

  • Salary Score: 92
  • Median Starting Salary: $38,709
  • Locations: Baltimore (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Maryland is a public institution offering an online Associate of Arts in Accounting and an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting. The main difference between the two is that the arts degree is for students intending to transfer into a four-year accounting program. In contrast, the applied science degree is to help students prepare for direct entry into junior-level accounting roles by developing technical skills. Each is worth 60 credits and takes approximately two years to finish. In addition to accepting all applicants, CCBC has an 18% graduation rate.

CCBC uses Brightspace to provide students access to its online curriculum. Those in either of the school's online accounting programs enroll in courses, such as Introduction to Micro-Economic Principles, Computerized Accounting, Cost Accounting, and Principles of Accounting. These classes provide students with the fundamental skills that are necessary to become successful accountants.

#4 Rasmussen University Online

  • Salary Score: 92
  • Median Starting Salary: $38,663
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: HLC

Based in Illinois, Rasmussen University Online (RU) is a private, for-profit institution offering an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting to help students develop QuickBooks, Excel, accounts receivable, and accounts payable skills. Students must complete 90 quarter credits (60 semester credits) to graduate, which can be done in as few as 18 months if attending full-time. RU has a 100% acceptance rate, and graduation rates run between 22% and 45%.

RU delivers its online programming via Blackboard. This includes courses in the online accounting curriculum, such as Financial Investigation, Financial Markets and Institutions, Income Tax, and Computer Focuses Principles. The program culminates in an accounting capstone. This program is career-focused, and RU also offers career services to help students find their ideal job in this sector.

#5 Front Range Community College

  • Salary Score: 92
  • Median Starting Salary: $38,336
  • Locations: Westminster (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Front Range Community College (FRCC) in suburban Westminster, Colorado, is a public institution offering an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting to help students gain the skills to become entry-level accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers. Graduating requires 60 credits, which some full-time students may finish in less than two years. FRCC has a 100% acceptance rate and a 25% graduation rate, considerably less than the 68% midpoint for all two-year schools.

MyCourses is FRCC’s learning management system for online programming. Accounting distance learners use MyCourses to access classes, such as Payroll and Sales Tax, Business Communications and Report Writing, Intermediate Accounting, and Complete Spreadsheets. Students choose between completing an internship or capstone project before they can graduate.

#6 West Georgia Technical College

  • Salary Score: 92
  • Median Starting Salary: $38,320
  • Locations: Waco (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Rural Waco’s West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) is a public institution with an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting to help students increase their marketability and earnings potential. A minimum of 67 credits is required to graduate, which generally takes two years of full-time status. Affordable WGTC accepts all applicants and has a 31% graduation rate.

WGTC uses Blackboard to deliver online coursework and instruction. Online accounting courses include Accounting Simulation, Bookkeeper Certification Review, Document Production, and Personal Finance. These courses are designed to provide students with professional skills in the field, allowing them to become accountants and finance workers after graduation.

#7 Des Moines Area Community College

  • Salary Score: 91
  • Median Starting Salary: $37,765
  • Locations: Ankeny (IA) (and 6 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) in midwestern Iowa is a public institution that offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Specialist with courses specializing in income tax preparation and financial analysis. This 64-credit online degree program takes full-time students two years on average to finish. DMACC has a 100% acceptance rate and a 27% graduation rate.

DMACC distance learners log in to Blackboard to access online program content. Students can choose between three tracks: (1) go to work, (2) transfer, and (3) specialized training. Those enrolled in the online accounting specialist associate degree program take courses such as Gov’t & Nonprofit Accounting, Statistics, Accounting Professionalism, and Information Computing. Students may choose to complete an internship, though this is not required.

#8 Portland Community College

  • Salary Score: 91
  • Median Starting Salary: $37,686
  • Locations: Portland (OR)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

The Pacific Northwest’s Portland Community College (PCC) is a public two-year college system in Oregon offering an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting to help prepare students for roles performing financial analysis and budget management, maintaining accounting records, and administering payroll. This program (60 semester credits) takes full-time students about two years to finish. It’s important to note that attending PCC costs slightly higher than average. PCC accepts all applicants and has a 23% student graduation rate.

PCC delivers its distance learning via the learning management system Blackboard. Online accounting courses include Data Analytics with Excel and Tableau, Introduction to Investments, Payroll Accounting, and Financial Investments. Graduating requires completing a capstone project. In terms of careers, students may want to consider the class called, Career Planning and Preparation in Business, which will help students determine the path they want to take after graduation.

#9 Hudson Valley Community College

  • Salary Score: 91
  • Median Starting Salary: $37,447
  • Locations: Troy (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Located just north of the state capital of Albany, New York’s Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy is a public institution offering an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting designed with courses that allow students to explore the various specializations within the accounting field. Students complete 62 credits, generally taking two years of full-time attendance. HVCC has a 100% acceptance rate and a 34% graduation rate.

Like many community colleges, HVCC delivers online programming via the software Blackboard. Accounting distance learners receive instruction in courses, such as Principles of QuickBooks, Advanced Bookkeeping Applications, Nont-For-Profit Accounting, and Introduction to Business Analytics with Microsoft Excel. Students may opt to complete an internship.

#10 Anoka-Ramsey Community College

  • Salary Score: 91
  • Median Starting Salary: $37,420
  • Locations: Coon Rapids (MN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Anoka-Ramsey Community College (ARCC) is a public institution in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, suburb of Coon Rapids. It offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Accounting Practitioner to help students prepare for Registered Accounting Practitioner (RAP) licensure in Minnesota and sit for the exam. Graduating requires 60 credits and takes about two years if enrolled full-time. It costs about 33% more to attend ARCC than comparable two-year institutions. It accepts all applicants and 22% of students graduate.

ARCC delivers its online curriculum via Brightspace. Students use Brightspace to access courses in the online accounting practitioner program, such as Decision Making Using Excel, Computer Concepts & Applications, Individual/Corporate Income Tax, and Payroll Accounting. If students want to enter the workforce after graduation, they can consider the Center for Careers and Transfer at ARCC. It provides resources and services to help connect students with the career possibilities best suited to them.

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