The Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree has long been recognized as one of the top qualifications for advancing one’s career and improving one’s lifetime earning potential. While many people take a general, unfocused MBA degree, others opt to choose an MBA specialization that fits with their specific interests. For those who are interested in the field of accounting, the MBA in accounting is the best choice.
Today, students are fortunate to have the option of completing an online MBA accounting degree. An MBA accounting program for online students may be offered through a traditional college or university, or it can be taken at an online-only institution. In any case, you will want to take the best accounting MBA program possible. This guide is designed to help you find and register for the best online accounting MBA for your particular educational needs.
Top Accounting MBA Schools/Programs
As with any graduate degree, there are some highly ranked schools that offer the top MBA accounting programs. There is no universal list of the best accounting MBA online programs, but there are features that help guarantee a program’s placement on any top 10 list of MBA in accounting programs. The most important of these is accreditation through both a regional accrediting body that accredits the institution and the AACSB, which accredits the specific program. AACSB is the acronym for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, which has a specialized accreditation process for MBA in accounting programs.
- The Best U.S. MBA Programs by Specialty — Businessweek provides this handy list of the top-rated MBA programs according to their specialty.
Why Should You Get an Accounting MBA?
An MBA accounting online degree offers several benefits to those who hold it. First, graduates of the top online accounting MBA programs are far more competitive in the accounting job market. No matter the state of the economy, it can be hard to land the job of your choice. If you complete a highly ranked MBA accounting program, however, you will set yourself apart in any pool of applicants. This makes companies more likely to consider you for a job and increases the odds that you will get the position of your dreams.
Graduates of the best MBA accounting programs also tend to earn more over the course of their lifetimes. This is especially true when it comes to starting salaries. Those with a highly respected accounting MBA often earn more immediately upon graduation than those with an MBA from a less respected school.
General Accounting MBA Courses
The specific courses you will take in an accounting MBA program will vary a bit from institution to institution. There are, however, commonalities between online MBA accounting programs no matter the school that offers them. You will take both accounting and business courses, and you will usually sit for the CPA exam as well. Your accounting classes will include such things as auditing concepts, advanced financial accounting, and taxation. Business courses will include business law, marketing, and operations analysis. In any case, the top accounting MBA online programs usually require two-years’ worth of courses beyond the bachelor’s degree.
Accounting MBA Career Opportunities
Students who complete an MBA accounting online have job opportunities that are generally not available for those who only hold a bachelor’s degree. Here are just a few of the career opportunities for MBA accounting graduates in the for-profit and non-profit sectors:
Management Accountant — A management accountant performs analysis of a company’s assets, costs, budgets, and more, and prepares reports for management and stockholders.
Financial Consultant — A financial consultant advises clients in financial planning matters.
Senior Financial Analyst — A senior financial analyst creates presentations and gives financial recommendations to the company that employs the analyst.
- Best Online MBA Careers — This page contains a list of some of the top careers open to those who have earned an online MBA
General Accounting MBA Admissions & Educational Requirements
Both a traditional and online MBA accounting program require applicants to possess a bachelor’s degree, preferably in business or accounting. A passing score on the GRE and/or GMAT exam is also required in most cases. Letters of recommendation and an essay are also necessary. Students who hold their CPA license sometimes have degree requirements waived, or they are sometimes granted advanced program standing.
- Best Marketing MBAs — Several people decide to major both in marketing and accounting for their MBA. Here is an overview of the online MBA in marketing.
Accredited Online Accounting MBA Schools
As noted above, the top online accounting MBA schools and programs will always be accredited by the AACSB and/or other recognized agencies. You should never attend an MBA accounting online program if it is not accredited because without accreditation, you cannot be sure of the program’s quality. The best MBA accounting programs are always accredited, having earned their top status by proving to evaluators that they meet the same quality standards of accreditation.
Professional Organizations for Accounting MBA Graduates
Once you earn your online MBA accounting degree, you will want to continue to improve your skills and knowledge of the subject. The best way to do that is through membership in a professional association. Here are two excellent professional associations that graduates of the top accounting MBA online programs often join:
- American Accounting Association — Since 1916, the American Accounting Association has promoted excellence in accounting education, research, and practice.
- The Professional Accounting Society of America — MBA graduates in entry- or mid-level accounting positions will want to look into joining this professional association.