Online Accounting Degrees and Programs:
An Online Accounting Degree prepares you for a career in the detail-oriented accounting and financial management fields. Earn an online bachelor's or master's degree from an accredited university to prepare for the CPA exam and work as an accountant, auditor, controller aor financial investment consultant. Complete an online associate's degree program, accounting certificate or a Fundamentals of Bookkeeping certificate to work as a bookkeeper, accounts payable clerk, tax examiner or tax preparer. Coursework is based upon standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Because accounting is no longer restricted to the fundamental tasks of preparing, analyzing and verifying financial information for clients, it is now necessary for accountants to possess a wider range of knowledge and skills.
Specific job duties for accountants vary widely among the four major fields of accounting. Public accountants perform a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting activities for their clients, who may be corporations, governments, nonprofit organizations, or individuals. For example, some public accountants concentrate on tax matters, such as advising companies about the tax advantages and disadvantages of certain business decisions and preparing individual income tax returns. Others are accounting consultants who offer advice in areas such as compensation or employee healthcare benefits, the design of accounting and data-processing systems, and the selection of controls to safeguard assets.
Some specialize in forensic accounting, investigating and interpreting bankruptcies and other complex financial accounting transactions. Still other accountants audit clients' financial statements and report to investors and authorities that the statements have been correctly prepared and reported. Public accountants, which include many CPAs, generally have their own businesses or work for public accounting firms.
Management accountants also called industrial accountants, corporate accountants, or private accountants -- record and analyze the financial information of the companies for which they work. Other responsibilities include budgeting, performance evaluation, cost management, and asset management. Usually, management accountants are part of executive teams involved in strategic planning or new-product development. They analyze and interpret the financial information that corporate executives need to make sound business decisions. They also prepare financial reports for non-management groups, including stockholders, creditors, regulatory agencies and tax authorities. Within accounting departments, they may work in various areas, including financial analysis, planning and budgeting, and cost accounting.
Accountants employed by federal, state and local governments guarantee that revenues are received and expenditures are made in accordance with laws and regulations. Those who are employed by the Federal Government may work as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents or in financial management, financial institution examination, or budget analysis and administration.