From private companies to nonprofits, nearly every company or organization could benefit from skilled and capable accountants to manage their finances. Enrolling in an online bachelor’s in accounting program can help an aspiring finance professional to begin the process of becoming an accountant. After completing the required online accounting classes to earn a bachelor’s degree, students should come away with marketable accounting skills, such as the ability to use job-related computer applications, as well as knowledge gained from a curriculum that’s focused on business, economics, and finance and teaches accounting theory basics that are applicable to real-world scenarios. These skills are beneficial to professionals who are interested in careers that entail performing auditing services and completing individual tax returns for others.
Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities Gained with a B.S. in Accounting Degree
Typically, bachelor’s in accounting curriculum provides students with in-depth skills and knowledge in several critical aspects of accounting:
- Computer applications. In today’s digital world, accounting professionals rely heavily on computers to aid them with their tasks. A computer applications course can give students broad knowledge of computer hardware and software concepts by providing hands-on experience with operating system software and application software packages. In computer applications courses, students will learn about word processing, spreadsheet and database usage, desktop publishing applications, and presentation graphics.
- Principles of finance. By examining basic financial management principles, such as procurement, allocation, control of funds, corporate financial behavior, financial instruments and markets, and the analysis and interpretation of investment and profit performance, students better understand the accounting industry and its ever-changing demands.
- Business policies. Future accounting professionals take business policies courses to develop the knowledge and skills necessary for strategic planning and decision-making in this dynamic industry. By using business simulation techniques that include research and development planning, marketing strategies, financing, and human resources, among others, students will learn problem-solving tools integral to accounting and business functions.
- Macroeconomics. In order to understand the current financial climate in one’s own locale, accounting professionals must also understand the overall economy in the nation as a whole. Macroeconomics courses teach students about the basic supply and demand model, national income accounting, the determinants of national income and employment, the meaning and measurement of inflation and unemployment, business cycles, the economics of money and banking, and the role of monetary and fiscal policies in influencing economic activity.
- Microeconomics. Of course, while understanding the economic climate of the nation as a whole is integral to those in the accounting field, understanding the implications of individual human actions and how those actions affect the distribution of resources is also an important area of knowledge. By studying microeconomics, students learn why various goods and services are valued differently, and they will explore the potentially foreseeable outcomes of certain choices or changes in production outputs.
- Auditing. One of the many skills accounting professionals possess is the ability to perform audits for businesses or individuals. An audit is an independent look at an entity’s financial records and statements to determine if the entity is abiding by the law and adhering to generally accepted accounting principles. Auditing courses cover theories and applications independent auditors use to fulfill required standards and appropriate procedures, including the auditor’s duties, responsibilities, and ethical behavior.
- Individual income taxes. When most people think of accountants, they think of professionals who organize and prepare individual income taxes for others. Accounting degree students taking this course learn skills for preparing federal income taxes for individuals as prescribed in the Internal Revenue Code. They learn about rulings, regulations, and case law examples in order to better understand the basic elements of preparing income taxes and learn the skills needed to find appropriate tax law sources and apply the necessary principles when preparing tax returns.
Common Courses for B.S. in Accounting Students
These are some of the common accounting classes often offered in a bachelor’s degree program. Though actual course titles may vary depending on the university, many accounting programs offer classes that touch on the following concepts:
Computer Applications. Students become acquainted with microcomputer hardware and software concepts. They also receive hands-on experience with specific software packages, including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing, and presentation graphics.
Principles of Finance. This course teaches students how to examine a firm’s basic financial management systems, such as procurement, allocation, and control of funds. It also touches on corporate financial behavior, financial markets and instruments, and the analysis and interpretation of investment and profit performance.
Business Policies. Students taking courses of this type learn problem-solving strategies to use within a business environment. This case-oriented course deals with key aspects of business strategy formulation and implementation.
Macroeconomics. Macroeconomics courses looks at the overall national economic growth. Study topics include supply and demand, inflation, unemployment, national income accounting, business cycles, banking and money economics, and the influence of policies on the economy.
Auditing. Auditing courses cover the theory and application of required standards and procedures used by accountants to assess an organization’s financial information and operations. The focus is on external auditing, the auditor’s responsibilities, and the auditor’s code of ethics.
Individual Income Tax. Understanding individual federal income taxation, regulations, and rulings is essential to the accounting profession. The purpose of an individual income tax course is to help students understand the basic principles of income taxes and apply those concepts to tax preparation.