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A bach­e­lor’s degree in account­ing requires the com­ple­tion of 120 cred­it hours, which typ­i­cal­ly takes four years to com­plete. If you are look­ing to become a Cer­ti­fied Pub­lic Accoun­tant (CPA) as soon as pos­si­ble, a bach­e­lor’s degree in account­ing is the best route. There are a vari­ety of ways to increase the speed of your bach­e­lor’s degree in account­ing, such as:

  • Enroll in an accel­er­at­ed account­ing bach­e­lor’s program.
  • Earn extra cred­its over the sum­mer months.
  • Take more than 15 cred­its per semester.
  • Trans­fer pre­vi­ous class­es or work expe­ri­ence for credit.

If you are look­ing to com­plete your bach­e­lor’s degree in account­ing as fast as pos­si­ble, you should research schools that will accom­mo­date your aca­d­e­m­ic expec­ta­tions. For­tu­nate­ly, we’ve com­piled a list of the Top 15 Bach­e­lor of Account­ing Degree Pro­grams for your ref­er­ence. If any of the schools on the list pique your inter­est, you should be sure to request addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion by fol­low­ing the link to their pro­gram. Prospec­tive stu­dents should also be aware of the var­i­ous con­cen­tra­tions with­in the field of account­ing, which include:

  • Account­ing Infor­ma­tion Systems
  • Foren­sic Accounting
  • Actu­ar­i­al Science
  • Man­u­fac­tur­ing Cost Accounting
  • Finan­cial Accounting
  • Tax Account­ing
  • Eco­nom­ics and Finance

While an accel­er­at­ed degree pro­gram will allow you to earn your bach­e­lor’s degree in account­ing as fast as pos­si­ble, it will require great time man­age­ment skills and make it dif­fi­cult to main­tain employ­ment. If you are unsure whether or not your should enroll in an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram, you should check out our fea­ture that goes into detail about Accel­er­at­ed Bach­e­lor’s Degree Pro­grams: The Advan­tages and the Dis­ad­van­tages.

In addi­tion to accel­er­at­ed bach­e­lor degree pro­grams, there are also account­ing bachelor’s degree pro­grams avail­able in online for­mats, which lets stu­dents have great sched­ule flex­i­bil­i­ty. If you are con­sid­er­ing an online account­ing bachelor’s degree pro­gram, be sure to check out The Essen­tial Guide to Online Bach­e­lors Degrees. Anoth­er thing to con­sid­er is that if you have strong math and sta­tis­tics skills, account­ing class­es should be easy for you, which will mean that home­work and study­ing will not take as much time. Typ­i­cal class­es for account­ing majors include:

  • Prin­ci­ples of Finan­cial Accounting
  • Fun­da­men­tals of Accounting
  • Fed­er­al Tax­es and Busi­ness Strategy
  • Account­ing for Merg­ers, Acqui­si­tions and Com­plex Finan­cial Structures
  • Finan­cial Report­ing and Disclosure
  • Finan­cial State­ment Auditing
  • Pay­roll Accounting
  • Inter­nal Report­ing Issues
  • Finan­cial Mod­el­ing and Analysis
  • Book­keep­ing
  • Man­age­r­i­al Accounting
  • Account­ing Principles
  • Busi­ness Law
  • Tax Laws
  • Gov­ern­ment Accounting
  • Finan­cial Documents/Financial Records

You should remem­ber that edu­ca­tion require­ments as an under­grad­u­ate bach­e­lor degree stu­dent mean account­ing stu­dents will have to earn cred­its in oth­er aca­d­e­m­ic fields besides account­ing. Besides pre­req­ui­sites, typ­i­cal account­ing majors require the com­ple­tion of 36 cred­its with­in the field of account­ing, as well as anoth­er 20 or so cred­its with­in the field of busi­ness. That leaves more than 60 cred­its to be filled by oth­er sub­ject areas. Strate­gi­cal­ly choos­ing your elec­tive class­es can go a long way to mak­ing your degree com­ple­tion a faster and eas­i­er process. Choos­ing class­es that com­ple­ment and use account­ing knowl­edge will allow you to build a holis­tic knowl­edge base in account­ing, while con­tin­u­ing to focus on your spe­cial­iza­tion. Intern­ships in an account­ing firm pro­vide real-life experience.

One think to keep in mind about your career goals: an accel­er­at­ed pro­gram may not give you enough col­lege cred­its for the CPA licen­sure. Most accred­it­ed bachelor’s degrees require 120 cred­its of course­work, but you have to have 150 cred­its to take the CPA exam. Some stu­dents take five years. Your account­ing career could take a lit­tle longer, then, if you want CPA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, since you may need more cred­its. Keep­ing your CPA license also requires con­tin­u­ing education.

Many account­ing pro­fes­sion­als also choose oth­er cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in a spe­cial area of account­ing, such as cer­ti­fied man­age­ment accoun­tant. Accord­ing to the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics (BLS), a cre­den­tial like that can make as much of a dif­fer­ence in your salary poten­tial as much as grad­u­ate-lev­el study.

What­ev­er type of degree you want, if any of the schools on our list of the Top 15 Bach­e­lor of Account­ing Degree Pro­grams will allow you to earn your online account­ing degree in your desired time frame, be sure to check out their web­site for more information.


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