Common Classes for an Accounting Degree

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 29, 2022

Published February 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When choosing a career, you need to consider the training and educational requirements for it. For instance, many companies require accountants to have at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in accounting. If you are interested in this financial career, start learning about what kind of courses you'll be taking. In this article, we go over different classes for an accounting degree along with other frequently asked questions about this educational path.

Related: Learn About Being an Accountant

What is a Bachelor's of Accounting Degree?

A Bachelor's of Accounting Degree is a four-year program that gets you ready for an accounting career. If you want to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), it is the minimum requirement you must pass in most states. During this program, you'll learn about a variety of accounting-related topics and principles. For instance, many programs introduce students to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Throughout the course of this program, you will learn about the following topics:

  • Accounting principals

  • Accounting theories

  • Auditing

  • Budgeting

  • Business ethics

  • Consulting and planning

  • Cost accounting

  • Financial accounting

  • Managerial accounting

  • Reporting procedures

  • Statement analysis

  • Tax accounting

Related: Everything You Need To Know About How to Become an Accountant

What is the difference between a BBA and a B.S. in accounting?

A BBA is a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a concentration in accounting while a B.S. in Accounting is a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. The key difference between these two degrees is what a student wants to get out of them. BBA programs are intended for students who are interested in learning about general business and management while also wanting to focus on accounting. A B.S. in Accounting is intended for students who wish to become accountants or CPAs.

Related: 16 Accounting Jobs That Pay Well

What are common classes for an accounting degree?

Here are some common classes for an accounting degree:

Auditing

Auditing is the process of carefully examining a company's records to make sure everything lines up. From an accounting standpoint, you would be looking at your employer's internal finances to make sure they are following rules and regulations and are properly managing their books. When taking courses in auditing, you'll learn about the fundamentals of auditing, accounting theory, data analytics and financial analysis.

Related: How To Get an Accounting Job

Business policies

Accountants need to have a substantial understanding of business policies and ethics in order to do their jobs properly. In these kinds of courses, you're going to learn about the common policies and practices of most businesses. Topics you may encounter include business communications, business law, business statistics, marketing principles, operations management and management principles. Essentially, these courses can help you figure out how to effectively manage a business.

Computer applications

When working as an accountant, you do a lot of your work on the computer. Throughout your coursework, you will learn how to use spreadsheets and databases to do your job. Courses may also cover important software you'll use as an accountant, such as QuickBooks. It's especially important to pay attention to these courses, as companies are looking for accountants with these technical skills.

Economics

An accounting degree includes economics courses so that students can learn how the economy might affect their clients when they become accountants. By learning basic accounting principles, you can make mindful financial decisions and recommendations as the economy fluctuates. Throughout your microeconomic and macroeconomic courses, you'll learn key economic theories, such as supply and demand, market socialism and laissez-faire capitalism.

Related: Most Common Job Titles in Accounting and Finance

Finance

When going into a career where you heavy deal with your company's finances, it's important that you get an in-depth understanding of how finances work. Throughout your coursework, you are likely to learn about financial reporting, financial statement analysis and other financial principles. These courses are intended to prepare you for more of your real-world experience.

Taxes

Many companies and individuals hire accountants solely for their tax expertise. While in school, you're going to learn about all kinds of tax-related subjects, such as tax planning and income tax. You'll learn the skills you need to properly manage and submit a client's tax documents. You'll also learn about tax rules and regulations to ensure you are doing your job correctly.

What should you consider when picking an accounting program?

If you are interested in earning a Bachelor of Accounting Degree, consider the following factors:

Accreditation

Before picking a program, make sure it is accredited by a reliable agency, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the Accreditation Council for Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). These accreditations prove your school is meeting a certain set of standards needed for CPA state licensing.

Alumni

See if you can connect with a previous student of an accounting program you're interested in applying to. Ask them if they feel like the program prepared them for a career in accounting.

Class size

The size of your accounting classes can affect your quality of learning. If you are someone who needs more individualized support, you may want to find a school that has smaller class sizes.

Concentrations

If you are interested in a certain area of study, make sure your school offers the concentration you're interested in pursuing. These might include managerial accounting, financial accounting and auditing.

Continued education

Becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) requires you to have 150 credits, even though most bachelor programs are only 120 credits. If you want to become a CPA, check if your school has a five-year program or a Master's Degree in Accounting.

CPA success rates

Find out if students who complete this program tend to do well on their CPA exams. This can tell you if a program prepares you for this important test.

Employment rate

Learn the average employment rate for those who earn their Bachelor's Degree in Accounting at your school of choice. This can give you insight into how well the program prepares students for the workforce.

Flexibility

Working students or those who enroll in college later in life can benefit from a more flexible accounting program. See if your school offers any kind of online programs, night classes or hybrid learning.

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