For those of you eager to jumpstart your career in accounting and business as soon as possible, obtaining an associate's degree is a step in the right direction. Typically, it should take about 2 years to complete, though some of the best online associate's in accounting degrees can be finished faster. By the end of it all, you will gain the core technical and concept skills needed to succeed in your chosen career path. The questions remains then: what exactly can you do with an associate's degree in accounting?
Recommended Accounting Programs
What Will an Associate's Program in Accounting Teach You?
Once you decide to embark on that associate's program, you should understand the basic knowledge that will come with this degree. Knowing what you will be taught beforehand is vital as it will help you determine if an associate's is appropriate for you rather than a bachelor's.
Specific courses will, of course, vary depending on whatever school you attend. It is common though to see classes such as the following:
- Business Communication
- Mathematics for Business
- Taxation (Business & Individuals)
- Payroll Accounting
Many courses will also be more technical-based, and those will change as current trends and technical programs evolve in the field.
An associate's in accounting is meant to help you build a sturdy career base, a foundation of sorts, so you can get your foot in the door. From there, you can look at prospective job offerings that will accept individuals with basic accounting knowledge.
What Types of Jobs Can You Find with an Associate's Degree in Accounting?
Many of the available jobs will be entry-level based. You can work for any companies that require care for their financial records and transactions from government agencies to healthcare offices. Some job examples are followed below:
Accounting Assistant: You'll work with either a specific accountant or as part of a larger accounting department. Tasks will depend on who you work for. As an assistant for an individual accountant, you will do typical office duties from answering phones, to interacting with customers in addition to handling financial statements and such. In larger departments, assistants can work on payroll, bookkeeping, collecting invoices, etc.
Accounting Receivable Clerk: You will be responsible for keeping tracks of payments organizations receive for either goods sold to or services offered to clients. This will have you preparing invoices to send out to buyers, and you'll also typically be responsible for settling any questions/discrepancies from a client and/or business. Receivable clerks also make deposits into a business's bank account.
Auditing/Bookkeeping Clerk: Bookkeeping and Auditing have been placed together as their jobs usually work in conjunction with one another. Both positions are responsible for managing financial records for either large or small organizations. Duties include producing reports, accuracy checking, entering financial transactions, etc.
These positions require a lot of technical knowledge considering you'll be working with software and spreadsheets. As a bookkeeper, you will be in charge for either some or all of an organizations general ledger. As an auditing clerk, you'll typically be ensuring that documents and figures are coded properly.
Payroll Clerk: You'll handle a variety of tasks concerning employee compensation. Usually, you will distribute paychecks, calculating wages, and maintaining administrative records. Payroll clerks also monitor employee attendance such as reviewing time cards/sheets, vacation days, etc.
Additional positions you can think about pursuing with an associate's in accounting include:
- Management Trainee
- Billing Clerk
- Fiscal Technician
- Administrative Assistant
Although these are entry-level jobs, many, if not all of them, offer plenty of room to grow. With time and continued improvement in your skills, you can see yourself moving up in the accounting world with any of these positions and more.