Online Accounting Courses

Written By Staff

Online Accounting courses prepare students for a career in accounting working with businesses on financial reporting, auditing and filing taxes. There are many different accounting careers available to those with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in accounting. Graduates can work as an accountant, staff accountant, financial controller, auditor, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or even a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Five Popular Online Accounting Courses

Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting I and II, and Cost Accounting are basic accounting courses required by most online accounting programs. Federal taxation and Auditing are examples of two specialized accounting courses in an online accounting degree.

Financial Accounting

This course begins with the basic concepts and principles of financial accounting. The emphasis in this course is on the recording and reporting of financial information. The course adheres to principles set forth by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). This course is usually the first accounting course taken in an online accounting degree program. See UC Berkeley Extension course catalog description for Introduction to Accounting.

Financial Reporting I

This course studies of the theory and practice of the accounting. It includes balance sheet accounts, revenues and expenses. Students follow pronouncements made by the AICPA and the FASB, and other authoritative sources are an integral part of this course. The prerequisite is Financial Accounting. This course is usually the second course taken in an online accounting program. See course description from Kellogg School of Management.

Financial Reporting II

This course covers balance sheet topics, including long-term debt, pensions, leases and stockholders‘ equity accounts. It follows pronouncements of the AICPA and FASB. The prerequisite is the Financial Reporting I course. This course is usually the third course taken in an online accounting program.

Cost Accounting

This course teaches you to track the individual components that make up the cost of a manufactured product: materials, labor and overhead. It also covers cost accumulation systems like job orders and process costing. Students will also learn quality costs, learning curve theory, just-in-time costing and activity-based costing. The prerequisite is Financial Accounting. See course description from Siena College.

Federal Taxation

New England College offers an online accounting course in Federal Taxation. This course is an example of a specialized accounting course that would be taken once the general accounting courses in a degree program were complete. The course studies federal tax law as applied to individuals. It includes filing statuses, sale of residences, basis calculations, capital gains and losses and exemptions. An important component is strategies that the taxpayer can legally use to evade or postpone the payment of taxes. It offers an introduction to tax effects from organizing as a corporation, proprietorship or partnership. The prerequisite is a Financial Accounting course. See College of DuPage course description.


The University of Houston offers a popular online class in Auditing. Auditing teaches the standards and procedures used to audit a company, internal controls and report writing skills. The prerequisites Intermediate Accounting I and Accounting Information Systems. Auditing courses are only taken once a learner has a thorough understanding of accounting principles.

Online Accounting courses can help you achieve career goals with the flexibility and work-life balance you crave.