From a financial point of view, accounting can be a pretty rewarding profession. Nevertheless, it’s not an easy one; a CPA bears quite a bit of responsibility. A small mistake in the numbers can cost a lot. Conversely, getting trained in this “trade”, can cost quite a bit. A good learning resource in our modern world is made up of online accounting courses.
If you go on YouTube (owned by Google) and type in “accounting course”, you will find quite a few professional-grade, free accounting videos to get you started.
Let’s look at it from another perspective, maybe a bit more traditional. There are quite a few accounting schools. Because distance learning can be significantly cheaper than in-house training, the progressive ones also offer online accounting courses.
The Top Online Accounting Courses
For professionals, here is a list of top online colleges that have accounting courses: Kaplan University, University of Phoenix, Ashford, American InterContinental University, Liberty University, Everest University, Saint Leo University, Colorado Technical University, Grand Canyon University, DeVry University, Virginia College, Strayer University. Almost all of these offer Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. A few offer Doctorate, as well.
To go back to the reasons, online tuition can be a very good choice if you are already involved with work and family, which you cannot leave on a regular basis. Many courses let you go through them at your own pace. When you are ready, you pass your exams. The lack of travel, lodging expenses, classes, building and equipment purchasing and maintenance expenses makes online studying much cheaper than classroom study. Moreover, if you really apply yourself, you can complete courses earlier than in traditional learning environments. Nevertheless, some courses have a fixed length.
Ivy League Online Accounting Courses
Let’s look at a bigger name. At if you want to take a single online course at Stanford University in an auditing capacity, it will cost you $1,150. This will allow you access to the video streams of the course for a certain period. If you want access to the off-line course material, homework material; or if you want to interact with instructors, assistants and other students, you will need to enroll for credits. Credits can count towards obtaining a degree, although everything is more expensive (3 times more for the course mentioned later on in this article).
Stanford offers discounts to students that are part of companies and institutions, which have close ties with the university. Actually, the school will send their staff to your office, if a company orders such a service. The advantage is that only few instructors, by comparison, travel to give training to a larger amount of employees, right at their work place.
The Stanford Center for Professional Development offers an online course named Accounting for Managers and Entrepreneurs. The main topics are: the principles of financial accounting and cost accounting, designing accounting systems, analysis techniques and cost control. From a certain perspective, this course is an introduction in accounting. It focuses on accounting both from a managerial and a financial point of view. The course comes with a mid-term and a final examination. Both of these exams are taken without any books or computers. You can have just a hand calculator.
Of course, other big universities and online only schools offer online accounting courses, some more up to date, informative and expensive than others.