Should I Get a Bachelor’s or Associate Accounting Degree?

Ready to start a career in Accounting? Should you get a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree? You have options regarding Accounting degree programs at Florida National University. Let us look at the jobs available for graduates, the differences between the two programs, and some of the classes students take while at Florida National University.

Should I get a Bachelor or Associate’s Accounting Degree?

Both are great ways to begin an accounting career. The decision depends on how much time you can devote to complete your degree and what level of accountancy you want to attain.

The Associate Accounting degree prepares students for a variety of entry-level positions in accounting, such as:

Accounting Clerk – files financial records, reconciles bank statements, updates and maintains databases, processes invoices, records business transactions, prepares month-end reviews, manages accounts payable, manages customer accounts, and assists with administrative accounting tasks.

Bookkeeper – analyzes financial information to help a business make better decisions. They manage general accounting ledgers, record journal entries, and generate financial statements.

Auditing Clerk – checks figures, postings, and documents to ensure accuracy.

Those with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting become internal auditors, management accountants, or CPAs.

Internal Auditor – reviews company data and financial documents, assesses financial risk, identifies fraud, and maintains accurate records.

Management Accountant – helps companies make financial decisions and achieve strategic objectives.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – examines financial records, calculates tax returns, prepares financial documents, conducts forensic examinations, advises clients on financial decisions, and manages financial information.

The Road to CPA

The Bachelor’s Accounting degree is the first step in becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After completing the degree program, you must pass the CPA exam and complete a set amount of general accounting experience.

What is the Difference between the Accounting Degree Programs?

There are a few differences between the bachelor and associate’s degree programs. They include:


Both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs offer fundamental accounting classes. However, the Bachelor’s degree supplements the basic classes with intermediate accounting courses.

Time in School

An associate degree in accounting can take two years to complete. Meanwhile, a bachelor’s degree in accounting takes four years to complete. An associate degree can also be a stepping-stone to a bachelor’s degree because many lower-level core courses are similar.

Level of Advancement

For those looking to start in an entry-level position in an accounting department, an associate degree will be a good starting point. However, to become a certified public accountant, you must complete a bachelor’s degree to begin the process.

What Do I Learn in an Accounting Program?

There are many essential classes in the Associate and Bachelor’s Degree programs.

Associate Degree Accounting Classes

Principles of Accounting – basic accounting procedures and accounting for owner’s equity, including recording transactions, preparing financial statements, and managing inventories, receivables, and cash.

Managerial Accounting – training to collect, prepare, and analyze data to manage daily operations, plan future operations, and develop business strategies.

Business Law – an introduction to the laws of business transactions.

Principles of Microeconomics – a review of economic analysis, determining prices in different market conditions, theory of production, and distribution.

Business Ethics & Social Responsibility – developing sensitivity and awareness of ethical and social issues in the work environment.

Income Tax Accounting – federal income tax fundamentals focused on individual returns.

Spreadsheet Applications for Business – use Microsoft Excel to support business and accounting.

Bachelor’s Degree Accounting Classes

The Bachelor’s degree includes all the Associate classes plus the following:

Business Communications – letter writing in a business environment, using correct and practical language, form, and strategy.

Intermediate Accounting – overview of American public company reporting standards, current accounting practices, and reporting requirements.

Government & Institutional Accounting – a broad review of accounting, budgeting, auditing, and reporting for government and nonprofit institutions.

Auditing – auditing ethics and the role of the auditor.

Corporate Finance – short- and long-term corporate finance with functional and theoretical discussions and exercises.

Accounting Information Systems – the relationship between information systems and accounting as a business advisor.

Management Information Systems – how to use and manage information technologies for business processes, decision-making, and competitive advantage.

Strategic Management – a review of integrated product development, production, marketing, finance, human resources, and operations management.

Eager to Learn More?

The Bachelor of Science Accounting Degree provides students with a solid academic foundation for entry into professional careers in accounting-related areas of business and government. The program also prepares students to pursue advanced education in accounting and accounting-related fields. Students are cautioned that the Bachelor in Accounting degree alone will not satisfy the eligibility requirements to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accounting Exam or to practice as a CPA in the State of Florida.

The Associate of Arts Accounting Degree program is designed for students planning to pursue a higher-level degree in Accounting as well as to prepare the student for employment as an entry-level accountant, bookkeeper, or general accounting clerk. The program is designed to provide the student with an intensive background in general accounting procedures and principles, business principles, and automated accounting procedures. The program includes a thirty-nine credit-hour component of general education/liberal arts courses.

If you are interested in accounting programs, let Florida National University answer any questions. Contact us today to learn more about our degree and diploma programs.