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Going for a master’s in accounting can provide a rewarding career. Accounting positions pop up in many places. Whether a person has their own business and needs the books accurate or a person just wanting to make sure their financials are in order; having an accountant to help is a smart decision. Choosing the right college is the first step, and more than half the time it’s all about affordability. All students want to receive a good education, however without having to take a huge loan. It’s important to consider their options for cutting costs and getting help with financing.  

Factors such as school name recognition or location will determine the cost of tuition. Most private institutions are more expensive than the average public or state university. Many MAcc programs are now completely online, making it more convenient to finish a degree in as little as one year. In addition, most MAcc degree programs are only about thirty credits long, allowing students to afford the program much easier. 

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Master’s in Accounting Online

For the ranking of the most affordable master’s in accounting online programs, Great Business Schools only focused on one factor: Cost according to IPEDS data. However, our initial pool of institutions includes only accredited, reputable institutions that are known for quality and return on investment. 

1. Texas A&M University-Commerce

tamu commerce

The MS in Accounting at Texas A&M University in Commerce offers a rewarding career path for graduate students. The degree focuses on providing technical and analytical skills that can help students build their financial career. The MS in Accounting program is thirty-eight credits long with the average class lasting ten weeks. The degree program is also AACSB accredited and completely available online. Many graduates of the MS in accounting degree will go on to careers in government offices, public accounting, and corporate systems. 

Texas A&M University at Commerce is just one out of six campuses throughout the big State of Texas. Known as the Aggies, the University has been inspiring students to achieve success for over 125 years. Texas A & M University provides one of the most affordable masters in Accounting online programs throughout Texas.  Affordability and convenience are always important, so the college offers many scholarship opportunities and financial aid as well. 

Degree: MS in Accounting

2. American Public University

american public u

American Public University’s MS in Accounting degree offers thirty-six-credit program, to students interested in becoming a CPA. The program provides a comprehensive course that includes classes in Taxation, Advanced accounting, and Financial Reporting & Analysis.  Accounting Theory and Concepts are also included in the curriculum. The school is one of the most affordable masters in accounting online degrees. However, the college does accept fifteen transfer credits toward the master’s degree. With this degree, students can add concentrations in either Applied Business analytics, health Information Management, and Government Accounting. 

Retired Marine Corps officer James P. Etter founded American Military University in 1991. The school reinvented itself in 2002 as American Public University. The college has a strong military emphasis in educating military personnel. In fact, “For a sixth consecutive year, Military Times recognizes the university with a ‘Best for Vets Colleges’ distinction. Military Times distributes special reports, including its popular ‘Best for Vets’ lists, in service to the U.S. military, global defense community, and the U.S. federal government.” The school has over 200 degrees and certifications. 

Degree: MS in Accounting

3. Western Governors University

western governors

Western Governors University’s MS in Accounting degree prepares students that are planning to become CPAs. The ten-course program can be complete in less than two years and provides instruction in advanced tax concepts, fraud and forensic accounting and accounting research. The curriculum touches on Management techniques, such as management communication, financial management, and strategic management. The MS in Accounting is ASBSP accredited and is one of the best affordable masters in accounting online programs nationwide. 

WGU is an online University; however, their home base is found in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are several campuses spread out over the nation where students can attend. WGU offers real-world applications for students to reach their full potential. The school offers a variety of both bachelors and master programs. They offer Business, Teaching, I.T., and Health and Nursing degrees. 

Degree: MS in Accounting 

4. Georgia Southern University

georgia southern logo

Georgia Southern University’s Master of Accounting online program offers graduate students an opportunity for financial success in a lucrative industry, as well as, personal growth in a rewarding career. The school provides a flexible class schedule with quality courses that can be completed in two years’ time. The program is AACSB accredited and designed for working professional adults. The college offers admission during the Spring, Fall, and Summer. A current passing GMAT score is required, including a respected GPA.  GSU’s MAcc degree is an affordable master’s in Accounting online program; however, scholarship opportunities are available to eligible students. 

GSU had over 26,000 students enrolled in 2018; representing all fifty states, including over 100 countries. The school’s mascot, “GUS the Goose”, participates at many athletic events. The college is a “Military-friendly” institution and was previously added to the “50 Best Nonprofit Colleges and Universities for Online Doctorates” by Nonprofit College Online. 

Degree: Master of Accounting 

5. Sacramento State University

csu sacramento

Sacramento State University offers an array of degree options for working adults. Sac State’s MS in Accountancy provides the graduate with a comprehensive curriculum; courses in the program include taxation of business entities, financial reporting, and cost analysis and control. The MS/ACCY program is thirty credits in length. As the school states, “The MS/ACCY program was developed in response to new developments in the accounting and business worlds.”  There is a minimum GMAT score of 500 that is required for enrollment. Sacramento’s affordable masters in accounting online degree is one of their popular program options. 

Sacramento State is the fourth most-diverse university nationwide. The University’s degrees are 100 percent online; however, a hybrid option is available for some programs. There are twenty-three campuses within the Cal State family; close to 500,000 students are educated each year. 

Degree: MS in Accounting

6. California State University, San Bernardino

csu san bernardino

Cal State University in San Bernardino offers the Master of Science in Accountancy to working professional adults. The program is forty-eight units. Submission into the program requires students to pass the GMAT and have a GPA of at least 2.75. Courses for the MS in Accountancy include Intermediate accounting, Management accounting and Ethics in Business, Business Law, and Financial Statement Auditing.  The MS in Accountancy is one of the affordable masters in accounting online programs through Cal State.

 There are many events to get involved in at CSUSB as a graduate student. Students can enjoy a wide range of campus life activities; such as backpacking Grand Canyon National park, hanging out at Coyote Village, or strolling through the Robert and Frances Fullerton’s Museum of Art. 

Degree: Master of Science in Accountancy

7. Post University

post u

Post University’s online MS in Accounting program offers students who are going for their CPA a chance to make a difference in the world of financial business. The course is a total of twenty months long and is 100 percent online. The degree is designed for students entering job positions similar to a corporate controller, financial analyst, CPA, and auditor. The affordable masters in accounting online degree also provides advanced knowledge and skills in decision-making, strategic planning, and collaboration. The program is thirty credits and provides both technical and management courses. 

Post University, located in Waterbury, is a small town near Hartford, Connecticut; it is a short distance from New York City. The school provides flexible programs with both bachelors and master’s degree options. In addition to academic excellence, the school provides their students with a military-friendly atmosphere. Part of the school’s vision is to see students become leaders in their chosen field. 

Degree: MS in Accounting

8. University of South Dakota

u south dakota

The University of South Dakota’s Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) provides graduates with either an online or off-campus education. Courses for the program include thirty graduate hours with twenty-one core classes. The curriculum includes accounting standards and ethics, tax planning and practice, and contemporary topics in auditing. The school provides affordable masters in accounting online programs to graduates; whether the student lives in-state or out of state. Some scholarships may also be available to eligible students. 

USD got its start in 1862, and it is South Dakota’s oldest State University. It has over 10,000 enrolled and provides small class sizes for better academic success.  The main campus is filled with both old and new historical structures of beauty. USD is also the only public liberal arts university throughout South Dakota. 

Degree: Master of Professional Accountancy

9. Southern Utah University

southern utah u

Southern Utah University’s Master of Accountancy is well known for their progress of having a 96.5 percent placement rating. The college offers the MAcc to graduate students that is looking to expand their knowledge and skills that will take them far in the professional accountancy field. The program has been available for students for the past twenty-five years and has several high rankings of success; the most affordable masters in accounting online program in one of them. The MAcc is accredited by the AACSB and provides programs in accounting during the fall, spring, and summer terms. 

Founded in 1897, SUU offers over 145 undergraduate programs and eighteen graduate programs for working adults. The school is surrounded by natural parks, making it a great place to relax and study. SUU provides a safe environment for on-campus living as well. There are over 10,000 students enrolled each year. 

Degree: Master of Accountancy

10. University of Alabama at Birmingham

u alabama birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers the Master’s in Accounting to graduate working students. The program is accredited by the Princeton Review and the AACSB. The core courses for the degree are principles of accounting, income taxation, and current topics in financial accounting. UAB is one the best affordable masters in accounting online programs in Alabama. The accounting degree also helps build confidence and provides the needed skills to become financially healthy at work and home. Many graduates of the program receive high-end positions and create opportunities of personal growth. Possible career paths of graduates of the MAcc at UAB are auditing managers, financial analysts, and senior budget analysts. 

At the University of Alabama have several high-top rankings from different academic and business websites. For instance, the U.S. News and World Report ranks the college as the “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs”, “Best Online Graduate Business Programs” and “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs” in its 2019 “Best Online Programs” rank listings, according to the UAB website.  

Degree: Master’s in Accounting

How Much Can I Make as a CPA?

A public accountant, sometimes called a CPA, prepares and examines financial records. Choosing to become a CPA can be a very lucrative career. The average salary for a person who has obtained their CPA status is $70,500; according to the 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. However, those who have seniority can receive six-digit paychecks. The job outlook for working CPA’s is steadily growing over the past decade and has a six percent projected increase from 2018 through 2028. However, the projected growth of the field is based on economic conditions.

Accountants and auditors alike tend to work at least forty hours a week; however, longer hours are expected during tax season. The job description of a CPA is bookkeeping, payroll management, tax preparation, and inspecting revenues and profits. Similar to CPA’s, Bookkeepers and Auditing clerks do not have the high salary that executives or managers do; however, they are useful to hire for small accounting firms and nonprofit organizations. This is due on the fact that only some college is needed, but not an actual degree. The average pay for Bookkeepers and Auditing clerks is about $40,000 annually.  

Employers are more inclined to hire CPA’s who have at least a bachelors degree in accounting before selecting others for the job at the firm or business. However, for those who open their own practice or firm, the salary will depend on how many clients they have, how they advertise themselves, and how much they charge their clients. Providing a discount to your clients on their taxes in exchange for client referrals may bring in more revenue and profits. With the increase of technology, such as cloud computing, many basic tasks have become automated or even second-nature. This is not to say that accountants are not needed, but many financial steps are easily completed on your own by using financial software that is downloadable. As computer technology develops, the CPA will increase in knowledge and become more efficient at their job. 

How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Accounting?

According to the BLS, in 2018, there are approximately 1.5 million public accountants in the US alone. To become a CPA you do not necessarily need a MAcc, however, it may help with employment.  A Masters in Accounting or MAcc can provide a graduate with a very high-paying position. The salary of a graduate with a master’s in accounting can be determined on certain factors. One is location. If you reside in a big city or metroplex, the average salary will probably be very lucrative. For example, those in California will make about $78,265; however, CPA’s in more rural states like Texas, make about $68,158 annually.(accountingschoolguide.com) There is a better chance of having high-end clients compared to blue collar recipients. MAcc graduates can find employment as financial executives, tax examiners, and personal financial advisors. The salary for each is around $80,000 annually; however, financial Managers with a MAcc tend to make closer to $120,000 a year. 

Other positions that may require a MAcc are Financial analysts, Cost estimators, and Budget analyst. A financial analyst works with businesses in providing investment decisions. The average annual salary is $85,660.  The cost estimator collects and analyzes financial data. Average annual salary is $64,040 for cost estimators. Budget analysts salaries are right in the middle of the other two. They work with both public and private institutions, working to organize and keep records clear and precise. Average annual salary is $76, 220. 

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