Now you can earn an MBA in accounting without physically attending college — even if you have no GMAT. Online MBA accounting programs teach industry-specific skills over the internet, preparing you for an exciting new career as an auditor, financial advisor, financial manager, or another related job role. Instead of commuting to college, you learn financial management, financial planning, and tax planning skills online on a computer or mobile device. Studying for an online MBA in accounting could increase earning potential and land you a rewarding job at a private or public organization.
Learn more about online MBA accounting programs with no GMAT required and the possible career opportunities available to you upon graduation.
What Is an Online MBA in Accounting Degree?
Online MBA in accounting programs let you garner advanced accounting skills from the comfort of your home or any location in the world, even if you have no GMAT. All you need to earn your degree is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device. Instead of physically attending college, you learn a broad range of accounting skills in a digital learning environment and engage with tutors and other faculty members via webinars, online workshops, video tutorials, and private forums.
You will learn skills like:
- Accounting processes
- Business financial management
- Accounting regulatory issues
- Awareness of business and economic issues
- Using accounting software
- Reporting and statistics
Most schools teach you generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) — the rules for accounting methods and processes laid down by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Public organizations in the United States must follow GAAP, so these principles are the foundation of many online MBA accounting programs.
When you graduate with an online MBA in accounting, you can get a job as a:
- Financial advisor
- Financial manager
- Management analyst
After several years working in an accounting role, you might become a chief financial officer (CFO).
An average workday for someone with a no-GMAT MBA in accounting might include:
- Advising clients about business planning
- Ensuring businesses are financially successful
- Producing financial reports
- Helping organizations achieve financial objectives
- Developing financial strategies
- Recommending investment opportunities
- Using accounting software and analytics
Studying for an accounting MBA online lets you balance your education with any existing family or work commitments. That’s because you won’t have to commute to a college or live on campus. You can learn accounting principles and methods at a speed that suits you and garner skills you might not develop in a regular classroom environment like independence and self-motivation.
There are hundreds of accounting MBAs available online, and these programs have different eligibility criteria. However, you can still choose from a wide selection of programs even if you have a low GMAT score or no GMAT score at all. Start by reviewing the course content on a program that interests you. Some schools take a generalized approach to accounting; others teach more specialized topics such as forensic accounting and international taxation. Choose a program that provides the best learning and employment opportunities. You will want to find a school that prepares you for your future career and increases earning potential. Read through all marketing materials, program guides, and brochures before enrolling in a program. Studying for a degree, whatever the discipline, is a significant commitment so you want to be sure you choose the right program.
You might also want to select a school that has links with local accounting firms and other financial organizations and provides you with opportunities to gain work experience at one of these companies. Some organizations hire graduates from master’s degree programs at specific online accounting schools, which is something else to consider.
Online degrees no longer carry a stigma, and recruiters respect these degrees as much as those earned from a physical college. That means studying for an accounting MBA online can be just as lucrative as going to a traditional college. Perceptions toward online education have changed in the last few years, and employers care more about your grades and previous work experience than whether you got your degree online or at a physical college. Many of the most successful people in the accounting sector earned their degrees online and never attended a traditional college. These professionals now earn high salaries.
Applying for an accounting MBA is relatively simple. You submit your application to the school of your choice and wait for a response. Sometimes this process can take several months, so you must submit the correct documents. Otherwise, there could be delays with your application.
Every accounting school has different admissions requirements. However, most learning providers require:
- Evidence of your previous academic experience, including transcripts from any schools and colleges you previously attended. You might also want to include a reference from a tutor or program director.
- Evidence of work experience, including letters from previous employers and internship coordinators. If you have experience in an accounting-related role, don’t forget to include evidence with your application.
- Personal statement, which includes information about your career goals and why you want to study accounting at a particular school.
Once you have submitted your application, the learning provider will contact you for an interview, which might take place online or in person.
How Much Does an MBA in Accounting Cost?
The average cost of a two-year accounting MBA costs $19,314 in tuition and required fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. (This was the average cost for the 2018-2019 academic year.) This cost doesn’t include any program supplies, commuting costs, or accommodation fees.
Online MBA in accounting programs with no GMAT required could work out cheaper than a classroom-based degree because you might not have travel costs or room and board fees.
You can reduce the costs of an online MBA with a grant or scholarship. Different organizations offer financial aid to students from low-income backgrounds or to those who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement. Ask the program director at your school for a list of scholarships for MBA students. There are no limits on the number of scholarships you can apply for in an academic year.
Average Salary for an MBA in Accounting Degree
The median annual salary for someone with an MBA in accounting is around $76,200, according to PayScale. (Data correct as of July 14, 2021.) Those with several years of experience in an accounting role might earn more than this amount.
The mean annual wage for financial managers — one of the most popular jobs for accounting MBA graduates — is $151,510, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $72.84.
The top-paying states for financial managers are:
- New York: $215,640 (mean annual wage)
- New Jersey: $184,130
- District of Columbia: $177,920
- Delaware: $176,630
- Colorado: $172,400
The top-paying metro areas for financial managers are:
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $214,670 (mean annual wage)
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $210,180
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $192,310
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $191,380
- Boulder, CO: $187,940
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO: $178,070
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $177,140
- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC: $174,110
- Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD: $171,030
- Trenton, NJ: $170,310
The mean annual wage for financial and investment analysts, financial risk specialists, and financial specialists — other popular jobs among those with an MBA in accounting — is $96,630, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $46.46.
The top-paying states for financial and investment analysts, financial risk specialists, and financial specialists are:
- New York: $130,670 (mean annual wage)
- District of Columbia: $109,070
- Massachusetts: $105,680
- Connecticut: $105,020
- New Jersey: $101,780
The top-paying metro areas for financial and investment analysts, financial risk specialists, and financial specialists are:
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $130,020 (mean annual wage)
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $126,090
- Medford, OR: $125,050
- Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL: $121,470
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $120,410
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $118,640
- Grand Junction, CO: $111,460
- Santa Rosa, CA: $110,680
- Auburn-Opelika, AL: $109,530
- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH: $107,730
The mean annual wage for tax preparers — another popular job among those with an MBA in accounting — is $52,710, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $25.34.
The top-paying states for tax preparers are:
- Texas: $73,480 (mean annual wage)
- Alaska: $71,450
- New York: $69,280
- Rhode Island: $67,910
- Massachusetts: $64,120
The top-paying metro areas for tax preparers are:
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $99,160 (mean annual wage)
- College Station-Bryan, TX: $80,580
- Anchorage, AK: $78,470
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO: $71,990
- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT: $71,990
- Albany, OR: $70,690
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $69,270
- Stockton-Lodi, CA: $69,260
- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA: $68,970
- San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX: $68,090
The mean annual wage for personal financial advisors is $122,490, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $58.89.
The top-paying states for personal financial advisors are:
- New York: $169,310 (mean annual wage)
- Maine: $155,240
- Montana: $154,630
- Minnesota: $153,830
- Massachusetts: $151,390
The top-paying metro areas for personal financial advisors are:
- Gainesville, FL: $206,120 (mean annual wage)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $169,850
- Tyler, TX: $169,690
- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI: $167,470
- Portland-South Portland, ME: $167,370
- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA: $165,570
- Eugene, OR: $165,070
- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA: $164,660
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI: $161,020
- Richmond, VA 1,020: $160,670
The mean annual wage for financial examiners is $92,730, according to BLS. (Data correct as of May 2020.) That’s a mean hourly wage of $44.58.
The top-paying states for financial examiners are:
- District of Columbia: $162,480 (mean annual wage)
- Massachusetts: $121,530
- New York: $120,560
- California: $113,900
- New Jersey: $109,700
The top-paying metro areas for financial examiners are:
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $130,230 (mean annual wage)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: $125,050
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $124,620
- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH: $121,960
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA: $119,070
- Springfield, MA-CT: $117,370
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR: $114,380
- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $113,610
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA: $113,340
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: $112,360
What Is the Job Outlook for Accounting MBA Degree Holders?
The outlook is positive for those with an MBA in accounting. There will be a 16% increase in employment opportunities for financial managers and a 6.2% increase for financial analysts from 2018 to 2028, according to Projections Central/Department of Labor. Those statistics are greater than the average increase for all occupations (around 5%).
Courses in an Accounting MBA
You might take these courses during your no-GMAT MBA in accounting:
- Financial reporting
- Advanced financial accounting skills
- Introduction to business economics
- Using financial software and business metrics
- Advanced cost management
- Tax planning
- Investment planning
- The art of negotiation
- Pricing strategies
- Retail and sales management
- Acquisition and merger accounting
- Accounting ethics
- Project management
Most schools tailor courses to meet GAAP standards, so you have the option to work for a public organization when you graduate from the program. You might also learn soft skills like teamwork, communication, time management, calendar management, and more.
Most online accounting MBA programs consist of essays, exams, and other types of coursework. You will also typically complete a dissertation project toward the end of the program where you carry out independent research into a topic that interests you. You might take exams after each course or at the end of the program.
Online colleges grade MBAs in the same way as physical colleges. You will usually receive grades for all exams and coursework you complete, and the learning provider will convert those grades into a GPA (Grade Point Average.)
A grading system for an online MBA contains these categories:
Here are the typical grading boundaries for each category:
- 50% for a pass
- 60% for a merit/credit
- 70% for a distinction
You might also have an opportunity to work for a local accounting firm during your studies. Completing an internship will provide you with skills that might further your career in accounting.
FAQs About an Accounting MBA
- You can achieve an accounting MBA online or at a college campus.
- You can get an MBA in accounting online even if you have no GMAT.
- It takes around two years to get an accounting MBA over the internet.
Benefits of studying for a no-GMAT MBA in accounting online include:
- The chance to further your career and increase earning potential.
- No requirement to commute to a college or live on campus.
- The opportunity to study for an MBA from any location in the world.
- An accounting MBA costs, on average, $19,314 in tuition and required fees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
- You can apply for a scholarship or other financial aid to reduce these costs.
- Online MBA in accounting programs could cost less than a regular degree because you might not have travel or accommodation costs.