Whether it's an international corporation or a small local nonprofit, just about every organization needs to know where its money goes. Effective accounting practices are a must for any enterprise that plans to stay afloat, and graduates of Indiana accounting schools are among the best equipped to handle the challenges of maintaining a financially stable organization in a continuously shifting economy.
Online Accounting Programs in Indiana
Including four-year and two-year programs both public and private, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) counts a total of 45 Indiana accounting schools currently in operation. With the rise of online education, however, students in Indiana have accounting programs at their disposal that far outnumber the ones available at brick-and-mortar schools within the borders of the state. Hybrid programs, which combine on-campus work with online work, may also be available at some regional institutions.
However you decide to earn your accounting degree — online, on campus or both — there are some core subject areas that you're likely to see at some point along your path to graduation. Here's a list of courses common to Indiana accounting programs in the virtual as well as the traditional classroom:
- Financial accounting
- Auditing theory
- Accounting systems
- Business information systems
- Business law
- Accounting ethics
Many graduates with accounting degrees go on to become licensed as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), which tends to provide greater opportunity for accounting career development and increased employment flexibility. In order to qualify for the Indiana CPA exam, candidates must first satisfy one of the following sets of educational requirements:
- Earn a graduate degree from an accredited and reputable institution, including 150 credit hours or more of general education coursework, 24 credit hours of business administration and economics courses and either 24 undergraduate credits or 15 graduate-level credits in financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, taxation and other accounting principles.
- Earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited and reputable institution, including 150 credit hours or more of general education coursework, at least 24 credit hours of business and economics courses and 24 or more undergraduate credits of accounting courses according to the same subject matter requirements listed above.
The state also requires that applicants for the Indiana CPA exam be able to submit documentation of at least two years of work experience in the accounting field under the supervision of a licensed CPA. Further information about Indiana CPA license requirements can be found through the Indiana Board of Accountancy or the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
What is the Job Outlook for Accountants in Indiana?
Students who graduate from Indiana accounting programs aren't required to go straight into accounting or auditing careers after graduation. A wide range numerous career paths may be available to professionals with accounting training, provided they graduate with the right portfolio of additional coursework. Here's a list of employment growth estimates compiled by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), showing some of the fastest-growing occupational categories statewide for graduates of Indiana accounting schools:
- Accountants and auditors: 12.0 percent
- Cost estimators: 14.5 percent
- Financial analysts: 11.1 percent
- Management analysts: 15.2 percent
- Personal financial advisors: 18.1 percent
- Tax preparers: 23.6 percent
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual wage of $60,190 for Indiana accountants and auditors in 2014 — approximately $19,000 more per year than the statewide average income across all occupations — with the top 10 percent of earners taking home $99,620 or more. Here's a quick list of the mean annual salaries reported for other careers that may be accessible to graduates of Indiana accounting programs, according to 2014 BLS data:
- Budget analyst: $63,730
- Cost estimator: $61,960
- Financial analyst: $75,720
- Personal financial advisor: $103,720
- Tax examiners and collector: $51,520
- Tax preparer: $34,040
The highest mean annual wages for Indiana accountants were found in the central part of the state in 2014, with the Indianapolis-Carmel area reporting a mean of $70,030 and Bloomington taking the top spot with $74,280.
What are Accounting Specializations in Indiana?
Many programs available through distance education as well as at Indiana accounting schools allow students to focus their education on a particular aspect of organizational finance or accounting practice. Here are a few of the accounting specializations available to Indiana students:
A fair portion of Indiana accounting programs are offered as accounting concentrations under the umbrella of a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Earning your accounting degree in this fashion may allow you to take peripheral coursework in subjects such as management information systems, business analytics, strategic analysis, finance, marketing and more, which can add even greater flexibility to an already versatile degree.
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