Online programs that fit your schedule: Fall Session 1 classes begin August 12th Apply Today!


Total Credit Hours: 124

Transfer Credits: Up to 94

The Southwestern College accounting program is committed to preparing future accounting professionals for current and emerging roles in a growing field. Whether your goal is to sharpen your skills, expand your career options, or continue your path to CPA, the SC online accounting program provides the foundation you need.

  • Explore a dynamic accounting curriculum with courses including personal and corporate income tax, ethics for accounting and managerial accounting
  • Experience applied learning through financial, case study, and scenario analyses
  • Graduate ready for the CPA exam
  • Discover more reasons to choose SC!

Recently ranked by U.S. News and World Report for its online bachelor degree programs, Southwestern College offers quality online degrees to adult learners. With courses taught by expert faculty and access to a variety of student resources, SC learners are provided with the tools and flexibility needed to succeed in their education while preparing for professional advancement.

Request Information


Projected Job Growth (BLS): 7%

Average Salary (PayScale): $73k

Graduates of the online accounting program at Southwestern College will be prepared for a variety of careers, including:
  • Corporate accountant
  • Certified public accountant (CPA)
  • Internal auditor
  • Tax examiner


“Jump in now… You won’t regret it…You have one class at a time…It’s compact, but it gets done faster.”
Drina T., Graduate


Visit our faculty page to view current accounting instructors.

View Courses & Program Details


Students enrolled in the online accounting program at Southwestern College can expect to:
  • Explain contemporary accounting theories, concepts, and practices and their respective applications.
  • Prepare accounting transactions, journals, general ledgers, financial statements, and other financial reports according to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
  • Analyze financial data and related information using appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Evaluate the impact of regulatory requirements and tax guidelines for individuals and corporations.
  • Recommend effective accounting processes, internal controls, audit processes, strategies, and accounting information systems and technologies.
  • Collaborate effectively with individuals, teams, organizational partners, and other stakeholders in diverse, multicultural, and multidisciplinary environments.
  • Employ ethical, legal, and socially responsible accounting practices.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of business contexts.


Article: 5 Degrees with Career Versatility
Webinar: Financial Ratios


Organizational Communication Certificate
Business Administration
Strategic Leadership


Accounting graduates gain fundamental knowledge and skills in financial and managerial accounting, auditing, income taxation, forensic accounting and accounting systems. In addition, the program provides a thorough understanding of ethical reasoning and its application to the field of accounting. Accounting graduates also gain the solid theoretical foundation necessary to prepare for the CPA exam or for future graduate coursework.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must be graduates of an accredited high school or have completed a GED®
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.0

Core Major Requirements

COM 125: Speech

This course helps learners majoring in any discipline strengthen communication skills essential for success in academics and the workplace. Learners will focus on listening, evaluating, and delivering spoken discourse based on audience and purpose. Learners will evaluate why some people are more effective than others as public speakers, analyze speeches and audiences, study ethical considerations for speakers, research and organize findings on a topic, and present findings before an audience, and learn techniques for identifying and reducing speech anxiety *COM125 is a pre-req for some classes in the program and not the program as a whole.

MASC115 College Algebra

This course provides learners with the algebra, reasoning, and problem‐solving skills needed for everyday life. The course focuses on simplifying expressions and solving equations in real‐world situations using variables for unknowns. Learners will solve problems using algebraic principles and tools and then incorporate these mathematical concepts into realistic business, consumer, science, and statistical contexts.

MASC110 Statistics and Probability

This course acquaints learners with the tools and major components of statistics. Learners will apply technology to analyze data. The course also includes the foundational terminology and practices used in contemporary statistics, such as data collection, metrics, score interpretation, and experimental design. Additionally, this course will promote the skills that learners need to be able to take information from the world around them and use it to make sound decisions based on solid evidence.

SSC110: Principles of Microeconomics

Principles of Economics II Micro EXP provides learners with an introduction to fundamental economic concepts and to how these concepts play out in the real world. Learners will apply essential models of economics to concepts such as economic interdependence and market equilibrium and think about how these models contribute to optimal resource allocation. Learners will address classic microeconomic issues such as profit maximization and determining the optimal output. Learners will also discover how decisions are made within companies in different market structures and how the industry within which a company operates affects its competitive efficiency.

SSC111: Principles of Macroeconomics

This course introduces learners to fundamental economic concepts and encourages them to consider how those concepts apply to the real world and to their own lives. Learners will explore the models of economics, how they portray economic interdependence and market equilibrium, and how they contribute to optimal resource allocation. Learners will examine classic macroeconomic issues, such as the effects of government intervention on businesses and individuals. They will evaluate macroeconomic conditions, think about how monetary and fiscal policies affect the corporate world and the overall economy, distinguish between short‐ and long‐run macroeconomic forces and learn how monetary systems influence economic variables.

BSAD340: Legal Environment of Business

Legal and regulatory compliance is a critical consideration for all business activities in the United States. Learners examine the relationships among individuals, partnerships, and corporations, as they apply to law. Contracts, consumer law, and the legalities of employer-employee relationships are examined. Legal considerations relevant to global initiatives are explored.

ACCT305: Corporate Finance

A successful accountant is one who is both knowledgeable of the role of accounting and finance from a corporate perspective as well as being an expert in corporate accounting practices and processes. Learners gain the corporate perspective in this course, setting the context for the knowledge and skills emphasized throughout the program. Learners study corporate finance practices such as long-term and short-term investing, capital cash management, and finance decisions required in the financial management of a business.
Prerequisites: MASC115 – College Algebra

ACCT303: Analyzing Data

Accounting technologies are becoming more automated and the role of the new accountant is shifting into that of a business advisor, which requires new skill-sets. Accountants use data analytics to help businesses uncover valuable insights within their financials, identify process improvements that can increase efficiency, and better manage risk. This course covers the use of data analytics to drive strategy.

ACCT285: Financial Accounting

What are the essential accounting and financial reporting requirements for a business or corporation? Learners explore the answer to this question as they study the accounting cycle from the point of recording business transactions to creating financial statements, and the implications of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Learners translate business transactions into journal entries, post to ledger accounts, examine and develop the components of basic financial statements, and complete the accounting cycle. Learners use financial ratio analyses to evaluate the financial performance of a company.
Prerequisite: MASC115 – College Algebra. HCA 306 Accounting in Healthcare may be substituted for this course.

ACCT320: Ethics for Accounting Professionals

Ethical conduct is a core value for the accounting profession and requirement for accounting professionals. Increasingly, an accounting specific course in ethics is required by states in order to sit for the CPA exam. Learners examine the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Code of Professional Conduct, the Kansas Board of Accountancy expectations, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements. Learners evaluate case studies of some of the most famous accounting scandals and develop an understanding of the ethical issues surrounding those scandals as well as other ethical situations that Accounting Professionals may encounter.

ACCT325: Managerial Accounting

Accounting information provides essential knowledge for effective strategic, operational, and financial decisions. Learners explore the use of accounting information for various management decision-making and budgeting scenarios. Learners differentiate between classifications of costs and assign costs to products and services; record the flow of costs through accounts using process, job-order, service, and activity-based costing methods; use variance analysis to compare actual to budgeted costs; and use various managerial accounting methods such as cost-volume-profit and capital investment analysis to evaluate and recommend possible solutions to business issues. Prior study of accounting principles and professional oral or written communication is recommended.

ACCT380: Intermediate Accounting I

Business transactions must be accurately reflected in journals, financial statements, and other financial reports. Learners study GAAP and financial accounting requirements for different types of business transactions. Learners examine the accounting cycle and the conceptual framework underlying financial accounting; and learn how to recognize, measure, and report receivables, inventories, property, plant, and equipment.
Prerequisite ACCT285 – Financial Accounting

ACCT381: Intermediate Accounting II

Accurately assessing and reporting of financial status and performance according GAAP, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) requirements, is a critical set of competencies for accounting professionals. With emphasis on complex transactions and activities such as foreign currency transactions, deferred taxes, investments, consolidations, partnerships, liabilities, and corporate equity measurement, learners examine and apply methods and practices for measuring, evaluating, and reporting financial performance for businesses and other corporate entities.
Prerequisite ACCT380 – Intermediate Accounting I

ACCT382: Federal Income Taxation – Personal

Knowledge of income taxation laws and regulations is essential for accounting professionals, whether actually preparing taxes or assessing their impact on individuals or businesses. Learners study federal income tax law and regulations as it applies to individuals. Learners examine the requirements and implications of filing status, dependents, gross income, itemized deductions, tax credits, cost recovery, and property transactions.
Prerequisite ACCT381 – Intermediate Accounting 2

ACCT482: Federal Income Taxation ‐ Corporate

Knowledge of income taxation laws and regulations is essential for accounting professionals, whether actually preparing taxes or assessing their impact on individuals or businesses. Learners study the basic principles of business taxation. Learners examine federal tax laws and regulations as they relate to corporations and pass-through entities including partnerships and S-Corporations.
Prerequisite: ACCT381 – Intermediate Accounting II

ACCT483: Cost Accounting

Cost accounting provides critical knowledge for effective strategic, operations, and financial decision making; and cost control. Learners explore cost accounting methods and practices with emphasis on costing for forecasting, planning, control, and behavior factors. Learners examine the elements of service and product costs, including the application of service, job, process, standard, and variable costing systems and procedures.
Prerequisites: MASC110 – Statistics and Probability

ACCT484: Accounting Information Systems

The use of Accounting Information Systems (AIS) and associated information technologies is the norm for accounting operations. Knowledge and skill in AIS use and operations is a core competency for the accounting professional. Learners explore the conceptual foundation of AIS, technologies for information systems, and design models and methods. Successful learners gain the requisite knowledge and skills to assess the effectiveness of the processing of accounting data with emphasis on information systems and technology, and to determine the accounting and information system controls that are necessary to ensure accuracy and reliability of the data processed by the accounting system. Learners apply the knowledge and skills gained in this course to the auditing field.
Prerequisite: ACCT285 – Financial Accounting.

ACCT490: Auditing Theory and Practice

Auditing Theory and Practice: Ensuring the quality of financial information and systems, and their compliance with internal, GAAP, and governmental standards and regulations is critical to establishing confidence among leadership, shareholders, regulators, and other stakeholders in corporate financial reporting. Learners study the theory, concepts, and principles of auditing. Learners examine concepts and practices such as audit evidence, audit risk, fraud detection, ethical conduct and legal restrictions, and professional standards of audit planning and reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and audit reporting.
Prerequisites: ACCT381 – Intermediate Accounting II and ACCT484 – Accounting Information Systems. Prior study of professional communication is highly recommended.

ACCT493: Forensic Accounting

Forensic Accounting is and evolving practice and in growing demand within the field of accounting. Successful learners gain knowledge about the root causes of fraud, the characteristics of fraudulent transactions and behaviors, the techniques for executing fraudulent activities, and the vulnerabilities that enable such activities. In addition, the learners further their knowledge of internal control procedures and skill in evaluating whether internal controls aid in fraudulent activities. Learners examine the methods, techniques, and technologies for fraud detection and investigation; and for valuing the financial and economic impact of fraud on organizations. Learners also explore the requirements for preparing and presenting expert witness testimony.
Prerequisites: ACCT490 Auditing Theory and Practice

CAPS495: Senior Capstone

Learners engage in two projects that assess their achievements and preparation for pursuit of professional aspirations in their major field. Through application and assessment, learners examine the knowledge and skills gained throughout the program, achievement of the program outcomes, and their preparation as followers and leaders in their chosen professional field.
Prerequisites: The capstone should take place within the last 9 hours of a learner’s program.

General Education Requirements*

Basic Skills

CORE110: Information Literacy

This course is designed to provide learners with the skills that are fundamental to becoming an information‐literate professional who can locate, evaluate, organize and communicate information. The abundance and rapid flow of data requires skill development in the understanding of information resources, accessing information sources, determining the credibility of Internet information, logically organizing sources and finally presenting the information professionally.

ENGL101: Composition 1

This course helps learners develop writing skills that are transferable to any academic or workplace writing task. The course guides learners through the process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading academic and workplace writing. Learners will develop skills necessary to craft coherent sentences and paragraphs, to edit editing their writing for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. They will learn about narrative structure and techniques as well as the elements of successful argumentation and persuasive discourse. This course also guides learners through every stage of the research process. Learners will develop a research plan, conduct research, organize and draft a research paper, and then revise, edit, and proofread that research paper.

ENGL102: Composition 2

This course builds on the thinking and writing skills introduced in Composition 1. Learners will write critical, argumentative essays based on their interpretations of nonfictional texts, including literary, film, and cultural texts, and in doing so, will recognize the role of rhetoric in the writing situation as they craft persuasive discourse. In doing so, they will learn methods of questioning, analyzing, and evaluating their own beliefs as well as the perceptions and perspectives of others. These methods of critical thinking are intended to improve the quality and organization of learners’ writing for any purpose, including academic and workplace purposes. In addition to writing essays, learners will develop more advanced research strategies, as well greater proficiency in APA style.
Prerequisite: ENGL101

COM125: Speech

This course helps learners majoring in any discipline strengthen communication skills essential for success in academics and the workplace. Learners will focus on listening, evaluating, and delivering spoken discourse based on audience and purpose. Learners will evaluate why some people are more effective than others as public speakers, analyze speeches and audiences, study ethical considerations for speakers, research and organize findings on a topic, and present findings before an audience, and learn techniques for identifying and reducing speech anxiety.

MASC110 Statistics & Probability or MASC115 College Algebra

MASC110 Statistics & Probability, or MASC115 College Algebra, or more advanced college credit bearing mathematics course requiring college algebra or higher as a prerequisite.

Ethical Reasoning

HUM201: Ethics

Ethics introduces learners to moral philosophy, the branch of philosophy that questions what is good and bad. The course surveys a number of important ethical theories—ethical relativism, objectivism, egoism, altruism, utilitarianism, duty‐based moral theory, natural law, natural rights, and virtue ethics—as they examine reasons why certain actions are morally right or wrong. Learners will apply ethical theories in the evaluation and analysis of current controversial issues, question ethical matters from a variety of angles, and acquire new tools to assist them in making ethically sound, well‐informed decisions throughout their lives.

Disciplinary Perspectives

Natural Science (3 or more credit hours)
Social Science (3 or more credit hours)
Humanities (3 or more credit hours)
The Arts (3 or more credit hours)
Other Cultures (3 or more credit hours)


CAPS495 Senior Capstone

Senior capstone or major capstone course.

*Most general education requirements are waived for students with an AA, AS, or AAS degree. Speak to your admissions counselor for details.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete all foundation and major courses with an overall GPA of 2.0
  2. Complete a minimum of 124 credit hours, with at least 60 hours at a bachelor’s degree-granting institution
  3. Complete at least 30 credit hours with a C average or above from Southwestern College

All degree requirements are subject to change. Please see Southwestern College Professional Studies Catalog for the most current degree requirements.

Not sure where to start?

Our admissions counselors are here to help Admissions Counselors