The need for accounting is greater now than ever. The role of accountants is reshaping due to technology and the trend towards “do-it-yourself” accounting. However, businesses still need someone with knowledge and skills to guide them towards success. Whether you are starting a career or brushing up on current developments, there is a lot to gain by taking courses online. We have listed what we feel are the best online managerial accounting courses to help you stay on top of a changing world. Before we review the classes, we will discuss what managerial accounting is and how we rated the selected courses.
Managerial accounting, also known as management accounting, is an important profession that plays a key role in the analysis and decision-making process of a business. A managerial accountant assists with managing the risk, performance and strategy of companies. A professional in this field who possesses the skill of current analysis, business understanding and forward thinking is highly valued.
How We Chose Our Ratings
We want to ensure we provide you with the best possible information to help you make a very important decision. The material presented is as accurate as we know it to be, however, we encourage you to make your own inquiries to the school that interests you before committing. We do our best to reflect true data and pertinent information to help you make an informed decision.
There are many factors we considered to determine ratings for the courses. These factors include:
Top 7 Best Managerial Accounting Courses
The prestigious Harvard University, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is made up of 12 schools including the Harvard University Extension School. It was established in 1910 and has a long history of meeting the needs of nontraditional students. Many of the courses offered can be taken without earning a degree, making it a great choice for individuals who want to enhance their knowledge or develop their professional skills.
Harvard offers a course with great emphasis on planning and control of costs for managerial accountants to learn how to make informed decisions. It covers a wide variety of topics, including variances and limitations. The course is worth four credits and is part of a business series. It has a prerequisite course, Financial Accounting Principles. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is:
Certificate: Yes, if you complete the series of classes, the credit can count towards either the Strategic Management or Accounting Certificate.
Capella University is an educational institution focused on providing online education. Founded in 1993, its campus is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Accreditations for Capella include the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs with specialization in Accounting. It offers great options for financial assistance, including tuition discounts for the military (plus their spouses and dependents).
Capella offers two paths of coursework. FlexPath, which allows you to pursue self-paced coursework and continue to the next course whenever you finish with a course for one flat tuition fee. The second path is the familiar traditional GuidedPath, in which you follow a set schedule of classes and deadlines.
The Managerial Accounting Principles course can be taken as a single course or as part of the undergraduate series to complete the accounting certificate. This course is worth six quarter credits and has a prerequisite class. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is:
Certificate: Yes, if other courses are taken (Undergraduate Certificate in Accounting)
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of seventeen campuses of the University of North Carolina and referred to as the flagship of UNC. The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education is part of UNC-Chapel Hill and is specifically for nontraditional students. It offers credit and noncredit courses.
One advantage of taking online courses with UNC at Chapel Hill is there is no admission requirement. It also provides some tuition discount rates to military members as well as certain family members. This course is worth three credits. It has several prerequisite courses: Financial Accounting (or equivalent) and either Econ 310, 410 or equivalent. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is:
Yes, midterm and final exam
Southern New Hampshire University is located in Manchester and Hooksett, New Hampshire. It was established in 1932 and has become one of the most popular universities for online education. Accreditations include the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
This course focuses on decision making and performance measuring. All SNHU online courses allow you to set your own pace. SNHU offers a great discount (30%) to U.S. Service members including spouses of active duty members. This course is worth three credits. Unfortunately, it is not offered as an individual course. It has a prerequisite course, Financial Accounting. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is:
Certificate: Online Certificate in Accounting (if other courses are taken)
The University of Phoenix (UOPX) was established in 1976 and began offering online classes in 1989. Its accreditations include the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accredited the Bachelor of Science in Business program. UOPX offers a nice discount to those who are active in the military, their spouses, and veterans.
This course is offered to graduates as an individual course and available to undergraduates as part of their accounting certificate degree. This course is worth three credits. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is::
Certificate: Yes, with the completion of additional courses
Udemy was founded in 2010 and is solely for online education. It is global, with over 65,000 courses available for individuals to choose from to improve their skills. Instructors register with Udemy and teach the classes they are interested in instructing.
This course offers forty-nine lectures with emphasis placed on cost accounting. All of the lecture titles can be reviewed on the website. It also provides a nice course preview video, as well as many lecture preview videos to help you make your decision to enroll in the course. According to the website, it only takes about four hours to learn the materials. The videos are a little more than three hours and 40 minutes. If you try the course and do not like it, the instructor offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is:
Certificate: Provides a “Certificate of Completion”; however, no courses at Udemy offer college credit
Since 2012, Coursera has offered online courses by working with various organizations and universities to provide a wide variety of online education. This course is offered through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is for master’s level individuals.
he great part about Coursera is the flexibility of the online platform. Once you register for the class, you have access to all course materials, which allows you to get through it at your own pace. This course is one of seven other courses as part of a “Value Chain Management Specialization” as well as a “Master of Business Administration” degree (18 courses).
Some course content is free, including video lectures. You can review the syllabus, which includes the videos online (use the link below). Payment is required to get the full experience, including receiving grades and earning the certificate. Coursera offers financial aid to those who need assistance. It also provides a full refund up until the second week into the course or two weeks after you have paid. Some information you can expect to cover during the course is:
- Activity-based costing
- Fundamental concepts
- Understand what managerial accounting is and why it is important
- Cost-volume-profit analysis
Certificate: Provides a course certificate; however, it is not an “official academic credit” per the Coursera website
Cost: N/A – Costs are not provided without registration. Prices depend on the type of course, if it is part of Specializations, such as this course. This course is available to be paid through subscription rather than their typical one-time payments that last 180 days.
Our Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Colleges, universities and online platforms are making online education for nontraditional students easier every day with advanced technology and their willingness to provide additional options from the traditional education setting. Individualized approaches have become the norm and searching for online learning that offers “self-paced” education is easier to find. With that said, when you find self-paced education, if it is an institution, ensure that it does not require you to go to an actual campus at some point in time. Sometimes degrees may offer certain courses online and but then require you to take some courses on campus.
Enrollment for online students is often laxer than it is for traditional students. Some colleges and universities require no enrollment process for online students. Other institutions and online platforms have easy open enrollments processes. Either way, it would save you some time and money not going through the traditional enrollment process.
Depending on the level of course you choose, you may often find you are required to fulfill prerequisites. Master's level courses almost always require some prerequisite courses. Therefore, you may only be looking to take one class, but if you are not able to transfer credits, be prepared to have to take more than one course. If you find just the right course and it does require multiple prerequisites, a good education provider will assist you with financial aid, even ones that are online only.
Does Credit and Certificates Matter?
Before choosing a course, you will need to know if getting a certificate for the course and earning credit matters to you. If you are employed and are taking the course to develop your skills, then you can discuss this with your employer. However, if you are taking the class for personal development, then you need to ask yourself how much either of these matters. You may not need it now, but will you need the credit or certificate in the future? You do not want to spend the time and money, have the skills, and lose a job opportunity because you did not get documentation from an accredited school.
There are many decisions to consider while reviewing the best online managerial accounting courses. If you choose a single class or want to work toward your master’s degree, this list will help get you started in your journey to find what the right fit for you is.