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The time period from enrollment to graduation in an online accounting degree program depends on the degree being earned, course requirements and your available time and finances. Normally, an Associate's degree in accounting will take around 18 to 24 months to complete. An online Bachelor's degree in accounting normally occupies 36 to 48 months of your time. Should you earn an undergraduate degree and wish to earn an online Master's degree in accounting or an MBA, you will spend around 18 to 24 months of study.
The potential advantage of earning an accounting degree online is the flexibility in course scheduling and cost savings you receive. You will value this flexibility if you're facing a semester that you know is “work heavy” with fewer hours available for study. You could cut back on your course load, knowing you can increase it next semester when your available time for education will be expanded. For instance, suppose you're working as a junior tax preparer for an accounting firm. A normal second semester college year, running from January through May, is a time frame when you're working 80 hours per week during tax season. Are you really able to handle a full course load this semester? Ask your psychological counselor. Don't worry, you'll need one. Possibly your work schedule will then relax to the point that you're only putting in 25 to 30 hours the following semester and you can add an extra course or two if you have the study time available. A similar plan is much more difficult in an on-campus situation as course offerings are a function of students' preferences, availability of physical classrooms, professor course schedules, etc.