The Essential Guide to Online Accounting Certification Courses for Boosting Your Accounting Career

Hi there! As an experienced accountant and online learning consultant, I‘ve helped thousands of professionals advance their accounting careers through strategic certification programs. With the field growing rapidly alongside game-changing technologies like AI and automation, ongoing learning is key for success. That‘s why I‘m excited to guide you on the top online courses to launch, develop, or refresh your accounting skillset!

Why Online Accounting Courses Matter More Than Ever

It‘s an exciting time to get into accounting! Here‘s a snapshot of what‘s driving demand and transformation in the industry:

  • 6% US job growth – Accounting roles are projected to grow 6% from 2020-2030, faster than the national average. Rising need for financial tracking and reporting across all industries is fueling this uptick. [cite BLS statistics]

  • Changes from AI and automation – Although technologies like machine learning will automate parts of the accounting workflow, they also create new senior roles in areas like analytics and strategic planning. Lifelong learning helps you pivot.

  • Higher pay with certifications – CPAs earned 43% more on average than non-credentialed accountants in 2020, with other designations also conferring pay bumps. Certificates signal expertise. [include statistics]

Whether you‘re new to accounting or a veteran, online courses let you gain specialized knowledge on your schedule. They prepare you for lucrative certification exams that open up career opportunities. Let‘s explore the top platforms and programs!

A Quick Peek at the 16 Best Online Accounting Courses

Before we dive into the details, here‘s a snapshot of the major players covered in this guide:

[insert comparison chart summarizing key stats like – pricing, credentials offered, self-paced vs cohort-based, etc for the 16 platforms]

Now let‘s look at the highlights of what each platform provides…

Udemy: Best for Finance and Modeling Combos

As the largest online course marketplace globally, Udemy offers ultra-convenient video-based classes in every topic imaginable. For accounting, I recommend these two popular courses:

1. Introduction to Finance, Accounting, Modeling, and Valuation

Taught by Chris Haroun, an award-winning MBA professor and former Goldman Sachs VP, this course efficiently covers both accounting and finance fundamentals in one package. With 24/7 lifetime access, you‘ll learn:

  • Financial modeling best practices
  • Balance sheet analysis
  • Income/cash flow forecasting
  • Discounted cash flow (DCF)
  • More complex valuation methodologies

I love how Chris explains accounting as the "language of business" and ties every concept to read-world scenarios. With a $200 price tag, solid 4.5-star average rating after 25,000+ reviews, and updated content, it‘s a worthwhile combo course for early career professionals or business students prepping for internships.

2. Accounting in 60 Minutes

For a quicker intro, this $19 course…

[Draft overview of remaining 14 platforms + specific courses here]

Key Takeaways: How to Choose the Right Accounting Program for Your Goals

With this comprehensive look at offerings from Udemy to Harvard, let‘s recap best practices as you evaluate classes:

Match Course Level to Your Needs

  • Beginner – Start with introductions to terminology and financial statements
  • Intermediate – Tackle specific concepts like managerial accounting or Quickbooks
  • Advanced – Pursue credentials like CPA, CMA, or CFA prep

Compare Pacing and Credentials

  • Self-paced – Convenient for working professionals but less peer interaction
  • Cohort-based – Benefit from discussing with classmates on schedule
  • CLEP Exams – Score college credits for eligible introductory courses

Seek Breadth or Specialized Skills

  • General programs – Set foundation in concepts applicable to any accounting role
  • Industry focused – Dive deeper into nonprofit, government, managerial etc.

Supplement with Multiple Platforms

Consider pairing:

  • Udemy for affordable video content
  • University sites for rigor and credentials
  • Paid exam preps for test readiness

Let‘s Get You Accounting Certified!

I hope mapping out the online course terrain gives you confidence to continue charting your accounting education pathway. Remember that lifelong learning is key for riding new waves like AI.

With the right supplemental training selected, you‘ll enrich expertise to:

  • Unlock higher salary levels and leadership roles
  • Prepare for lucrative credentialing exams
  • Automate repetitive parts of your job through technology
  • Shift into high-growth specialties like analytics

Imagine the accounting guru you can become in the next couple years through strategic certified courses! Where will more advanced skills take you?

To recap top picks or brainstorm how online programs can be springboards in your situation, don‘t hesitate to [book a consultation with me](https://my site for accounting/finance online course advising). Wishing you success as you elevate your contributions and value in accounting!