So, you are fully convinced now to take up accounting as a major or a full-scale degree. Before enrolling or applying for the same, you need to ensure that you meet the required eligibility by checking the requisites to get a degree in accounting. 

A degree in accounting is more than crunching numbers. It’s about painting a clear picture of financial transactions, ensuring accuracy, and maintaining the financial integrity of a business. So, there is more to it, than just your love for numbers.  

To help you enlighten about the different types of requirements you need to possess or hone before enrolling in this degree, we have brought to you this article. 

Here we will be discussing in detail – the admission requirements, education requirements, subjects you must have an understanding of, skills requisites, and much more; starting with – the need for accounting.

Let’s get started –

Requirements for Accounting Degree

What is the need for Accounting?

Accounting plays a vital role in the functioning of organizations and the broader economy.

Whether in businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or individual financial management, accounting serves as a critical foundation for managing and understanding the financial health of businesses, organizations, and even individuals.

For instance, just assume you are a business owner or are aspiring to be one, there are many ways you might need Accounting for your business. Let’s explore why –

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Financial Transparency

Every business needs to have financial transparency, and to help you with that there is accounting, which provides a structured and standardized way to record and report financial transactions.

This transparency is essential besides you, for stakeholders, investors, creditors, and regulators, to understand the financial health of an organization.  


As a business leader, you can use financial statements to assess profitability, solvency, and efficiency. Thus, you can plan and make strategic choices by trusting the data and insights of your Accountants. 

Resource Allocation and Accountability

Through budgeting and financial analysis, accounting helps allocate resources effectively. You can determine where to invest, which projects to prioritize, and how to optimize your financial resources. 

Also, accounting provides a mechanism for tracking, allocation, and utilization of resources within an organization. This accountability ensures that resources are used efficiently and responsibly.  

Tax and Legal Compliance

Accounting provides proper financial reporting, which is necessary to meet legal requirements, prevent fraud, and maintain the integrity of financial data.

Most businesses use accounting records to calculate and report income, deductions, and credits to government authorities, so can you. 

Investor or Creditor Confidence

Your investors wouldn’t just go by your words, they rely on financial statements to assess the financial health and potential of a company.

The more transparent and accurate the accounting practices are, it builds investors’ confidence in your business and the chances increase that the business attracts investment.

Lenders and creditors too, use financial data to evaluate creditworthiness and determine whether to extend loans or credit to your business. 

Risk Management

Accounting helps identify and manage financial risks, by analyzing financial data. Thus, businesses can prepare for economic downturns, market fluctuations, and unexpected events. 

Business Growth

As businesses expand, accounting becomes increasingly important to track financial growth, manage assets, and adapt to changing market conditions. 

So, these are the main reasons why you need accounting or accountants, but to become eligible you need to have met the basic requirements – education, subjects, skills; and then you can get admission in the college to get an accounting degree.

Let’s explore the requirements –

Requirements for Accounting Degree

Associate Degree in Accounting

Before enrolling or applying for a degree in accounting, you need to ensure that you meet the required eligibility by checking the requisites.

* The requisites may vary depending on the institutions, so it is better to check with the institutions individually.

Also, the requirements to get an associate degree might be minimal compared to those of a bachelor’s or master’s degree. So, we will be discussing the requirements of each degree level respectively.

Associate Degree Requirements

An associate degree is the first step into the field of accounting because it allows you to join entry-level roles and then upgrade your studies, as well. It requires 2 years to complete and offers 60 credits.

Here are the requirements –

Education requirements

To enroll in an associate degree in accounting you must possess a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Without it, your eligibility would not be considered.

Also, you might need to achieve at least a 2.5 to 3 GPA, in your high school. While the GPA requirement might vary, try maintaining a healthier GPA, the more the better.

Subjects you must have an understanding of

You must have developed an understanding of some subjects and should have them in your school coursework, the subjects are – Mathematics, English, Social Sciences, etc.

Admission requirements

To get admission to an associate degree in accounting you need to possess certain requirements. The standard admission requirements are as follows –

  • Meet the education requirements
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • SAT or ACT test scores

Bachelor’s Degree Requirements

A Bachelor’s degree is the most popular degree option among aspirants who aspire to be an Accountant; and it is the most sought-after by employers, as well. It requires 4 years to complete and offers 120 credits.

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Education requirements

To become eligible to get enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in accounting, you need a high school diploma or an Associate Degree.

Whatever you have, you need to have a better GPA of 2.5 to 3 or higher. The higher the better considering the competition.  

Subjects or Topics you must have an understanding of

If you have chosen to get your baccalaureate degree after your high school completion, you are expected to have an understanding of subjects like – Mathematics, English, Social Sciences, etc.

While, if you have an associate degree in your hand you need to have a proper understanding of the topics such as – Principles of financial accounting, Principles of accounting, business accounting, Cost accounting, Introduction to macroeconomics, Federal taxes, Payroll accounting, etc.

Admission requirements

To get admission to a Bachelor’s degree in accounting you need to meet certain standards and possess certain requirements. The standard admission requirements are as follows –

  • Meet the education requirements
  • GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Transcripts
  • SAT or ACT test scores

Master’s Degree Requirements

What Jobs Can You Get with an Accounting Degree

A Master’s degree in accounting is for the aspirants aiming to acquire any type of licensure like a CPA and achieve high-level positions like controller, or accounting manager. The program has 30 credits and it requires around 2 years to complete.

Education requirements

To get enrolled in a Master’s program you need to have a bachelor’s degree with a healthy GPA, at least a GPA of 3 or higher. The higher the better, considering the competition.  

Topics You must have an understanding of

The topics that you have studied in a Bachelor’s program – Accounting Information Systems, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Ethics in Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Financial Statement Analysis, Fundamentals of Tax, and such.  

Admission requirements

The requirements may vary per program but we have mentioned all the standard requirements that are expected from you, to offer a seat in a Master’s degree in accounting program.

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting  
  • GPA of 3 or higher
  • GMAT Test Scores – 500 or above for safer side
  • Transcripts
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Experience (wherever applicable)

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Required Skills for a Successful Career in Accounting

A successful career in accounting demands a combination of technical expertise, soft skills, and ethical qualities.

These skills collectively equip accountants to navigate the multifaceted world of finance and provide valuable financial insights to individuals, businesses, and organizations.

Read -> What Jobs Can You Get with an Accounting Degree?

Let’s explore the skills you need to succeed in the field of accounting– 

Technical Accounting Knowledge

This is a must-have skill, the art of applying your accounting knowledge.  The better way you can implement technical knowledge in the businesses, the better it is for your career.

For instance, you should be fluent in Financial Reporting, tax laws, regulations and compliance, Auditing, Managerial Accounting, and Accounting Software like QuickBooks, Excel, etc.

Attention to Detail

You need to be attentive while dealing with intricate financial data where precision is paramount. A small error, such as a misplaced decimal point or an incorrect entry, can lead to significant financial discrepancies or compliance issues.

Analytical Skills

Accountants analyze financial data to uncover trends, anomalies, and areas for improvement. They interpret data to make informed recommendations for business or financial decisions.

Mathematical Proficiency

Accounting involves complex calculations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You must be adept at performing these calculations accurately.

Problem-Solving Skills 

Accountants frequently encounter financial challenges, such as reconciling discrepancies, resolving taxation issues, or optimizing financial processes. You need to hone the problem-solving skills, that are crucial for addressing these issues effectively. 

Ethical Integrity

In the field of accounting, you need to handle sensitive financial information and are responsible for maintaining ethical standards and integrity in financial reporting. Upholding these principles is crucial for building trust.

Business Acumen

Understanding the broader business context, including industry-specific knowledge, allows you to provide financial insights that align with the organization’s goals.

Data Analysis

Proficiency in data analysis tools and techniques enables you to extract meaningful insights from large datasets, enhancing financial analysis capabilities.

Risk Assessment

You should be able to identify financial risks and develop strategies to mitigate them, safeguarding organizations from potential financial setbacks.

Finance vs. Accounting Degree

Apart from these skills, you also should possess some other important skills like –

  • Organizational Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Stress Management
  • Time Management
  • Adaptability

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In Conclusion 

There are many reasons why we need accounting or accountants, but to become eligible you need to possess some basic requirements – education, subjects, skills, etc.

So, you need to check your eligibility by checking the requisites, before enrolling in the degree program. Remember that, the requisites may vary depending on the institutions.

Also, the requirements to get an associate degree might be minimal compared to those of a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Finally, if you meet the requirements, do try to go after a bachelor’s degree and then only try applying for jobs, just to be on the safer side. With a bachelor’s, you become eligible for almost all the jobs, barring the ones that require certifications. Good Luck! 

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.