If you are planning on studying for an undergraduate or graduate degree program majoring in accounting, it is extremely important to search for programs that have an active accreditation with a professional organization. While it is important for colleges, universities and other higher education institutions to apply for and maintain regional awards, a programmatic credential from an organization that sets the standards in the discipline is something entirely different. Programmatic accreditations, which are also known as specialized accreditations, are not institutional in nature and focus entirely on a specific degree program.

If you are majoring in a program that will prepare you to be an accountant, you should look for credentials awarded by professional accrediting board that sets the standard and that is committed to development in the discipline area. Read on, and find out which bodies currently accredit programs and how to go about conducting a search for the right degree program.

Which Association Is Recognized for Accrediting the Most Programs?

In the discipline, the most well-known association responsible for setting standards and overseeing specific programs on an international level is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The AACSB currently accredits both accounting programs and business programs at Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels. The association strives to help educators improve the delivery of instruction and also to help students learn the most from business programs so that they can become great accountants.

What is the Advantage of Earning Your Degree at an AACSB-accredited School?

Only 5% of business programs worldwide have passed the accreditation process. When you find institutions that are AACSB-accredited, you will know that the business curriculum will always be relevant and challenging so that students will stay engaged. Not only do schools with the AACSB seal provide educational opportunities to their students, they also provide career opportunities that you will just not have access to when attending a school that has not earned the award. Upon graduation, your degree will be perceived highly and you will be a marketable candidate.

How to Find Accredited Programs to Prepare You to be an Accountant

If you want to find the right program to earn your undergraduate or business degree, you should focus first on regionally accredited programs and second on programs that are accredited by a specialized professional association. You can check the status of regional and programmatic awards through the US Department of Education first. This database will show you a list of all of the associations and agencies that are recognized by the department at a regional, national and specialized level. By reviewing the list on this database, you can find out all of the information you need without going straight to the association.

You spend a great deal of money on your higher education when you are studying to pursue a specific profession. This is why you should research the accountant programs that you can take either online or on-site first. While there are many factors that should be of importance to you, the most important thing all students should be aware of is whether or not the program is accredited. Check the status of an accounting program’s accreditation and then you can start delving deeper as you compare your options.