fbpx

Best Accounting Schools in Kansas in 2021

October 4, 2021 | Staff Writers

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Benefits of earning your accounting degree in Kansas

As an accounting student, there’s a good chance you’re serious about taking care of your spending habits. If cost of living is one of the most important factors when choosing a college to study accounting, Kansas could be the perfect location for you.

The Sunflower State comes in at number two in U.S. News & World Report’s list of the 10 most affordable states, and number eight on CNBC‘s list of the cheapest states to live in America. Infrastructure, opportunity, and natural environment are Kansas’ three top scoring categories, which is promising for individuals who are interested in working in accounting, finance, or any business setting. 

Following from a tax experiment in the state, which didn’t go so well, Kansas’ economy is experiencing a bounce-back. One of the most attractive aspects of working in this state is the relative shortage of accounting professionals, as highlighted by the high number of accountant and auditor job vacancies.  

Benefits of studying in Kansas

Kansas is well-known for its vast prairies and plains, as well as wheat production, tornadoes — and of course, the Wizard of Oz. However, there are a myriad of other reasons to study, work, and live in this laid-back location, including cost-of-living, commute times, and a strong job market. Read on to find out more:

  • Affordability: If buying a house and settling down is high on your list of priorities, but you don’t have access to the fortune required to buy a house in New York or California — Kansas is ideal. You could realistically buy a property that costs the same or less than your annual earnings, and rent is lower than pretty much anywhere else in the U.S. This state is ideal if you love the quiet life and want to get a sense of security and accomplishment without working ridiculously long hours.
  • Country clubs: Country clubs are a big thing in Kansas, and they’re affordable. In this area, joining a country club is like joining a gym, except it gives you access to stunning restaurants, socializing opportunities, and fine beverages.
  • Strong job market: Trade and transportation are some industries that have a strong presence in Kansas, and the unemployment rate is consistently below the U.S. average. While it might not be among the top states when it comes to big business, there are tons of industries and opportunities for ambitious individuals to join organizations or set up their own business. Plus, the relative lack of competition for top roles means you could climb the corporate ladder faster than you could in a more densely populated, competitive locale.
  • Commuting: No-one likes sitting in traffic, it wastes valuable time that you could spend being productive or enjoying the spoils of your hard work. In Kansas, there’s so little traffic that you can live outside of a big city and commute in without sitting in traffic at all. This means you can buy a huge house in a rural area for cheap and live like a king or queen.  
  • Entrepreneurial spirit: People might not immediately think about entrepreneurial spirit when they hear the word Kansas, but big brands like Pizza Hut and White Castle started out there. There’s an independent, go-getter spirit in this friendly, rural state.

Accounting careers 

Once you’re qualified, you’ll have a host of career paths to choose from depending on your unique skill set and goals for the future. Some accountants take great pride in working for the public sector as a CPA while others are all about getting a finance job in a company with a global presence.

Many people elect to study accounting in view of setting up their own business or working in managerial positions. If this is the case, you need a mixture of hard and soft skills that are best learned on a master’s degree program. Let’s take a look at some popular job titles for accounting graduates in Kansas.  

Accountant

Accountants are responsible for tracking a company’s cash flow, organizing and presenting financial reports, taxation, insurance, payroll, budgeting, and managing financial statements. At management level, you’ll also be responsible for a team of accounting professionals. 

Many accountants hold certified public accountant status, which means they’ve taken a difficult exam that demonstrates exceptional knowledge and understanding of financial matters. Most employers require that public accountants have a CPA license, and it’s a requisite for many private jobs as well.

Bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is an excellent career for individuals who don’t want to study for years but have an eye for numbers. In this job, you’re in the trenches, dealing with the day-to-day accounting tasks of a small- or medium-sized business. Job duties include: Receiving and recording vouchers, checks, cash, and electronic transactions; posting financial transactions, and keeping records using financial software, spreadsheets and databases.

You can get into this career with nothing more than a high school diploma, but studying an associate’s degree is an excellent way to gain the foundational knowledge necessary to excel in this role. If you choose the company you work for wisely and demonstrate exceptional abilities, you could climb up the career ladder.

Chief financial officer

The final stop at the top of the accounting career ladder is arguably that of a CFO if going into business yourself doesn’t appeal. This level sees you managing directors and taking ultimate responsibility for an organization’s financial operations. Most CFOs have extensive experience in addition to master’s degrees and multiple certifications. 

In this role, accounting professionals develop strategies to improve operational efficiency, establish financial targets, oversee the budget, and network with executives, investors, and other key stakeholders. 

Budget analyst

If statistics and applies mathematics are your strong suits, a career as a budget analyst might appeal to you. In this role, you bridge the gap between a company’s creative goals and the budgetary reality. Making sure a business is profitable is a major feat, and many companies operate with ultra-fine margins. Strong numerical and analytical skills are essential, and accuracy is everything in this role.

Many budget analysts get a graduate accounting degrees so they fully grasp the concepts necessary to move forward in a career as a budget analyst.  

Certified public accountant 

The preferred route for lots of accounting major students is to get 120 semester hours from a bachelor’s degree, obtain the additional 30 college credits or so necessary to be eligible to sit the uniform CPA exam, and then apply for a license. Most of the top accounting professionals in the field get CPA certification, which qualified you to perform a number of duties, such as: Internal reviews, compliance, risk assessment, tax planning, asset management, and public accounting services. 

Certified internal auditor

An auditor has an important role, overseeing the work of accounting professionals and checking it for errors, inconsistencies, fraud, and compliance with local, state, and federal rules and regulations. A CIA performs an array of functions, including financial planning consultation, efficiency recommendations, tracking expenditure and revenue, and observing industry trends.

Job outlook for Kansas accountants 

One of the reasons Kansas appeals to accountants who are interested in a work/life balance so much is because there are plenty of jobs, even in nonmetropolitan areas. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, Kansas has the highest number accountants and auditors employed in a nonmetropolitan area than anywhere else in the states. This is partially due to the strong presence of small businesses, and it’s excellent news if you’re planning on studying and working here.

When it comes to wages, professionals in Kansas earn $70,030, which is just under the national mean annual wage for accountants of $$73,560. Of course, you should take into consideration the extraordinarily low cost of living in the state. If you plan to save a lot of money towards future plans, Kansas might be one of the most sensible places to do it. 

Types of accounting degrees you can earn at schools in Kansas 

Planning a career in accountancy isn’t as straightforward as you might think, but the fruits of your labor are practically guaranteed to be fruitful. There are a number of degree options to choose from, in addition to a selection of professional certifications and organizations to look into. For now, let’s take a look at the degree program options accountancy students can choose from in Kansas. 

Accounting degree options

No matter where you see yourself career-wise in five years, pursuing an education in your chosen field is one of the most effective ways of getting ahead of the competition. Accounting is a little different to other courses in that undergraduate degrees usually take five years instead of four. That said, students can gain a four-year bachelor’s and then get a master’s, and be even more highly-qualified. 

Associate’s degree

Some schools offer associate of applied science degrees, and others have the option to study as an associate of science. While you’re not qualified to sit the uniform CPA examination upon completion of this type of degree, you’re ready for the job market or a transfer to a bachelor’s program. The course usually takes two years to complete, and it’s possible to get an associate’s degree in accounting online or offline. Some core concepts you’ll learn about are:

  • Generally accepted accounting principles
  • Accounting
  • Accounting information systems
  • Business law
  • Business income tax
  • Payroll accounting
  • Principles of financial accounting
  • Introduction to ethics in business and accounting

Bachelor’s degree

The most popular accounting degree for Kansas students is a bachelor’s degree with an additional year of undergraduate courses. A bachelor’s usually takes four years to complete, but it could be fewer if you already have course credits. Most programs offer around 120 semester hours, which is 30 shy of the 150 required by the board for CPA licensure.

Bachelor program examples are Bachelor of Arts in general accounting, bachelor of business administration, and Bachelor of Science in general accounting. Some coursework examples include:

  • International accounting
  • Financial accounting
  • Financial statement analysis
  • Fundamentals of tax
  • Ethics in accounting
  • Cost accounting
  • Auditing best practices
  • Accounting software systems

Master’s degree

Master’s degree take between one and two years to complete, with many Kansas and national schools offering online and offline courses. You’ll learn advanced accounting skills and how to apply them in a business setting, as well as preparing for the CPA exam if that’s your goal. Business leadership and communication strategies are often crucial to job roles that require a master’s level education.

Classes you can expect to attend while studying at this level include:

  • CPA examination prep
  • Accounting and financial analysis
  • Auditing and assurance services
  • Managerial and cost accounting
  • Taxes and business strategy
  • Accounting in public, government, and nonprofit organizations
  • Professional communications for accountants

Ph.D.

The goals of an accounting doctorate program differ significantly from other courses, with a strong focus on research and development. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct research at the highest level, and learn how to apply research methods and processes for optimal accuracy and detail.

In this type of course, you have the potential to answer questions that have been as-yet unanswered, and create original, new research. The work you do will be actionable and hold genuine value within your field of expertise. 

MBA

An MBA is traditionally a course for managers and leaders with a strong focus on organizational behavior, communication, problem-solving, and operations. However, you can elect to study an MBA with accounting, and it provides the perfect skill set for individuals who wish to work in high-level management in jobs where finance is a focal point. An MBA usually takes between one and two years to complete, and is seen by many employers as the ultimate testimony to an accountant’s expertise and proficiency.

Some coursework topics you’d study on this type of course are:  

  • Tax strategy
  • Business law
  • Personal and corporate taxes
  • Leadership and organizational behavior
  • Intermediate accounting
  • Managerial accounting

How a Kansas accounting school prepares you for a career in accounting

Earning a degree is essential for high-level accountants, and even those who aren’t chasing high-flying careers can benefit from getting a qualification. The following courses directly prepare you for the work you can expect to do as an account or auditor in Kansas. 

Accounting coursework topics

There are hundreds of course topics in the field of accounting, finance, and business. Some are offered as required courses, but you’ll choose others depending on your career goals and preferences. The earlier you decide on your future career path, the easier it’ll be to study relevant course topics and get your knowledge up to speed in the right areas. 

Principles of accounting

Many bachelor’s degrees start with courses in non-specific fields to ensure students have a baseline level of knowledge across the board. When you start getting into specifics, the first course you’ll usually study is the GAAP. Balancing accounts and creating cash flow statements are just a couple of the core processes that govern the accounting profession in the United States.  

Intermediate accounting 

Certifications often require that you’ve studied multiple levels of accounting principles. At this level, you move into managerial accounting by learning about concepts like investment opportunities, mergers and acquisitions, and inventory valuation.  

Federal income tax

Laws and regulations surrounding taxation are integral to the work of pretty much all accountants. This course explores subjects such as progressive tax codes, deduction procedures, the history of income tax, and the effect of charity on tax. Another topic you might look into is capital gains tax. 

Accounting in the public sector

If you’re going to get a CPA license, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a course like this. You’ll learn about how public accounting differs from other types, and learn about the different structures and systems that govern government bodies and nonprofit organizations.  

Cost management

One of the constant battles all businesses go through is the fight to keep expenditure down without affecting quality. Being too tight with the budget often costs stakeholders and can send a business under, while spending too much is a sure-fire way to fail. Accountants use expertise gained in this course to help decision-makers make the right choices. 

Corporate finance

Sometimes balancing financial statement in a corporate environment requires creativity, and all investments must be made in the interest of all relevant stakeholders. In this course, you learn how much financial decisions impact on future outcomes.  

Financial statement analysis

As an accountant, you’ll spend a lot of time compiling, analyzing and reporting on financial statements. This course teaches you how to create, read, and report on financial documents, as well as teaching you the different requirements from public and private organizations.

Personal finance

This topic teaches students about personal financial topics, usually as part of an introduction to the basic principles of accounting. Budgeting, loans, and bank accounts are examples of the concepts you’ll explore. Not only does this help you get comfortable with the subject, but it also provides a decent foundation for the language and ideas you’ll learn about at a more advanced level. 

Quantitative data

Data is an accountant’s best friend, and technology means we have more access to more of it than ever before. Coursework in this subject is mainly about how numerical data points impact decision-making and financial analysis. You’ll learn the most effective ways to present data, both visually and written.

Fraud examination

If you plan on becoming an auditor, a key aspect of your role is to look out for inconsistencies and spot potential fraud. Finding and preventing fraudulent behavior in business is essential for public trust and future growth, and you’ll learn how to thoroughly investigate this complex problem, as well as gaining insight into how to handle occurrences.

Accounting technology and systems 

It used to be that fancy accounting software was the reserve of big business, but now most companies rely on IT systems to streamline processes and procedures to some extent. This course teaches you about the cutting edge accounting tools, how to make the most out of them, and methods to diagnosing software-related problems.  

How to become a CPA in Kansas

If you want to become a CPA, you’ll apply to the Kansas Board of Accountancy, which presides over the licensure process in this state. There are seven stages to getting CPA certified:

  1. Gain 150 semester college credits with a focus in accounting. This should include 30 credits in accounting-specific courses, 42 credits in business and general education courses, and 11 credits in written and spoken communication.  
  2. Kansas CPAs need to be residents of the state, be employed by a state body, or own an accounting business in Kansas to be eligible. You can apply for residency here
  3. Pass the AICPA ethics exam with a score of 90% or above.
  4. In Kansas, NASBA process applications and examination results. You need to pass the CPA exam with a score of 75% or over, which is spread across four sections. The exam has a 50/50 pass rate and many students report that it’s very hard, so be sure to put plenty of time into your studies.
  5. Apply for CPA certification
  6. Complete 2,000 hours of relevant work experience in a private, government, industry, or research setting. This should take one year full-time, but you can take up to three years if you elect to do it on a part-time basis.
  7. Apply for licensure   

Top schools in Kansas with accounting degree programs

Choosing a school isn’t easy — and it shouldn’t be. The decision you make has a major impact on your career and the rest of your life. That said, the features that makes a college appeal to one person wouldn’t necessarily be the same for another. Think carefully about your priorities, whether it’s getting into a top rated U.S. school for accounting, affordability, academic performance, and degree choices.

This list takes into consideration a range of factors, including cost, course options, size, and internships for graduate programs. Follow the link in the description to find out more about admissions.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University is a large public college in Manhattan that costs around $25,000 per year for tuition before financial aid. If the stress of getting accepted to a highly competitive school doesn’t appeal to you, then the acceptance rate of 95% might be a major selling point. With an impressive graduation rate of 63%, and a reputation as being the happiest college in America, there are plenty more reasons to study here.

There are lots of degree programs to choose from:

  • Bachelor’s in finance
  • Bachelor’s in general accounting
  • Bachelor’s in business management
  • Bachelor’s in business administration
  • Bachelor’s in economics
  • Master’s in general accounting
  • Master’s in economics
  • Master’s in business administration 

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas is a relatively cheap college located in Lawrence, with an acceptance rate of 93% and a graduation rate of 63%. Accounting students have plenty of choices when it comes to picking a degree program, including routes that take them directly to CPA certification. There is plenty of room for customizing your degree courses, with only one or two required courses — you choose the rest.

Accountancy degree course options are:

  • Bachelor’s in finance
  • Bachelor’s in general accounting
  • Bachelor’s in business management
  • Bachelor’s in business administration
  • Master’s in financial accounting
  • Master’s in finance
  • Master’s in business administration 

Emporia State University

Emporia State University  is a well-established public school with online and offline degree options. Tuition costs around $20,000 per year, making it one of the most affordable schools in the Midwest. Individuals with more than three years of management experience can bypass the higher-level entry requirements for an MBA, provided they have an undergraduate degree in a related field with a 3.5 or more.  

You can pick from these degree programs:

  • Bachelor’s in general accounting
  • Bachelor’s in business administration
  • Bachelor’s in economics
  • Master’s in business administration

Wichita State University

Wichita State University continues the trend of Kansas schools having high acceptance rates (92%), decent graduation rates (55%), and relatively inexpensive tuition fees ($25,438). Bachelor’s students gain in-depth knowledge about tax planning, preparing budgets, performing business analysis, and measuring costs.

There are four accounting majors at this school:

  • Bachelor’s in business administration
  • Master’s in general accounting
  • Master’s in economics
  • Master’s in business administration

Friends University

Friends University is a private Christian school in Wichita that costs $42,874 before financial aid for annual tuition fees. The graduation and acceptance rates are 57% and 46%, respectively, and the campus features some of the most stunning architecture in the country. Course options at undergraduate and graduate level are:

  • Bachelor’s in general accounting
  • Bachelor’s in finance
  • Bachelor’s in business administration
  • Master’s in business administration
  • Online master’s in business administration

Pittsburg State University

Pittsburg State University is a large public college with a super high acceptance rate of 96%, and an okay graduation rate of 49%. Tuition costs just over $20,000 and students can choose from the following courses:

  • Bachelor’s in business administration
  • Master’s in business administration

Find the program that’s right for you

Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Scroll to Top