Accounting and Finance – Online Certificate and Degree Programs

Accredited online schools and colleges are available to provide certificate and degree training options for students looking to enter the field of accounting and finance.
Training is available at the certificate level of training as well as the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degree level. Students can choose to gain an accredited education in a number of areas from the comfort of their own home. With an accredited online educational learning program students can begin the path to a variety of exciting new careers.

Accounting Technology
Pursuing an education in accounting technology will allow students to obtain an accredited associate level degree. Training will require students to complete two years of study. Coursework will vary by program and desired career but may consist of courses such as managerial accounting, technical communication, accounting information systems, recordkeeping, database systems, and much more. With an accredited associate degree in this area of the field students can pursue careers as accounts payable clerks, financial clerks, bookkeepers, and many other professions. Students can gain the education they need to enter into this field by completing an online program.
Training for a career in bookkeeping can be done by enrolling in an accredited online school or college. Students can pursue a certificate or associate degree in this area of the field. Students can gain their desired level of education by completing one to two years of study. Studies will vary by program but may include coursework like accounting, business taxation, computers, financial management, QuickBooks, and many other related courses. With training in these skill areas students can enter into careers working for a number of businesses and professionals. Students can begin the path to a bookkeeping career by enrolling in an online learning program.
Corporate Finance
Accredited associate, bachelor, and master degrees are available for students to obtain in the area of corporate finance. Training can last anywhere from two to six years depending on the students specific career goals. Coursework will vary by online program but may include the study of accounting, economics, bookkeeping, macroeconomic theory, math, and more based on the level of degree desired. Students can expect to enter into their desired career with accredited training in these areas. Possible careers can include working as government auditors, public accountants, accounting managers, and much more. With an online education students can train for a career in corporate finance at their own leisure.
Finance and Banking
Students can pursue careers in this area of the field by obtaining an accredited associate, bachelor, or master degree. Training can require students to complete two to six years of study based on their desired level of degree. Specific areas of study will vary by level of education but may consist of accounting, business math, human relations, banking instruments, communications, and much more. Possible careers for students who pursue a degree in finance and banking can include working in bank management, corporate finance, financial planning, investment banking, and much more. Students can start the career of their dreams with an online education in this field.

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The Politics of Taxation and Accountability

Western historical experience with taxation has been that a government’s increased financial dependency on tax revenues may generate governance benefits, because it encourages the accountability of the state to its citizens. Explicit or implicit agreement about who should pay tax, at what rates and for what purposes was reached through bargaining between the ruler and the potential taxpayers. In contemporary OECD countries issues of taxation remain central and important – especially around elections.

In contrast, taxation is not high on the domestic political agenda in Balkan countries. With the exception of Greece, the politics of taxation are, in general, limited to involve a few specialized interest groups, and tend to take place in non-public arenas. Small lobby groups pressure for exemptions, for rate reductions on imports, or bargain with officials or ministers about tax liabilities.

Local government taxation is, however, a major exception to this. Around election time, this form of taxation is often high on the political agenda of both national and local politicians.

But, this politicization of local government taxes does not increase tax compliance among citizens. To the contrary, it often undermines local government tax collection efforts. The main reason why issues of taxation has not entered the political agenda in those countries is that only a minority of citizens pay direct taxes to the state and the failure of revenue-raising seems most acute in countries that receive large amounts of aid. Partly as a result of this, donors are increasingly directly involved in recipient country tax policy making and administration. Typically, donors push for ambitious overall revenue targets. This may, in some contexts, have significant but unintended negative influences on (i) taxpayers’ rights through coercive tax enforcement, and (ii) accountability by empowering the bureaucracy at the expense of elected politicians.

As part of the research programme, I have analyzed the relationship between taxation and accountability in the context of tax reforms carried out in a number Balkan countries. I focused on three interrelated issues affecting the relationship between taxation and accountability:
i) The internal accountability of the tax system was assessed with reference to administrative reforms of the tax system;
ii) ii) the democratic accountability of the tax reforms was analyzed by assessing whether the tax reforms created closer links between governments and their citizens; and iii) we also studied to what extent external accountability relations between governments and international donors affected domestic accountability relations.

In this part of the research project I emphasized the ongoing tax reforms in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Serbia where reforms were introduced as part of the economic restructuring agreements with the international donor community.

The research has found that generally, the tax reforms have only to a limited extent succeeded in widening the tax net. Only formal business corporations appear visibly affected by the central government tax reforms. However, our research suggests that a voice and an organized response to the new revenue policies are developing within the business communities in the specific countries. The fact that these issues are being treated through formal, public organizations, rather than through bribery and public deals may indicate the beginning of a link between economic elites and government in issues of revenue generation.

My research indicates that it is not easy to introduce democratic accountability through externally imposed tax reforms. The tax reforms carried out in were to a large extent formulated and imposed by the international donor community. To meet the targets set by the IMF and Ministry of Finance, the revenue authorities in have focused on increasing collection and compliance from existing taxpayers rather than attempting the more complicated task of widening the tax base. Attempts to meet externally set tax-to-GDP targets may undermine democratic accountability if legal processes and taxpayers’ rights are set aside in order to comply with external accountability demands. The semi-military operations to prevent smuggling and tax evasion in Uganda illustrate this concern. Our findings suggest that if coercion is accepted as an integral part of tax collection it is unlikely that state-society relations can become more accountable and democratic.

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