Finance is a subject which causes much distress to several students who take up this course. There is so much in-depth study you would have to go through that it seems to be really difficult when pursuing the course.
However, dealing with this might be easier if you have assistance when it comes to homework or assignments. But before everything else, you must know the difference between accounting and finance.
This is what most pupils like you make a mistake. They think both are same. What you need to know is that they might be related but not same.
Have a look at it in detail!
Difference between accounting and finance
FAME is something university students are quite familiar with. It is not the 1980’s American movie but FAME stands for finance, accounting, management, and economics.
These subjects are essential when it comes to business, especially finance and accounting.
You want to know the difference, right?
To explain it in short, accounting comes with a narrow focus. However, a broader aspect is what finance deals with. It covers numerous wide-ranging specializations when it comes to economics, banking and of course business.
Getting admission in a remarkable college that is one of the best in the world is quite difficult for all. Although, before that, you need to ask yourself what do you want to study finance or accounting.
Having a hard time deciding it? Well, go through this blog. It differentiates between these two subjects which are ideal for comparing and then understanding which would be a better option for you.
When you are opting for an undergraduate degree, it is quite possible for you to opt for joint finance and accounting degree for receiving ample general knowledge about both of these two professions or career paths.
However, if you opt for a specialization then you need to choose one of the two for going through in-depth knowledge to gather advanced expertise in just one specific field.
Accounting focuses on day to day or everyday management of record and reports of financial nature across the business world whereas finance utilizes similar data to understand future growth. Also, analyze various expenditure for strategizing an organization’s finances.
Hence, finance degree scholars are primarily interested in control and strategy while accounting pupils focus more on processes and professional principle that is used for managing numbers instead of influencing them.
Finance and accounting degree covering areas
A degree in finance is an excellent starting for you if you are looking to have a career in financial aspect in different sectors like banking, consultancy, business, etc.
According to salary data which was fetched after a survey showed finance professionals are able to draw in more lucrative amount than accountancy routes.
This is because careers in financial path focus typically in managing current as well as future figures that a business might reach. However, accounting just records past as well as present income along with expenditure of an organization.
It also portrays the fact that people opting for a finance career have added responsibility on then. These include predicting after analyzing data such as growth and profit, assessing resources of monetary value, using accounting reports and statistics, and seeking external funding options for future.
- Specializations in finance
There are a few specific specializations which you can opt for when studying finance. Some of these are a financial evaluation, corporate finance, derivatives, behavioral finance, econometrics, capital markets, financial regulations, investment management, financial modeling, financial reporting, quantitative finance, along with some accounting prospects.
These specializations are what you will learn within one course or program when opting for an undergraduate degree. In a postgraduate study, these specializations can be offered as one entire course depending on college and universities.
Apart from these, there are certainly other programs which include banking, financial management, international finance, risk planning, financial engineering, etc.
This was all about finance but now coming to accounting degree!
Accounting degree offers you a foundation that aids to specialize in accounting careers along with other associated professional paths.
This career chiefly involves analyzing as well as utilizing ample financial information for evaluating a business or company’s financial position. It involves anything and everything from bookkeeping aspects to handling income statements and balance sheets.
Professional accountants have to deal with past and present records as well as other financial reports. It also involves analysis and creation of these records in due time. However, nowadays accountants also extend their services to controlling, planning, stewardship, decision making, and more.
It is quite easy pursuing careers in accounting by just having a bachelor’s degree; masters’ degree is for those people who want to acquire further knowledge in some specialized area.
To become a chartered accountant or CA, you will require getting further qualifications depending on the country one where you want to work.
However, depending on the organization you will be hired, certain qualifications can be acquired while working. These often occur when the employer offers subsidies.
- Specializations in accounting
If you plan on studying accounting then most common specializations include tax, auditing, international accounting, management accounting, risk assessment, etc.
One possible option which is quite intriguing to many is forensic accounting. It will allow you to immerse yourself in numerous real-world case studies.
This is so that you understand clearly how various accounting procedures are utilized during legal proceedings. It helps in understanding fraud cases, corporate ethics, insurance claims, electronic crime, bankruptcy, etc.
Now if you wish to study and have further specialization in accounting for independent researching, can opt for Ph.D. level courses after all the requirement for studying it is achieved by you.
Why you should take finance or accounting degree when opting for an undergraduate degree?
This is something you need to ponder on. You can also opt for it at postgraduate level. However, there are reasons for a person to opt for this in his/her bachelors degree. Have a look at it why!
First of all, you need to understand why these degrees are so popular at graduate level. It has been observed that more than 20% of full-time postgraduate students enroll themselves on a program which is related to FAME (finance, accounting, management, and economics).
It is so much popular due to the fact that the specialized aspect of numerous finance and accounting careers that have a massive demand for ample graduates who can keep up with pace for things like new processes, continuous developments, emerging technologies, changing markets, etc.
If you plan on studying finance or accounting at postgraduate level, then you will benefit from having an in-depth knowledge about models and theories that underlie at a process’ surface level.
Once you are familiar with the basic stuff in your undergraduate studies, it becomes fairly simple to go in-depth when pursuing masters in accounts or finance. Also, completing assignments and papers becomes much easier.
These will help you become better at adapting to a different environment. Also, it assists in making sound decisions related to business at management level.
Requirement to get admission to these courses
For studying finance or accounting when trying to obtain a graduate degree, you wouldn’t require showing any work experience relevant to this course or any academic qualification in finance or accounting.
However, you will require showing your numerical proficiency or grades along with your interest in finance and accounting sectors.
You can achieve it with A-level or high school qualifications which are related to FAME and STEM subjects which include business, economics, mathematics, computer science, and others. Extra-curricular activities like having math club membership are sometimes taken into consideration.
Now coming to the requirement for a postgraduate degree of these subjects!
When you are trying to get admission for postgraduate finance or accounting program there are certain requirements which you need to fulfill.
You need to complete a related undergraduate course or else, you should have a few years of work experience under the belt which should be related to this professional career.
Next is exams like GRE or GMAT if taken might be considered. This is so as it proves your analytic and quantitative capabilities by covering content in previous degree.
However, it is not compulsory in most cases.
There are specific criteria which you would need to fill for becoming a certified accountant. A professional qualification which you need to obtain includes ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) which is globally recognized.
Apart from it, you can also opt for CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) certificate.
Now if you are studying PG, then specific modules and credits might make things simpler for you. Various credits help in exempting you to take any of previously discussed external qualifications.
Practical experience is something which is recognized widely as it is essential for students to have an in-depth understanding of finance and accounts topic that aids in preparing you for a professional career.
However, you should take in mind that in undergraduate programs theoretical approach is taken primarily which is ideal for people who later opt for master’s degrees or research-oriented courses.
There is a lot of opportunities which you can gain from practical experience when studying. This might be a requirement of a degree or be an option which you can be encouraged for pursuing. Also, course leaders advice to opt for this for better future opportunities.
Finance and accounting careers
Finance and accounting graduates are massively sought after professionals. Since more businesses emerge every year there are no signs of slowing down of this trend.
It is expected that more than 10% every year there is an increase in the hiring of these accounting professionals. Hence, a colossal amount of opportunities are available for eligible candidates. Also, more than 11% is expected to rise every year for finance professionals.
Sectors where you most probably can find work after completing a degree includes scientific, management along with consulting services which are technical such as computer design and associated services like tax preparation, accounting, payroll services, book-keeping, and more.
However, you need to keep in mind that several roles which will have the highest growth are those where a specialized postgraduate program is crucial.
Numerous other less or non-specialized roles shows that recently there is a very less demand level such as file clerks, data entry, couriers, typists, switchboard services, etc.
Insurance companies, accountancy firms, investment banks, building societies, public sector, happens to be just some potential employers where you can apply for a job if you have finance or accounting degree.
These multinational companies which offer financial services still offer various popular opportunities which can help you have a defined career.
Firms like these frequently run campaigns through which a large number of professionals are hired who are most promising in this field of work. If you are one of them then an interesting job with a lucrative salary is waiting for you after you get your degree.
However, there is something you need to bear in mind. Ample opportunity is there for people who complete these course but entry is extremely competitive as numerous studies opt for such programs.
So, having certain specialized postgraduate degrees will work in your favor when seeking jobs!
Things to keep in mind
There is one thing you need to keep in mind. These courses are not as easy as it might sound to you. From completing syllabus to getting and submitting assignments take a lot of your time.
To have overall remarkable grades you need to not just do well in your semester exams but also score well in your homework, assignments, papers, projects, etc.
So, now that you have gone through this entire blog, you know which is better for you. Choose wisely as it is the first step towards a professional which you need to stick to for the rest of your life.
Thus, choose wisely keeping everything in mind!
Nancie L Beckett is completed her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and has over 6 years of relative experience in this field. She is known for her helpful endeavors which her students find it interesting and quite valuable to go through such difficult courses.