When you talk about accounting or finance, the first word that pops into most people’s minds is money. They may have an accountant and a financial advisor but might not put too much thought into the difference between accounting and finance degrees. If these potential courses of study interest you, explore the difference between accounting and finance and see which type of course suits your interest in your career goals.
The Difference Between Accounting and Finance
For an undergraduate degree, you may be able to combine accounting and finance, but for a graduate degree, you will need to make a choice of which area you will study. In general, accounting tends to deal with more specific financial activities such as bookkeeping, tax preparation and presenting reports for businesses and finance has a broader focus and involves the world of banking, business, and macroeconomics.
An accountant will look at financial information to determine the financial health of businesses or individuals and can provide advice based on findings. Accountants often have to organize and produce reports and documents and are asked to keep financial records.
What You Will Study
The areas of study for an accounting degree often include risk assessment, preparing taxes and auditing. You may also learn forensic accounting or take other areas of specialization. Forensic accounting is essential when investigating fraud, irregular insurance claims, and cybercrime. Maryville now offers a bachelors in accounting program, or for the accountants who have completed a bachelors, there are opportunities for graduate study.
Finance students will learn corporate finance capital markets, investment management, regulation, financial reporting and other topics. Any of these subjects and more can be areas of specialization for finance students. Northeastern offers an online Masters in finance degree. And there are many other opportunities for graduate work in finance available on the Internet.
What You Need to Apply
If you’re applying for undergraduate degrees in finance or accounting, you will need to show that you excel in mathematics and economics. Applying for a graduate degree requires completion of an undergraduate program. You did not have to have a major in economics finance or accounting, but if your bachelors degree was in a subject that is not relevant to finance, you may have to take some prerequisite courses or test out of them to demonstrate your knowledge. As with many other graduate degrees, standardized tests such as the GRE and GMAT might be required. If you graduated from an accounting program, you will have to take an additional test to become a certified account.
What You Can Do with an Accounting or Finance Degree
Accounting and finance degrees are among the most versatile when it comes to finding employment. If you graduate from an accounting program and become certified, you can work with an accounting firm or as a tax preparer. You may serve as a consultant to businesses and give them advice on how best to cut costs and use their resources. A finance degree can gain you entry into the world of investment banking or in a company where there many other careers for those with accounting and finance degrees.