Accounting is a process by which financial data and economic activities of organizations and individuals are collected, sorted, summarized and presented. It is very significantly used as a means of determining financial stability, wealth, profitability and liquidity. With the amount and quality of information provided through accounting, the leaders of an organization or company acquires the knowledge they need to keep their business or project financially healthy. Another way accounting is used is in complying with government regulations in reporting your income and handling your taxes. Over the years, most aspects of accounting have been integrated into the technology used by groups and individuals.
A degree in accounting is often compared to a degree in finance. You can learn more about finance degrees in StudyLink’s Finance Degree Guide.
More often than not, obtaining an accounting degree would require the student to take foundation courses or units in key topics such as accounting, law, statistics, finance and business. This is in addition to general education courses that the student might be required to take such as literature, mathematics, and history. Because of modern technology, students of accounting may also take courses in information systems.
Students are also likely to be able to take a specialization during their degree program. Specializations will be discussed later in the article.
Entrance into an accounting degree program varies from institution to institution and even country to country. In the US, some universities require you to take an entrance exam, while some will take into consideration national or standard exams. In the UK, A-Levels may be considered. A number of universities also take into consideration advanced placement exams, while some consider transfer credits for post-secondary students or applicants.
Usually, a strong background in mathematics and economics is required for entrance into accounting degree programs.
For international applicants, proof of education and language proficiency is often required. For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
For a complete list of requirements, you are advised to check out or contact the institution you are interested in applying to.
As mentioned earlier in the article, specializations are available in a number of institutions. This may be a required part of the degree program for accounting or it may be optional, depending on the institution. Below is a short list of common specializations offered by universities:
The accreditation of a degree usually depends on the country where the degree is awarded. In most cases, countries have their own accrediting systems for universities, students and graduates. Please check with the institution you are interested in for their accreditation details.
In addition to having graduated from an accredited degree program, some states and countries require individuals to take a certification exam to be able to be called public accountants.
A degree in accounting can take anywhere from three to four years. The exact period of time would depend on the university of your choice and the country wherein it is located. It may also depend on what type of degree is being awarded. Typically, double degrees are expected to take longer, while associate degrees take shorter than bachelor’s degrees.
There are also degrees available for those interested in accounting at the master’s level. In most cases, master’s degrees are available as MBAs with a focus or specialization in accounting. Other further studies options include courses and programs by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and other institutions specializing in the field.
A significant number of accounting degree graduates go into work related to business, HR, financial, secretarial and numerical clerkship. Many graduates choose to take traineeships and other positions in accounting and auditing firms as part of their career path to becoming accountants.
Those who choose not to become accountants take positions such as consultant, banker, purchasing manager, budget analyst, risk management and many others that are available in the different fields.
There are many directions you can take if you choose to pursue a degree program in accounting. Accounting graduates are known to have transferrable skills such as knowledge of business practices and issues, analytical ability, financial competency and accuracy.
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