Finance and Accounting Major
Accounting versus Finance: Given the overlapping nature of the degrees Accounting and Finance and the growing popularity of each of them as independent subjects, it is almost inevitable for many students to ask themselves this question. After all, both degrees open the doors to lucrative career options, and there are certainly many similarities inherent in the study of accounting and finance. For this reason, there is now an increasingly pervading trend for students to undertake degrees whereby they have a finance and accounting major.
Bachelor of Science in Accountancy
Firstly, let us examine what is involved in studying for a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. Accounting, the most popular degree in almost any business programme, is a demanding and engaging subject. Accountants do not simply prepare the means by which a company or organisation communicates its financial information; they are more involved in the functioning of a company than that.
A bachelor of science in accountancy involves learning how to measure, analyse, and communicate financial information about an organisation to concerned parties. This includes breaking down information for investors, creditors, management, regulators, and the general public in order to facilitate improvements and to ensure adherence to established rules and guidelines. Still not quite sure what a bachelor’s degree in accountancy entails in the “language of business”, and how it compares to a bachelor in finance, in the “accounting versus finance” debate? Let’s break it down further.
What is accounting?
Accounting is the process by which financial information about a company, organisation or individual is recorded, grouped, outlined, explained, and communicated. Students in this discipline develop and gain advanced theoretical and practical knowledge of accounting and finance, enhance their computational and calculation skills, and have the opportunity to use specialised accounting software. Most accountancy courses also allow students to utilise their knowledge in a broader context by enabling them to deepen their understanding of how accountancy is relevant to companies and organisations and to the international financial markets.
Bachelor in finance
A bachelor in finance, though superficially similar to a bachelor in accountancy, focuses on a slightly different skills-set. With a finance degree, you will gain more generalist knowledge which paves the way for a career in areas such as investment banking, money managing, commercial banking, financial planning, insurance, or real estate finance. With a bachelor in finance, you are equipping yourself with skills that is arguably more widely applicable to a broader range of potential positions. With a bachelor of science in accountancy, on the other hand, your knowledge base is slightly more focused and specialised and perhaps relevant to a slightly narrower spectrum of careers.
Finance and Accounting Major (Combined)
Undeniably, when we say “Bachelor of Science in Accountancy”, we recognise that there are many different types of accounting degrees, some of which constitute Bachelor of Arts degrees in Accounting. There are also general business degrees with a focus on accounting, such as the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and the Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting. Though most accounting degrees are offered on their own, it is becoming more common to find accounting degrees offered in a joint-degree format with subjects such as finance, economics, or business management.
With this in mind, then, why Accounting and Finance? Mainly because of the comprehensive nature of the degree, which produces graduates who then go on to become qualified accountants, finance specialists, and insurance experts. A Finance and Accounting course usually covers specialised areas, including auditing, budget analysis, portfolio management, investment analysis, mergers and acquisitions, risk analysis, and taxation strategy. Therefore, with regards to the “Accounting versus Finance” debate, you may not need to make the decision at this point in time: just take a Finance and Accounting major (Combined).
With a Bachelor’s degree in both Finance and Accounting, you have the opportunity of combining accounting skills, such as account reconciliation and financial reporting, with more business-oriented concepts. With the latter usually given greater emphasis in a Bachelor in Finance, it enables students to gain a more high-level, strategic perspective on financial and commercial matters. Overall, students get the best of both worlds.
What are the entry requirements for a Finance and Accounting degree?
Students who are applying for this degree must usually show a strong background in mathematics, as well as have taken courses in statistics or business.
What should you expect as an undergraduate?
Generally, undergraduate-level Accounting and Finance degrees last four years in the U.S. and three years in Singapore, the UK, and most other countries. In the first year of this degree, students will learn key concepts and then choose their specialisation. Students will also be encouraged to complete a major research project which involves compiling reports, giving group presentations, and preparing portfolios.
Teaching is usually classroom-based in the typical fashion of individual and group exercises, case studies, lectures, seminars, and workshops. Some institutions also allow students to spend a year interning to gain work experience and professional contacts.
There is a lot to choose from with a Finance and Accounting major (combined degree), but one thing is for certain: graduates who are fluent in both of these overlapping disciplines are a valuable commodity in the business world. As uncertain as the world of business can be, such graduates can rest assured that they will have many career options in front of them.
Still considering? No worries, as there are many other course guides available on our site which will help you navigate what to expect from other academic programmes.