Education

How Hard Is Financial Accounting

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

If you already know what accounting is, you may be wondering what sets financial accounting apart from the rest of the field of accounting. It is not uncommon for accounting schools to offer a concentration in financial accounting to students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are a wide range of career opportunities open to those who complete a degree in financial accounting. Public accounting and managerial accounting are two of the most in-demand accounting specialties for recent graduates with a degree in finance.

Financial Accounting is a course of study.

The field of accounting concerned with keeping track of a company’s financial transactions is known as financial accounting. These exchanges Financial accounting is a required course for all aspiring accountants. There are two to three different levels of difficulty in the two to three financial accounting courses that students are expected to take during their undergraduate accounting programs. According to U.S. News & World Report, master’s degree programs in accounting often require financial accounting courses as prerequisites.

Students can choose to specialize in financial accounting during their undergraduate or graduate studies. A bachelor’s degree program in accounting may include a concentration in financial accounting as one of several options for students. Financial accounting, managerial accounting, cost and management accounting, intermediate accounting, business finance, advanced financial accounting, advanced auditing, advanced tax, nonprofit accounting, international accounting, and forensic analytics may all be included in a bachelor’s degree program in financial accounting.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, internships with accounting or business firms can provide valuable experience for students in financial accounting programs (BLS).

An MBA in Financial Accounting or similar program may be geared toward students who are working towards their CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA credential (Chartered Management Accountant). An accounting program that focuses on financial accounting tasks, such as deciphering corporate financial communications, strategic cost analysis for management, and audit analytics, might be offered. Some programs may also include studies in more general business and accounting topics such as ethics in business and advanced auditing and accounting information systems in order to prepare students for their credentialing exams.

Students should be able to meet the minimum formal accounting content requirements for becoming a CPA with an undergraduate degree that includes a financial accounting concentration or sequence.

Accounting jobs in the public sector.

Individuals and organizations are legally required to disclose their financial information to the public through the practice of public accounting. As a business consultant, a public accountant’s duties include everything from filing tax returns to conducting audits and providing advice to senior management. According to the BLS, you can choose to specialize in taxation or forensic accounting within the field of public accounting.

To become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you’ll need a degree in financial accounting. In part, this is due to the fact that undergraduate financial accounting programs have curricula that cover all of the areas of study necessary for students to sit for the CPA exam. You can also get closer to becoming a CPA by completing the remaining semester hours required for your bachelor’s degree and those needed to become a CPA by earning your degree in financial accounting. Acquiring the additional 30 semester hours of coursework required for CPA licensure can usually be done in one year or less through a master’s degree program in financial accounting.

According to the Association of International Certified Public Accountants, earning a CPA credential can increase your salary by 10 to 15 percent (AICPA).

Roles in Management Accounting

Managerial accounting is another career choice for students with a strong background in financial accounting. Financial statements are prepared by a managerial accountant, also known as a private or corporate accountant, cost accountant, management or industrial accountant, for the internal use of a business. Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), managers and executives in the company rely on the work of a managerial accountant to help them set budgets, evaluate the organization’s financial performance and plan for expenses.

This credential may have less of an impact on private accountants than on public accountants, but private accountants can still benefit from it.

Comparing and contrasting accounting with finance

Students who are thinking about pursuing a degree in financial accounting should keep in mind that the subject is distinct from finance. Students are often confused about the difference between accounting and finance because the programs of study appear to be so similar. Financial reporting principles and practices and the analysis and interpretation of financial data for the purpose of financial decision-making are the two main areas of concentration for these two master’s degree programs. They also prepare students for a variety of different, but related, career paths.

There is always the option of pursuing a dual major in accounting and finance if you really want to study both. A double major is a lot of work, but it gives you the best of both worlds.

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