An accounting degree is a favorite choice among students as it gives them the essential skills to succeed in business and finance. Such a degree enhances not only your job security but also your earning potential.
But what exactly is an accounting degree, and is accounting hard? Keep on reading our guide cause we are here to answer all your questions.
What Is An Accounting Degree?
Before diving into an accounting degree, let’s explain what accounting as a process means. Accounting is the recording, classification, and interpretation of the financial information of a business. So now, what is an accounting degree, and what does it mean to major in accounting?
An accounting degree is a multidisciplinary field drawing from information technology, statistics, law, economics, and business. A traditional bachelor’s degree in accounting takes four years to complete.
Accounting helps you gain deep theoretical knowledge in accounting and finance as well as other commercial sectors. Moreover, it helps one master several significant business and accountancy skills such as computational skills, calculation skills, etc.
There are several types of accounting degrees, so depending on your interest, you can specialize in one of the following areas:
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- International Finance
- Taxation accounting
- Forensic Accounting
- Environmental Accounting
- Management Accounting
- Real Estate Accounting
What Do You Learn In An Accounting Degree?
Now that you know what an accounting degree is, let us dive into what exactly you will learn in an accounting degree. In an accounting degree, you will gain deep theoretical and practical knowledge of accounting theories, skills, and techniques. As a student, you will become aware of accounting principles, regulatory issues, business and economics issues, and ethical and legal responsibilities in economics.
Some of the core courses you will take during your studies include:
- Financial Markets
- Management Accounting
- Corporate Finance
- Business Law
- Banking and Investment
Through these courses, there is a long list of skills you will gain, such as:
- Computational skills
- Technology skills
- Quantitative skills
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Financial decision-making skills
- Data analysis skills
- Leadership skills
- Project-management skills
- Creative-thinking skills
- Time-management skills
Is Accounting Hard?
You might have heard different opinions on whether an accounting degree is easy or difficult. This is subjective, but we can’t say that an accounting degree is a piece of cake.
Let us check together the entry requirements for an accounting degree, the curriculum, and other math skills you need to be a high-achieving accounting student, and you determine if these are difficult to achieve or not based on your personal skills and experience.
Accounting degree entry requirements
Depending on the university, those interested in studying accounting must show strong knowledge and skills in different subjects, especially mathematics. While some universities do not have specific subject requirements, most universities have the following entry requirements:
Most universities accept candidates with at least an A or B in Math.
Most universities want their candidates to have taken BTEC 3 National Extended Diploma qualifying in business, science, or engineering.
Universities accept candidates with at least five GCSEs with a grade of C/4 or above in subjects like math and English. Students need to show literacy as well as numerical skills.
Accounting degree curriculum
The major courses taught in accounting in bachelor studies include:
- Accounting Systems
- Federal Income Taxes
- Financial Accounting
- Accounting Software Programs
Just a heads up, if you want to pursue a master’s degree in accounting, the core sources you will take involve:
- Accounting Information Systems
- Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting
- Business, Corporate, and Investment Taxes
- Financial Statements
Accounting theories and skills are taught through many learning methods; classroom learning, case studies, projects, reporting, workshops, and internships. As an accounting student, you will:
- Write reports
- Write essays
- Attend seminars
- Attend hearing from business speakers
- Work on projects and presentations either individually or in groups
Moreover, students often need to undertake professional training through internships and gain industry experience.
Do you need exceptional math skills?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a math genius or have exceptional math skills to get an accounting degree. However, you do need to be good with numbers. This job revolves around numbers, so a basic understanding of numbers, decimals, exponents, and percentages is a must. However, you will not have to solve complex math problems in your head.
Which Skills Do You Need To Succeed In Accounting?
Accounting isn’t only a numbers job but a people’s job. Accountants are a vital part of any company. One of the primary duties of an accountant is to organize complex financial records of a company and handle all financial matters according to law.
Keep reading to learn what core hard and soft skills are needed to succeed in accounting.
Critical thinking skills
An accountant needs to be good at critical thinking. Considering a problem from all angles is an essential skill in accounting. When it comes to making critical financial decisions, accountants need to be able to think critically to estimate risks and outcomes. Being able to consider an issue from different perspectives is essential to determine what the best course of action is.
Besides finding solutions to financial issues, critical thinking skills help accountants predict future challenges that may hit a business and avoid future problems that otherwise might have remained unforeseen.
Being an effective communicator is essential to succeed as an accountant. Both oral and written communication skills are vital. This job requires you to interact with many people daily. You will work on various problems with your colleagues and professionals in the industry so that effective communication will take you a long way.
Moreover, summarizing financial information and explaining it in simple terms is required anytime you need to interact with clients.
Written communication skills are also vital as you will need not only to do simple tasks such as writing emails, but you will also do a lot of report writing in your career.
Being an accountant involves working on many projects simultaneously under strict deadlines. Sometimes you might have tasks that need to be taken care of urgently. So being flexible with your time is also a must. Knowing how to manage time and prioritize tasks will make your life as an accountant way easier.
Ability to analyze data
This is the most important complex skill every accountant should possess. Analyzing financial data can be quite sensitive, and you need to be careful not to make any mistakes. You need to be able to gather and analyze raw financial data. Accountants need to know how to interpret that raw data and solve a company’s financial issues. Furthermore, understanding and analyzing the data will help accountants make future predictions and determine patterns.
Knowledge of accounting practices
Knowledge of basic accounting practices such as auditing helps accountants ensure that the best practices are followed and that no laws or regulations are broken. Accountants also need to be ethically responsible. Understanding the ethical consequences behind certain financial matters is essential.
Benefits of an Accounting Degree
Accounting is one of the oldest professions. It has existed ever since money became a thing and will continue to be essential in the future too. An accounting degree will open the door to many lucrative career opportunities.
These are just some of the high-paying and in-demand positions you can land with an accounting degree in Switzerland and their average annual salary:
- Staff Accountant: CHF 105,720.
- Payroll Clerk: CHF 79,500
- Internal auditor: CHF 122,000
- Budget analyst: CHF 162,000
- Financial analyst: CHF 160,000
- Accounting manager: CHF 184,000
- Loan officer: CHF 71.219
- Certified public accountant: CHF 92.991
- Tax manager: CHF 182,000
- Forensic accountant: CHF 138,000
- Chief financial officer: CHF 268,000
The Bottom Line
Now that you know everything there is to know about majoring in accounting, we leave it up to you to make your own decision. Consider your interests and abilities, and determine if an accounting degree is suitable for you. And don’t fear hard work; it will certainly pay off in the near future.