Accounting is the process of recording financial statements for a particular business. Financial statements are written records that convey the business activities and financial performance of a company.
Accountants are responsible for preparing financial statements such as balance sheets, income statements, and statements of cash flow. Preparing financial statements requires a thorough understanding of the underlying concepts, and strong analytical, reporting, and organizational skills.
Before giving you a realistic idea regarding the difficulty of an accounting major I would like to point out the three main types of accounting: financial accounting, managerial accounting, and cost accounting.
Is Accounting Hard?
Accounting is hard. In fact, accounting is considered to be the most difficult business degree when compared with other business majors such as economics and finance. Accounting is not easy is because it requires critical analysis, logical and math skills, and understanding the context of the numbers involved.
Accounting is the most practical and math-oriented business major. The general consensus suggests that accounting is hard because it calls for paying attention to details and having a holistic understanding of accounting principles and laws.
Accounting is hardly ever taught in middle and high school curriculums. Students pursuing accounting in college have almost no prior knowledge about the subject which explains why students struggle big time with introductory and intermediate accounting courses.
Accounting is not intuitive for most people. Almost everybody understands money in and money out. However, very few individuals think of money in accounting principles like appreciation, accruals, depreciation, and double-entry accounting.
The majority of your accounting courses will focus on first understanding and then preparing adequate balance sheets. You will have to put the right numbers in the correct spots in accordance with the accounting rules and regulations.
Simply understanding the concepts is not enough; you will have to memorize a ton of information. An accounting degree is packed with the nitty-gritty stuff.
Accounting is not only the recording of numbers. You must take business, finance, and economics courses to have a good understanding of how the financial world operates. Colleges use an interdisciplinary approach to enable you to become a better accountant. Managing all these courses can be a challenging task.
As an accountant, you must have excellent communication and writing skills. Although the majority of your time will be spent churning numbers; you will have to speak with and write to clients explaining what you are doing. Clients may ask you questions about the financial statements you have prepared and you must answer them convincingly.
Therefore you should be ready for taking writing and communication classes to further your skills in these domains. The wide range of courses and plethora of information may overwhelm you but if you work hard and discipline yourself you should be able to manage.
The general consensus suggests that most students struggle with introductory and intermediate accounting courses since they have very little prior knowledge about the basic concepts. After completing the classes in the first two years the remaining courses of your undergraduate degree should not be particularly difficult.
However, if you plan on taking a professional certification such as an ACCA, CPA, CA, CFA, then you should be prepared for some serious work. These certifications will prepare you to work in some of the largest companies and financial institutions in the world. So saying they will be hard is an understatement.
Is Accounting Hard to Learn?
Accounting is hard to learn but it is not the hardest degree offered by colleges today. Accounting is harder than most majors but not quite as difficult as a STEM degree. Accounting concepts are not intuitive which explains why you must put in a lot of effort to learn accounting.
Why is Accounting So Difficult?
Accounting is so difficult for students because they have not studied accounting before. Furthermore, accounting is hard because it is a very applied subject and you must understand the underlying principles before you can implement them. Accounting also requires you to pay attention to details and be very organized.
Is the Math in Accounting Hard?
The math in accounting is not very hard. Accounting math essentially comprises of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and some algebra. The math in accounting is not more complex than what you would have studied in high school.
However, accounting does require a great deal of implementation of the math you have studied previously. There are a lot of accounting principles that you must thoroughly understand before you can apply them mathematically.
Do Accountants Have to be Good at Math?
Accountants have to be good at basic math but not advanced levels of math. Accounting requires you to be proficient with math as practically every accounting task requires math to some extent or the other. Accounting is simply an application of mathematics which explains why accountants have to be good at math
Is Financial Accounting Hard?
Financial accounting is one of the hardest types of accounting. Financial accounting is difficult because it requires strong analytical skills and an in-depth understanding of challenging accounting principles. The primary goal of financial accountants is to prepare error-free financial statements.
Financial accounting is also considered the most important branch of accounting. Financial accountants are responsible for keeping track of a company’s financial transactions.
Financial accounting helps a company understand their fundamentals and how they are doing overall. It also serves the purpose of communicating the company’s financial position to creditors and investors which in turn allows them to make informed decisions about their lending practices and investments respectively.
Is Finance Harder than Accounting?
Finance is not harder than accounting. In fact, accounting is the most difficult amongst the business majors which include economics, finance, and business itself. Accounting is harder than finance because it is a much more detail-oriented and rigorous major.
Finance is relatively easier since it is more theoretical and having a good understanding of financial concepts is sufficient. On the other hand, you must be really good with accounting and understand everything nearly perfectly in order to prepare financial statements.
Accounting is much more detail-oriented whereas finance is more holistic in nature. Accountants must also have excellent organizational skills in order to succeed in the field.
Is Accounting a Dying Career?
Accounting is not a dying career at all. Over the next decade accounting jobs are expected to increase at a rate of 4 percent, around the national average. Accountants are equally important during both financial upturns and downturns which makes it a stable career.
An influx of technology will certainly have an impact on an accounting career. Accountants will have to keep up to date with the technological advancements and ever-changing rules and regulations in their field.
Since accounting requires a lot of individual input it is not under any real risk from automation or artificial intelligence. At the moment technology is only making the jobs of accountants easier.
Nevertheless, advancements in technology have made accounting a more efficient field which in turn has led to a slight decline in entry-level jobs such as bookkeeping in any particular company. However, the overall increase in the number of companies has not affected accounting jobs as a whole.
In fact, taking professional certifications such as the CPA or CA will radically increase your chances of getting meaningful employment.
Is Getting a Job in Accounting Hard?
Getting a job in accounting is not particularly hard. Accountants are some of the most in-demand employees today. Nevertheless, you must have an in-depth understanding of accounting concepts, good problem-solving skills, and keep up to date with the latest accounting rules and regulations.
In fact, taking professional certifications such as the CPA or CA will radically increase your chances of gaining meaningful employment.
Is an Accounting Degree Worth It?
An accounting degree is absolutely worth it. Accountants make more money than average graduates. Accounting is a well-respected career and employers are happy to reward their employees with multiple benefits. Accounting is a highly sought-after degree and almost future-proof.
An accounting degree is considered an asset in today’s labour market. Accountants are readily employed regardless of how the economy is doing.
Furthermore, accountants are lavishly compensated for their tedious, difficult, and stressful work in the form of benefits such as gym memberships, health and dental insurance, the option to buy company stock, help with student debt repayment, and many more.
Is Accounting a Stressful Job?
Accounting is definitely a stressful job. Accountants need to know the newest rules and regulations, must prepare financial statements with great accuracy and in accordance with their company’s policies. Accounting requires near perfection and even the smallest of mistakes can be detrimental to a business.
Accountants must adhere to the policies and be very precise with their work. Accountants spend their entire day working with numbers and preparing financial statements.
A business makes important decisions based on the financial data that accountants provide. The small margin for error makes accounting a stressful job.
Are Accountants Respected?
Accountants are highly respected professionals who work in various industries and are given the important responsibility of representing a businesses’ financial standing to the interested party. Accountants are respected in the workforce as well as in society as a whole.
The main reasons accountants are so respected is because they have an important role in any particular business and also because their work is mundane and boring but stressful and difficult all at the same time.
Why do Accountants Quit?
Accountants quit because their degree is challenging and difficult. Several accountants also quit the workforce after graduating with an accounting degree because they may find their work boring, stressful, hard, or a combination of all three.
Many accountants quit right after a tax season. During tax season an accountant may have to put in a lot more hours; at times an extra 40 hours per week. Dealing with numbers all day would probably lead to burnout unless you have proper mechanisms to relax and destress.
Accounting is certainly a challenging and hard major. In return, you can expect great job opportunities and loads of benefits. Most students who struggle with college seem to do significantly better when they have disciplined themselves and revise consistently.
It is important to acknowledge that accounting is a stressful endeavour and you must take out time to relax and rejuvenate yourself regardless of whether you are in college or in the workforce.