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Everything you wanted to know or should know about accounting

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Replies to: Everything you wanted to know or should know about accounting

  • KidNOVAKidNOVA Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    No. Accounting classes are suppose to be harder than Finance classes. In fact, Accounting major is the hardest business major followed by Finance. Perhaps its the professor you're taking that is making it really hard. Accounting majors do not dislike finance.
  • DmitriRDmitriR Registered User Posts: 838 Member
    edited March 2015
    Hello I had a question for any Accounting majors out there. Do any of you dislike Finance classes as much as I do? I find corporate finance extremely difficult and hard to get an A in the course as well. Is it normal for an accounting major to dislike finance and find it difficult?

    Finance and accounting are not really the same thing, though they often get lumped together. I wouldn't say it's "normal" for accounting majors to hate finance any more than I would say it's "normal" for History majors to hate Literature classes. They require different skill-sets and approaches; in my personal experience, for example, finance requires more higher-level mathematics than accounting. With accounting you can probably get the introductory courses just using a simple four-function calculator. With finance, even the basics require things like present value factors and discount rates, which means that you're either using a special calculator or pulling out a chart and trying to line up periods and interest rates.

    Accounting / financial reporting tends to be more rules-based (at least when you're learning it) and most of the thought is memorizing rules and learning how to interpret and apply them to certain situations.

    If you otherwise enjoy your accounting classes, I wouldn't let the finance classes get you down though. Hang in there, and good luck!
  • LifeLookingBleakLifeLookingBleak Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    Hi. I'm a senior in HS and I'm planning to go into the accounting field. My college choice currently right now is Cal State Fullerton. Do the Big 4 recruit from there? How are my chances of getting an accounting job right after CSUF? How has the accounting world changed from 2008 (when this thread started) till now 2015? Should I double major in finance?
  • mike50mike50 Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    I'm majoring in accounting and I have a 2.5 GPA, no internships, and go to a no-name state school in Detroit. The Big 4 won't even look at me because of my GPA, and I don't think I could get accepted to any Master's in Accounting program. I think I'm screwed. I want to work as a corporate accountant, but don't know how I will find a job after college. I currently have experience working as an accounting clerk/bookkeeper making $15/hr, but I'm aiming for a job that pays $45-50k+ after college. I don't know what to do. My main goal is to have good job security and make $70k by age 30. And some day I want to get my CPA and start my own CPA firm. Could someone please give me advice.
  • DmitriRDmitriR Registered User Posts: 838 Member
    Hey Mike,

    What year are you right now? It might not be too late to pull up your GPA or to secure an internship.

    Remember - there are hundreds of accounting firms beyond the Big 4. Have you looked at any local or regional firms in your area? You might be selling yourself short when it comes to explaining why you are a good hire for an accounting firm. You already have experience working as an accounting clerk; that probably means that you have some direct business experience that many/most college students don't have. You have experience on the business cycle and how data goes into a business's system and gets recorded. It's likely that you have experience with an accounting information system like Quickbooks or Peachtree or some other software. If it's not already on there, I would try to play up the skills you developed and the experience you have on your resume.

    What kind of company did/do you work for? If you can find a firm that provides audit or tax services to similar companies, that could be a great place for you to apply. Talk to the people at your career center and get a list of the firms that recruit from your campus. Your school might not be a "no name" nationally-speaking, but realistically most people who work in an area graduate from college in that area; I might have never heard of it, but the influential people who make decisions at the local and regional accounting firms will know about it. If you need more leads, you can probably reach out to the other schools in your state university system -- you might be able to go to their events, or if that's not practical you can at least get information about recruiters and firms from their career centers.

    (You might even be able to get some leads from the people you worked for.)

    As far as the CPA goes, I think that's something that you want to get on sooner rather than later. It is harder to study for the CPA exam while working. It's definitely doable, but it's more challenging than it has to be. If you already know that you want to do it now, I would try to see if you can get started after you graduate if it's at all possible.

  • acctlanacctlan Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Thank you so much for this post!
  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum Registered User Posts: 864 Member
    LifeLookingBleak: The Big 4 firms do recruit from CSUF. Just keep your grades high. They do have more slots for the big name schools, i.e., USC, UCLA. UCB Haas, etc.

    The CPA requirements have changed since 2008. The biggest change is the college units requirements. To become a CPA, now you need an additional 30 semester or 45 quarter units beyond the normal units for a bachelors degree. You can fulfill that by taking classes at a community college, certificate program, extension program, etc. or a 1 year Masters program, such as accounting at USC, Univ. of Washington, some of the CSU's or other private colleges, or a MBA.
  • AleeraAleera Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    I actually thought finance was easier than accounting to study. I really enjoyed reading about the financial scandals and thought I would double major at some point but just went back to accounting. All the finance jobs in my area were commission selling life insurance and products I knew were not good for the end consumer, so I went back to studying accounting because hourly or salaried work are a better fit for me. Anyway, the only finance I've used in intermediate accounting was from amortization schedules and basic concepts, so taking finance before intermediate 1 is probably a good idea.

    When the brand of the school is not as good as whatever the state flagship is (mine being UF); it's harder to get recruited by big 4, you should try to have better GPA, jobs &/ leadership roles, and luck. I can speak from experience that being president (or an officer) of whatever accounting club or involved in BAP helps get interviews. But salary negotiation is a game I've never been good at. I always end up working fixed hourly accounting-related jobs in academia.

    Mike- I would hold on to your job and if you have any debt pay that off while the interest is being deferred while you're in school. $15 hourly isn't bad. I thought I would get the big 4 offers my peers got, because they would tell me to reach out when I got the 150 credits (all following Florida guidelines- 36 credit hours in accounting etc.) or as a second year masters student. But a nice hourly is also a trap. But work experience part-time or full-time counts towards MBA admissions. So one of the reasons I put up with clique drama and coworker threats in my academic job was 13.67 an hour to start getting out of debt. It's doable if you have decent experience to get into an AACSB MBA program having below a 3.0. My accounting GPA was always higher than overall. But it's what kills my chances of landing decent paying jobs; I lost out on a 42k medium firm position last spring. My GRE score is above minimum for my area and that should be the first step in applying if the GRE (or worse GMAT) is required, take a summer and get that out of the way. I did my GRE in summer 2014 and I only would have done better had I taken a semester long course in geometry and studied intermediate French. The only books I read are accounting, math, or chemistry related, so my verbal was average. It will be hard to excuse the GPA in a SOP, so work experience will be important.

    If you aren't deep in possibly taking the CPA exam if you are eligible. I'm planning to either enter a reputable Masters in Accounting program this fall (if accepted, I finished earlier this week getting LORs in) and/ possibly to continue my studies, to become a GTA. I'm also considering the CFE. MBA- Accounting is another option I think about, because it has graduate credit hours in accounting and has the benefits of an MBA. One of my professors said to get both the MBA and CPA to be both, she had to get a masters of accounting and MBA. But MBA Accounting is a Masters of Accounting option for those not going into tax (they would be better with a masters of tax). I had also looked into Masters with fraud concentrations but there are so few affordable, reputable options, that would accept me. I would be happiest within accounting studying fraud. I discovered that when I took audit and read the Enron case and did research on assignments for audit and fraud classes. I never studied for outside of classes the CPA exam or sat. Some of my accounting interviews (darn stress interview was horrible) just make me want to crawl inside a hole and not try again for another year. Everyone was nicer before I graduated in the world of interviewing.



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