Accounting Vs. Finance

<p>On most job postings I see pertaining to business, it usually requires a bachelors degree either in accounting or finance. I want to know what the difference between accounting and finance is if there is a job that could be performed with either an accounting or a finance degreee?</p>

<p>Let's just say 100% of jobs that require a finance degree can be performed by an accounting degree and ~75% or less of jobs that require an accounting degree can be performed by a finance degree.</p>

<p>Basically what 311Griff said. For a Fortune 500 company, you're better off with an accounting degree. If you read the job descriptions of "financial analyst," some of them sound like accountants. Unlike investment banks, the term is often used interchangeably at Fortune 500 companies.</p>

<p>what about an accounting and finance double major (that's what I'm planning to do at Stern). I'm guessing there would be a ton of overlap...also Stern has 2 accounting majors (1 for a CPA track and 1 that is usually paired w/ another major). If I'm doing the second, does that mean that I will be at a significant disadvantage compared to those who did the CPA track.
From stern's site
Career Opportunities in Finance and Related Fields
For students anticipating careers in Financial Markets, Investment Banking, Corporate Finance and related areas, a Finance-Accounting co major offers the most effective preparation. Finance deals mainly with assessing financial viability of businesses, valuation and management of financial resources. All these functions rely on financial statements and other financial information about businesses. This information is gathered, analyzed and prepared by accountants. Success as Finance professionals thus requires the ability to read and analyze financial information, particularly financial statements. Extensive feedback from independently conducted focus group surveys (ref to full report), conversations with recently graduated Stern undergraduates suggest that a key element for success in finance is a strong accounting background. Evidence from focus group surveys show that recruiters from major financial institutions who recruit Finance majors at Stern consider Accounting electives such as financial statement analysis essential. This explains why over 90% of Stern MBA Finance majors take Accounting electives. For those Finance majors hoping career in securities brokerage field, a Finance-Accounting co major will help prepare you for the CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) examinations.</p>

<p>"If I'm doing the second, does that mean that I will be at a significant disadvantage compared to those who did the CPA track."</p>

<p>I think that the "Career Opportunities in Finance and Related Fields" sums it up rather nicely, but I'll add a few things.</p>

<p>Accounting and Finance are rather different and the content you'll learn in upper level courses don't really overlap much. Accountants do, however, need to understand finance and economics and those in finance need to understand accounting. Many accounting theories and principles are based on financial theory and all of the information finance workers use is compiled by accountants (usually using GAAP). </p>

<p>If you plan on going into finance, then either an accounting or finance background will service you well. Having a CPA's education is not required (and it perhaps a bit overkill); however, there are people who work in finance who don't really understand how to read a financial statement (which can be quite complicated). Having a strong background in both areas would be an asset.</p>

<p>If you plan on going into accounting, then I can't emphasize enough: do whatever you can to be ready to sit for the CPA exam. Requirements vary by state, but there are specific courses you need to take and you usually need at least 150 credit hours of education.</p>

<p>"I want to know what the difference between accounting and finance is if there is a job that could be performed with either an accounting or a finance degreee?"</p>

<p>Finance is simply economics, but rooted in business rather than social science (finance focuses on the markets, economics focuses on people's behavior). Accounting is, at its most basic level, what is done to account for an organization's or an individual's performance. Lower level accounting focuses on recording transactions (bookkeeping). Upper level accounting involves understanding a firm's internal control (processes that make sure things happen as they are supposed to), understanding financial statements, making managerial decisions based on accounting informaiton and balancing law and economics when determining a firm's accounting procedures. In addition to understanding the economic substance of a firm and its operations, accounting requires you to understand a lot of law and regulation (which is where GAAP comes from). In practice, you'll find that accounting has more to do with law than it does with finance or economics.</p>

<p>Many jobs accept both finance and accounting majors because the knowledge required for both majors is complementary--knowing accounting helps quite a bit, for instance, when trying to value a company based on its financial statements.</p>

<p>Firstly, everyone here that has posted has yet to work in a business environment. Let me be the first to tell you that Accounting majors typically propose that, "I do a harder major therefore I = better job." Let them have the book keeping because if you get a finance degree you will be keeping them in business. Ask an accounting major how to hedge in a backwardation market. Yes you dont know how to operate the financial instruments you keep record on but you can tell me what my balance is. Bottom line, If you take finance every farmer and businessman who utilizes the CME group will want your business. </p>

<p>Here is how I ran into this site. I too was a accounting / finance student. I took every high level account class yes intermediate 1 and 2 and I took taxation as well. All I leanred is what quicken books already does. That aside many close friends of mine do very well in Accounting. However, If you want to know why the european union and MF global fell at the same time take finance. If you want to know why the government and the fed need to have a low interest rate take finance. If you want to learn fifo and lifo and how to keep record based on the GAAP and the FASB then by all means take accounting because you will be making money in both. Just ask yourself this, are there any films based off accounting? I know its a fatalistic point but I feel it should stand alone.</p>

<p>If you have any qualms with my answer please feel free to let me know and if you would like any information dealing with the financial markets again please inform me. Other than that I taught statistics and accounting and the people who came in for accounting help also came to me for statistics. The ones who came in for statistics thought accounting was a joke. There was no vise versa.</p>

<p>Looking at major requirements for my school you take multiple accounting classes for a finance degree where as you do not take any finance classes for an accounting degree.</p>

<p>I have a "qualm". You just answered an almost SIX YEAR OLD POST. </p>

<p>I got news for you and everyone else in this thread. Neither subject is rocket science. I double majored in Accounting and Finance and the two are different subjects. Anyone who says that an accounting major can do anything a finance major can do is doing nothing but spreading internet forum ignorance.</p>

<p>However, I can tell you that as someone who double majored in Accounting and Finance, has a CPA, and has passed the first part of the CFA...my qualifications on the Accounting side will put me far ahead of any run of the mill Finance major for corporate finance jobs. </p>

<p>And buddy, going to SIUC the jobs you are going to get are NOT going to be the ones they make movies about either so relax Charlie Sheen. </p>

<p>
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All I leanred is what quicken books already does

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</p>

<p>Further evidence that your school is ****. I mean, you come on here talking about "none of you have ever worked in a business environment". Have you?? There is not a single F500 company that uses Quicken for their accounting work. If they did, you'd have a valid point, but because they don't it sounds like the only work you've done is mom and pop crap. </p>

<p>The MOST popular designation for F500 CFOs is...the CPA. </p>

<p>
[quote]
However, If you want to know why the european union and MF global fell at the same time take finance

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</p>

<p>Understanding this has VERY LITTLE to do with understanding Finance. The word you are looking for is Economics. And anybody with the basic lower-core of business can watch CNBC and answer this question.</p>

<p>And PS...the questions you posed to look like a bad ass are nothing more than basic Intermediate Managerial Finance ONE questions. They aren't complicated and can be done by downloading a macro-enabled excel sheet. I bet you won't be able to tell me how your decisions will impact the company the way a CPA will, though.</p>

<p>TL;DR - this dude is just some guy who got a Finance degree from a crappy school and bumps 6 year old posts to make him feel better about the fact that Accounting majors have an easier time finding jobs.</p>

<p>SIUCFinance, "If you want to know why the government and the fed need to have a low interest rate take finance."</p>

<p>Low interest rates provoked the housing bubble. I don't think that students should be taught that low interest rates improve the economy. Alan and Ben screwed us up. Check out this videos if you haven't seen them already:</p>

<p>Fight</a> of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two - YouTube</p>

<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk&feature=fvwrel%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0nERTFo-Sk&feature=fvwrel&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>workingATbig4, </p>

<p>You are a genius, if you managed to do that at 23 :D</p>

<p>SIUCFinance, there is a good movie about an accountant called "Deception" which came out in 2008, but is still good. You can watch it online. Synopsis: </p>

<p>"Jonathan McQuarry is an auditor in Manhattan, moving from office to office checking their books. While working late, a smooth and well-dressed man named Wyatt Bose chats Jonathan up, offers him a joint, and soon they're pals. When their cell phones are accidentally swapped, Jonathan answers Wyatt's phone to a series of women asking if he's free tonight. Jonathan discovers it's a sex club: busy powerful people meet each other anonymously in hotels. Jonathan falls for one of the club members, whom he knows only as "S," whom he's also seen on a subway. When she goes missing, patterns emerge and Jonathan faces demands involving violence and lots of money." </p>

<p>How do like that lol??</p>

<p>finance is much easier ;))</p>