In academic and business circles, FAME stands for finance, accounting, management, and economics. This acronym was created because these four disciplines are essential in the world of business, with finance and accounting arguably being the most important of the four. However, what do these two disciplines entail, and why should you choose one over the other? In this article, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at finance and accounting in order to help you decide which one is best for you.
When you are at the undergrad level, you can opt to study for a joint finance and accounting degree. However, this will only offer a generalized overview of both fields, while specialization will be more beneficial if you want to gain advanced expertise in one field or another. Either way, the main focus of your studies will revolve around the financial records and reports of an organization. In accounting, this information is used to understand the past of the organization, while in finance, it is used to project future growth and create new financial strategies going forward.
The Accounting Degree in Chicago
An accounting major will prepare you for work either as an accountant or in an accounting-related position. Your post-graduation career will generally revolve around analyzing and making use of financial information in order to generate reports on the organization’s financial health and position. Oftentimes, this means that you will deal with bookkeeping, balance sheets, and income statements. While the profession is generally focused on the past and the present, the reports generated through accounting may be used for planning, decision making, controlling, and stewardship.
You can enter the field of professional accounting with just a bachelor’s degree, but you can opt for postgraduate studies if you want to further specialize and reach higher income tiers. You may also need further professional qualifications in order to become a certified public accountant or a chartered accountant. These qualifications may be earned on the job, and oftentimes, your employer will have a vested interested in subsidizing this process.
The Finance Degree
The finance degree will open a different series of career paths in the business, consultancy, and banking sectors. Your role in these positions will be focused on managing and quantifying the current and future figures of an organization in order to generate predictions and analysis for growth and profit. You will also have the added responsibilities of assessing monetary resources, searching for future funding options, and using accounting reports and statistics in order to create predictions.
As you specialize in the field of finance, you will encounter disciplines such as financial reporting, financial regulation, investment management, quantitative finance, financial modeling, econometrics, capital markets, behavioral finance, financial evaluation, and corporate finance. You will also encounter these specializations during your undergraduate studies, but they often become entire fields of study at the postgraduate level.
Making the Choice Between Being a Finance Major or an Accounting Major
Both the accounting and the finance roles are essential to a business, and the choice between the two disciplines boils down to personal preference, for the most part. However, pragmatically speaking, you can earn a slightly higher average income in finance positions, but you generally have more employment opportunities as an accountant. Long term, both options have the possibility of opening private practices, reaching officer level positions, furthering specialization, or working in the field of research. If you would like to find out more about the benefits of choosing a finance or an accounting major, contact Robert Morris University today. We can help clarify any questions you may have about the coursework, prerequisites, and training you will need to succeed in your future career.