An Accounting & Finance degree focuses on the management of monetary resources available to an organization. Such a degree is aimed at students who want to pursue careers in investment analysis, management, banking, auditing, consulting and financial management. It teaches students how to assess the assets and liabilities of an organization financially and manage the financial risk of their activity.
Accounting & Finance covers the core areas of financial accounting, management accounting and finance but also includes other aspects of the business activity, such as financial management and control, corporate finance, company accounts, investment and business law. Optional module options provided by different universities around the world often allow students to specialize in a particular area such as auditing, taxation, etc.
The completion of an Accounting & Finance degree comes along with numerous benefits. Students develop strong analytical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, which are highly demanded by employers in both the private and the public sector and result in graduates often finding employment in large multinational organizations that offer professional services such as PwC, KPMG and Deloitte. On top of that, established companies around the world offer excellent and well-structured graduate schemes, which help Accounting & Finance graduates to kick-start their careers.
Accounting & Finance degrees are mostly practically oriented. They allow students to put the knowledge and skills they acquire on a daily basis to practice through simulated and real-life business accounts management and work placement opportunities.
Most Accounting & Finance degrees are professionally accredited by professional bodies, such as ACCA, AIA, CIMA, ICAEW and CIPFA, which provides students with the opportunity to become chartered accountants. Students gain professional qualifications in accountancy, which eliminates the need for additional certifications after graduation.
Due to the nature of the Accounting & Finance Degree, which complements business-related subjects, students often have the opportunity to complete a joint honours degree.
An Accounting & Finance degree’s duration varies depending on the country and degree level. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting & Finance can be completed in three years. However, universities also offer students the option to take a sandwich course, which allows them to undertake a year-long placement between their second and third year, which extends the course to four years. Four years is the regular time of completion of this degree in other countries, such as the United States.
The first year of a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance introduces the core principles of accounting and finance, including financial accounting, management accounting and finance as well as economics and business law. The second year’s focus is usually on managerial and business economics, financial control, corporate finance and company accounts, but optional modules might enable students to pursue their interests in other aspects of Accounting & Finance such as auditing or strategic business analysis. At this point, students studying at Higher Education Institutions in the UK could choose to take an industry placement in order to apply the theoretical concepts and the acquired knowledge to practice in the professional environment. The next stage of this degree is dedicated to further-developing students’ knowledge of financial and management accounting. Optional modules might enable students to specialize in a particular area of their choice such as auditing or taxation in some countries like the UK.
Masters’ degrees in Accounting & Finance usually take between 12 and 18 months to complete depending on the country that students choose for their studies.
Research-based degrees, such as MPhil and PhD, can take anywhere between 1 and 7 years depending on the country and type of degree. MPhil degrees in Accounting & Finance in the UK usually take 12 months if it is studied full-time and 24 months for part-time studies. PhD degrees in the UK, on the other hand, take about 36 months to complete if studying full-time and 72 months for a part-time program. In the US, students may be required to dedicate between 4 and 7 years on their degree.