Is Accounting Hard? (With Student Quotes)

Are you thinking about majoring in accounting, but first want to know – is accounting hard?

Accounting is not as scary as most people make it out to be. It’s pretty simple once you understand how it works and pretty good with math. 

People often think that accounting majors are boring because they study things like taxes and accounting rules. But accounting is also a big part of running a business. It helps you decide what to do, keep track of your spending, and manage your money.

There is a common misconception that accounting majors are dull and uninspiring. But the opposite is true more than anything.

In fact, because they study problem-solving and data analysis, accounting majors are among the most fascinating students in college.

This article will discuss whether accounting is challenging, why individuals believe it to be challenging, whether it is worthwhile, and whether accounting is a viable career option.

Accounting Major

Is Accounting Hard?

Although initially confusing, accounting is a crucial business ability. You must be able to handle cash flow, compute taxes, keep track of transactions, and read financial documents.

Accounting majors will gain a lot of knowledge that will aid them in starting their own businesses. In accounting lessons, you will learn about the many types of accounts and how they operate.

Of all the business degrees, accounting is the most mathematically intensive and practical. Accounting is challenging because it requires close attention to detail and extensive knowledge of the relevant rules and legislation.

Due to its difficulty, accounting is not taught in middle school or high school. Due to the difficulty of even the first and second accounting courses, which many students will struggle with, it is not taught in high school.

Accounting principles go beyond logical approaches to thinking about money. The distinction between appreciation and depreciation, accruals, and double-entry accounting are all aspects of accounting.

You must enroll in courses in many different subjects if accounting is your chosen major. You must enroll in classes in business, finance, and economics.

A balance sheet, an income statement, a cash flow statement, etc. will all be among the financial statements you learn how to create. It is not sufficient to merely comprehend the concepts. Many facts will need to be kept in mind.

You must demonstrate your aptitude for math as well as your prowess in writing and communicating to land a position as an accountant. For your employment, you’ll need to produce reports and explain things to others.

Financial accounting is one of the most challenging specializations for accounting majors. Clients can have inquiries concerning the financial figures, and your response must be credible and simple to comprehend. If you want to get better at writing and communicating, you should take lessons.

The amount of material in your several classes may feel overwhelming, but if you work hard, you should be able to handle it. Most students struggle in their first few accounting courses because the fundamental concepts differ from how they have previously been trained to think about money.

But once your first year of college is over, the rest of your coursework shouldn’t be too difficult for you.

These professional accounting certification exams might be very challenging. You must study for months before to the tests. Once you pass the test, you’ll be equipped for life in the real world.

Accounting Major

Why Is Accounting Hard To Learn?

If you’re reading this, you most likely already know that accounting is challenging. What exactly is it difficult about? Accounting is supposedly difficult, but why?

Both theory and practice are involved in accounting. In contrast to practice, which focuses on putting those rules and regulations to use in the real world, theory focuses on the rules and laws that govern accounting.

Given all the restrictions, people frequently believe that accounting is difficult. More than 200 standards for accounting have been released by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

Another factor that contributes to accounting’s difficulty is that it is a highly technical subject. The analysis of data by accountants sometimes involves equations and formulas. Using computers, they solve problems. For the job, certain equipment is required. Without them, accountants could not analyze data or produce financial accounts.

Third, accounting is a combination of an art and a science, making it challenging to learn. The art and science of presenting data in a way that is understandable and clear are both skills that an accountant must possess.

There is a lot of arithmetic and reading involved in the challenging topic of accounting. Accounting isn’t just about numbers; it’s also about how those numbers fit into the overall picture, which is something that’s crucial to understand.

Assets and liabilities, for instance, are presented in distinct sections of the balance sheet. Their differing values are demonstrated by this.

You must total the debts and assets if you wish to know their combined value. Similar to this, to determine the value of a firm, you must subtract its liabilities from its assets.

Why Do People Think That Accounting is Difficult?

People think accounting is hard, and it’s important to know why. People think that accounting is hard for three main reasons:

1. The Math is Really Hard

Accounting is not solely about arithmetic, as many people believe. Despite the fact that math is a vital aspect of accounting, you can still perform well in this subject if you do not have exceptional math skills.

You must also understand how to read numbers and apply them in various scenarios. For example, you must learn how to calculate how much equipment has depreciated in value over time.

Although the math is not difficult, if you dislike math in general, accounting will be difficult because you will have to do arithmetic.

2. The CPA Exam is Really Hard

The CPA Exam is notoriously difficult, with only 50% of those who take it passing. So many hours of studying are required to prepare for and pass the exam.

However, many people who fail the test claim that they did not study enough rather than that the test was too difficult. If you study enough, you should be able to pass the exam.

3. They Think Accounting is Just Crunching Numbers

People frequently believe that accountants spend their entire day looking at and crunching figures. But that is not the case. Accountants will spend a significant amount of time reviewing contracts, examining financial data, and determining how tax rules apply to various scenarios.

Accountants also collaborate with managers and leaders to determine what financial figures indicate and how they can impact choices. Accountants will also need communication skills and the ability to discuss numbers.

Many people do not consider how to understand numbers, which accountants can do as well. As you can see, accounting is more than just adding numbers.

Accounting is Not as Hard as You Might Think

Accounting is not anymore difficult than any other college major or field of study. Yes, the first few classes will be more difficult to understand as college courses will go much deeper than any high school, but this is true of every major.

If you can study and work hard, you should be able to succeed in accounting.

What are the Basic Skills to Become a Professional Accountant?

You can become a professional accountant if you know the basic rules and laws of accounting. Among these basic skills are:

  • Know what a financial statement is, how to read it, and how to understand it.
  • Learn the difference between your income and your expenses.
  • Knowing what the different kinds of taxes are.
  • Knowing how to use double entry bookkeeping well. It also means being able to understand the different ways that companies keep track of their finances.
  • Learning how to use the different kinds of software that CPAs use.
  • Knowing what constitutes a financial statement, how to read one, and how to interpret them.
  • Understanding the difference between income and expense accounts.
  • Having a good working knowledge of double entry bookkeeping. It also means being able to understand the different types of accounting methods used by companies.
  • Learning how to use the various software programs used by CPAs.

What Advanced Accounting Skills Will You Need?

You can get by with basic skills, but more advanced skills will help you move up in your career. Here are some advanced skills you’ll need in accounting:

  • The capacity to assess and comprehend financial data using accounting principles and standards. Capability to identify trends in an organization and recommend solutions to improve performance.
  • Capability to evaluate and control costs using cost accounting concepts and standards.
  • Analytical skills are required to do tasks such as reviewing financial records, communicating information, developing financial solutions, evaluating accounting processes, and so on.
  • Understanding accounting and auditing. Companies use third parties who are not employees to audit their books and records. This is known as an audit.
  • Consider and employ automation tools, business intelligence, and data analytics to assist you in performing accounting business activities, communicating, and devising financial solutions.
  • Demonstrate strong accounting and leadership skills so that you can lead teams to overcome difficult situations.
  • Capability to evaluate and control costs using cost accounting concepts and standards.
  • Analytical skills are required to analyze financial records, communicate information, create financial solutions, evaluate accounting processes, and so on.
  • Accounting and auditing strategies should be known. Independent third parties hired by firms to check their books and records conduct audits.
  • Evaluate and employ automation tools, business intelligence, and data analytics to assist you with accounting business functions, communication, and financial solution creation.
  • To manage teams in tackling difficult problems, you must have strong accounting and leadership abilities.

Who Should Consider Becoming an Accountant?

Accounting can be a hard field to work in, but if you have certain traits, they can help you do well as an accountant.

Do you have any of these traits on your way to becoming an accountant:

  • People interested in working in this sector must be organized and willing to plan ahead.
  • This person should be prepared to deal with a wide range of situations and be ready for everything.
  • You can work alone or in groups. You’ll have to perform some work on your own to compile the figures and present them to the decision-makers so they can make informed decisions.
  • You can readily convey complicated thoughts to others. Accountants must be able to analyze large amounts of financial data and break it down into digestible chunks. So, based on the data, the company’s leaders can decide what to do.
  • You enjoy puzzles and games that need thought. Accounting can entail searching for hidden financial facts and piecing them together. Accounting isn’t always simple, so you’ll have to delve deep to find solutions.

Is Getting a Job in Accounting Hard?

Accounting occupations are among the highest-paying since there are so many of them. It won’t be difficult to get an interview.

If you want the position, you’ll still need to comprehend basic accounting concepts, tax rules, and industry trends. People who are just beginning out in accounting are frequently referred to as bookkeepers because they keep all of a company’s financial records.

However, many accountants also assist businesses in the preparation of financial statements, audit records, and other reports. Some even specialize in auditing and consulting.

Obtaining a CPA or CA will help you find work. You must put in a lot of effort and time to become a CPA.

To become a CPA, you must first pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (UCPE) and obtain a state board of accountancy license.

Accounting Major

Is an Accounting Degree Worth It?

A degree in accounting is worthwhile. Accounting is a well-paying job that is continuously in demand. Companies will value your expertise even if you do not go into private practice. When applying for jobs, your degree will place you ahead of the competition.

Accountants are always in demand, so you’ll never be out of work. Even if you acquire a master’s degree, you’ll be able to make a decent income. Many firms provide additional advantages such as free gym memberships, health insurance, and even the opportunity to purchase company stock.

Accounting graduates can work in public accounting, private practice, corporate finance, financial accounting, government, consulting, auditing, and a variety of other industries.

Which Type of Degree Should You Get? Bachelor’s vs Master’s Programs

If you want to study accounting and be a future accountant, you’ll definitely need to get a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s program will give you the basics of everything you need to know to get started as an accountant when you graduate from school.

A master’s degree in accounting will get you more in-depth knowledge and skills to get you an even better start as an accountant. It’ll also help groom you for a future in management and leadership more quickly.

Should You Get Your Degree in Accounting Online?

Yes, you can get your accounting degree online, and if it makes sense for you, you should. There are a few reasons why you might want to get your accounting degree online.

  1. You’ll have more freedom than with most other programs.
  2. You’ll save money by not having to pay for gas and tuition.
  3. You can work and get your degree at the same time.
  4. Online programs give you enough flexibility to fit them into your busy schedule.
  5. You can go at your own pace as you learn.
  6. You won’t have to worry about missing class because you have to go on a trip or take care of your family.

Is Accounting a Stressful Job?

Yes, accounting is a stressful job because you are always expected to turn in accurate reports and numbers. You must be able to quickly and correctly figure out what information means.

There are a lot of rules to follow, and if you break one, you and the company could lose money. Accountants have to be very precise with their work, because every number is important.

A day in the life of an accountant is spent working with numbers and putting together and analyzing financial statements. Accountants give businesses important information that they use to make important decisions. Even the smallest mistakes can be bad for your business.

Are Accountants Respected?

Yes, accountants are well-liked. They are regarded as experts who know what they are doing and play an essential position in the organization. They assist the organization in keeping track of its finances and ensuring that the figures add up correctly.

People frequently believe that they are intelligent and know a lot. Their work isn’t particularly engaging, but it’s critical to the company’s success.

Accountants are in charge of recording transactions and ensuring that the books are balanced. Their job is frequently monotonous and uninteresting, but they must always be prepared to answer queries concerning the company’s finances.

Why Do Accountants Quit?

The top three reasons accounting professionals leave their employment and the sector are that the work is stressful, dull, or difficult.

Accounting students may drop out since the classes are difficult and demand a lot of studying. They must learn about the various tax rules and financial concepts.

There is frequently a lot of strain during tax season, when taxes are due. For accountants, tax season is the most stressful time of year, and they wind up working far more than 40 hours each week. That is something that any accountant could become bored of performing. If a tax preparer fails to complete their job correctly, they may be fined heavily.

Is Accounting Hard – Final Thoughts

The accounting profession is not for the faint of heart. One must possess a specific personality type to succeed in this industry. Nonetheless, success in your job and academic pursuits is within your reach if you put in the effort necessary and absorb as much relevant information as possible.

You might also be interested in these other articles when considering what to study: 

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Written by:

Chris Wood
I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. I’ve been working as a Software Engineer for the past 5 years. While working in this field I’ve had the pleasure of developing software in a wide variety of industries. I look forward to using my experience in order to find a role where I can utilize my creativity and passion for solving complex software engineering problems.

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