The terms accounting and finance intrigue most people but are a cause of ambiguity due to the varying degree of similarities associated with these two concepts. However, in truth, both work entirely differently and obtaining a degree in the respective field is prone to its own uniqueness.
Accounting is basically the preparation of accounting data in a chronological manner. The subject revolves around the recording, preparation, analyses and interpretation of financial data for personal and company use. Certain rules are to be followed when the accounting system is followed and processed, which must be in accordance with the ‘Generally Accepted Accounting Principles’.
Finance, on the other hand, comes into play when one uses the accounting prepared data for decision making purposes. It further involves study of the financial markets – stocks, bonds, securities – and dealing with it on a macroeconomic level.
An accounting degree can be further split into financial, cost and management accounting. As you become more and more qualified, you are prone to analyze the accounting data more thoroughly and rigorously in order to avoid any errors.
As finance is merely related with the profitability of a business, you can pursue a career as a commercial or investment banker, stock/ financial broker or adviser, or a financial analyst. Here you must be able to read market trends and decide on how to allocate company’s monetary resources for growth and expansion purposes. Moreover, you may look into investment opportunities and decide on a project’s feasibility.
In a nutshell, accounting is more specific in nature, asking you do adhere to certain rules and regulations and interpret simply the information present for the preparation of financial reports. Finance allows you to go beyond your imagination limit and further deal with managerial issues such as working capital, credit and inventory level etc.