Accounting Or Human Resources, Which One Should I Study? (Explained)

Thinking about what to study?

A daunting decision, something I have struggled with.

To help you make an informed decision have put this article together.

So okay, Accounting or Human Resources, which one should I study?

Human Resources should be studied if you want to drive organisational performance through people development.

Accounting is a good major to pursue if you enjoy performing, analysing, and reporting on financials. It’s also a plus if you enjoy following rules and regulations and are good with numbers.

Studying either Accounting or Human Resources offer versatile, interesting, varied and well-paying career paths.

Accounting typically suits types who are structured, have attention to detail, have analytical thinking and enjoy solving complex puzzles through numbers.

Human Resources typically suits people who are adept at influencing, social, enjoy helping and developing people/organisations to be their best.

Accounting careers paths are usually straight. Starting off as an entry-level Accountant then after several years moving into a more senior Accounting role through to a management role.

The CFO is at the top of the ladder in private accounting, though that career path can be even more challenging than becoming a partner in a CPA firm.

Human Resources graduates typically start off as assistants, recruitment or even payroll.

After several years they progress to more senior roles such as a recruiting manager, payroll manager, staffing manager, administrator or human resources manager.

Most HR professionals choose between two broad paths: generalist or specialist.

Human resources generalists often perform a wide variety of tasks, which is best described as running the HR functions of an organisation such as Recruitment, payroll, enforcing policies etc.

What Human Resource Managers do every day

Human resources managers plan, coordinate, and direct the administrative functions of an organization.

They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

Human resources managers typically do the following:

  • Plan and coordinate an organization’s workforce to best use employees’ talents
  • Link an organization’s management with its employees
  • Plan and oversee employee benefit programs
  • Serve as a consultant to advise other managers on human resources issues, such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of specialists and support staff
  • Oversee an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes
  • Handle staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures

What Accountants do every day

Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records, identify potential areas of opportunity and risk, and provide solutions for businesses and individuals.

They ensure that financial records are accurate, that financial and data risks are evaluated, and that taxes are paid properly.

They also assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.

  • Examine financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations
  • Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures and identify potential risks for fraud
  • Organize, analyze, and maintain financial records
  • Assess financial operations, identify risks and challenges, and make best-practices recommendations to management
  • Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits

The following are examples of types of accountants and auditors:

Government accountants maintain and examine the records of government agencies and audit private businesses and individuals whose activities are subject to government regulations or taxation.

Accountants employed by federal, state, and local governments ensure that revenues are received and spent according to laws and regulations.

Their responsibilities include auditing, financial reporting, and management accounting.

Management accountants are also called cost, corporate, industrial, managerial, or private accountants.

They combine accounting and financial information to guide business decision making.

They also understand financial and non-financial data and how to integrate information.

The information that management accountants prepare is intended for internal use by business managers, not for the public.

Management accountants often prepare budgets and evaluate performance.

They also may help organizations plan the cost of doing business.

Some work with financial managers on asset management, which involves planning and selecting financial investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

Public accountants have a broad range of accounting, auditing, tax, and consulting tasks.

Their clients include corporations, governments, individuals, and nonprofits.

The good news due to a growing economy, and a complex tax and regulatory environment are expected to continue to lead to strong demand for accountants and auditors.

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Accounting Degree Harder Than Human Resources (Explained)

An accounting Degree is harder than a Human Resource degree because not intuitive has many complex rules and transactions that need to be followed.

Accounting is seen as the hardest business course at college because it’s not intuitive and their lots to learn.

There is a lot of coursework in an Accounting degree, and there is a lot more quantitative work required.

If you can get a grasp of the concepts and keep on top of the course work then Accounting at College should be relatively straightforward.

This does not mean Human Resources is a walk in the park. No degree is easy.

Human Resource degrees are a blend of other business degrees, so long as you attend classes and study the material should be fairly straightforward.

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What Pays More Human Resources Or Accounting? (Solved & Explained)

Human Resources earn more than Accountants, with the median annual wage for human resources being $121,220 compared to Accountants of $78,600.

Keeping in mind these any of these types of numbers should be used as an indication only.

Wages will vary greatly depending on the size of the organisation, whether it’s private vs public and geographical location.

If you are ambitious and willing to work hard and climb the ladder, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) earn a median wage of $106,860 per annum.

Accountants can also join the big Accounting firms that pay high wages for senior roles.

According to the Labor Bureau of Statistics, the median wages in May 2020 are listed below

Finance and insurance $78,600
Management of companies and enterprises $76,230
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services $73,180
Government $72,260

The employment growth of accountants and auditors is expected to be closely tied to the health of the overall economy.

As the economy grows, these workers will continue to be needed to prepare and examine financial records

The employment of human resources managers is projected to grow 6 per cent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

As new companies form and organizations expand their operations, they will need human resources managers to administer and monitor their programs and to ensure that firms adhere to changing employment laws

Final Thoughts

Human Resources is a better career choice if you interested in influencing, driving organization and people development. Accounting is better if you enjoy working with numbers, transactions and accounting concepts. 

Making the decision on what to study is an important one.

Speak with trusted friends and family, even consult with a career consultant for advice.

Consider your strengths and weakness, likes and dislikes before making the decision on the career path to study.

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  • Accountants and Auditors: Occupational Outlook Handbook:  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (