Finance Harder Than Accounting? (Solved & Explained)

Are you considering what you want to study in college?

Making the decision on which path to take is a big one!

Maybe you’re thinking about studying Finance or Accounting and want to know which is easier or more difficult.

So, is Finance harder than Accounting to study?

Accounting is a more difficult subject to master than finance. Accounting is more involved, with strict sets of arithmetic rules governing it. Finance requires an understanding of economics as well as some accounting.

However, it does depend on your interest and skills.

Business majors, such as finance and accounting, typically have more exams, projects, and computer-based learning than humanities majors.

This can make studying finance and economics difficult.

Finance can also be defined as learning how to collaborate with businesses to streamline and improve operational performance through financial planning, investing, problem-solving, and budgeting.

On the other hand, by studying accounting you will learn how to record the transactions a business takes, keep ledgers of accounts, and prepare tax returns.

So now we answered the main question lets explore further what makes studying finance and accounting majors so hard.

What Makes Finance Major So Hard?

Finance is hard for those students who lack accounting, mathematics and financial skills. 

Finance courses typically don’t involve complex mathematics.

Most finance courses are typically a mix of economics and some accounting.

However, some courses have more economic focus that can make a finance degree difficult.

If you are interested in finance and comfortable with maths, it’s likely then you will not find it that hard.

A student that succeeds in studying finance are typically are well organized, detail-oriented, good at communicating and come in with some mathematical and statistical skills

To make studying finance easier, be sure to understand how to use excel as you will spend time performing calculations for future modelling.

Since Accounting and Finance go together, it’s well worth understanding the basics of accounting such as being able to read and understand income statements and balance sheets.

Having this understanding will put you in a good position to do well in Finance.

There are several online courses available, such as Coursera, which offers a variety of courses ranging from introductory to advanced.

For example, Financial Management Specialization course, offered by Illinois University teaches strategic financial management, including financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance.

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Another course offered by the University of California, Finance for Non-Financial Professionals teaches general financial knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the impact of your decisions outside your functional area. Content of the course includes selected aspects of finance from a non-financial specialist perspective.

Specific topics include financial analysis; planning, forecasting, and budgeting; cash flow, and strategic financing.

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And what is good about Coursera you receive academic and technical support through the Coursera support team or the Coursera community

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What Makes Accounting Major So Hard?

The main reason why students find Accounting hard to learn is understanding the accounting concepts and how the transactions work.

For example, in courses such as corporate accounting, accounting concepts dictate what you can and cannot do, as well as how you must go about doing either.

However, once you get a grasp of the fundamentals of accounting it is not that hard to learn.

For example, getting a grasp of how debits and credits work

Debits reflect where money has gone (expenses and assets), while credits represent where money has come from (revenues, liabilities, and equities). 

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

There are also many technical terms you need to learn, and you need to have a grasp of computer software as well.

If you are worried about mathematics you don’t have to be fantastic with mathematics, in fact, it is relatively simple. If you can add, subtract, multiply, and divide you will be fine.

As mentioned above, getting an understanding of the basics can be challenging, but once you have them down the degree gets much more comfortable.

Accounting is easier to grasp when logic and common sense are combined.

Think rationally about the problem and how everything is meant to come together when working on financial accounting.

The good news is there is plenty of books and courses online that you can use to help study and practice.

For example, Accounting for Dummies will equip you with knowledge on reading and understanding financial statements, reporting income and more.

The are plenty of online courses, such as Coursera provide a range of courses starting from Introductory to more Advanced.

Courses like Introduction to Finance and Accounting Specialization, offered by Wharton University that teaches introduction to corporate finance and accounting, emphasizing their application to a wide variety of real-world situations spanning personal finance, corporate decision-making, financial intermediation, and how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process.

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Another course of interest may be, Fundamentals of Accounting Specialization, offered by Illinois University which teaches Accounting Basics for Managers and Entrepreneurs. Apply principles that underlie financial statements and facilitate business decisions and goals.

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And what is good about Coursera you receive academic and technical support through the Coursera support team or the Coursera community

And then there is everyone’s favourite channel Youtube, searching “Accounting” on youtube garnered thousands of responses. And best of all it’s free. 


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What Can You Do With Finance And Accounting Major?

Having a Finance or Accounting degree or both will open up numerous career opportunities.

Here are some career opportunities with Finance and Accounting majors, just to name a few.

Once qualified you will have several career paths that you can pursue. And the goods news in Finance and Accounting jobs are always in demand.

These are just a few career paths and suggest these wages are used as an indication of earning capacity, as they will vary depending on the type, size of the organization, and geographical location.

Finance Major Accounting Major
Financial Planner $87,850 Accountant $71,550
Financial Analyst $81,590 Auditor $73,560
Budget Analyst $76,640 Managerial Accountant $76,230
Actuary $108,350 Financial Analyst $83,660
Accountant $71,550 Tax Accountant $$55,640
Credit Analyst $73,650 Bookkeeping $42,410
Attorney $122,960  
Commercial Real Estate Agent  $42,500  

Source; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Final Thoughts

Majoring in finance or accounting will lead to jobs that are in high demand and pay well.

Accounting is a tougher subject to master than finance. Accounting is more involved, governed by strict sets of arithmetic rules. Finance necessitates knowledge of economics as well as some accounting.

Having that being said, no major is easy, and each major requires a significant amount of work.

The level of difficulty largely depends on your skills, interests, and what you are good at.

Hope you found this article useful, if you would like to know more about Finance or Accounting, see links to other articles below

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