Many people think that accounting is hard, including being difficult to study, difficult to become an expert in, and difficult as a career, but none of these ideas are necessarily true.
While accounting does require a complex set of skills and abilities, as well as excellent attention to detail, it really isn’t any more difficult than many of the other popular fields of study that lead to excellent lifelong career opportunities.
In fact, for some people, accounting may even be a much easier discipline than other potential options; it just depends on what you like and what you’re good at doing.
Why Do People Think That Accounting is Difficult?
Every subject is considered to be “hard” by somebody because each subject has elements that are difficult for certain types of people.
Someone who doesn’t like reading long books, for example, probably wouldn’t want to become a history major, whereas anyone who despises science isn’t going to want to major in physics.
But why do so many people seem to think that accounting is difficult? Let’s look at three common reasons for this misconception
1. They are not good at Math’s
Some people think accounting is hard because it requires math, and they simply don’t want to do any math. If you absolutely can’t stand math, then yes, you probably wouldn’t make a great accountant.
In fact, you almost certainly won’t want to major in accounting, study it or try to launch a career in the field, because there’s bound to be math involved in what you do on a day-to-day basis
2. They’re Afraid of the CPA Exam
Other people might think accounting is hard because they’re worried about being able to pass the CPA exam, which is notoriously difficult.
But here’s the good news: not all accountants become CPAs, and the CPA exam is only one of many optional career paths for someone looking to launch a career in accounting.
If fear of the CPA exam is the only thing holding you back from considering studying accounting, it’s time to reevaluate your concerns, because accounting graduates have a whole series of excellent opportunities that they can pursue other than becoming a CPA.
3. They Think Accounting is Just Number Crunching
Finally, others may think that accounting is difficult because they’ve been told that accounting work is all just number crunching, like being a human calculator.
These people have the wrong idea about what accounting entails, but anyone who believes that and likes working with people would understandably think that accounting is difficult, since they wouldn’t want to do the work.
Just like any other field, accountants are tasked with a variety of different responsibilities. Some accountants certainly will be responsible for doing nothing but number crunching (like entry-level bookkeepers), but most accounting professionals are going to be asked to do a variety of tasks.
In fact, many accountants spend most of their time ignoring numbers and instead end up dedicated to working with other people to collect information, build presentations, and advise senior leadership about the organization’s finances, using numbers that some other accountant has crunched for them.
Is Accounting Right for You?
Many international students consider studying accounting. Accounting can be a challenging major, and students must ask themselves a few questions before starting. The most important of these questions is: is accounting right for you?
1. Are You Committed?
Accounting can be a very challenging major and takes four years of serious commitment to complete. With difficult classes, intense curriculums, and very little free time, many international students find that accounting may not be right for them and decide to leave the field. Leaving a major halfway through your courses can be tough for students, as they may have to take extra classes, extend their time to graduation, and inevitably pay more money. International students should be in it for the long haul if they are serious about getting a degree in accounting. By planning for classes and preparing for tests and homework, international students can be successful in their major and have a great career following graduation. Every potential student must ask him or herself: why study accounting? Students should feel a drive or connection within themselves that draws them to an accounting degree.
2. What Do You Want to Do?
Before starting an accounting major, students should ask themselves why study accounting. Is it for the job, the money, or another reason? Before starting, students should have some type of idea of what they want to do with the degree. Generally, the interest begins with a dream or vision of an exciting career in accounting such as running your own business or working for the FBI (or the equivalent in your home country). Students need to do some detailed research on potential careers in the field and decide if any of the possible careers are a good fit for them. Will an accounting degree help you achieve your goals? There is a good chance that the answer is yes because accounting is one of the most versatile degrees available. Look into the career options and determine if accounting is right for you. It’s never too early to be to think about your future!
3. Are You Willing to Put in the Time?
Accounting can be tough. Classes are intense and the workload is challenging. Those who are willing to take the time to study, learn and embrace the concepts of the degree, however, will go on to have a great career. Four years may seem like a long time today, but those four years of studying accounting will provide you with the tools to be successful for the rest of your life. Studying accounting can often feel like a full-time job. The course load is quite intense, with classes in mathematics, finance, business, and accounting. While some concepts can be challenging, by studying the material and taking the time to make sure you fully understand accounting principles, you can be successful. You must study to be successful in accounting, so the library will be a major resource. Accounting students will tell you what classes they find difficult or interesting. By talking to current students, you can get a feel for the coursework and time needed and get good advice as to what professors to take and which ones may grade harder than others. It is also a good idea to talk to the different professors in the accounting program. They can give you advice on studying accounting and can help you with some advising questions. It is also never a bad idea to get close to professors. Later in your studies, professors will know you and may even go out of their way to make sure you are doing well in your courses. With this help and potential networking connection, students can set themselves up for potential careers, internships, and even recommendations for graduate school. So why study accounting, and is accounting right for you? Take the time to do some research and really answer these questions.
Who Should Consider Becoming an Accountant?
Accounting isn’t for everyone, but some people are perfectly suited to succeed in this industry.
Here’s a list of several character traits that could help improve the chances that this is the right field of study for you:
- You’re well organized. Being capable of keeping things organized will be an extremely important skill as an accountant, where you’ll be responsible for sorting through financial data, organizing it, and delivering insights about it.
- You’re a good planner. Accountants need to plan and project, thinking about the future and preparing their clients and the organizations that they work for to accomplish critical financial goals.
- You like working on a team. You’ll do some work alone as an accountant, but once the data has been compiled, it has to be presented to someone who can make decisions based on the findings. Nearly every accountant works in a team, either with other accountants or with organizational leaders who count on them for providing financial advice.
- You can clearly explain complex concepts. Being able to review a wealth of financial data and distill it into a simple takeaway so that senior leadership can understand what they need to do in response to the data is a key skill for accountants.
- You enjoy solving puzzles. Accounting isn’t always straightforward, sometimes it requires digging for information, piecing things together, and uncovering financial details that aren’t obvious, especially when conducting an audit or performing complex tax calculations. If you enjoy puzzles, this could be the perfect role for you.
Many other traits would indicate you would be a great candidate for becoming an accountant, and none of these are necessary to succeed in the field, but if you match with several of them then you might find accounting to be far easier than you originally thought. Accounting has many opportunities for excitement, contrary to its boring reputation. Take a closer look inside this career and you'll find that accounting can be fun, intriguing, and highly satisfying. Get Trained Get Hired is your opportunity to see if a career in accountancy for you is for you. Reach out to Get Trained Get Hired to book a free 30-Minute career counseling meeting. At Get Trained Get Hired we provide you with the necessary training to learn practical skills to become an accountant. Our training is based on practical real-life cases. After the training, we work on your resume and try to place you in accounting firms through our network. You will also get access to like-minded individuals who are looking for jobs through our WhatsApp group. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Or call us at 647-870-6986.
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