When we hear “accounting,” most of us think immediately of taxes and tax season. However, there are so many ways in which understanding accounting can help you in your personal and professional life. There are also many careers you can pursue with an education in accounting.
Understanding accounting can set you up well for success in all areas of your life. Max Torres, the Associate Chairperson of the School of Business and assistant professor in Business Administration at The College of Westchester (CW) states, “So many people are intimidated by the idea of taking accounting classes, especially if they don’t have plans to go into that field, but they can provide value to practically anyone. I wish everyone took an accounting class. The course can position students to have a good basic understanding of financial management. Remember, accounting is the language of business.”
The accounting classes at CW, he says, “can prepare the students to learn the skills needed to go to the workforce and be a productive employee. The financial health aspect comes within paying your debt, how to invest and how to value money.”
Here, he shares the answers to some of the most common accounting questions students have.
-What are the basic accounting skills everyone should learn?
It is important to learn how to read financial reports such as an Income Statement (Profit and Loss Statement) and a Balance Sheet. Other skills that are important include, having general business knowledge, good communication skills, being detail oriented with the ability to be a self-starter and to meet deadlines, and last but not least, having up-to-date technology expertise.
-What are some jobs in which you can use accounting skills?
Because accounting, finance and business are so often linked closely within an organization, being an accounting major can offer much more flexibility than most students realize.
Besides conventional tax preparation, students can expect entry level jobs in bookkeeping, auditing and any position within an organization were accounting skills are necessary or valuable. Students can land jobs within the public sector such as in government, or policy-making offices, in fashion, sports, and the entertainment industry as well as in education, research, and all sorts of profitable private practices.
-How can accounting skills be used in your personal life?
Accounting skills are helpful in your personal life because you really understand how to balance a checkbook and prepare a budget and grow your personal wealth.
Even if your big-picture career goals are in a completely different field, learning the basics of accounting will serve you well.