By DeVry University
October 1, 2021
6 min read
October 1, 2021
6 min read
To those who have never studied finance or accounting, the two terms can seem similar. There are ways in which these related fields work very closely together, but after breaking down finance vs accounting, it’s apparent that the fields are actually quite distinct. They are different worlds where accounting documents the details of financial transactions while finance focuses on a broader picture that can include investments, analyses, economics and money and banking.
If you've ever wondered what the difference is between accounting and finance, read on to learn the basics of each field and explore the following:
Accounting skills: To analyze financial statements and offer financial advice, finance professionals need accounting skills like budgeting, cash flow management, accounting principles, financial management and cost analysis.
Analytical skills: Problem solving and analytical skills like logic, planning, financial analysis, forecasting and strategic planning help finance professionals understand a variety of situations and act upon them thoughtfully and intelligently.
Tech skills: In finance or accounting, technology makes it easier to process the huge amounts of information that are sometimes needed to do the job. This is where tech skills that go far beyond spreadsheet proficiency, like financial modeling, financial engineering, IT software and SAP are essential.
Communication: Written and verbal communication are the core of soft skills you will see mentioned across job descriptions, and for good reason. In finance, the ability to inspire trust, give financial advice clearly and persuasively, and communicate in all forums is crucial. Skills like financial advising, leadership, nonverbal communication and relationship management are all valuable communication skills.
Organization: Strong organization skills help accountants meet deadlines, follow reporting guidelines and keep track of the financial records of multiple clients or departments.
Analytical skills: An analytical mind helps accountants read and interpret financial results. This skill goes hand-in-hand with attention to detail, which helps accountants carefully review information to identify inconsistencies and create accurate, dependable reports.
Critical thinking: Strong critical thinking skills contribute to accountants’ abilities to analyze a financial situation and propose solutions in an objective, well-informed manner.
Accounting principles: Accountants must know how to apply the set of standards known as GAAP in recording financial information and creating reports consistently.
Software proficiency: Proficiency with various software tools, like spreadsheet programs and specialized accounting programs, is a useful skill that helps accountants and their staff generate financial reports.
Service orientation: You may not think of accounting as a service business, but accountants must have strong customer service skills and the desire to act in their clients’ best interests.
Problem solving: The ability to recognize and solve problems that may arise from errors in accounting or record keeping is another useful skill. When a problem is recognized, a skillful accountant should know how to identify potential solutions, asses the options and then select and implement the best solution.
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In New York, DeVry University operates as DeVry College of New York. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), www.hlcommission.org. The University’s Keller Graduate School of Management is included in this accreditation. DeVry is certified to operate by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Arlington Campus: 1400 Crystal Dr., Ste. 120, Arlington, VA 22202. DeVry University is authorized for operation as a postsecondary educational institution by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, www.tn.gov/thec. Lisle Campus: 4225 Naperville Rd, Suite 400, Lisle, IL 60532. Unresolved complaints may be reported to the Illinois Board of Higher Education through the online compliant system https://complaints.ibhe.org/. View DeVry University’s complaint process https://www.devry.edu/compliance/student-complaint-procedure.html Program availability varies by location. In site-based programs, students will be required to take a substantial amount of coursework online to complete their program.
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