Do You Need to be Good at Math to Study Financial Accounting?


Maths students have a deep understanding of complex mathematical principles, and have the ability to problem solve and use deductive reasoning in a theoretical/abstract manner. While both accounting and maths rely on numbers, equations and certain problems that must be solved, the approaches to both subjects could not be more different. There is a defined purpose to everything that you will do in the accounting field. Formulas can be used to solve anything from the amount of fuel required for a plane or how long it will take for a human to reach the moon on a shuttle.

What is the hardest accounting qualification?

The CIMA qualification is more demanding, as it does not let you move forward until you pass one set of exams, compared with ACCA which allows you to study towards multiple sets of exams simultaneously.

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It’s the best way for them to do their job successfully because even though you have the solution if you can’t relay it properly, it’s useless. As a result, you may not resolve your client’s issue and even make it worse. There are nearly 40 apprenticeships in the legal, finance and accounting sector available in England, with more in development. You’ll need to be good with numbers, but that doesn’t mean mental arithmetic. As long as you can work with statistics and data, you can make a good accountant.

accounting students

If students are interested in future economics courses or different social sciences, they have the opportunity to take any course as an elective. Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you’ll want a trusted University. We’ve pioneered distance learning for over 50 years, bringing university to you wherever you are so you can fit study around your life. Contrary to popular belief, the work mathematicians do is entirely different from that of an accountant. Despite what the common perceptions are of maths, most mathematicians will think of their field as more of an art than a science. Mathematicians will regularly use formulas and numbers to bring about certain conclusions. There is no pattern to what mathematics equations will be needed, and the subject is a great deal vaguer than what some imagine.

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Yes, it involves math problems, a little bit of algebra and statistics, but most of its aspects are related to business and finance management. Worthy & James Publishing is a provider of basic accounting books covering fundamental accounting principles, business accounting, and business math. Everyone has heard that accounting is all about numbers or sometimes that you should have a lot of math to take accounting. Usually this is the result of a few bad experiences in elementary or secondary school.

Secondly, although accounting doesn’t require much math, it does require thinking that is careful and logical (remember “word problems?”). In this sense, accounting has some similarity to math and this is probably why taking math classes helps with accounting classes. However this kind of careful thinking can definitely be learned with practice in accounting classes, without ever having to become some kind of expert math student. Accountants will spend more time concerning themselves with information such as tax laws, financial records, and other fiscal terms. They will memorize the basic accounting formulas they need to know, and refer to them when they are completing their work. Almost all accounting work is now done on computers and Excel spreadsheets, which means even less math work for accountants.

You Can Think of Money as Numbers.

Once do you have to be good at math for accounting record the business transaction, it goes through the accounting system. Companies then transferred the collective amounts for those areas to the general ledger. The general ledger is the first step to record financial transactions in most software. However, it also includes journal entries for each transaction.

  • The National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that the average starting salary for finance majors was $55,400 in 2014.
  • You can talk to a friend, stay after class to talk to your teacher, or attend their office hours or study sessions they may offer.
  • Accounting requires other factors like organising and managing than just adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers.
  • In most cases, it involves rudimentary arithmetical knowledge.
  • The danger, of course, is that you may use a calculator without understanding what an answer means or how it relates to the numbers that have been used.

As long as you are good, or at least capable, at basic math and arithmetic functions, you will likely be able to master accounting math. In fact, you may find that the math courses you have to take in college to fulfill your general education requirements are more difficult than the classes you take for your accounting major. Believe it or not, mastery of advanced math skills is not necessary to have a career in finance.

Do you Need Math Knowledge for Accounting?

Not a lot of math is needed to study accounting in a university setting. If you are entering into an accounting degree program, it is important to review the math course requirements so that you are prepared for what the future holds. If you have a basic understanding of arithmetic and algebra, you should have no problem applying math skills to complete all of the introductory accounting courses. While accounting is all about numerical data, you will only really be using addition and subtraction to record and analyze the data. With this being said, to major in accounting you will need to complete the required curriculum and math is a degree requirement. The good news is that not a lot of math is needed to study accounting.


All in all, accounting is a lot more Law based than Math based. I use my fingers to count , and a calculator to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.

Soft skills

With the importance of numbers in the work of an accountant, one might think that he will have to take numerous, difficult math courses to earn an accounting degree. Experts seem to agree that a lack of confidence in math shouldn’t stop you from pursuing an accounting degree if you have good basic skills and a willingness to review and solidify those skills. Accounting is not simply crunching numbers, but being able to use the numbers to help individuals and companies achieve their financial goals that matters the most. As you consider career options, you may find yourself drawn to jobs in the accounting profession. However, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve been in a math class, you may find yourself wondering what types of math skills you will need for an accounting degree. He took his fair share of accounting classes and found them challenging to say the least.

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