Student Info & Guide

Accounting or Finance

by on November 10, 2016 | Top Stories

If you're trying to choose between an accounting or finance degree, read this comparison chart which we have compiled for you and you may just come to a decision more easily after.

Accounting or Finance – What's the difference? -

Accounting Finance
What is...?
Accounting can be broadly defined as the preparation, evaluation and management of financial records (involves obtaining, collecting, organising, and otherwise dealing with financial information). Finance can be described as the study and management of investments (involves the management of money).
Job description
  • Accountants are more concerned with budgets, audits, taxes and business financial operations.
  • They deal with concrete numbers expressing real sums in present time, such as accounts payable and receivable or taxes owed
  • Accountants manage today's revenue
  • Financial analysts are typically experts in stocks, bonds and various other financial products available to corporate or individual investors
  • They deal with more ephemeral or uncertain figures, including projected returns on investment (ROI) or stock prices
  • Financial analysts anticipate tomorrow's profits
Typical curriculum
Note: exact differences may vary from college to college as different colleges may offer different curricula for degrees with a similar name. Some colleges may combine both accounting and finance subjects into a single degree programme.
  • Auditing
  • Budget analysis
  • Business strategy
  • Financial accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • Forensic accounting
  • Information systems
  • International accounting
  • Macro/microeconomics
  • Management accounting
  • Professional standards and ethics
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Risk management
  • Tax accounting
  • Advanced derivatives
  • Asset markets
  • Behavioural finance
  • Corporate finance
  • Economics/econometrics
  • Financial mathematics
  • Financial management
  • Financial markets
  • Financial planning
  • Financial engineering
  • Financial accounting
  • Financial reporting
  • International finance
  • Private equity
  • Risk management
  • Venture capital
Where to Study?
Accounting Courses Finance Courses
Types of qualification at undergraduate level
Note: degree qualifications with a similar name may mean different things from one college to another. Do consult the programme director of the college before enrolling for the programme.
  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor of Accountancy

Examples of Accounting degrees combined with other areas:

  • BA Accounting & Finance (Hons)
  • BSc Accounting & Finance (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting)
  • Bachelor of Accounting with Law
  • Bachelor of Accounting & Entrepreneurship
  • Bachelor of Finance

Examples of finance degrees combined with other areas:

  • BA Accounting & Finance (Hons)
  • BSc Accounting & Finance (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Finance)
  • Bachelor of Finance & Management
  • Bachelor of Finance & Marketing
  • Bachelor of Banking & Finance
  • Bachelor of Islamic Banking & Finance
Professional bodies in Malaysia
More about

The CPA Exam includes four major areas of testing: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation.


The CFA Exam includes sections that test ethics, securities analysis, corporate finance, economics, quantitative methods, financial reporting and analysis, equity investments, fixed income, derivatives, alternative investments, portfolio management and wealth planning.

Possible occupations

Accountants, auditors, public accountants, forensic accountants, management accountants, and more.

Accountants can specialise in:

auditing, taxation, management consulting services, forensic accounting, litigation support, financial planning, business valuation, cost accounting, computer systems analyst, security analyst, and more.

Financial analysts, fund managers, portfolio managers, Certified Financial Planner, and more.

Career opportunities

businesses, auditing firms, consulting companies, corporations, government entities

banking, real estate, insurance, large and small businesses, non-profit organisations, hospitals, and more.

Personality style
  • High tolerance for detail and strong organisational, quantitative and analytical skills, as well as the ability to self-manage and work independently
  • Process-oriented and able to demonstrate concentration and precision
  • Share accountants' need for strong mathematical and analytical skills
  • Able to make good decisions quickly, often under tremendous pressure
  • Results-oriented and has confidence and strong communication skills
Holland RIASEC code

Accountant: Conventional, Enterprising (CE)

Auditors: Conventional, Enterprising, Investigative (CEI)

Financial analyst: Conventional, Investigative, Enterprising (CIE)

Certified Financial Planner: Enterprising, Conventional Social (ECS)


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