Accounting, along with finance, has forever been one of the most lucrative fields of academics. It is those lengthy numbers and detailed data readings that culminates into a premium education course; a course that forms the very core of every business endeavor.
A flair for numbers and data handling, an attentive eye towards details contribute in a scenario for one opting to delve into a course on accounting.
Playing by their strength, a student entering an academic sphere of accounting should have a flair for numbers along with a certain panache for handling data.
To put it in very simple words, accounting is simply an accumulation of financial information of a few aspects of any business.
- Financial position
- The cash flow of business
While those above roughly describe accounting, a good academic institution deals with not just these basics, but all ancillary facets along with it.
In the matter of finding a right college; courses offered and the exclusivity of seats demand thorough research of all institutions.
A simple solution would be to look at all premium institutions in the States and then go deeper into their courses on offer. This especially helps in keeping viable alternative options open for students.
While one might have a specific course as their first preference, the least such an approach would do is provide them with the second best option in terms of preference in case it does not go as planned.
A span of a year, though not quite a lot of time especially when one considers academia, is more or less enough to prepare a student for accounting courses in theses elite institutions in the USA.
Goes without saying, it can be a testing and grueling year, though the eventual result of it promises to live up to its worth of this toil.
A list of premium colleges in America is an absolute must, to begin with. The following happens to be some of the best institutions in this country for courses on accounting, and interested pupils are strongly advised to begin their research with them.
- University of Pennsylvania
Set in Philadelphia, the largest city of Pennsylvania, this is one of the best of the accounting institutions in the States. They boast an average ranking of 6.7 according to the latest survey, second only to London School of Economics with a 6.3 average ranking.
The courses on offer are taught at the Wharton Business School which boasts of alumni comprising of personalities like Elon Musk, Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, etc.
The study facilities of the school are extremely innovative, along with flexible schedules. Integrated leadership modules with options to spend time abroad provide an overall growth of all aspects that can be involved in a career of accounting.
Traditional accounting methods form a part of the academic modules along with contemporary ones. This approach ensures an overall understanding of the subject and its evolution in topics like predictive analytics and basic programming.
- New York University
Ranking at 9.7, New York University has its main campus in the city itself, along with additional campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. The main campus, more precisely in Greenwich Village, houses the Stern School of Business.
Known for its selective approach in student acquisition, the school has ties to some of the wealthiest businessmen across the globe.
The BSc. graduation course in business has 13 study modules comprising of related topics, of which accounting is one. Though not quite one focusing only on accounting, this course teaches all the related subjects; an overall of business, administration as well as the fundamentals.
Students are usually pushed to co-major in related subjects like corporate financial management, investment banking, securities markets, etc.
- Indiana University, Bloomington
Another of the premium institutions in the USA, it offers courses on accounting in the Kelley School of Business. For those intending to delve into the CPA career stream, their undergraduate accounting course is one of the best in the country.
Specific focus towards developing intelligent and prompt approaches for analysis along with industry specific communication courses are some of the specialties on offer here.
- University of Notre Dame
The University of Notre Dame in Indiana is a great option for pupils interested in majoring on accounts. While providing a suburban and peaceful setting for their endeavor in academia, this university offers its pupils dedicated course(s) on accounting.
Providing a remarkable 10:1 student to faculty ratio, the university boasts of 98% recorded returning of first year students for their next year.
The projected pay-scales of pupils on the completion of the course are immense. Estimations show a beginning yearly salary north of the halfway mark of hundred thousand.
- Boston College
Of the courses offered by Boston College on accounting, the college boasts of advanced studies too. It is set in the urban scape of Chestnut Hills, Massachusetts. It happens to be one of the few institutions in the USA which rank high in quite a few subjects, accounting being one on the list.
The institution demands an ACT score of 32 for admission, and this is one of the musts that any aspiring candidate must keep in their mind.
While the USA has an overall average of 37%, Boston College boasts of 89.3% of its students graduating in four years.
- Loyola University, Maryland
Situated amid the bustle and din of a large city, Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland is another institution that offers advance courses on accounting. Students find easy internship options early on owing to the metropolitan setting.
The university has a 12:1 student to faculty ratio, which does not just aid with individual care for the pupils but also inspires collaboration among pupils themselves as well as with their teachers. Another facet of this university is its wide ethnic and cultural range owing to it’s the diverse range of pupils.
Now, with some of the best colleges present at a glance, one needs to look into the courses offered to find the right fit.
While the choice of courses is an individual one that every applicant needs to focus on their own, there remains a prelude to the actual admission.
5 things to keep in mind while applying for an Accounting course
As a budding applicant, you must know on what basis an institution will assess your application.
A well-researched knowledge of the process makes you eligible to be an applicant.
- Keep your options open:
Once you have made a list of colleges, you might have figured out which you want to root for. There will always be a number one in the list.
But applying only to that institute is a blunder. You must apply to multiple institutes. Remember, there is a huge competition. And the count of seats is limited.
Chances are you might or might not be selected if you apply for 1 institution. Now suppose you have applied in 10 colleges. The chances are that more than one institute will shortlist you.
The ball is in whose court then?
- Rock solid marks:
The institutes in the United States mostly assess you on the scores of your last 4 years of school. Apart from that, you are supposed to score well in tests like TOEFL, and either SAT or ACT.
TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test evaluates your capability to communicate in the English language. A good TOEFL score ranges from 90-100 out of 120.
SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) and ACT (American College Test) is to be taken by students applying for an undergraduate program.
With high scores in your say, you hold higher chances to get shortlisted.
- Prepare yourself for the tests:
Practice makes a student perfect. Go through the sample papers and solve them as many times as possible.
See how much you are scoring and where you have scope to improve. Regular practice will groom you for the actual test.
- Delayed payment deposit reduces your chances:
Get your deposit imbursed at the earliest hour. Imagine if you have to let go of your chance even because of being a defaulter. Not a good feeling, right?
So, first things first, get your budget sorted and save for the deposits. You might have to pay as much as one semester’s fees.
- First impression with the personal essay:
The American colleges ask you to submit a personal essay along with your application. This essay could be your trump card.
Remember, the authorities will structure an image of yours based on the personal essay you submit.
Take your own sweet time to compose an impressive essay. The essay should reflect your personality, thoughts and virtues.
Tricks and tips to study Accounting the best way
Different subjects have different study-pattern requirements. Studying the correct way is important to delve deep into a subject.
Accounting accounts for a systematic and methodical way of studying.
- One step at a time:
Rushing into things doesn’t work in Accounting. One lesson follows another.
As kids, we are taught to add and subtract first. Then comes multiplication and division. Equation solving comes after that. The reason being all the former are needed to solve an equation.
Accounting works the same way. The second chapter will have an application of the first, the third of the second, and so on.
- Regular practice:
Accounting and Mathematics are on the same page in this respect. You find yourself in no man’s land if you skip practice.
Learning a new language is quite similar to Accounting. You turn fluent in a language if and when you practice it daily.
The sincere and disciplined practice of your lessons on an everyday basis makes you score higher.
- Solving sample papers:
Online sample papers or practice papers are a perfect place to execute what you have learnt. Do not wait until the exams.
Set tests for yourself. Be your critique. Judge yourself on time management, efficiency and accuracy.
Accounting as a career choice:
It is important to evaluate Accounting not just as a subject, but also as a potential arena to build a career. Let’s have an insight into that.
- Diverse options:
Accounting can give you several options to choose from. The subject holds scope for specialization in many areas.
Cost accounting, internal auditing, management accounting and forensic accounting are a few of them.
You could be a freelance accountant as well. If you are someone who is not very fond of office shifts, Accounting could let you be your own master.
- Decent pay scale:
Although the remuneration varies according to your job role, experience, specialization, and several other factors, the overall pay scale is satisfactory.
Isn’t a career with a decent remuneration all one looks for?
- Room for improvement:
As an Accounting professional, you always have chances to upgrade your CV. You can pursue courses that widen your spectrum.
With various certificates acknowledging your specialisations, a companyis convinced of your multi-tasking skills.
So yes, Accounting gives you chances to explore. You don’t stay stuck in one place till you retire. You can grow and earn higher.
- Stability even when the economy is unstable:
The arena of Accounting remains unaffected by any distortion in the economy. Business houses need to have a proper record of their accounts at all times.
This makes the job of an Accountant persistent, irrespective of any fluctuations in the economy.
As a concluding part, let’s give you a brief of the key responsibilities as a professional in Accounting. Cost estimation, auditing, Budget analysing, Fund accounting, Business valuation, tax consulting, capital accounting, and so on. All of these are some of the job roles of an Accounting professional. Accounting could give your career a jumpstart.
MajaKazazic is an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, mental health advocate, hailing from Stanford University. She is also a survivor of the Bosnian genocide. With an amputated leg and a never-ending spirit, the author inspires a gallon of people with her story. As an author, she writes to motivate all.