Members of the accounting field are often referred to as "number crunchers," or "bean counters." Accounting however is not all about numbers. The basics of accounting are mathematical but have recently branched out to include additional areas of expertise. Accountants will take time to figure out income, costs, taxes and stay in accordance with all the current laws that govern accounting. Accountants also are extremely detail-oriented and precise. Accounting requires not only mathematical skills and precision, it also requires a high level of integrity and ethics. The industry of accounting also has many outlets for improving skills and staying current on the newest methods of work.
For a long period of time, accounting was about crunching numbers. The accounting field assists large businesses, individuals and non-profit organization with managing their money and balancing their income along with their expenses and taxes owed. A strong aptitude for math has always been a requirement for the accounting field, however with the advances made in the computer and software industries, those functions are now mostly completed by computers. Because computers are not perfect and the occasional mishap does occur, accountants are still responsible for being detail oriented and staying up to date on the newest accounting products. Those in the accounting field can rely on computers and software, but still have a responsibility to make sure the computer statements are accurate. Relying on computers does free up some time though to concentrate on other areas of the accounting profession.
The field of accounting now includes not just crunching the numbers, but being able to analyze the results of what computers are calculating. Having in-depth analysis skills is necessary to helping businesses, especially those with limited funds, such as non-profit organizations, to determine how to allocate their income and control their expenses. In order to accomplish this task, someone who might major in accounting will want to be very good at math, analysis and interpreting data.
The accounting industry has changed somewhat over the years because of technology and recent highly publicized events such as the Enron and Worldcom scandals. Ethics courses are now being offered in connection with receiving an accounting degree. Computer science is also a field of study offered in accounting to keep up with the changes that have taken place, causing accountants to be more dependent on computer spreadsheets and accounting software.
With a strong sense of integrity, a good code of ethics and a strong mind for math, accounting can be a very fulfilling career. Commitment to maintaining industry standards and constant learning are also keys to having a strong career in this field. Those who are very good at math and enjoy analyzing data would be well served to research a career in the accounting field.