Finance and accounting refer to the discipline of accounting concerned with the analysis, preparation and reporting of data related to a particular company. This includes the preparation of periodic financial reports available for public viewing. In addition, it includes the measurement of certain financial variables such as cash flows, working capital, profit margins etc. Other significant areas of concern are the control of money, budgeting and forecasting, and the recognition, measurement and allocation of the expenses of the business.
The main functions of finance and accounting are to prepare financial documents that can be used by managers and owners for planning, organizing, and executing activities of the business. In other words, it provides tools for decision-making. The information provided by the financial records must be reliable, relevant, accurate, timely, and reasonably useful for decision making. This is why most businesses depend on finance and accounting professionals.
Finance and accounting vs. accounting are not that simple as it may seem at first glance. For one thing, there are differences in the meaning of the two terms. While the term ‘accounting’ pertains to the process of receiving, managing, collecting, recording, and comparing information regarding transactions, the term ‘finance’ pertains to the management of resources used in that activity. More specifically, this includes the preparation of reports and other financial statements, as well as analyzing the data obtained. Typically, finance and accounting have a lot more to do with salaries than it does with accounting. The reason for this is simple: accountants, finance managers, and other personnel involved in the management of companies’s finance and accounting system don’t typically receive any sort of professional training regarding how to write reports or perform any other sort of managerial function.
Payroll is very important in all businesses. Without it, the management of the cash flow within a company simply cannot function. The difference between a business using finance and accounting practices versus the accounting practices utilized by a business without finance and accounting is simple: a company that performs all transactions and financial analysis utilizing finance and accounting methods will always perform better financially and operate more efficiently than a company that does the same but chooses to use accounting. Simply put, the financial reports from a company using finance and accounting methods will always be more accurate and up-to-date than the financial reports from a company that employs accounting. This is because finance and accounting managers, along with other managerial personnel in a company, are involved in the day-to-day cash flow analysis, financial statement analysis, and financial budgeting that are necessary for any good organization to function smoothly and effectively.
Finance and accountants can also specialize. There are many fields of finance and accounting, such as research, management, public sector, private sector, and even government that individuals can choose to specialize in. If you want to be an accounting manager, then you will have to study business management, finance, auditing, and taxation. If you want to be a financial officer, then you will need to study accounting, finance, auditing, and government jobs. However, if you truly want to be a professional accountant, then you should consider specializing in government jobs or starting your own accounting firm.
Overall, I would say that there are pros and cons to both finance and accounting. Although I enjoy working with finance and accounting, I prefer to work with the former due to its emphasis on finance and accounting and less emphasis on law and human resources. I hope this article has given you insight into the differences between the two areas of finance and accounting, and which may work best for you. In general, I feel that if you enjoy finance and accounting, then you should probably consider a financial position in either field.