It is an old adage, but a truth, that ‘accounting is the language of business’. Learning accounting is like learning a language.
It requires effort, but once you have learnt a language, you become adept at communicating easily with others.
Accounting professionals collect, record, codify and communicate information about a business. Accounting information helps to assess the consequences of individual and collective actions on a business.
Accounting knowledge makes a manager a better manager.
In itself, accounting is a highly rewarding profession. It also provides the essential foundation for pursuing advance courses in business, management and finance.
Accounting provides logic for measurement and assessment. In India, accounting is taught in the BCom or BCom (Hons) programme; it has always been an integral part of commerce and business.
BCom is the first degree in accounting which serves as a basis or an entry for professional or post-graduate degrees in accounting, commerce, business or management.
The University of Delhi’s BCom (Hons) programme is not only prestigious and sought-after, but it is also the most comprehensive in accounting, basic finance and
general commerce and business subjects.
This programme is good enough for junior and middle-level executive jobs in banking, insurance, financial services and small and medium-size business firms.
A second degree (academic or professional) in accounting/ finance considerably improves employability and opens up many more attractive careers.
An undergraduate in accounting/ finance/ commerce has the option of pursuing professional courses like the chartered accountancy (CA), USA’s CFA (certified financial analysis), cost and works accountancy (CWA), and company secretaryship (CS).
Anyone with a BCom (Hons) degree and good knowledge of mathematics and statistics has an advantage and edge over others in pursuing postgraduate degrees in business and management like MBA, University of Delhi’s Master of international business (MIB), Master of human resource (MHR), and Master of finance & control (MFC), and MA/ MSc in finance etc.
A BCom (Hons) student is well trained in economics as well. Hence, s/he can easily branch off to MA (economics) and Master of business economics (MBE).
It’s quite clear that students with an accounting/ finance background have enormous opportunities to pursue professional and postgraduate courses.
Thus, they are able to improve their employability.
They can also pursue courses in law, particularly, corporate law, and taxation.
Both these fields provide highly remunerative jobs.
Skill set required
Accounting and finance courses require logical thinking, analytical skills and the ability to formulate real-life business problems.
It must be understood that a student of accounting and particularly, of finance must have good knowledge of mathematics.
Advance courses in finance, which prepare students for jobs in derivatives and investments, and foreign exchange markets, require very good knowledge of quantitative techniques.
Institutions at a glance
Most universities offer the BCom (Hons) programme. Countrywide, some among the many popular colleges for this are:
. Loyola College, Chennai
. St Xavier’s College, Kolkata
. Sydenham College, Mumbai
. Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi
. Hindu College, Delhi
. Ramjas College, Delhi
. Hans Raj College, Delhi
. Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi
The author is professor at University of Delhi’s department of financial studies and former professor and dean of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He was also professor and dean at Asian Institute of Technology’s School of Management, Thailand