Accounting vs. Economics: What’s the Difference?

Accounting and economics both involve plenty of number-crunching. But accounting is a profession devoted to recording, analyzing, and reporting income and expenses, while economics is a branch of the social sciences that is concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of resources.

Accounting or Economics at University? | How I chose between the two degrees

What is economics?

Economics is the study of individuals, resources, and how much people value various goods and services. Those who study economics also concentrate on production and distribution in an effort to comprehend how the purchasing economy functions. Forecasting trends and predicting how changes in the economy will affect policies and other regulations are all tasks that economists assist government officials with.

The two main branches of economics are macroeconomics and microeconomics. Macroeconomics is the study of an economic ecosystem’s efficiency and its experiences with inflation. In the same ecosystem that macroeconomists research, microeconomics focuses on individual behavior. Microeconomics studies how the distribution is affected by purchasing decisions.

What is accounting?

Accounting entails keeping track of a company’s finances, analyzing them, and then reporting on them. Accounting is a discipline that aids in making business stakeholders aware of an organization’s financial situation. Accountants keep track of all business transactions, including all incoming and outgoing credits and debits, analyze budgets, and produce financial reports for the company’s stakeholders and executive team. Business owners can make crucial financial decisions on behalf of the company using the data accountants provide.

Similarities between accountants and economists

To assist businesses and other organizations like governments, accountants and economists work together. They each analyze and plan in their own way, as well as create financial plans based on their reports. Both people also create policies based on past financial performance, current market conditions, and specific occurrences that directly affect the economy and a company’s financial stability.

It takes a certain amount of education to work as an economist or an accountant. Before beginning a career in either occupation, a person should obtain a bachelor’s degree from a college or university. However, employers of economists typically seek out applicants with a masters degree or higher. If accountants want to be eligible for positions with more responsibility, they may pursue a master’s degree.

In order to share their reports and other presentations with others, accountants and economists must both be analytical, capable of problem-solving, well-organized, thorough, and able to communicate with others.

Accounting vs. economics degrees

Degrees in accounting and economics have some similarities and some differences. It is typical for students pursuing either degree to begin at the same level and take the same undergraduate courses, such as principles of finance and basic math, which all contribute to the development of the fundamental skills necessary for success in one’s chosen field. However, the two degrees can vary once students enroll in their first undergraduate courses.

Accounting majors typically take courses in financial reporting, tax law, auditing, business ethics, statistics, financial accounting, and income tax accounting. Many accounting majors choose to work toward becoming Certified Management Accountants (CMA) or Certified Public Accountants (CPA) certified in order to be eligible for more job opportunities. Additionally typical is for accounting majors to pursue a master’s degree in the discipline.

Students pursuing an economics degree can anticipate taking macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic development, environmental economics, and economic policy courses. If students want to pursue a higher degree in the subject of economics, they can also choose from more difficult courses in the subject. Many students who major in economics later pursue master’s or doctoral degrees D. in economics to increase their career opportunities.

Differences between accountants and economists

It’s critical to comprehend the distinctions between economists and accountants so you can determine which career path is best for you:

Main responsibilities

Accountants oversee a company’s financial transactions, whereas economists focus specifically on economic trends and how they affect how money is spent and how goods are distributed, a concept known as supply and demand. This is the main distinction between accountants and economists.


Accountants examine balance sheets and tax records, which are typically the more intricate aspects of financial business operations, to ensure that a company is complying with all regulations. Economists concentrate on economic theories, examining financial trends and other global issues that may have an impact on the creation, distribution, and consumption of goods and, consequently, the value of the currency used to purchase those goods.

Fields of study

Different types of accounting and economics can influence the kind of career these people have after graduating. Accounting includes, among other things, financial accounting, forensic accounting, and hedge accounting. Comparatively, macroeconomics and microeconomics are the two types of economics.

Career opportunities

In addition to working as accountants for businesses, accountants can pursue careers in government accounting, project accounting, forensic accounting, or as certified public accountants (CPAs), auditors, or investment analysts. For businesses, nonprofits, and governmental organizations, economists can work as management analysts, financial analysts, economic researchers, or budget analysts, to name a few.

Application of data

While economists address issues using a variety of economic theories and their own research, accountants create reports based on accounting principles and the rules and regulations that support their industry.


An organization may make wise financial decisions on its behalf or learn more about its financial situation by using the work of accountants. To learn more about the economy and the industry that a business is a part of, economists’ work is frequently used.

Accounting vs. economics salary

Both positions may be eligible for benefits like family leave, reimbursement for travel expenses, 401(k) matching, health insurance, and others. Your skill set, education, experience, and the industry in which you’re looking for work can all affect how much you make.


What is better accounting or economics?

While there are advantages to studying both economics and accounting, accounting offers a more specialized curriculum, a more direct career path, and more opportunities for advancement.

Is economics hard than accounting?

Economics is harder than accounting a lot . Actually, accounting is one of the easiest university courses to study (for some people). You will never win the Nobel Prize for economics, no matter how good you are at accounting.

Can I be an accountant with an economics degree?

To work as an accountant, you don’t need a degree in accounting. An economics degree will give you sophisticated numerical and analytical skills, which are ideal for considering a career in accounting. Accountants are employed in every industry, as well as in government and nonprofit organizations.

What pays more finance or economics?

Salary Potential of Economics vs. Finance Majors According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average starting salary for economics majors is $55,965. Finance students weren’t far beyond with a $55,609 mean wage. Both of these are more than $5,000 above the median for all degrees.

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