Accounting vs Business Administration

Accounting vs Business Administration | Accounting Smarts
Charles Hall

Last updated by

Charles Hall


June 10, 2022

Accounting Vs. Business Administration - what's the difference between the two most popular graduate degrees, and which one is better for your career goals?

Accounting Vs. Business Administration - what's the difference between the two most popular graduate degrees, and which one is better for your career goals?

Accounting degrees focus on teaching students how to keep financial records for businesses, governments, organizations, and other entities. On the other hand, a degree in Business Administration will equip you to manage and administer a business or department of a firm on a daily basis.

Although business administration and accounting are closely tied together, they have their differences. Business Management and Accounting are two great choices to kick start your career and narrow down your path. Business administration degrees are available at multiple levels, similar to accounting degrees, and include associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs. But if you're more interested in crunching numbers and conducting financial analysis, accounting may be the right choice for you.  

Our experts have years of experience dealing with accounts and business graduates at various professional levels. This includes working with individuals who just started their career as well as fully-qualified and experienced professionals who have been in the industry for a long time. But enough about us, let's get started with the article.

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Table of contents

Opportunities for Employment

When it comes to entry-level work, the opportunities in these two industries are significantly different. Accounting tends to focus on the financial aspect of a company, whereas business administration works with the entire organization. For instance, an accountant may deal mostly with past expenses, but someone with a degree in business management will deal with the company's financial future.

Here are the job opportunities for both fields:

  • Business Administration
  • Insurance industry underwriter
  • Compensation and benefits analyst
  • Assistant marketing director
  • Buyer or purchasing agent
  • Product manager
  • Real estate appraiser
  • Logistician
  • Research associate
  • Market research analyst
  • Business consultant
  • Sales manager
  • Accounting
  • Accountant
  • Claims adjuster or appraiser
  • Logistician
  • Credit officer
  • Underwriter
  • Financial clerk
  • Financial analyst
  • Risk advisor
  • Auditor
  • Budget analyst

Accounting Vs Business Administration - Skills Comparison

Accounting and business administration degrees enable students to develop various new skills that can help them thrive in their future career journeys. Accounting classes help students hone their technical and quantitative skills in the field of accounting, while business administration courses enable students to enhance their technical and soft skills pertaining to management practices.

Skills Needed for Accounting

  • Arithmetic reasoning
  • Reconciliation of accounts
  • Budgeting
  • Keeping financial records
  • Keeping track of your finances
  • Performing an audit
  • Technical accounting abilities

Skills Needed for Business Administration

  • Analyzing data
  • Customer service
  • Skills in public speaking
  • Communication, both verbal and nonverbal
  • Project management and leadership
  • Business management software

Benefits of an Accounting Degree

Specialized Skill-Set

Students learn particular mathematical skills as part of their accounting degree curriculum. This may help them qualify for accounting or other finance positions.

Career Prospects

Accountants work for a wide range of companies in many industries. Those who have completed an accounting degree may have additional work openings.

Higher Earning Potential

Accounting degrees can help workers progress their careers and earn more money. Many students acquire an accounting degree in order to start a job in accounting or auditing; however, these graduates also have other opportunities. Some accounting graduates go on to work as financial analysts, budget analysts, or in other finance-related positions.

Benefits of a Business Administration Degree

Increased Job Flexibility

Business administration graduates can work in a range of roles. They might specialize in marketing, project management, or sales, for example. A business administration degree covers a wide range of topics in business and can help a finance professional prepare for a variety of roles.

Skill-Based Learning

Business administration graduates learn a number of hard and soft skills that they can apply in a range of professions during their education. These abilities encompass both mathematical and leadership training.

Higher Income Potential

This degree can help professionals progress their careers and earn a higher income. A business administration degree trains students to run businesses, allowing them to take on more leadership roles. This may result in more managerial or leadership positions.  

Accounting Vs Business Administration - Job Conditions

Accounting and business administration roles are often interchangeable due to the similar nature of job roles, responsibilities, and work environment.  Both large enterprises and small firms need skilled accountants and competent business executives. However, there are still a few differences between both professions.

Business managers are more likely to collaborate with others on a regular basis in a highly collaborative work atmosphere that necessitates frequent communication. Most business managers typically spend their days interacting with clients and collaborating with a group of people.

Accountants, on the other hand, are more prone to spend time working alone. That's not to imply they don't work in groups—meetings, audits, report writing, and other initiatives all necessitate collaboration. Accountants, unlike company managers, are unlikely to spend the majority of their time speaking with people. Instead, they'll finish their part of the job before reuniting with their team or client.

When it comes to workload, most business managers can expect a consistent workload year-round—with occasional crunch times as significant project deadlines approach. In contrast, accountants have distinct calm and busy seasons. Accountants will be tremendously busy during the financial reporting season, but the rest of the year is much more relaxed.

Accounting Vs Business Administration - Earning Potential

When assessing your career possibilities, salary expectations and employment stability are primary factors of concern. Both careers have promising futures and highly competitive earning potential. However, business administration has the edge over accounting because accountants generally have to pass a set of examinations to reach higher positions in their careers. On the other hand, business administration majors do not require any further exams to reach the top levels - just quick wit and great leadership.

Although accountants are not paid as much as some executive positions, their pay is nothing to scoff at! Remember that an accounting background can help you move in your career to other areas of finance, including managerial positions.

Accounting Vs Business Administration - Which Is Better?

As a company grows, this may entail control of extra departments, marketing, and financial or human resource assistance. If you have a business administration degree, you are unlikely to be in charge of tax management, accounting, or bookkeeping. Furthermore, a bachelor's degree in business administration might provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary to start your own company.

An associate's degree in business administration takes two years to finish, while a bachelor's degree requires at least four. After earning a bachelor's degree, a professional must finish a master's in business administration (MBA) program, which takes an additional two years to accomplish.

A degree in accounting will teach you how to consult, manage, and advise businesses and individuals on financial concerns. Professional accountants are in high demand; therefore, a bachelor's degree in accounting can help you advance in your career.

A degree in accounting will prepare you for a position in the public or private sector, including government, nonprofit, and business settings, where you will be completely responsible for finances. An accountant in the public sector could specialize in tax preparation or tax law. Private corporations use management accountants to manage their finances, including assets, budgeting, and investments. Government accountants are in charge of the spending of the city, state, or federal governments.

You will usually focus on managing money with a degree in accounting, but you will not normally delve into the mechanics of running a firm. Accountants' and auditors' employment is predicted to expand by 10% through 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A BS in Accounting is a stepping stone to the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and certification if you want to advance your profession.


A college education is likely to be required for both accounting and management positions. An Associate's degree may be sufficient for entry-level positions in either of these professions, although applicants with a Bachelor's degree are likely to be preferred for more advanced positions. Given that a college degree is the norm, comparing the types of courses you'll take may also matter.

Courses in Business Management:

  • Introduction to Business Intelligence and Analysis
  • Introduction to Project and Functional Management
  • Ethical Business Practices and the Law
  • Business Strategic Management: Emerging Trends, Markets, and Technologies

Courses in Accounting:

  • Accounting Principles
  • Investigation of Financial Matters
  • Accountants' Risk Management
  • Accounting Costs, Corporate Accounting, and International Accounting

Making the decision between accounting and business administration isn't easy, but knowing the facts might help you narrow down your alternatives. Now that you've learned everything there is to know about Accounting Vs Business Management, you'll be able to make an informed decision about which field is best for you.