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While Accounting courses require students to have an aptitude for principles of mathematics and statistics, they do not require a high level of concept and theory manipulation. Subjects like Calculus, Physics, and Computer Science require students to think abstractly, taking many different dynamics into account, whereas Accounting courses are more straightforward in their application. The most difficult courses for an accounting major will depend on their personality and proclivities, as there are different areas of accounting which require different areas of understanding. The most common types of courses for accounting majors include:

  • Financial Accounting: Usually some of the first courses for accounting majors, these courses provide an understanding of how to classify assets and expenses of a business.
  • Managerial Accounting: Builds upon the skills learned in Financial Accounting to focus on how to manage a business to make its expenditures and investments more efficient.
  • Auditing: Teaches students how to investigate business practices to ensure that codes and regulations are being followed.
  • Tax Accounting: Usually some of the most difficult classes for an accounting major as they delve into the minutia of tax codes, though this knowledge is a major source of income for accounting graduates.

If you are looking to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) you are required in most states to have earned a bachelor’s degree and pass the CPA examination. Many Bachelor’s in Accounting programs are tailored to prepare students for the CPA examination. If you want to get an idea about the knowledge base that you will be expected to master during your accounting program, it would be a good idea to check out a practice CPA examination online. If you have decided you want to become a CPA and are looking for an affordable program that will put you on track, check out our ranking of the Top 15 Cheapest Bachelor Degrees in Accounting. Some of the most difficult, upper-level (400+) courses that students will have to pass in their bachelor’s in accounting program are:

  • Business and Accounting Information Systems: Teaches students to utilize state-of-the-art software that calculates inputs, outputs, and processing of business transactions.
  • Analysis of Corporate Financial Statements: Gives students the knowledge to check the financial flow of major corporations for regulation adherence and financial efficiency.
  • Ethics for Accounting Professionals: Teaches students ethical theory in order to acquaint them with proper workplace practices.
  • Financial Statement Auditing: Introduces students to the practice of financial statement assurance by combining accounting and business knowledge with applicable statistics and law concepts.
  • International Taxation: Gives students the knowledge of international tax codes, exchange fees, and how to ensure that corporations are not dodging tax responsibility by manipulating offshore bank accounts.

While many of these courses might seem intimidating, remember that your accounting program will start from square one and build up your knowledge and confidence before you have to pass the most difficult courses.

Other coursework, depending on your accounting career path, may include:

  • bookkeeping
  • forensic accounting
  • financial management
  • accounting principles
  • financial reporting
  • international accounting
  • management accounting
  • valuation
  • financial records
  • corporate accounting
  • language of business
  • cost accounting

Accounting classes will introduce you to balance sheets and cash flow. You’ll become an expert in excel. Accounting students need to be detail-oriented and ready for hard work. Accounting firms are demanding, but so is passing the CPA exam.

On this ranking of schools with affordable accounting degrees, you will find a variety of great programs that will prepare you to master the most difficult subjects in accounting and qualify you for stable employment as an accountant or another similar profession.


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