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Accounting vs. Computer Science

  1. Sep 28, 2009 #1
    Assuming that you like both of them fairly equally in terms of passion (or lack of), which would you pick based on all the possible criteria?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2009 #2
    if i liked them both, i would do them both.

    if i lacked passion for either, i would find something else to do.
  4. Sep 28, 2009 #3
    I would do CS i think you will find it more reward, a mixture of the two isn't a bad idea. You could work on accounting software for example.
  5. Sep 28, 2009 #4
    Hi lubuntu. In order to write accounting software, do you necessarily need a CS/engineering education next to an accounting degree?
  6. Sep 28, 2009 #5
    Not at all, honestly you probably don't need either.
  7. Oct 1, 2009 #6
    Why do accountants earn so much for the relative simplicity (compared to engineering) of what they do? Honestly, isn't it not what you would consider a "thought-intensive" job?
  8. Oct 1, 2009 #7
  9. Oct 5, 2009 #8
    Well, let me reword the question.
    Technology usually makes things more efficient. Thus if you make accounting routines more efficient (maybe not fully automated), then wouldn't there need to be fewer human resources (accountants)?

    In this respect, a career in computer science may be wiser than a career in accounting.
  10. Oct 23, 2009 #9
    avant - you posted the above question in another thread.

    yes technology can make things more efficient, and it has in accounting. And yes there is less need for accountants to do the work. but accounting is not the same as pushing information. It is more like Law. The accountant makes sure that all the money is being allocated to the proper places according to a set of legal standards. A big difference in why they are paid so much is because they are Legally accountable for the financial reporting. If a program screws up than the IT guy might get fired, some profits will go down, or some other manageable problem. If an accountant screws up a financial report real bad, then they get sued for boatloads of money and the company pays big time.

    but yes IT and accounting are coming closer and closer together. But the field of computer science is science, and has nothing to do with accounting. Its a completely different field
  11. Oct 24, 2009 #10
    Accountancy seems like a not-too-demanding 9 to 5 kind of job that pays lots of money. So you have the evenings & weekends free & early retirement to look forward to - that is, plenty of cash and enough spare time to do a reasonable amount of what you really want to do. The same is not, generally, true about CS... you *might* get a high paying 9 to 5 CS job that is really interesting, or a high stress 100 hour a week job that's really stressful & boring - or anything in between - so you need to really think about what kind of CS job you want, and be prepared to move quick...
  12. Nov 9, 2009 #11
    Just to throw my two cents in (being an accounting major myself) - not only is it more like Law than info pushing, like jmaat7 said, but because accountants spend considerably less time crunching numbers than in bygone years, the occupation has evolved to the point where personal communication abilities are just as crucial as the other aspects of the job. There is a much more involved, face-to-face relationship between accountant and client now than there used to be, which is why approx. 50% of all current accounting majors are women, since they have better personal and communicative skills (at least according to one of my instructors, who just happens to be female). So another thing to consider is - how well do you communicate with others? Are you comfortable with public speaking, since you may be required to lay out financial info to a roomful of people? Things like that. So it's not really a demanding job, it's just an occupation that's changed a great deal over the years.
  13. Nov 29, 2009 #12
    So, what exactly are the most important skills required in order to become a successful accountant, with promotions here and there?
  14. Nov 29, 2009 #13
    I'm guessing that MATH is not necessarily one of them? The thing is, I would say I'm in the 95% percentile of American youth for Math skills. idk.. this is just an approximation.

    I guess you can say I'm a decent people-person, but I'm constantly looking to improve myself in this aspect. Have a sense of humor. Making stable progress.

    Which do you think I would thrive at better, engineering (EE/CE/CS) or accounting? Haha. Need more info?
  15. Nov 30, 2009 #14
    bump........ any input appreciated please?
  16. Dec 1, 2009 #15
    An engineering major will eat away at your soul if you're not actually interested 'cause it's very difficult to just coast through the degree. Math is almost the least of it, 'cause the math doesn't get more complicated than some calculus. It's all about applying the thousand formulas and principals to solve whatever problem is thrown at you. CS is much of the same, except to be really good at CS you have to at least be somewhat interested in all that abstract/theory type stuff having to do with languages, logic, hardware/software bridge, and everything else that gets thrown in the mix. (By the way, I'm a computer engineering major->CS+EE = major headache)

    If you can, take the starter course for each major (CS 101, circuits, accounting principals, etc.) and use that as a baseline for likely future interest. If you're apathetic, accounting is probably the safer route career wise. You could also see which courses count for all the majors (usually prereqs do) and drop down if you need to.
  17. Dec 5, 2009 #16
    Thanks. but what I was wondering what percentile of CPA's actually earn six figures? They say that accountants can earn a lot... but wondering if this is merely for the best and very best....
  18. Dec 7, 2009 #17
    This questions like which eye you like in your two eyes,,,,
    It would be tough to tell which one is better.
    In some part of time Computers is and same applicable to http://www.connollyholmes.com" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Dec 12, 2009 #18


    User Avatar

    Hi -

    I am a CPA. I came to this board because I'm interested in changing careers (at 35) to something in science (most likely a phd cs track).

    Here is what you need to know about accounting:

    1) At a minimum, you can make around $80K per year in a large public firm without making it to manager with just a few years experience (will probably get hired in around $50K). If you mkae manager, you can hit $100K and get as high as $150K. If you make partner, the sky is the limit. The junior partners make at least $200K, and the senior equity partners make more like $300K or more ... (this is really in flux, because at this point, beiing an equity partner, it really just comes down to the profitability of the firm).

    2) If you go with a small public firm, disregard the above point. $50K - $75K is probably where you will be most of your career ... maybe as high as $100K, but that's about it ...

    3) Public accounting, with your CPA, is where to be to make big money, and yes, everyone who makes it in public can easily hit the $80K mark without getting to management. But, the problem is that a lot of people don't make it because they aren't good enough, or they don't like it.

    4) Industry (working in the private sector) is where you want to go for a cushy job. Go work public for about 5 years, get your CPA and go make about $100K starting out as a controller for a medium sized business.

    5) Tax is a better job in public because you don't have to travel, but audit prepares you better for the switch to industry if you decide to do it.

    6) You don't have to be engineer smart to be an accountant, but accountants are all smart by comparison to the rest of the world .. just not necessarily as smart as science majors. Accounting is more of a mix of intelligence and WORK ETHIC because you will work your butt off at different points in this field.

    7) Yes, communication skills are very important. Accountants aren't just nerds crunching numbers. To be sucessful as you move up in the firm, you need to be able to successfully deal with clients. And, EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT, is your ability to fraternize with the peers in your firm. The large firms are just like law firms: it's a good ol' boy network and is all about what fraternity you were in during college, and if you fit into the click (these rules don't apply to small firms).

    8) Accounting is a great career choice for stability and reasonable level of financial sucess, but you won't get rich doing this. To get rich, practice law or go into medicine. Same kind of work ethic, but more rewarding (law, btw, is easier than becoming a cpa).

    9) Accounting is very boring, so it will be the social aspect, or building your own firm, or dealing with clients doing planning and so on that will give you happiness; not the work itself, per se ...

    10) Last, but not least, you need to be VERY FAST to be sucessful as an accountant. ... in public anyway .... they won't tell you, but they don't care sooo much about how accurate your work is ... what they really care about is if you can do it well enough that nobody notices the mistakes but did it in a reasonable amount of time. They want you to put as little into your projects as possible (time wise), but yet bill as much as they can for it. They won't tell you this, but tis' true ...

    Hope it helps.
  20. Dec 13, 2009 #19
    ^ Wow, cpa. Great post!
    Do you mind me asking, what made you want to choose Computer Science, after many successful years of accounting ?
  21. Dec 13, 2009 #20
    Comparing accounting with computer science/engineering doesn't even make sense.
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