Businesses around the world have one thing in common – they all need help with their accounting and finances. It’s an inescapable truth that whether it’s a car dealership, a multi-million pound football club or a corner shop store, someone has to help balance the books and keep them on the right side of the tax man. It’s one of the reasons why a BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree is such a great degree to have because it can help launch an exciting career for you in whatever industry takes your interest.
If you love fashion, a job in the accounts department of a high-end fashion house could be a reality, if tech is more your thing, then a position at Microsoft, Google or Facebook could one day beckon. If you prefer variety, working in an accountancy firm dealing with the accounts of lots of diverse businesses might just be the answer.
The point is an accounting and finance degree can take you anywhere you want to go.
Why is accounting and finance so important?
Asking why we need accounting and finance is a bit like asking why we need to eat – they are essential for any business to grow and flourish. Accounting as a method of record keeping has been around for hundreds of years, almost as long as any trade and commerce activities have. The methods may have evolved over time and computers have revolutionised the data input side of accounting and finance but the fundamental principles remain the same. Accounting and finance provides businesses with a picture of where they are at so they can make sound decisions about their current business and how it will grow in the future.
What will I learn?
You’ll start by learning the basic principles of accounting and defining what an accountant is. You’ll also learn the critical processes and concepts of accounting and finance and how they contribute to and drive decision-making and performance.
You’ll learn about financial accounting and management accounting as well as professional skills for accountants and IT applications for finance and accounting. In addition, you’ll cover employability skills, international financial reporting, performance management, auditing, corporate taxation and financial management and corporate and business law.
During the course you’ll undertake a mixture of theoretical and practical study. You’ll enjoy trips to experience the stock exchange and top financial and accounting firms. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in Finance Week and work on a consultancy project involving real-life business accounts.
The degree also gives you some exemptions from the Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualifications.
Interests and skills
Accountancy is a detailed-oriented profession and minor mistakes can have a huge impact so you have to love the details. It’s ideal for someone who is logical and enjoys problem-solving. A love of numbers and maths is also pretty important too.
As well as being good at the maths side of things it helps if you’re a good communicator – you’ll need to be able to take complex financial information and relay it to people who won’t have had your accountancy training.
Where will it lead me?
The great thing about an accounting and finance degree is its versatility. It’s a route into so many different careers. A role as an accountant either within a company’s finance department or for an accountancy firm is one of the most obvious routes but the degree can also lead to a job in law, advertising, marketing and sales, IT and journalism.
You can eventually qualify as a chartered accountant and start up your own accountancy practice or use your skills in a business you launch.
You’ll need two A Levels and a total of 32 UCAS points or you’ll need to have completed GSM London’s Foundation Year programme. Alternative qualifications are accepted including; BTEC National Diploma, Advanced Level Diploma, HND/C, International Baccalaureat and Irish/Scottish Highers/Advanced.
A foundation year can be a great option if you have had a break from academic study, preparing you for degree level study and building confidence.
If you don’t have the right entry requirements you may still be accepted if you have an up-to-date CV, evidence of at least a year’s full-time work experience, a signed and stamped reference and undergo an interview and/or a written essay and academic interview. You can also be considered for direct entry if you have a minimum of two years’ professional work experience in a relevant field.