Every student out there at some point or another has questioned why they have to take certain classes. I have heard many accounting students complain about Production Management in particular but you can replace that with any number of classes, Strategic Management, Economics, Management Information Systems, and the list goes on. We have already addressed in previous posts what classes outside of business and accounting we found the most useful or interesting, now I want to take a minute to talk about why all of the other “business” classes are important for accounting students.
You have probably heard that “accounting is the language of business,” and I would argue that is a very true statement. What that catchy saying is trying to impart is that accounting is the means by which people communicate ideas and results within the business world. So then if accountants are supposed to be experts on how to communicate business wouldn’t it be reasonable for accountants to understand the “big picture” ideas they are relaying from one user to another? This is where all those general business classes come into play.
A good accountant obviously knows how to record transactions and prepare financial statements. They also have to know the story behind those transactions and whether or not the amounts being recorded and presented are consistent with the overall objective of the business. The truth of the matter is, accounting might be the language of business but it’s not how most businesses make money. Expecting to only understand debits and credits and not understand any of the reasoning and objective behind those debits and credits would not prepare a student to enter the business world.
I would imagine that most accounting students are hoping to do more than data entry the rest of their lives. Because of this, students should enjoy studying various business concepts and strategies. Knowing and understanding more about how businesses operate can only help you be a more successful and valuable accountant.