What is Accounting?
Accounting: Accountant’s (sometimes called: Controller) primary function is to develop and provide data measuring the performance of the firm, assessing its financial position, and paying taxes. The accountant is responsible for preparing financial statements such as the income statement, balance sheets, and cash flows. It is normally passive work, in the sense that, the work has a very independent nature to it such as preparing forms and financial statements. It is a good job for people who want to work independently and are very organized (this is only a very brief description, if you are interested in accounting, consult your accounting instructor for more information).
What is Finance?
Finance: The financial manager or consultant places primary emphasis on decision making. It uses the financial statements prepared by accountants to make decisions about the firm’s financial condition and to advise others about possible losses and profits. In some cases, finance is more a type of leadership position. A financial manager has to deal not only with finance, but also with economics, accounting, statistics, math, and management. For example, people working with stocks and bonds have to understand and analyze how the underlying companies are performing. How a given company is going to perform during recession? Should they sell or buy stocks or bonds. How a decrease in the interest rate in England may affect the projects a company has in that country. Finance also deals a lot with risk. Derivative securities (options, futures, swaps, etc) are used to hedge against possible increase in risk. Risk managers are in great demand everywhere. Most finance majors find jobs in banks and other financial institutions, government, real estate, consultant companies, insurance, investment companies, stock market exchanges, fundraising, and any firm that needs someone to make financial decisions.