Double Major Accounting And Finance Salary

Last Updated on January 19, 2023

One of the first decisions for many students is what to study at university. This might be because you want to, need to or your parents want you to. Many students will study a degree that includes a mixture of two topics. This can be hard because you end up having to choose between two different majors which means you are either getting more of one thing or less of the other. This article is taking a look at double majoring and the pros and cons.

Are you thinking about getting a double major in accounting and finance? It’s not uncommon for students at the undergraduate level to be confused, worried or frustrated when trying to make a decision of what major they should choose. If you are looking to become an accountant or a professional in the finance industry then it is important to have a full understanding of the accounting and finance salaries out there.

Right here on infolearners, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on accountant salary, finance and economics double major salary, best double major with accounting, what jobs can you get with a double major in accounting and finance, finance degree vs. accounting degree and so much more. Take out time to visit our catalog for more information on similar topics.

Finance Degree vs. Accounting Degree: Comparison of Requirements and Salary  |

Double Major Accounting And Finance Salary

Accounting vs finance salary

Various authors define finance differently. Khan and Jain offer a simple definition which states that “finance is the art and science of managing money.” On the other hand, Guthumann and Dougall define business finance as “the activity concerned with planning, raising, controlling, administering of the funds used in business.”

Accounting organizations likewise define accounting in different ways. In 1941, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) defined accounting as “the art of recording, classifying, and summarising in a significant manner and in terms of money, transactions, and events which are, in part at least, of financial character, and interpreting the results thereof.” But due to changes in economic development, this definition became broader. Later in 1966, the American Accounting Association (AAA) defined accounting as “the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by users of information.”

Based on these definitions, one can see that the study of accountancy is more narrow since it is focused on documenting the flow of money in and out of an organization. In contrast, finance is more broad as it is concerned about planning and distributing organizational assets.

Undergraduate Courses & Certification

Accounting degrees can vary from school to school. Most schools offer it as Bachelor of Science in Accounting. However, there are others who have a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting. Such a degree will give the student the freedom to add electives, which will determine his minor or double major. Another option is to take up a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in accounting.

Four-year programs typically require students to complete 120 to 128 credits. For those who plan to take the qualifying exam to be a certified public accountant, most states require that they complete 150 credit hours. Students can expect the curriculum to revolve around core concepts, such as managerial accounting, cost accounting, and the like. They will also learn about international financial reporting standards, as well as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for U.S. students.

On the other hand, schools typically offer a Bachelor in Finance. Other schools allow you to take finance in combination with another course so you can graduate with a double degree.

Like accounting degrees, a Bachelor in Finance degree usually requires 120 to 128 credit hours. Core courses include economics, econometrics, statistics, financial reporting, and portfolio management. Certification will depend on the area of finance you want to specialize in. For example, if you plan to focus on portfolio management and investment analysis, you can take a certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst. On the other hand, if you plan to go into wealth management, being a Certified Financial Planner will give you an edge.

10 Different Types of Accountants and What They Do

Finance Degree vs. Accounting Degree

Finance Degree

With a Bachelor in Finance degree, you can take on any of these roles:

1. Financial analyst

Financial analysts go over a company’s financial data. They combine this with research on economic conditions to come up with recommendations for key business decisions. These decisions include buying and selling a company’s stock (Segal, 2020) or finding ways to increase profitability and manage assets efficiently.

2. Financial trader

Financial traders buy and sell securities on behalf of investors. They spend a lot of their time analyzing the financial market to make decisions about when to buy and sell financial products. They aim to maximize profitability while minimizing risks for clients.

3. Budget analyst

Budget analysts help organizations keep track of their spending. They develop budgets and review budget proposals. They look for ways to drive profitability or maximize the allocation of funds.

4. Financial manager

Financial managers are responsible for supervising the financial activities of an organization. They go over financial reports and develop long-term, strategic plans. In addition, they guide management in making financial decisions. Providing intelligence and foresight are the kinds of value-adding activities that are becoming growing domains in finance (Fuller et al., 2019).

5. Personal financial advisor

Personal financial advisors assess a client’s assets, liabilities, income, and expenses and create a tailored financial plan for them (Kagan, 2020). They then research and recommend investments to clients, taking into consideration their goals, risk tolerance, and risk capacity (Fontinelle, 2020). Lastly, they monitor clients’ accounts and adjust the plan in case of major life changes (Truity, n.d.).

Accounting Degree

On the other hand, career options for accounting graduates include:

1. Certified Public Accountant

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, has passed the CPA exams, and has fulfilled the work and education requirements for a license (Boyd, 2020). CPAs perform auditing, consulting, taxation services, and more. They help individuals and businesses grow and succeed by providing them with financial reporting and advice. CPAs can go into corporate accounting, government accounting, public accounting, or forensic accounting.

2. Auditor

Auditors ensure that financial records are accurate and comply with laws and regulations. They inspect books of accounts to detect fraud and other discrepancies. Different types of auditors include internal auditors or those who work in-house for an organization, and external auditors or those who work together with government agencies. They can also be government auditors or forensic auditors (Liberto, 2019).

3. Accounts payable specialist

An accounts payable specialist handles invoices, purchase orders, check requests, and other financial transactions on behalf of a company or organization. They see to it that vendor invoices are accurate and that payments from the company are sent to vendors in a timely fashion. In addition, they track expenses and account balances to come up with monthly financial reports.

4.  Tax accountant

Dealing with taxes can be overwhelming both for individuals and businesses. Tax accountants ease this burden by helping them file their tax returns (Johnson, n.d.). Using their knowledge of tax laws, they ensure the accurate calculations of income tax payments and refunds. They also provide assistance to organizations or clients if ever they need to go through the audit process.

5. Forensic Accountant

This specialized type of accounting involves the use of an accountant’s auditing and investigative skills to detect corporate fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and other white-collar crimes. Forensic accountants go over complex financial and business documents and summarize them into reports and presentations for use in court. They may also give court testimony and assist in the recovery of assets (Chen, 2019).

Finance vs. Accounting: Which Degree Is Right For You?

Finance Degree vs. Accounting Degree: Starting Salary

Finance and accounting degrees belong to the broad category of business major degrees. In 2019, average salary projections for business major degree holders rose by 1.7% compared to 2018, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Based on NACE data, those who had a bachelor’s degree in finance tend to have slightly higher starting median incomes than those with accounting degrees. In 2019, the median starting salary for finance majors was $57,750. On the other hand, the median starting salary for accounting majors was $57,250. 

Median Starting Salary of Business Majors in 2019 (in USD)

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers

The same can also be said of finance and accounting master’s degrees. The median income for master’s degree holders of accountancy was $65,000 while those with master’s degrees in finance were at $68,550.

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