Search Block

reasons to study accounting


It’s not all about crunching numbers

Last updated: 6 July 2021

There are far more reasons to study accounting than you may realise and its influence in business goes far beyond ledgers, Excel sheets and invoices.

Accounting is in demand like never before, playing a critical frontline role in managing the economic impact of COVID-19, and helping clients to adapt business models in uncertain and changing circumstances.

With the evolution of different finance/accounting functions and technology, professionals are now realising the diversity a foundation in accounting offers, leading to either a traditional numbers-focused role or a more dynamic and business-focused career.

So, here are six top reasons to study accounting and pursue this field:

1. Pursue career outcomes that are in high demand  

The National Skills Commission have included accounting as part of the 22 occupations added to the newly published 2021 Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).

For current and future accounting students, the priority status associated with the skilled occupation list may assist in exploring longer-term career paths in Australia.

The list is aimed at filling critical skills in Australia and recognises strong demand in occupations over the coming five years. These are identified by consultation with small, medium and large Australian employers, business leaders and industry leaders across the country.

To note, the accounting-related occupations in national shortage and with strong future demand include:  

  • Accountant
  • Management Accountant
  • Taxation Accountant
All three are possible career outcomes that may be achieved with the 2-year full-time Master of Accounting course offered at Kaplan Business School (KBS).
reasons to study accounting

2. Benefit from strong industry growth and higher potential earnings

Whether you are an Australian or an overseas student studying at an Australian institution, the accounting field offers great long-term potential for employment.

According to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook initiative, the industry has:  

  • Strong future growth – The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business estimates ‘future growth’ as the likely change in the number of workers over the next five years, compared to all other occupations. For the accounting industry, it has been deemed ‘strong’.

  • Above-average earnings – full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,660 per week (higher than the average of $1,460).

  • Higher rates of full-time employment – most people in accounting work full-time (80%) compared to the national average (66%). 

3. Enjoy career flexibility

'Accounting is the language of business' – legendary investor Warren Buffett.

Just like mastering a language, having a solid foundation in accounting allows a professional to access a diverse range of roles in various businesses.

As a student of accounting, you don’t necessarily need to end up working as a ‘traditional’ accountant, recording transactions in ledgers and preparing profit and loss statements. 

With developments in AI technology, the time spent on calculations and transactional tasks can be greatly reduced. Accountants can choose to specialise in the strategic side of finance such as forecasting and analysis. At that level, an accounting role can encompass the process of translating numbers into insights that can make a real impact on a business’s decision making.

In fact, studying accounting opens the doors to a whole range of interconnected careers, including: 

man jumping

Careers in accounting

>  Finance management 

>  Business analysis

>  strategy & development

>  business management

>  Investment advisory

>  Risk management

>  Entrepreneurship

4. Be part of a resilient industry  

The accounting industry has shown real resilience amidst the turbulence brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the Top 100 in The Australian Financial Review Top 100 Accounting Firms list for 2020, revenue rose 5.6 per cent to $12.75 billion in the year ended June 30. Furthermore, more than 80 of the Top 100 firms boosted annual revenue.

In 2020, between JobKeeper and the tax reforms introduced in the federal budget, there has been a strong growth in compliance-driven accounting activity to ensure business continuity for clients.

According to Bentleys Network CEO Tony Sacre, growth in the accounting sector looks optimistic as it moves from being "seen as a 'rear window' industry, [to] a forward-looking one that can assist people with forward planning, ensuring all their financial affairs are in order and illustrate a pathway to success".

5. Graduate with a degree that has international appeal

Overseas students wishing to pursue accounting will find that Australian educational institutions are second to none in the world. For students considering their migration options, we recommend you talk with a migration agent.

Equipped with an Australian accounting degree, international students can also confidently return to their home countries with a competitive advantage over their peers and continue to advance in their accounting careers. 

At KBS, our Master of Accounting and Master of Professional Accounting courses, as well as the Bachelor of Business (Accounting)* have industry accreditation from the following accounting bodies: The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ).

Upon successful completion, you are eligible for admission into professional programs offered by CPA Australia, CA ANZ and ACCA.

With qualifications like ACCA, you can work in more than 120 countries, allowing you to access a global career.

world map

6. Set yourself up to become an entrepreneur

As an accountant, you have a great foundation for becoming an entrepreneur because you possess a mix of technical and strategic skills and have insight into how various industries and markets work.

Fundamental knowledge of how a business's finances should be structured and maintained is crucial to keeping a business operating efficiently and helping it expand.

There are many great examples of accountants-turned-entrepreneurs that you can read about including this Forbes article. It details the career journey of one accountant who goes on to transform a family business into one of the United Kingdom’s top 100 fastest growing companies. 

If you are a highly qualified and professional accountant with the right skills and qualifications, you might choose to start your own accounting firm one day. Or, you could become an independent business consultant or offer bookkeeping services on a freelance basis.

Are you excited about where an accounting degree could take you? Find out more about our Master of Accounting and our other Accounting courses or read about the top reasons to study business in Australia