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Earning an AS in Accounting: What Should You Expect?

Accounting is a career that may not likely go out of style anytime soon. No matter how many innovations happen in technology or business strategy, organizations always need people at the heart of the operation working as accountants.

Those who earn an associate degree in accounting prepare themselves for positions such as a bookkeeping, auditing or auditing clerk. These professionals record financial statements for an organization and maintain the accuracy of financial records. A related position, financial clerk, involves recording transactions for an organization, often working directly with customers.

Graduates from associate degree programs may opt to continue their studies by earning a BS in Accounting or bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. An accounting degree may provide in-depth knowledge about the profession, including auditing, tax regulations and underwriting. As a concentration within a business degree program, the focus is on using your accounting knowledge to guide strategic business decisions.

How Accounting Differs from Finance

Accounting and finance are often linked together. But accountants handle different work than what finance professionals may handle.

Accountants typically focus more on the day-to-day flow of money through an organization. They also use audits to ensure that a company’s books balance and are accurate. They work to make sure that an organization adheres to all tax regulations.

Finance professionals typically focus on managing a company’s assets to earn the best return possible on financial investments. That can include investments in markets and financing new products and services.

What’s Covered in an AS in Accounting Program

Students who earn an AS in Accounting can get a comprehensive overview of the profession. Some of the concepts covered include the following:

  • Financial Accounting Students learn the accounting cycle and how to report financial information that adheres to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Accounting standards from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also covered in the course.
  • Management Accounting Students build on what they’ve learned in financial accounting and explore ways to present accurate information to help executives make financial decisions for their companies. Determining product prices, preparing budgets, comparing actual performance to budgets and making decisions with financial information are among the concepts covered.
  • Cost Accounting Students take a deeper dive into management accounting by learning how to assess and quantify the costs related to producing goods or services, such as materials, labor and overhead.
  • Financial Reporting Students will learn the proper way to create both internal and external financial reports. Students further examine industry standards from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and FASB, among others.
  • Federal Taxation The course focuses on how federal tax law applies to individuals. It includes education in tax filing status, exemptions, capital gains and losses and the sale of property.
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