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Finance/Accounting Majors with Good Grades

And how did you study to get them? Techniques, methods, etc.

I’ve transferred over to get a Business major in one of the above categories (definitely getting an Accounting degree, not entirely sure if I’ll add Finance), and I’m having a hell of a time keeping my grades up.

I’m looking for specific advice from Accounting and Finance majors, or things you may have heard people in those programs.

I’ve found other threads here about studying in general, but they don’t really seem to help much. It’s not about the hard work; I have a 3.7 in my other major (Criminology), but now I’m struggling to get above a 3.0 GPA in my business classes.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Man, I hate accounting. The concepts are so damn simple, yet the actual work is so hard. I guess my only advice would be to do lots of practice problems as opposed to just reading. But don’t listen to me. I’m extremely worried about my accounting final on Saturday.

I’ve been in public accounting for over ten years and I can honestly say that what your doing now could lead to a tremendous career and I encourage you to stick with it. I interview a lot of candidates right off of campus and everyone says that their entry level accounting courses were some of the toughest so keep with it. I believe that its just about learning the logic that needs to be applied. I was never a big fan of doing lots of problems but I did read everything twice in college. To each his own. Put in the time now because it will pay off in the end.

I earned my B.Comm (major in accounting) with Distinction; and am now pursuing graduate studies in accounting.

The advice I offer isn’t original, but it doesn’t change from the fact that it works.

To excel at anything in life you must practice as closely to the event you’re planning on compete in!

So for my studies I would get my hands on old exams; or take the ‘difficult’ level problems (enough for a 3 hour mock exam) found after each chapter and try to complete them in 60-75% of the recommended time. I reduced the given time because time management is a very important skill to develop to succeed in accounting, and because I found that textbooks were too generous with time allocation compared to the university exams.

Finally, debrief after each exam or question. I would go over the solution and make notes explaining why I made my mistakes and how I have to “see” the problem going forward. This is important because you cover a lot of material in one semester, so you might actually forget how to “see” the problem and waste a lot of time relearning material for your finals.

Drill, drill, drill.

Good luck on your finals.

Ditto on sewerhooker’s advice.

My MBA has a concentration in finance and the only way I made it was to do as many practice problems as possible. I recently took a class for work related purposes and thought I could get away without buying the additional workbook. I ended up getting a C after bombing the first test. I bought the workbook and got A’s on the 2nd and 3rd tests, but it wasn’t enough to bring up the low test grade.

I would like to say that I find accounting and finance very boring and I am looking to get into a new profession. I’m sure others will disagree, but I’m just giving my opinion, not fact…but…there must be a reason they’re always stereotyped the way they are…

Undergrad, University of Texas, Accounting major.

Sewerhookers on point. practice old exams to prepare for upcoming ones, and go over old tests to see why you made mistakes.

Work problems and understand the relationships between financial statements.

There’s no magic bullet. Sorry.

I’m an economics major but had to get through financial and managerial accounting as prereqs. Look into textbooks on MP3 format through Audible.com. You can listen to an accounting lesson while lifting at the gym. Audible.com has pulled me through finals week more than once. It helps you turn downtime (driving, eating etc) into study time.

Double Major in Finance and Marketing…

My advice to you:
If you are passionate about it you will succeed. I love finance and cant get enough of it. I read the journal, watch cnbc and bloomberg and have my own portfolio not because I want to learn but because I love to learn about finance.

So if you dont like what you are studying get out, because that will most likely be your career for life…

There is a strong correlation between success in life, class, etc when you are passionate about it. If you are then ull have no trouble studying more and reading up on current events because you will be able to apply what you learn to real life and that will be enough to keep you interested…

Accounting grad here. I find that if you are struggling in accounting 1 and 2 (or however your university labels them, the 1st two accounting classes) accounting is probably not for you. The material gets much harder as it gets into accounting for leases and pension plans in advanced accounting. The first few accounting courses were pretty much cake to me, so I didn’t really need to start studying hard until intermediate 2 and advanced accounting. And when I did, practice problems were good, but make sure instead of just understanding what to do, understand why you’re doing it. That helps a ton.

I’m finishing up prereqs this summer, including intro to financial accounting.

Next fall I’ll begin my official double major in finance and multinational business operations with a Middle East focus.

Edit: Not that I have any advice, but I’ll be taking some from this thread as well lol.

Good choices you are making. It has been many years for me but my undergrad degree was in Finance and my MBA also had an emphasis in Finance.

Grind it out. Accounting is the language you need to learn. Grind it out now. Old tests are a good idea but you really need to immerse yourself and ask questions. Try and get into a study group. That’s what we did and it helped a lot.

Struggle now and you will not have to later in life.

I have a B.S. in Corp. Finance and Accounting

My biggest advice is to go to your professors with questions! In accounting I would do all of the practice problems and go in to see my professor to get the answers and ask any questions I had on them.

For finance, you better be good with computers lol. I have yet to see a part of Finance that isn’t either dealing with excel or using web based programs. To me finance is either hit more miss, you either love it and are good at it, or you struggle and may be better off in accounting.

You could also look at all the different degrees in finance. I did corporate finance because it was heavy in accounting made getting that degree easier on me. But you can also do a degree in finance more focused on stock trading, banking, or risk management.

Finance is about finding patterns, not so much about just knowing a rule like in accounting. I love problem solving so that’s what drew me to finance.

[quote]Otep wrote:
Undergrad, University of Texas, Accounting major.

Sewerhookers on point. practice old exams to prepare for upcoming ones, and go over old tests to see why you made mistakes.

Work problems and understand the relationships between financial statements.

There’s no magic bullet. Sorry.[/quote]

I’m at UT too, Econ major though. Took a few Accounting and Finance classes (intro level) and loved them. Wish I could change majors but it’s hard as crap to transfer into the business school here.

I’m a Economics undergraduate. I didn’t do advanced math at highschool, even though we do a fair bit of Calculus and Statistics(don’t you just love Statistics?).

First of all do not worry, everyone can do well in maths.

The key is practice, practice, practice and more practice.

And:
-Talk to your lecturers about specific problems you have.
-Join study groups if you can.
-ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION IN CLASS and LECTURES!
-Put in as many hours as it takes, some people take 20 hrs to do what I can do in 2 hrs.
-If you need a mentor, get one(we don’t have these in the UK though so count yourself lucky).
-Invest in some good books.

[quote]Shire wrote:
I’m a Economics undergraduate. I didn’t do advanced math at highschool, even though we do a fair bit of Calculus and Statistics(don’t you just love Statistics?).

First of all do not worry, everyone can do well in maths.

The key is practice, practice, practice and more practice.

And:
-Talk to your lecturers about specific problems you have.
-Join study groups if you can.
-ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION IN CLASS and LECTURES!
-Put in as many hours as it takes, some people take 20 hrs to do what I can do in 2 hrs.
-If you need a mentor, get one(we don’t have these in the UK though so count yourself lucky).
-Invest in some good books.[/quote]

One of my undergrad majors was management science, which is essentially a bastard child of finance and econ.

The above is spot on. Particularly the all-caps - remember, you’re taking the professor, not the class, and the lecture will focus on what the professor thinks is important. Caveat though: If the professor wrote your text, read it backwards and forwards - do the same if your class is a weed-out class with a strict/hard curve (because the prof will be looking for ways to differentiate among the students and make the class fit the required curve).

I’d add: go to TA office hours and professor office hours on a regular basis after having tried the problems and done the reading so you can ask directed questions and not come off like a someone avoiding work who wants to be spoon fed; and see if you can find any articles published by your professor - that will give you an insight into what he thinks are important and/or interesting problems.

Pretty good advice so far, thanks everyone.

I think I’ve been finding it harder because Acct/Fin classes aren’t just memorizing and regurgitating. Will definitely be using the new tips next semester.

Any recommended websites for keeping up to date in the two fields?

[quote]lifter_2 wrote:
Pretty good advice so far, thanks everyone.

I think I’ve been finding it harder because Acct/Fin classes aren’t just memorizing and regurgitating. Will definitely be using the new tips next semester.

Any recommended websites for keeping up to date in the two fields?[/quote]

Yea, math requires that you understand concepts rather than committing previous soloutions to memory(as this doesn’t work).

If your course texts are good they will have the relevant website address in them.