Subject Spotlight: Accounting


What Exactly is Accounting? 

Sometimes referred to as ‘the language of business’, accounting is an essential part of any commercial operation worldwide. But accounting is about more than just numbers; it’s about recording, interpreting and communicating financial information, so more informed decisions can be made.

Essentially, accounting is the systematic process of recording, summarising and reporting the financial transactions of an organisation, to provide a snapshot of its economic activities and an insight into its financial health. 

  • Recording: Accountants document all financial transactions, ensuring they are complete and accurate 
  • Summarising: They categorise these transactions and summarise them into financial reports, providing a comprehensive view of the organisation’s finances 
  • Reporting: By interpreting these reports, accountants provide valuable insights to stakeholders, helping strategic decision-making

Is Accounting For Me? 

There are many reasons why an accounting course might be right for you. Here are just a few. 

  • Universal demand – Regardless of industry or size, every business needs accounting services – so you can be sure there’s a steady demand for accounting professionals
  • Diverse career options – With an accounting degree, you can explore a range of career paths, from auditing to financial analysis, taxation to management consulting
  • Solid business foundation – Studying accounting offers a deep understanding of how businesses operate, making it an excellent basis for any business career.
  • Excellent earning potential – Accounting professionals often command competitive salaries, reflecting the value they bring to their organisations

What’s It Like to Study Accounting? 

NCUK offers pathway qualifications for many accounting courses. Each course encompasses many different areas, both theoretical concepts and practical techniques, and topics covered include financial accounting, management accounting, auditing and taxation. The course structure often includes real-world case studies, problem-solving exercises and a focus on analytical thinking. While it’s a rigorous program, studying accounting is rewarding and gives you skills that are highly valued in the job market.

Career Prospects for Accounting Students 

As an accounting graduate, you can look forward to a wealth of career options across various sectors, giving you diverse opportunities to apply your skills and knowledge. These are just some of the potential career paths you can pursue with an accounting degree.


Public Accountant

Public accountants provide a range of accounting services to individuals, businesses and government entities. They may be involved in auditing financial statements, preparing tax returns, providing business advice and more. Public accountants often work for accounting firms, ranging from small local businesses to large international corporations. 

Management Accountant

Also known as corporate or private accountants, management accountants record and analyse the financial information of the companies they work for. They participate in strategic planning, budgeting, risk management and decision-making processes within the company. 

Government Accountant

Government accountants maintain and examine records of government agencies and audit private businesses or individuals whose activities fall under government regulation or taxation. They make sure revenues and expenditures are in accordance with laws and regulations. 


Auditors examine financial records and operations of companies and organisations to ensure they’re accurate and comply with laws and regulations. There are two types of auditors: internal auditors who work for the organisation they audit, and external auditors who are independent of the organisations they audit. 

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants combine their accounting knowledge with investigative skills to determine if financial activities are legal and compliant with rules and regulations. They often work on legal cases, such as disputes over bankruptcy, business valuation and fraud cases. 

Tax Consultant

Tax consultants provide expert advice to individuals and businesses on tax-related matters. They help clients understand and comply with tax laws, prepare and file their tax returns and plan for future tax tasks. 

Financial Analyst

Financial analysts evaluate investment opportunities for businesses and individuals. They use their accounting knowledge to analyse financial data, study economic trends and provide recommendations on investment decisions. 

Budget Analyst

Budget analysts help organisations manage their finances by preparing budget reports, reviewing budget proposals and monitoring spending. They provide analysis and advice to management regarding budgeting processes and financial planning.

With experience and additional qualifications, accountants can also progress to more senior roles such as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Chief Executive Officer (CEO), positions that involve overseeing all financial operations of a company and making strategic business decisions. 

Whether you’re interested in crunching numbers, investigating financial irregularities or guiding business decisions, an accounting degree can open the door to a fulfilling and lucrative career. 


The Skills Any Accounting Student Should Have 

Studying accountancy abroad is easy with NCUK, with a wide range of courses to choose from. But whether you’re intrigued by the world of international business or keen on playing a key role in business strategy and decision-making, there are certain skills every accounting student will need for success.

  • Strong numerical ability and good attention to detail 
  • Logical problem-solving approach 
  • Excellent communication skills to explain complex financial information clearly 
  • Ethical awareness for handling sensitive financial data 
  • Proficiency in accounting software and technology 

Which Universities Offer Accounting Degrees and What are the Entry Requirements?

Studying accounting could lead to a rewarding career – and NCUK is an ideal pathway to get onto a top-tier accounting course overseas. 

Our dedicated accounting and finance webpage has more information and guidance on the options available, and you can find out more about the wide range of courses, the universities offering them and the entry requirements using our course finder

logos of universities including Manchester metropolitan, Sheffield Hallam and Salford