Navigating Commerce: Economics vs. Accountancy

In Commerce, Accountancy is the study of financial accounts, which the American Accounting Association defines as, “the process of identifying, measuring, and communicating economic information to permit informed judgments and decisions by the users of the information.” Economics studies scarcity, its implications, and finding the optimum use of resources, goods and service production, production growth and welfare. Wealth, finance, and money are a few concepts studied in Economics. Both subjects lay the foundation for identifying viable business opportunities and running successful business ventures. Let us understand the learning and career opportunities in Economics and Accountancy.

Commerce Courses: Economics vs. Accountancy

Economics and Accountancy are both included as courses in commerce subjects. Some of the courses available after the 12th grade are –

  • Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Commerce and Economics) (Business Economics)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Commerce and Economics
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Banking and Finance)

Post-graduate programmes that offer these subjects are –

  • Master of Commerce (M.Com.)
  • Master of Arts (Economics)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Arts (Economics)

With the graduate or post-graduate course, you can pursue professional certification courses. Some of the popular courses for Economics and Accountancy students are –

  • Chartered Accountancy (CA)
  • Cost and Management Accountancy
  • Company Secretary (CS)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

Course Eligibility

To be eligible for the undergraduate programmes in Commerce, candidates have to complete 12th grade with a minimum 50% aggregate grade. Their 12th-grade syllabus must include Mathematics, Bookkeeping & Accounts and Economics as core subjects. For courses such as BBA and some colleges or specialisations of B.Com. they have to take an additional entrance exam such as CET.

For post-graduate programmes, the candidate must score a minimum 50% aggregate in their undergraduate course and appear for CAT, GMAT, or similar university or college-based entrance exams.

Commerce Syllabus: Economics vs. Accountancy

The syllabus covered in the Economics course in the Commerce programme is –

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Economics of firm strategy
  • Managerial economics
  • Economics of money and banking
  • Statistics for business analysis
  • International economics
  • Indian economy and economic reforms

The syllabus covered in the Accountancy course in the Commerce programme is –

  • Financial Accounting
  • Intermediate Accounting
  • Auditing Theory
  • Accountancy & Taxation
  • Accounting Theory
  • Cost Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Corporate Accountancy

Career Opportunities in Commerce: Economics vs. Accountancy

Economics and Accountancy are focused on different aspects of business. Accountancy is a commerce subject and will lead to a career as an accountant who is in charge of keeping track of the business’s financial performance and helping the business make strategic decisions to augment profitability. Economics is a social science leading to a career as an Economist who assesses business resources and key economic trends to make policies and forecasts. While accounting is a technical field with practical applications, economics is more theory-based and has broader applications.

A few career opportunities for Economics graduates are –
Economists - They work in the BFSI sector to collect, interpret, and forecast data that will enable businesses to make informed decisions by relying on various economic indicators.
Investment Banker – Study various economic factors and identify and recommend investment opportunities.
Market Research – use various Econometrics tools to study the market and give accurate market forecasts.
Political Analyst – helps in designing public policies after studying the macroeconomic indicators of the nation and world.
A few career opportunities for Accountancy graduates are –
Finance Manager – manages various aspects of the finance department of a business.
Chartered Accountant – works with taxes, auditing, VAT, GST and other aspects of the business or personal taxation.
Accountant - works with various organisations to maintain books of accounts and other financial transaction records.
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – managing investment portfolios, funds, and regulations of the financial markets.
Stock broker - works in the share market for share trading, derivatives trading, commodity trading etc.
Investment banker – advises individual and institutional clients on various investment opportunities and investment decision-making.
Actuary - assess and manage financial risks in insurance companies, the healthcare industry, or BFSI using mathematical models and statistical analysis.

Final Thoughts

A degree in commerce opens a plethora of job opportunities in different industries as accountancy and economics are core aspects of decision-making, policy development and finance management for all commercial and non-commercial organisations. These courses lead to professional careers with Bank and Financial Institutions, Law Firms, Auditing and Tax firms, NGOs, governments, and multinational companies. Along with the skills acquired from the course, a candidate in any of the above-mentioned fields must work on their communication skills, organisational skills, and time management skills to do well in their careers.