Schools Training

Accounting Courses in the Age of Personal Debt

10 OCT 2012
Career Path : Accounting

The generation that is coming of age today has grown up in an era of easy credit. They may have watched parents place major purchases on their credit cards without having the cash in the bank to cover the cost. They may have been issued a credit card themselves as one of their first acts of adulthood. Some have said that this easy access to credit has led to an era of overspending, that the frugal ways of the past have been forgotten, that young people today do not know how to budget – a topic that is conspicuously absent from the curriculum in too many high schools. But what does this mean for students currently enrolled in accounting training?

It means that client education may be a factor of your practice after receiving your business accounting diploma. That you may need to explain the basics of financial planning to your clients, and that you should start preparing to do so while still in accounting training.

One of the best ways to practice explaining Financial Planning 101 to others of your generation is to take advantage of the student base at the school where you are taking accounting courses. You can host a talk on budgeting, or invite students to free one-on-one consultations, where you explain such basics as “always save a percentage of each pay cheque” and “don’t spend more than you make.”

Some business accounting diploma programs also encourage their students to do financial planning work in the community. If your school doesn’t have such a program, consider setting one up. The more experience you have gently encouraging people to make wise decisions with their money, the better you will do as an accountant, whether serving individuals or organizations (groups, too, can struggle with such concepts as “managing cashflow.”)

Another advantage of mastering this skill while still enrolled in accounting courses is that public outreach can actually help you get your name out there, and help you find clients or employment later. Your fellow students may one day seek out your professional services, and future employers may be impressed by the initiative you showed in your accounting training, and your commitment to sound financial principles.

After accounting training, you will be helping organizations and individuals track their spending, manage their spending and stay in the black. Some of your clients or employers may be under the impression that this task is difficult, but it may be your task to remind them that it is really quite simple.

Accounting courses must prepare students to navigate a reality where individual clients may be shouldering an unconscionable amount of consumer debt, or where organizations may be convinced that they need to borrow money to make money. But this is a proposition with some silver linings. The more the student prepares, the more they may stand to gain on the job market.

Visit Mohawk College for more information on a business accounting diploma.