Is Accounting Math Heavy? (Are Accountants Good at Math?)

There is a common misconception that accounting is super math-heavy and it uses difficult math. It couldn’t be further from the truth. We are going to debunk the myth and explain to you all the math you need to know in accounting to thrive.

Not accounting math

Is Accounting Math Heavy?

Accounting is number heavy but it is not math-heavy. Unless you consider adding and subtracting numbers together to be heavy. It doesn’t get much harder than that.

At worst you may see some multiplication but then again, generally, you have a calculator or excel doing the heavy lifting. A few areas that accountants actually see math are:

  • Year-over-year analytics
  • Summing columns or financial statements
  • Forecasting or preparing job budgets

All of this is simple math though.

How Hard is Accounting Math?

Accounting math never gets past high school math. It really doesn’t even get past middle school math. So if accounting math isn’t hard, why is accounting so difficult? 

It is because of the changing laws and regulations. Plus you need to build up a base of understanding the technical side of accounting. If you are an avid reader and problem solver then you’ll be just fine in accounting.

Read More:

Are Accountants in Demand? Here is What the Market Shows

Can I do Accounting if I’m Not Good at Math?

As we mentioned, math skills aren’t the biggest skills you need to be successful in accounting. You can do accounting even if you aren’t good at math. Some skills that make for good accountants are:

  • Good morals
  • Ethical
  • Hard-working
  • A problem solver
  • Constant learner
  • Good organizer
  • Can take feedback
  • Speaks well to clients and coworkers

Don’t let math be the reason you skip accounting. Plus any skills you don’t have, you can learn if you really want to get into accounting.

3 Reasons Why Accounting Math Isn’t Hard in Practice

If you are nervous about taking on accounting and the math that comes with it, luckily there are three things that will help you.

1 – Having Excel at Your Disposal

Once you get out of college and into the real world, things change. Everything is at your disposal like the powerhouse excel. It can sum up all your numbers and you can work fully inside excel with formulas. Excel will do all the math for you as long as you put in the formula.

Learn More:

Accounting Debits vs Credits: The Difference for Beginners
T Accounting Examples – T Accounts for Beginners

2 – Asking a Friend about Your Accounting Problems

accountant with question

Another resource you have in practice if you feel that you are in over your head is asking a friend. Can’t figure out the number for your cash flows? Have a second set of eyes look at it. That is why accounting firms are so good to work in. There are multiple trained people who can look at a problem.

3- Your Trusty Calculator

 Before bothering your busy peers, try to rely on your calculator. Tallying or summing numbers a few time is usually the solution to most problems. If you can punch in numbers in a calculator then you don’t have to be excellent at math to be an accountant. Just let the machine do the work for you.

Are Accountants Good at Math? (Some Are)

Honestly, not every accountant is great at math. Sure, many can use excel and solve math problems but accountants generally aren’t math-wizards. They do like to dive into the numbers though.

If you don’t like numbers then you should proceed with caution before getting into accounting.

Is Accounting Math Heavy? Conclusion

Don’t worry too much about going into accounting if you are bad at math. It is a lot of numbers but the math isn’t that intense. Most kids can do the math but the critical thinking aspect takes a bit more training. Not only that but you need people skills, good morals and to be hard working to be an accountant. Being a good accountant doesn’t just hinge on numbers or math.

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