By Harshini Dinesh (‘23)
Hundreds and thousands of papers and dusty books have been displaced with clean-cut software systems and pristine, lightweight computers. Accounting has taken on a new meaning and is no longer the tedious job of sorting through inventories and bookkeeping or filing transactions page by page. Accounting has now opened up to various venues, and accountants have the potential to get diverse jobs in various industries such as sports, music, and technology.
One day, you could be wearing a suit and walking through New York City to meet a client, and the next day you could be discussing taxes with your accounting team in your fancy office.
People love to hang on to the stereotype that accounting is boring and that accountants do not have personal lives, but that stereotype is steadily changing and people are slowly recognizing the vast benefits that come with accounting: traveling, meeting new and influential people, learning to manage your own finances, having the ability to be a successful entrepreneur, having a stable job, having opportunities for advancement, and more.
SBHS students are privileged because South Brunswick High School offers both Accounting I and Accounting II. Students can take Accounting I in tenth, eleventh, or twelfth grade and receive Middlesex College credit for the course, and, even better, there are no prerequisites to enter Accounting I. Once students pass Accounting I with at least a 73%, they can sign up for Accounting II in eleventh or twelfth grade and further their accounting skills. In these classes, students can meet motivational business teachers, network, and learn the fundamentals of accounting and finance.
Accounting II is significantly harder than Accounting I because Accounting II is managerial accounting which means that students have to learn how to inform businesses about their internal operations. Whereas, Accounting I is financial accounting, which focuses on creating balance sheets, financial statements, and statements of cash flows for investors to use when determining if they want to invest in a company.
Accounting I and AP Microeconomics teacher Mrs. Janet Bogert has been teaching accounting for twenty years. Mrs. Bogert helped change the previously honors-weighted accounting class to be AP-weighted and available for college credit.
According to Mrs. Bogert, “If you are looking to set yourself apart from the norm and secure an internship, college acceptance, or job, students with college-level accounting courses on their resume are rare and definitely stand out in the crowd. While these accounting courses are required for the obvious related majors in college, they also provide a fundamental understanding of the language of business that is part of a well-rounded education for all informed citizens.”
Not only is learning accounting beneficial for students in terms of a well-rounded education, but also accounting is fun because of the comfortable work environment that the business teachers have established in their respective classrooms.
Accounting II student and senior, Sana Rahman, described her experience in accounting mentioning how “The teachers are amazing. They’ll make random purchases and talk about them during class, they’re naturally funny, and the entire business department just loves joking around with each other. It honestly provides the best environment to learn in.”
Although accounting and the entire business department are fun and comfortable, the teachers are efficient and teach their independent business subjects in relation to the real world, inspiring students to go into business, accounting, and finance. Accounting specifically is inspirational because if you are dreaming of starting your own business, like a bakery or a tech company, accounting knowledge could be monumental in determining your business’s success. Accounting can also help build your character, teaching you how to be diligent, honest, and collaborative.
Rahman said, “I plan to take classes in accounting and finance in college” and is planning to potentially minor in accounting because “Accounting provides so much understanding of how money works in the real world and, with just a small amount of time devoted to understanding the basics, it can be a class that boosts your understanding of business without taking an egregious amount of time out of your schedule (or even an average amount of time— most people I know studied a few times a week and passed the class with flying colors).”
If you are interested in learning more about accounting and its crucial role within businesses in various industries, taking Accounting I may be right for you. With hard work, optimism, and interest, the class could even influence your dreams and future, like how it has influenced Sana. Accounting could offer you a successful and fulfilling career, and since all businesses need accountants, it is unlikely that there will be a lack of accounting jobs in the future. Even if you don’t want to have a career in accounting in the future, you can still take the class and enjoy the experience. There’s nothing to lose.