Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Differences Between College Accounting & Intermediate Accounting

    Difference in Scale

    • When one talks about college accounting, he is usually referring to an introductory or survey level course on accounting. A student may gain some essential accounting skills, but the course's scope is only in the 101 level of college education. Intermediate accounting is a far higher level of accounting. Students in intermediate accounting learn aspects such as theoretical and practical skills used in the professional accounting world.

    Basics of Accounting

    • A college level introductory course teaches the student basic ideas in accounting. A student can expect to learn about the major concepts in accounting and apply them to budget planning. This is not seen in intermediate levels of accounting. Instead, as a syllabus from Mohawk Valley Community College shows, an intermediate level of accounting teaches the practical applications of accounting principles to real-world business situations, such as cash flow, assets and taxes.

    High Dropout Rate

    • Many students enroll in accounting as an introductory course to gain some accounting skills. However, a study by two Austin Peay State University professors shows that students tend to drop accounting as a major after taking or seeing the complexities found in intermediate accounting. The two professors cite the large workload, the inability of students to successfully complete a professional-looking accounting ledger and the demand for students to stay up-to-date on the latest financial trends.


    • Intermediate accounting prepares students much better for the world of professional accounting than college level accounting courses, according to the Intermediate Accounting textbook. In the first few pages, the textbook promises to explain to the student how to represent worker insurance, compute earnings per share in a complex capital structure and account for convertible preferred stock. Any student taking intermediate accounting is preparing herself for a highly professionalized field that requires deep insight into accounting trends.

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