Accounting vs. non-accounting

The first session of the fall semester in the Fisher MAcc program ended just last week. I remembered that at the beginning of the session one of recommendations that I received is to get out of my comfort zone and to challenge myself, and that is why I choose to take three accounting courses and two non-accounting courses in the first session. From those two non-accounting courses, I found the most valuable thing I have learned is to broaden my horizon.

At first, no matter what class I took, the first thing that comes to my mind is numbers. When I took Logistics Management, I cannot stop thinking about inventory turnover ratios, and I am more interested in computing numbers, such as EOQ and Safety Stock Level. When I took Six Sigma class, I tend to focus more on financial impacts than operating impacts, even though the operating impacts are indispensable part of Six Sigma analysis. I found that after years of learning accounting, I become narrow-minded.

On the contrary, MBA students in my classes are able to think out of their own expertise and to consider company’s overall situation, and that is what I lack most (and probably a function of little prior work experience prior to taking these classes) – developing an “overall” point of view. In both Logistics Managements and Six Sigma classes, considering overall interest and situation of the company is necessary. What I mean by overall interest and situation does not only include company’s hard (e.g. money) and soft (e.g. human) resources, but also include its impacts on suppliers, customers, and competitors. For example, when you make forecast on next month production, you have to consider company’s inventory level. You have to consider whether your suppliers have enough resources to provide and what the unit price for that resource. You also need to consider your customers’ demands. Here, managing supplier-manufacturer-customer relationships is as important as managing revenue and cost analysis.

In the end, I hope that after reading my blog current and future MAcc students can understand why non-accounting courses are indispensable part of the curriculum, and I encourage everyone to get out of your comfort zone and try something different. I believe that you will find a different way to think. And your education will be much better for it.