Accounting vs Financial Management Courses | Top 5 Differences

Accounting courses are great for entrepreneurs.

As of 2022, the market size of the accounting and auditing industry, measured by revenue in the UK was £7.2bn. As per research, the market size increased by 12.2% in the previous year.

For individuals with an entrepreneurial mindset and an intent to manage finances to help their businesses, accounting courses in the UK can be helpful. Moreover, for individuals who want to boost their careers in accounting or financial management, accounting and financial management courses can be worthwhile. But first, it is important to understand the differences between the terms accounting and financial management.

These fields have similarities, but there are key differences and learning about those can help grow individuals’ careers.

  • Accounting is the process of identifying, measuring, processing, classifying and recording the financial transactions of an organisation.
  • Whereas finance management is about planning, directing, monitoring, organising and controlling the monetary resources of a firm.

Financial management and accounting courses help individuals design their unique pathways through diverse topics. These courses help them apply their learning to the real world, providing them with an entrepreneurial mindset and leading-edge financial expertise.

Accounting and financial management courses can help individuals prepare to make an impact on global economies with new perspectives and unique solutions.

In this blog, we will discuss everything about financial management and accounting courses in the UK. In addition to this, we will also highlight the career roles and key differences between them.

What is Accounting?

Accounting entails examining financial transactions and records, monitoring financial data, conducting audits and devising and executing policies and accounting protocols. Put simply, accounting involves presenting financial information in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

As per financial literature, accounting can be divided into three categories:

  • Financial Accounting: Financial accounting revolves around financial statements along with financial information to external users such as government agencies, creditors, investors, analysts and bankers, to name a few. Financial statements include both the income statement and balance sheet for a business. These indicate the financial position of the business during a specific period. Financial statements must adhere to established procedures and accounting principles set forth by regulatory bodies like the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the United States and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the United Kingdom.
  • Management Accounting: Management accounting deals with reporting financial information to internal users such as employees and management regarding policy making and running day-to-day business operations. It focuses on future activities to achieve the business objectives.
  • Cost Accounting: Cost accounting is a part of management accounting that deals with cost analysis. It elaborates on the cost records of numerous operations, products and functions of a company. In other terms, it is a process of determining the cost of a product or activity.

What is Financial Management?

Financial management refers to the effective management of the finances and economic resources of the firm. It revolves around managing the economic activities of the firm effectively to achieve financial objectives. This helps to improve management through using an informed decision-making process.

Moreover, its primary aim is to generate wealth for companies and investors, generate cash flow and achieve substantial returns — while effectively utilising the resources of the organisation within an acceptable level of risk.

In the UK, there are 2.5 million employed people. More than 1.1 million work in financial services (FS) and over 1.3 million work in related professional services.

This industry makes a lot of money, around £278 billion, which is about 12% of the UK’s economic output. It also gives £100 billion in taxes to the government.

The key elements of financial management include:

  • Budgeting, planning and forecasting: Financial management involves the management of a firm’s requirements, formulating a budget, creating a detailed plan and forecasting the result the firm expects.
  • Financial reporting: It plays a vital role in financial management as it provides essential information for informed decision-making. By presenting accurate and timely financial data, it enables managers to evaluate the financial health of the organisation. They can identify trends and make informed choices regarding resource allocation, investment opportunities and strategic planning.
  • Financial decisions: Financial decisions aid in shaping the financial health and success of an organisation. Such decisions involve evaluating potential investment opportunities and determining the allocation of funds for the projects or assets that offer the highest potential returns while considering associated risks.
  • Financial Control: Financial control is necessary in ensuring the appropriate acquisition and allocation of a firm’s economic resources. By establishing effective financial control measures, companies can maintain accountability, accuracy and transparency in their financial operations.

Accounting Vs Financial Management: Key Differences


Accounting is the practice of recording and reporting past financial transactions and events. However, financial management involves managing the assets and liabilities of the firm to plan for future growth.

The primary users of accounting include management, shareholders, regulators, analysts and creditors. Accounting plays a crucial role in providing relevant and reliable financial information to these stakeholders. Financial management primarily caters to the management of the company and the shareholders, as it involves making informed decisions regarding the firm's financial resources.

Furthermore, accounting provides a snapshot of the firm’s assets, liabilities and equity at a given time. Whereas, financial management helps determine the feasibility of future projects, manage existing assets effectively and make strategic financial decisions.

While the key objective of accounting is to report financial information, financial management has broader objectives. In terms of the measurement of funds, accounting typically follows the accrual basis. This basis recognises revenues and expenses when they are earned or incurred, regardless of the cash flow. On the other hand, financial management focuses on the cash flow basis. This basis emphasises the actual inflow and outflow of cash.

Accounting Manager Vs Financial Manager: Roles & Responsibilities

Accounting and finance managers play crucial roles in the financial management of an organisation. Both positions are essential for maintaining accurate financial records, making informed decisions and driving the financial success of the company. Let us look at their roles and responsibilities in some more detail.

Accounting Manager 

Financial Manager 

Oversees accounting functions and ensures accuracy 

Responsible for the financial health and investment decisions 

Delegates tasks to the accounting team based on skills and expertise 

Creates and implements budgeting, forecasting and reporting plans 

Hires, trains and advises members of the accounting team 

Reviews company goals to make informed budget decisions 

Evaluates financial data and create reports for stakeholders 

Secures funding from financial institutions like banks 

Ensures accuracy and completeness of financial records 

Research and invests in revenue-generating assets 

Collaborates with departments to develop strategies and budgets 

Provides analysis and suggestions for improving financial performance 

Stays updated with industry changes 

  • Analyses and calculates potential financial risks 
  • Monitors financial reports and KPIs 
  • Prepares and submits financial reports periodically 
  • Conduct periodic financial forecasts 



Financial Management Vs Accounting Courses | 5 Differences

Now that we have discussed the differences between accounting and financial management, it is time to understand the key differences between financial management and accounting courses. It is important to note that both disciplines offer unique insights into the financial aspects of business performance but they differ in terms of their aims and career opportunities.


Accounting Courses 

Financial Management Courses 


Financial reporting, analysis and compliance 

Strategic financial decision-making, risk management and financial planning 

Key Skills Required 

  • Financial reporting and analysis 
  • Taxation knowledge and compliance 
  • Auditing and assurance skills 
  • Financial planning, budgeting and forecasting 
  • Risk assessment and investment strategies 
  • Corporate finance and capital structure 


Career Opportunities 

Public accounting firms, financial institutions, corporate accounting departments 

Financial analysts, investment managers, financial consultants 

Strength Required 

  • Attention to detail 
  • Numerical proficiency 
  • Knowledge of accounting regulations and standards 
  • Strong analytical and decision-making skills 
  • Strategic thinking and problem-solving abilities 
  • Understanding of financial markets and investment principles 

Salary Potential 

Competitive salaries with growth opportunities in the accounting field 

Potential for high salaries, especially in finance and investment sectors 


Both accounting and financial management courses offer valuable skills and knowledge that are highly sought after in the finance industry. Remember, accounting and financial management courses are just the beginning of a rewarding journey into the world of finance. With dedication and continuous learning, individuals can build successful and fulfilling careers in either field. Studying financial management and accounting courses in London can provide numerous benefits and open doors to new and exciting career prospects.

Study Financial Management and Accounting Courses in the UK at Global Banking School (GBS)

GBS is an esteemed educational institution, dedicated to “changing lives through education”. Through partnerships with renowned academic institutions, GBS has a variety of industry-relevant courses to offer — ensuring students benefit from a rewarding and comprehensive learning journey.

GBS offers a wide range of specialised vocational, undergraduate and postgraduate courses, with a presence across nine campuses in prominent UK cities including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. Students can explore a wide range of course subjects including such as finance, accounting, business, healthcare and more — enabling them to gain the valuable knowledge and skills needed for future success in their chosen career paths. At GBS, students can expect a nurturing educational environment that promotes growth, development and success.

For Students seeking accounting courses in the UK, including accounting courses in London, GBS is s a leading choice.

BSc (Hons) Accounting & Financial Management

Whether individuals want a career in accounting and financial management or have aspirations to establish and lead their successful businesses, a strong foundation in numbers is essential for their success. The institution offers accounting courses in the UK, including accounting courses in London. These courses provide comprehensive knowledge of the latest principles, theories and applied practical skills in the dynamic field of accounting and financial management.

This industry-focused accounting and finance course ensures that students are prepared for professional, managerial, or business roles. By completing the degree, graduates acquire highly sought-after employability skills that are valued by employers, thus opening avenues for career advancement and personal growth.

Listen to what a student studying accounting and financial management at GBS has to say about the institution extending its support to achieve her aspirations.

Embarking on this educational journey not only builds valuable technical skills but also fosters personal and professional growth. It is a pathway to success in the diverse and ever-evolving field of accounting and financial management or as an influential entrepreneur.


Frequently Asked Questions About Accounting Courses in the UK

Yes, accounting courses in the UK are designed to cater to individuals with varying levels of prior accounting knowledge. Many accounting courses in London offer introductory modules that provide a solid foundation for beginners. Advanced courses are also available for those who already have a background in accounting and aspire to broaden their knowledge and expertise. Contact us to know more.

Pursuing accounting courses in London can provide numerous benefits. It equips individuals with essential financial management skills, enhances job prospects in the accounting and finance industry and offers opportunities for career progression. Additionally, accounting knowledge can be applied in personal financial management and entrepreneurship — making it a valuable asset as a transferrable skill that can be used in various aspects of life.

Accounting courses in London are beneficial for individuals at various stages of their careers. They can be valuable for beginners looking to enter the accounting field, professionals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge and even business owners or entrepreneurs who want to gain a better understanding of financial management.

Financial management courses cover a range of topics, including financial analysis, investment management, capital budgeting, financial risk management, financial decision-making, financial markets and instruments and financial reporting. The curriculum of financial management courses is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of financial management principles and practices.

Completing accounting courses in the UK, including accounting courses in London opens various career opportunities. Students after completing accounting and financial management courses can pursue careers as accountants, auditors, tax consultants, financial analysts, or financial managers in industries such as accounting firms, financial institutions, government agencies and corporate organisations. Some may also choose to start their accounting practices or consultancy firms.

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