My youngest brother is an Associate Professor of Music at DePauw University School of Music. He emailed me last week asking for my opinion (as well as two other family members with accounting and financial backgrounds) on the accounting courses required by DePauw for their Music Business degree. The school currently requires both Managerial Accounting and Financial Accounting courses. Some feel this redundant thus Scott's request for our opinions. The managerial course focuses on the creation and use of information for internal management decision making including job costing, budgeting, pricing and outsourcing decision making. The financial course deals with traditional accounting as it relates to the preparation and use of financial statements.
The unanimous opinion of those asked was that both courses are necessary for the candidates to be successful in their careers. A good manager needs to be able to understand all the underlying factors at play in any business and those are most readily apparent in the numbers. Obviously accountants such as myself are useful allies in any business, but the more a manager or an owner knows, the better.
The most successful clients we have are those who want to understand their business and are willing to take the time to learn from us what their financial statements are saying. It is not necessary for a small business owner to have an accounting degree or even to have taken accounting classes. What is necessary is that they respect the need for good financial information and to have the desire to understand it. Successful business owners are willing to spend the money to insure that they have current and accurate financial information via good bookkeeping and accounting processes.