When looking at an undergraduate education, it may be helpful to identify a minor with accounting major courses. The college minor exists to help broaden and enrich curricula, so those who have taken minors can more specifically market themselves. Several minors suggest themselves as particularly helpful for those who will major in accounting: English, another language such as Spanish, mathematics and computer science.
At first glance, it would seem that studies in reading and writing would not make for a good fit with accounting. What, after all, has Shakespeare to do with amortization? Yet many cite being able to write well as an important business consideration. Having the writing skills an English minor is likely to develop will do much to make a prospective accountant more attractive to companies that want to retain sales, present a professional image (since sloppy word usage implies sloppy work in other areas) and avoid potential legal troubles.
Another Language, but Probably Spanish
Companies of all sorts increasingly do business internationally, so having employees fluent in the languages of other countries is vital. Even for those companies that are entirely domestic in their business, employees fluent in languages other than English are particularly valuable. In much of the United States, for example, there are significant populations of people not entirely comfortable with English, and those companies whose employees—including their accountants—can speak their languages and understand their cultures will have a competitive edge. A language minor will help with this.
This is especially true of those who are proficient in Spanish. The US Census Bureau reported in 2013 that 37.6 million Hispanic persons in the US over age 5, or nearly 75% of them, spoke Spanish at home. The figures represent a large potential customer base and a large pool of possible coworkers; being able to speak with them is imperative, and a minor in Spanish makes it more possible.
Accounting is about numbers, of course, even if a specific set of them. Context is useful in all endeavors, however, and having a broader context for the numbers with which accountants work makes it more likely that the accountant will do well in handling the numbers related to money. Most accounting degrees already have a substantial mathematics requirement, so adding a few more classes along the same line will not likely be difficult.
Many accounting schools also require substantial coursework in computer applications, appropriately enough given the increasingly computerized nature of the profession. As with mathematics, then, adding a few courses to round out a minor seems like an easy step to take. It is also likely to help; an accountant who is less reliant on technical support is more valuable to a company than one who is more reliant, and independent accountants may be able to save money on information technology if they can handle many of their own computing problems.
The undergraduate minor exists in large part to help those within major differentiate themselves, and being different from all the other people entering a field makes it more likely that an individual will stand out. Selecting the right minor with accounting major can help that standing out be of the useful sort, greatly improving job prospects and the beginnings of a fulfilling, worthwhile career.