Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

What women want: The proportion of women in tech remains far too low, despite concerted efforts to rectify things. Studies show that this regression is largely due to poor culture in many tech workplaces that aren’t inclusive enough to support female workers. In cultures where discrimination was more prevalent, women would advance to managerial roles just 28% of the time, versus 40% for men. Some of the top inclusive culture aspects that women wish to see in a company include supporting parents and parents-to-be, genuine mentors, and diversity in senior positions. 

High hopes: Jay-Z has created a $10 million fund for startups to boost minority-owned cannabis businesses. The rapper and entrepreneur says he is motivated by an imbalance in the marijuana business: People of color, who have been disproportionately punished for involvement in the drug, where it is illegal, comprise only a small number of those making money from the multibillion-dollar market in legalized pot. Mr. Carter, who started the $10 million in seed money received as part of a merger, joins a broader push for equitable, economic opportunity across the cannabis sector. 

Born to be wild (and safe): New fashion technology from Airbag Inside Sweden AB designed airbag jeans and high-tech vests to make motorbikes safer. The wearer tethers the jeans to their bike and if they fall from the motorcycle, the airbags are triggered, filling with compressed air and lessening the impact on the lower body. The airbag can then be deflated, refilled with gas and reassembled into the jeans to use again. This is part of a larger effort to make innovative safety options more attainable to motorcyclists around the globe. 

Food for thought: Executives at Kellogg Co. and Unilever are calling on startups to help tackle food industry issues. The companies partnered with the organizers of the Future Food-Tech Summit to launch the Innovation Challenge, which will culminate in a pitch at the live-streamed virtual event on March 11-12. Innovative food solutions can include improving taste, plant-based alternatives, gut wellness, and waste management.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

Try your mother’s maiden name? Bitcoin owners are getting rich because the cryptocurrency’s value has soared. But what happens when you can’t tap that wealth because you forgot the password to your digital wallet? Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco, has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of this week, about $220 million. 

When in doubt, Zoom it out: Companies have had to figure out remote work on the fly. Everything from outdated technology to a lack of in-person social time with colleagues has presented new challenges for employees used to an office environment. However, businesses are finding that with a little flexibility, the right technology, and more employee training, they can increase employee productivity well into 2021 and beyond. 

Word of Advice: At 34 years old, Nikhil Kamath is one of India’s youngest billionaires after co-founding India’s largest trading brokerage, Zerodha. The company has seen its number of registered users double under the pandemic and reportedly has a daily turnover of an estimated $10 billion. Nikhil explains his best advice for other entrepreneurs’ success, including observing industry trends and tapping into growing industries. 

Good genes: Gene-editing technology can tackle some of life’s most pressing problems, from disease to malnutrition. In the past decade or so, genetic engineering has undergone its own transformation, thanks to companies like CRISPR Therapeutics, which allows its users to snip a stretch of DNA and then either disable the affected sequence or replace it with a new one. Funding has risen from larger pharma companies, considering that the treatments could be lucrative and the broader technologies may be highly scalable. Because of this, gene-editing stocks have now returned about 230% over the past 2 years, compared to the broader S&P 500, which is up by about 52% over the same period.

How to Start a Tech Company | Software Founder Tom Adams Explains

Countless aspiring tech entrepreneurs launch and fail within their first year. 

They fail after overlooking one key step they need to take before spending a single dime or contacting a potential investor.

Before starting a tech company, every entrepreneur needs to establish a mission that solves a business problem. Put another way, a “brilliant” technical idea is worthless if potential customers don’t already need it.

We’re about to dive into the basics of how to start a tech company and explain what you need to maximize your potential for success. 

In an exclusive interview with Quantic’s founder, Tom Adams, you’ll learn how Tom built Quantic into a multi-million dollar tech startup. Now, he teaches other tech entrepreneurs to leverage the same recipe for success.

What Is a Tech Startup?

Put simply, a tech startup is a fledgling company that brings technology-based products and services to market. 

In the current technology landscape, a tech startup can be launched very quickly — sometimes in just a matter of a few weeks — if the collaborators and resources are in alignment.

With the advent of the cloud and integration companies, it’s more accurate to say that a business is assembled rather than built from scratch. Multiple service providers supply resources, including online computing power, programming teams, project management, and security services. 

In the technology industry, an entrepreneur with the right mission and the ability to seek out the right providers can start a business within days — depending on the complexity of the service or product.

Starting a Technology Business

Starting a tech company is no different than starting any other business. Right?

In short, wrong. 

There are some major differences between starting a tech business and a traditional brick & mortar business.

The traditional business is dependent on location to function, with factors to consider like:

  • Local foot traffic or commuter traffic for visibility and access
  • Office space leasing
  • Availability of qualified staff within close distance
  • Storage and warehouse needs

The tech business lives in a virtual landscape. Every member of the team, from the founder and CEO to the administrative assistant, can work remotely from anywhere in the world. The Internet is their office; their laptop is their factory.

Ease of access to your company and your means of production makes the logistics of starting a company very fast. But the virtual business arena comes with its own unique challenges, such as:

  1. Reduction in collaboration if teams aren’t disciplined about staying connected
  2. Constant security obstacles from hackers, spammers, and other online threats
  3. Business shutdowns when service providers (e.g. AWS, PayPal) have an outage

While tech companies and physical businesses have fundamental differences, they will always share the same business principles of success. You can see those principles at work in the most recent list of Bloomberg 2020 billionaires, the types of businesses they run, and the education they pursued to become successful.

For example, former US presidential candidate and founder of Bloomberg LP, Michael Bloomberg, earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, earned an MBA from Stanford University. And Lee Kun-Hee, the chairman of the Samsung Group, earned an MBA from George Washington University.

All billionaires. All leaders of very different types of companies, including tech companies. All basing their business success on consistent principles learned through an MBA.

Quantic’s Founder Tom Adams Explains How to Create a Tech Startup

Tom Adams, Chairman/CEO and Co-founder of Quantic, is an E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year National Winner and former Chairman/CEO of Rosetta Stone. Tom holds an MBA from INSEAD, one of the world’s largest graduate business schools, and a B.A. in history from Bristol University.

Tom Adams, Chairman/CEO and Co-founder of Quantic

It’s fair to say that Tom has spent years acquiring the education, experience, and success to build winning businesses. He’s shared his invaluable insight into what it takes to start a winning technology business in the current landscape.

How to Build a Tech Company From the Ground Up

According to Tom Adams, there are three fundamental elements an entrepreneur needs to incorporate into their strategy right from the very start.

  1. Define the mission, and make sure it’s “crystal clear.”
  2. Define the constraints such as “things you will always do” and “things you will never do.”
  3. Iterate quickly to ensure the “design meets reality” and the product is adjusted to fit the customers’ needs.

How to Start a Tech Company Without a Tech Background

Much of what goes into a company’s success is “product/market fit”, which involves matching the product or service to the customers who want to buy it. 

Once the mission and constraints are crystallized as the company’s mantra, the goal is to assemble a team with all the collective strengths necessary to execute that mission.

Starting a Software Company With No Programming Experience

But, doesn’t a software company need every member of the team to be fluent in programming languages?

On the contrary!

In other words, an entrepreneur need not be a programming expert to make the world’s greatest technology solution a reality. But, an entrepreneur does need to know how to assemble a team that brings all the ingredients together, including programming, to make the mission possible.

How to Start a Tech Startup With No Money

There are two primary methods for funding your startup without already having the funds or bootstrapping. Both involve seeking funds from investors who believe in you or obtain “working capital” by accepting advance payment on products/services.

First, you can seek investment from individuals or groups, such as angel investors. The key is to “find people who believe in you.” 

This is where having a crystal clear mission comes into play. When an entrepreneur has a mission they believe in, investors will believe in the entrepreneur. 

Belief begets belief. 

The second avenue is obtaining “working capital”: 

Early access, early bird pricing, and limited-time benefits are all methods that could be used to entice customers to buy early and help pay for the launch.

How to Find Tech Startup Ideas That are Viable for Growth

Viable growth begins by “mapping out the existing landscape” for the problem your solution is meant to solve. 

When you’re developing a solution in a market already filled with competitive solutions, think about; “what are you going to eliminate, and what are you going to create and elevate in terms of features and benefits for the customer.”

If your solution is similar to others on the market, success will depend on developing a cost advantage. Either through streamlining development to make production cheaper than the competition or by selling at reduced margins to capture significant market share.

Small startups begin at a “scale disadvantage.” To compensate, success comes from innovating “new combinations of features” and benefits “that delight” customers enough to outweigh the loss of features customers would normally get from competitors.

Tips on How to Create Technology

Although the crystal clear mission of a startup describes creating a very specific solution to a very specific problem, technology rarely exists in isolation. A connected world means every new solution created must “co-exist with other applications.” 

That means a new solution will need to “interoperate” to fit with what people are already doing today.

For example, if you create a new mobile application that helps customers to stay more organized while at work, you’ll need to design the application to work across mobile devices. Also, organization tools will typically need to integrate with calendars, mail applications, or cloud file storage services.

It all has to work together. As a result, thorough and ubiquitous compatibility is crucial.

The Most Important Key to Growing Your Tech Business

Your solution can’t be the very best and most perfect answer to every aspect of the problem your customer faces. 

Focus on being the very best in the world at a “few things” to ensure your team remains concentrated on being the market leader where it counts.

Does an MBA Education Benefit Future Tech Startup Founders?

Everyone starts somewhere. The challenges a tech startup faces are unique when compared to traditional brick & mortar businesses, but the fundamentals of business are still the same.

Entrepreneurs learn entrepreneurship by doing. Programmers learn programming by doing. Nearly every member of the team assembled to execute the mission brings the particular strengths they’ve honed through time and experience. All by doing.

An MBA can’t teach those strengths to a well-assembled team, but an MBA can teach “strategic leadership so they can scale and direct the organization much more effectively.”

An MBA empowers a fledgling CEO to:

  • Think in “terms of value creation for a long-term strategy.”
  • “Position competitively in terms of branding or product placement.”

Quantic, Tom Adams’s company, understands the value of an MBA for new CEOs. Quantic’s MBA program teaches the “fundamentals such as accounting or strategy.” And students get to “build out business plans” and develop a “network of peers” to “accelerate their proficiency in the key terms and the key ways of building business success.”

Quantic has demonstrated a track record of success for their students. Not just in providing a world-class MBA program to give CEOs the tools they need, but also in helping students start their own successful businesses.

Read the case study about a Quantic student whose startup connects with their hearing-impaired audience.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

Do what you like, like what you do: This past year brought an explosion of newly launched small businesses and startups. What are their success secrets? One tip is to simply be yourself and be passionate about your work. Embracing your identity and trusting yourself allows for more novel products and opportunities. The pandemic and lockdowns have afforded many of us the time and space to discover who we are, and what we want in life, love, and work. The start of a new year is a great time to pursue these passions and go full entrepreneur. 

Purpose over profit: From the importance of authenticity to being grounded in humanity, purpose-driven companies will not only help advance industries, but create meaningful societal impacts. What are some of the top forecasted trends for businesses focused on purpose? One main aspect will be that “storytelling” will evolve into “story-doing.” Companies will increasingly take action before they communicate about it. “We’ll hear stories about real risk-taking, about rolling up sleeves and jumping in to help,” says Laura Ferry, president of Good Company. “We will learn about the people who bravely stood up, helped others, or marched for a cause.”

Creativity is intelligence having fun: Some researchers are finding that while many companies are spending more money on creativity and innovations, their returns are still flatlining. How can they fix this creative slump? Welcome “Augmented Creativity.” This is a term being used when humans use AI to help them understand the deluge of data to create new works and prototypes. This approach utilizes huge datasets that AI mines to look for well-established, yet previously untapped, connections. Augmented Creativity has helped develop everything form new music apps, to delectable cookie-cake hybrids. 

Wednesday’s riots in Washington D.C., which included the United States Capitol being breached during the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes, has gained the attention of business leaders from around the globe. Executives and CEOs from some of the world’s biggest tech companies took to platforms to condemn the violence, and even temporarily ban Trump’s accounts, but was it too little too late? The role of social media, and the political, cultural power it can wield, left Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, saying: “there are a lot of hard questions we’re going to have to answer for our children.” In any case, here’s to hoping 2021 has nowhere to go but up from here.

Startup Valuation Calculator Templates | How to Value any Startup

Are you afraid of losing money and looking like a fool for making a bad investment? The answer is almost universally yes for every startup’s potential investors.

Fear causes an investor to second guess a sound opportunity staring them right in the face.

The best way to overcome investor fear is knowledge. The knowledge that the startup is valuable and will yield a solid return.

The first and best piece of knowledge is an accurate startup value. Let’s get familiar with the different methods of value calculations. We’ll define how they work and when you should use each one.

How to Value a Startup

There are many ways to calculate the value, but no magic number will meet every investor’s needs. The calculations break down into two major categories:

  • Pre-money valuation
  • Post-money valuation

Calculations are broken down based on when the payment happens. Usually it’s before and after the current rounds of funding.

Pre-Money Valuation

With this type of valuation, an investor estimates how much the company is worth right now. It’s an indicator of market confidence in the startup’s potential. It’s not necessary for even a single sale to be made.

This type of assessment can be more difficult to calculate because it depends on where the company is in its stage of development. Such as:

  • Is it pre-revenue, meaning it hasn’t made a single sale?
  • At what point does the company plan to move from pre-revenue to generating revenue?
  • Does the company’s business model contain pre-revenue sales projections?
  • Or if the company is past the pre-revenue stage, will the initial investments go entirely towards capital purchases?

These are some of the questions that factor into the value calculation.

What Is Pre-Money Valuation?

This calculation is one of the two startup valuation methods used before the investor commits funds. It sounds intuitive. But it’s necessary to make this distinction for accounting purposes. For example:

Let’s say a startup is worth $10 million. An investor decides to invest $1 million in exchange for 100 shares of stock. The company value before the investment is $10 million and the post-money value is $11 million.

To lower risk, investors will put money into a startup over later rounds of investing instead of all at once. This invest-as-you-go model is common. The startup gets the funds to grow and the investor lowers potential loss if the startup fails.

Pre-Money Valuation Formulas

Every startup is different. So, calculating the startup’s value is not a one-size-fits-all process. Financial experts developed different types of startup valuation methods. Each one focuses on a different financial perspective.

A savvy venture capital investor will use many methods to calculate value. Then they decide to invest in an early-stage company based on an averaged amount.

The Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Valuation Method

The Discounted Cash Flow method measures the future revenue potential of a startup. It generates a value based on a large number of detailed assumptions about the startup’s business model. It then calculates revenue over a set period of years.

DCF works best as a type of “sanity check.” Combine it with other methods to ensure the average value falls within an acceptable range of accuracy.

The Berkus Method

The Berkus Method was developed as a way to calculate the startup valuation without unreliable assumptions. In David Berkus’s own words:

It’s best to use this method if the risk factors are known. Also, it works if the return on investment for the startup is unknowable due to too many assumptions.

If Exists:Add to Company Value up to:
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)$500,000
Viable Beta $500,000
Quality Controls in Place$500,000
Partner Agreements Pre-Revenue$500,000
Post-Revenue Success$500,000

Value factors for the Berkus Method

Scorecard Valuation Methodology

This method answers one basic question when it comes to startup valuation methods. “How valuable is this startup compared to similar companies?”

The Risk Factor Summation Method

The Risk Factor Summation Method is a combination of the Berkus Method and the Scorecard Valuation Methodology. It measures startup valuation by comparing the company with other companies. The comparison is used to develop a baseline. It then adjusts the value based on a list of 12 risk factors.

Like the DCF, it’s best to use this method with other methodologies to develop an average score.

Venture Capital Method

The Venture Capital Method takes a finite term approach to the valuation method. The investor assumes an exit term, say 5 or 7 years, from the point of investment. It then back-calculates the return on investment for that period.

This is one of the preferred startup valuation methods. An investor can set the exit strategy on milestones. An example milestone would be reaching a specific dollar amount in sales or percentage of market share.

Comparables Method

Like the Scorecard Valuation Methodology, the Comparables Method calculates a value by comparing the startup to similar companies. Unlike the Berkus Method, the baseline is adjusted by a series of ratio values. The ratios include price-to-earnings ratio (P/E), price-to-sales ratio (P/S), and enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, rather than flat dollar adjustments.

The Comparables Method is simpler to calculate. It relies on fewer assumptions than the discounted cash flow method. But accuracy is more dependent on the accuracy of the market value of the peer group used in the baseline.

Cost-to-Duplicate Method

The Cost-to-Duplicate Method looks at the cost of starting over from scratch in another location or industry. This method can help investors determine soundness very quickly. If the company can be reproduced cheaper or better in another location, it’s not a good investment.

This is a very rough calculation. It doesn’t take mitigating factors into account like tax laws in alternative locations. It’s quick but very prone to error. 

Pre-Money Valuation Calculator

The methodologies listed so far are subtly different. But most have strong similarities. This makes the prospect of calculating value confusing.  

Fortunately, Quantic has published a free template to help.

Post-Money Valuation

Post-money valuation is a measure of the startup’s value after the current funding round is complete. This gives investors a view into how much other investors are willing to support the startup. It’s a picture of the willingness of others to financially back its chance of success. 

What Is Post-Money Valuation?

Post-Money Valuation is a company’s value after it receives money from the current round of funding. This value is an indicator of how many shares an investor will own as a function of the amount of money invested.

If a startup only has one investor, that investor will receive 100% of the available shares. If there are many investors, there’s strong confidence in the company. But this also reduces the percentage of available shares that can go to a single investor.

Post-Money Valuation Formulas

As with the other value calculations, there are several to calculate post-money. It’s best to base investing decisions on an average of the methods used.

Book Value Method

The Book Value Method looks at all the tangible assets of a startup after a funding round. It then deducts the intangible assets to derive a net value. It’s a strong indicator of the company’s value on a Balance Sheet. This calculation only works once the investments into the company are complete.

It’s best to use this method if a significant part of the company’s value relies on tangible assets. If a startup relies on patents and copyrights, avoid using this method.

Post-Money Valuation Calculator

Again, it can be confusing to sort through the myriad of methodologies – both before and after funding. To help, Quantic has released a free template to assess the post-money value of a company. It’s a useful tool for investors to make informed decisions.

Note; ideally, we want to have an opt-in here in exchange for the formula calculator.

Valuation Cap Calculation

Here’s why it’s so valuable. “It is intended to ensure that an investor does not miss out on significant appreciation of a company between the time of the sale of convertible notes and the qualified financing.”

No investor wants to miss out on the benefits of explosive growth. The valuation cap makes the investment more lucrative when unexpected growth occurs. 

Startup Valuation Spreadsheet Templates

In the sections above, we’ve provided a free downloadable template that calculates startup value. It’s specifically based on the most common methods used today. But the template also contains a section for Scenario Analysis. This is useful to help compare the results of multiple methods to calculate the best average. 

Note; ideally, we want to have an opt-in here in exchange for the formula calculator.

When it comes to startups, Quantic has helped plenty of students build companies that grow. But its courses on valuation for cash flow and valuation for equity are specifically designed to help startups position themselves to look attractive for investors.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

From being on mute to overusing the adjective “unprecedented,” here’s a roundup of  lessons we all learned in 2020. One key takeaway? Apparently, people are generally better off when their leaders are emotionally intelligent, humble, and ethical. Want to better your emotional and cultural intelligence skill set? Make sure to try our new Cultural Intelligence course. 

Can innovation be learned? The answer is yes, according to Elon Musk, one of the most innovative entrepreneurs of the modern era. During a candid interview with Wall Street Journal, Musk argued that creating innovative products is “absolutely learnable.” It all comes down to answering three simple questions

A whole new meaning for greenhouse: AI technology can now help fight the climate problem that may be hiding inside buildings. From HVAC systems to water chillers, almost 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions comes from the construction and operation of buildings. A new startup called Carbon Lighthouse is using hundreds of sensors combined with AI to dramatically lower carbon emissions.

No more language barrier: The UK-based startup, Papercup, has developed speech technology that translates people’s voices into other languages. Papercup is building out an AI and machine learning-based system that it says is capable of translating a person’s voice and expressiveness into other languages. Unlike a lot of text-to-speech, the startup claims the resulting voice translation is “indistinguishable” from human speech, and, perhaps uniquely, it attempts to retain the characteristics of the original speaker’s voice. The company has already raised £8 million in funding and is being used in the video and television industry. 

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

Here’s to strong women: Forbes has unveiled its list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” From fighting the pandemic to reengineering American politics, these influential women — including New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams — are making history. According to Forbes, the women who made the 17th annual list “hail from 30 countries and were born across four generations. There are 10 heads of state, 38 CEOs and five entertainers among them. Where they differ in age, nationality, and job description, they are united in the ways they have been using their platforms to address the unique challenges of 2020.”

Beavers, burpees, and bread, oh my! What do these three things have in common? They were some of the most-searched words in 2020. It’s that time of year again when Google Trends releases the UK’s most-searched terms of the year. From sourdough to sanitizer, not surprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic dominated this year’s list. 

If you want to explore the most-searched trends, globally or for your home country, head here.

Need an inspirational spark for your next “Aha” moment? Here are five steps that will help boost your creativity and capacity for innovation. From fundamental steps like exploration and focus, scientists have studied how the process of creativity works within our brain and what conditions can favor new, unconventional ideas. For example, a brain that achieves mastery through practice and repetition is more capable of finding innovative solutions to complex problems in a given area. 

Face value: China’s male skincare market is booming and domestic startups and global investors are taking notice. These new beauty companies have brand ambitions that rival giants, like L’Oreal, in a billion-dollar business that serves millennial men. The cosmetic interest seems to be highly influenced by the spread of social media and South Korean pop culture. Already the biggest in the world, the Chinese men’s facial skincare market is forecast to hit 12.5 billion yuan ($1.90 billion) this year – and expand 50% to 18.5 billion yuan in 2025.

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week: 

Pivot! A buzzword synonymous for start-ups is making its way into the shared vocabulary for small businesses. Smaller companies are finding new ways of operating and reaching new consumers in an increasingly competitive space. Business founders are learning lessons from entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. These start-up skills are helping them streamline their processes and in many cases, boosting profits. 

Good genes: The UK-based startup, Bit Bio, is aiming to recreate every human cell type in the body. Not only will this be a monumental scientific milestone, but access to human cells would also accelerate the development of cell-based therapies. Quantic alum, Grant Belgard, is the Head of Bioinformatics at Bit Bio. The company’s cell reprogramming platform only needed three weeks to raise $41.5 million in a Series A funding round that will be used to support this company’s goal. 

Green machine: There’s never been a greater push for sustainable products and technologies than there is today. We’ve reached a critical point with regards to climate change, and many global innovators and businesses are stepping up to the plate to build a greener future. From smog vacuum cleaners, robotic bees, and edible cutlery, here are some of the incredible examples of sustainable innovation that could change the world as we know it.

Shape up your social accounts: A start-up, Lifebrand, is now using AI and machine learning technology to scrub users’ social media accounts for “harmful” posts. Their software boasts that it can scan your social media accounts (if permitted), and flag potentially inappropriate or harmful posts so you can review and/or delete them. The company was the winner of a pitch competition with more than 1,000 competing companies, hosted by investing company, StartEngine with Kevin O’Leary. Executive MBA student, Dr. Chris Kager, has been an investor and a close advisor for Lifebrand. Chris recently helped the company raise the majority of their $1.6 million seed round.

Finance vs. Accounting: Key Differences to Help Choose Your Next Field With Confidence

We have addressed some of the biggest and most common concerns that many people have when trying to compare accounting and finance. From varying skill sets, different salary expectations, and more, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of both career paths. 

This is the ultimate guide to study before you make a commitment either way. You should have a thorough understanding of each career choice before you choose a path. This just could be one of the biggest decisions of your life. 

So why not let us take you through both disciplines and help you choose between them? 

Finance vs. Accounting by Definition

They may seem identical but the definitions of accounting and finance are quite different. Let’s take a look. 

Accounting: Accounting is the practice of measuring, preparing, analyzing, and interpreting financial statements. This information helps measure the performance of a business and its financial position. 

The data is also important for the payment of taxes. Accountants use balance sheets, cash flow statements, and ledgers to track daily operations. They focus mainly on the past performance of businesses and individuals. 

Specializations in accounting include:

  • Financial accounting: This is the use of balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements to provide information. This data is used by stakeholders such as investors, tax authorities, and creditors. 
  • Managerial accounting: Managerial accountants use the same information as financial accountants. Internal staff then use the information to make decisions about business operations. 
  • Cost accounting: This involves studying balance sheets and income and cash flow statements to find ways of minimizing the cost of production. 

Finance: Finance deals with investments and the management of assets. A financier will focus on decisions about working capital for businesses and individuals. 

They deal with inventory, credit levels, cash holdings, and financial strategy. Finance will usually focus on the future performance of a business or individual. 

Finance can be divided into three sub-categories:

  • Personal Finance: This includes long-term financial planning for individuals. Some of these include retirement and the purchase of financial products such as mortgages. 
  • Corporate Finance: This involves the financial activities of the running of a business. These activities can include investment strategy and budgeting. 
  • Government Finance: Public finance examines tax and government policies. The information studied will affect how resources are allocated. 

By looking at the different definitions, and a summary of the skill sets, you can see which career path best suits you. You can align your skills, financial needs, ability to travel, and career aspirations with the correct job. 

Finance vs. Accounting Salary

Salaries in both professions will depend on the experience of the individual as well as the industry for which they work. 

Entry-level accountants earn an average of $40,777 and the topmost level accountants can make up to $83,800

In New York, some accountants can earn more than $60.000. The region with the lowest accounting salary is in North Carolina with an average of $44,281

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nationwide average for an accountant’s salary is $71,550. 

The truth is – depending on the type of career you choose, these numbers can have a wide range. 

BLS states that accountants in insurance and finance firms earn the highest salary at $74,690. 

It’s important to note that auditing clerks earn the least and with negative job prospects, it’s a career that’s on the decline. 

Technological improvements have automated some of the roles, hence the decline in open opportunities. This could also affect the accounting industry to a lesser degree. 

People who have specialized in finance can earn a lot of money as they move up the ladder. 

Median Annual Salary (USD)Number of Jobs in 2018Job Outlook 2008 – 2028Employment Change 2018 – 2028
Auditing Clerks$41,2301,707,700-4%-65,800
Accountant$71,5501,424,0006%90,700
Financial Analysts$85,660329,5006%20,300
Personal Financial Advisors$87,850271,7007%19,100
Financial Managers$129,890653,60016%104,700

Similarly, there are different levels of financiers, all earning varying salaries. 

If compensation is a big factor when considering a profession, becoming a financial manager is your best option. Actuaries are some of the highest-paid financial workers, earning from $150,000-$250,000. 

The Different Finance vs. Accounting Job Roles

Accountants need to be extremely precise as they often deal with large amounts of money. Even the slightest error can result in a business or client losing money. The role requires attention to detail and a high level of organization. 

Accountants often work alone so this role is perfect for introverts who will mainly create written reports for senior management. 

Financiers on the other hand need excellent communication skills and must be able to interact extensively with senior executives. The job requires presentation and interpersonal skills as they present reports to an audience. 

This is ideal for extroverts who are confident and able to handle high-pressure situations. 

Your interests, education, and skill sets may influence how you view the different roles required by accountants and financiers. Take a look at our list of job roles below. 

Financial Officer Job Roles:

  • Analyze and interpret financial reports to advise managerial teams 
  • Raise capital through debt or equity
  • Create and put in place a corporate strategy
  • Budgeting and forecasting (monthly, quarterly, annually)
  • Handle mergers and acquisitions
  • Risk management
  • Evaluate and advise on investments 
  • Implement cost-reducing solutions

Accountant Job Roles:

  • Collect, organize, and track financial information 
  • Prepare financial reports that meet government and stakeholder requirements
  • Prepare financial reports for internal use by staff
  • Conduct audits to ensure legality and adherence to policies
  • Prepare tax returns and report income to the IRS
  • Advise clients and firms on how to minimize tax liability

Accounting vs. Finance Personality Types

Not everyone can be an accountant or a financier. There are personality traits that will make some people more apt to perform well in each career. 

We’ve taken a look at one of the most popular personality tests used by organizations across the world. It helps employers decide if a potential employee is fit for the role. This sort of personality testing can help you determine which profession you are more likely to enjoy or excel in. 

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator shows how people use their perceptions and judgment. The MBTI instrument measures preferences, not ability or character. 

Used by Fortune 500 firms the MBTI personality test is helpful before placing an individual in any specialized role. 

The personality type ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging) is, well-suited for accounting positions. These people are systematic, analytical, and have a high work ethic. 

Known as ‘The Inspector’, they are traditionally serious and loyal. Leaning towards facts, they perform accounting jobs efficiently. Accuracy is key when they have to look through many documents and information. 

Financiers are shown to be INTP personality types. This stands for introversion, intuition, thinking, and perceiving. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the different personality traits which accountants have vs. financiers. 

Accountant:

  • Detail-oriented 
  • Risk manager 
  • Procedure-oriented 
  • Able to use rule-based thinking 
  • Accountable 
  • Accurate 

Financier:

  • Attentive to detail 
  • Can conceptualize scenarios 
  • Analytical 
  • Inquisitive 
  • Business development skills 
  • Problem-solving skills 

Before diving in, why not take the MBTI test to better understand your personality. Free versions are also available online although they are not the original test. 

You can also check at your school’s career center or your work’s HR department if they offer the test. 

The results may surprise you and they will be key in avoiding a career incompatible with your personality. It will show you your strengths and weaknesses and guide you into a job that suits you specifically. 

Financial Analyst vs. Accountant

After taking the test, you should have some direction as to which job you would like to pursue. Though similar, these two professionals perform very different jobs

Let’s take a brief look at the major differences in daily duties and work environments. 

Financial analysts have a broader job description and their roles are less fixed. They deal with the management of assets and liabilities. This enables them to make future predictions and advise management. They develop investment strategies and are in charge of how to make use of company resources. 

Some financial analysts’ duties include: 

  • Analyzing stock fluctuations. 
  • Creating simulations to forecast the outcomes of financial transactions. 
  • Reviewing spending and revenue projections. 
  • Liaising with management teams to offer advice on financial decisions. 

Accountants have a more structured role and are heavily involved in taxes. They deal with the day-to-day flow of money in and out of a business. 

Some duties performed by accountants include:

  • Organizing company accounts. 
  • Reviewing records to reduce spending and increase profits. 
  • Developing and managing working budgets. 
  • Preparing taxation procedures. 

Generally, both types of employees work 40-50 hours per week. Accountants have a busy February to April tax season where they may work up to 70 hours a week, depending on the number of clients they work with. 

The work environment also differs as financial analysts often have their own offices. Many accountants, especially at entry-level, work in cubicles, although many high-level accountants will likely have the luxury of their own office. 

Can I Combine Finance and Accounting?

The careers are somewhat related, and some employees may perform some of the same tasks. 

The topmost position of either of these professions is that of Chief Financial Officer. It is essentially a combination of finance and accounting in one position. 

With the right experience and educational background, you could have the opportunity to manage a business’s finance or accounts departments. 

CFOs are tasked with the financial planning of a business. They also need to oversee the organization’s cash flow. 

To get to this leadership position, you will need to understand both job roles. You will need to supervise employees and perform tasks required in each profession. CFOs need a combination of skills including:

  • Leadership skills 
  • Management skills 
  • Accounting skills 
  • Data skills 
  • Strategy skills 

Besides a Bachelor’s degree, to reach this management position, often you will need a Master’s Degree. An Executive MBA is a good option if you already have some work experience. 

The Difference Between Finance and Accounting Degrees

Both jobs need a basic Bachelor’s degree but further education courses differ. For financiers, it is advisable to be a member of the CFA Institute. Accountants, however, are usually required to complete a CPA certification. 

See the details below:

So which degree is best? Everything is relative and will depend on your strengths. 

Generally, accounting majors at the undergraduate level are not easy. Students say finance on the same level is much easier. 

If you are starting your undergraduate level, it may be advisable to take a joint degree. It will provide you with general knowledge of both professions and help you choose the best path. 

Accounting does not increase in difficulty at higher levels. But finance does, gradually. 

Benefits of Studying Accounting

Accountants are necessary for all businesses and the profession is currently growing. According to the BLS, accountancy is expected to grow up to 10% between 2016 – 2026. 

Having the right information can help you choose which industry you want to work in. This is a way for you to begin to define a clear career path. 

Usually, after graduation, you may start as an entry-level associate with high growth and earning potential. 

Additional certifications will help you advance your career and get a job almost anywhere in the country. 

Another option is to start your own business. If you have an entrepreneurial streak, you can become your own boss after a few years of work experience. 

If you enjoy systematically working with rules accounting is the course you should study. 

Benefits of Studying Finance

Finance offers a wider range of study options compared to accounting. You will cover a variety of specializations used in the business world. You will also be exposed to areas such as economics and banking. 

By studying finance, you will gain the necessary analytical skills to interpret data. 

The knowledge will also be useful in your personal life. You will learn how to make smart investments and handle your finances effectively. 

The career opportunities for graduates are immense and the earning potential is higher than many other careers. You will also learn how to make extra wealth and not just rely on your salary. 

The Best of Both Worlds?

Advice online seems to lean towards studying both degrees. 

Source: www.quora.com

So now, what is the best way to advance your career? An MBA or EMBA degree is common for both accountants and financiers. It will give you the extra edge over and above your basic degree. 

For this with some years of experience, an Executive MBA will allow mid-career professionals to work and study at the same time. 

If you do not have extensive experience, a free online MBA is your best option. By choosing students from the world’s top universities, Quantic School of Business and Technology gives you a chance to network with fellow students either face to face or online. 

Inspiring the Next Generation of Future Business Leaders

Since 1996, ​Virtual Enterprises International​ (VE) has transformed the lives of more than 165,000 teens through a robust in-school program empowering students to test drive potential careers and develop professional, leadership, functional, and technical skills and competencies. VE’s mission is to ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn and succeed, regardless of their zip code. This vision is put into practice by equipping students with real life business skills that help them lead financially secure, successful lives. ​When Executive MBA Student, Anthony DeBellis, introduced us to VE, we immediately knew that we needed to get involved to help inspire future leaders. ​Now, more than ​20 ​Quantic ​students and alumni will be judges for VE’s national student business competitions.

VE programs guide youth to be adaptable, collaborative and self-directed. The company partners with schools, districts, and businesses across the United States to create educational pathways that align career education and work-based learning, with academic standards-based education. Guided by an industry-driven, educational framework, students launch and manage the growth of a company in a digital, international economy of more than 7,000 student-run businesses in 40+ countries. Through this, students learn how strong skills and a positive mindset can launch them into a successful future.

​Anthony DeBellis, a product management professional at Mastercard, has been involved with Virtual Enterprises for five years and believes its mentorship for young students is invaluable. “Looking back, my favorite memory was working with the students at Manhattan’s Business of Sports School. I was part of a volunteer team that visited the school a few times a month to work with students on their VE business. We would advise them, help them solve problems and share our experiences. When you start working with VE students at any level there are two things I always come back to: first, the students are inspiring, creative and have boundless potential. Second, the experience is rewarding and energizing.”

Anthony believes every high school student in the U.S. should have the opportunity to be part of an immersive VE classroom experience. He is continuing to help them grow by joining their NYC Advisory Board. “When I originally became involved with VE, I was working in banking and managing partnerships focused on bringing financial literacy to students through my organization. We were introduced to VE’s founder, Iris Blanc, at a Nasdaq Bell Ringing ceremony and immediately became enthralled with their vision. All these years later, I’m thrilled to still be engaged with the VE team.”

Students participating in the program are offered summits which are fully-interactive experiences that integrate a trade show atmosphere, workshops, special presentations, and networking opportunities. They offer many ways for students to develop and apply a full range of key career competencies, as well as interact with other VE students, educational leaders, community representatives, and real-world professionals.

Virtual Enterprises’ digital classrooms and Quantic’s pedagogy style both cater to a nontraditional entrepreneurial spirit. Anthony knows this is the perfect union, with the concept of modern education in mind. “I had long wanted to earn an MBA, however there is so much friction around traditional programs, in terms of logistics and costs. A former colleague of mine posted his Quantic degree on LinkedIn. I reached out to him to ask about his experience, and his feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Needless to say, I applied a week later and haven’t looked back.”

VE is a fantastic opportunity for Quantic students to give back to their community and impart valuable lessons to budding business leaders. We are thrilled to see so many of our students volunteer with Virtual Enterprises — we know they will be wonderful mentors to help inspire the next generation of trailblazers! If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering, send an email to apena@veinternational.org.