our everyday life

What Kind of Math Classes Do You Have to Take to Become an Accountant?

by Flora Richards-Gustafson, studioD

Not just mathematics professors teach the college math classes needed to become an accountant. Professors from a school’s business or accounting academic departments also teach math-related courses required for an accounting degree. The types of math classes in college that you have to take to become an accountant can vary by school and the accounting-related specialization that you choose. Consult with an academic adviser regarding the courses that accounting majors must take.

Business Statistics

Many colleges require you to complete statistics courses to earn a degree in accounting. Depending on your school, you may have to take a general statistics course along with business statistic courses. Business statistics courses teach you how to collect, apply, analyze and interpret numerical data to determine a business’ performance and make business-related decisions. The classes also teach you how to use the numerical data to form hypotheses, determine the relationships between variables and use software to perform calculations.

Calculus for Business

Business-related calculus classes teach you how to apply this form of math in business applications. The courses cover one-variable calculus and multivariable calculus, and teach you how to find and apply derivatives, calculate logarithmic and exponential functions and determine methods and applications of integration. When you complete the calculus courses, you’ll have the computational and conceptual mathematical background that you need for your other accounting courses.


Taxation courses examine U.S. federal income tax as it applies to businesses and individuals. In these classes, you’ll learn how to apply the different tax formulas and numerical data to determine estimated taxes, deductions, losses and tax credits. You may also learn about the different implications of different business structures, like corporations or sole proprietorships, and considerations related to employment taxes.


Accounting classes teach you how to use mathematical and communication skills to collect, analyze and report data. You’ll learn how to use numerical data for decision-making purposes, cost controls, classifications and to create financial statements and analyses. Advanced accounting courses teach you how to take into account foreign currencies, conduct audits and perform cost accounting. Such classes may also review topics like financial advising, family and estate planning, international accounting standards and accounting information systems.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images