The difference between accounting and finance is a hierarchical matter. While accounting is responsible for collecting economic data, finance focuses on making decisions based on it.
Although, colloquially, these concepts are used interchangeably, economic theory conceives each of them as independent subjects.
However, both disciplines must be used consistently so that financially beneficial projects and investments are possible.
They must be supported by verified data and accounting arguments.
Difference between accounting and finance in terms of approach
The nature of both economic fields establishes the main difference between them. At least in terms of its focus or application in reality.
By definition, accounting is a methodological branch of economics, based on the extraction of information through data. At the same time, it is used for the day-to-day running of an organization and its budget organization.
For its part, the concept of finance encompasses different tasks of management and execution of projects in companies or institutions.
Financial action vs. accounting action
The theoretical and technical applications of the sciences, both accounting and financial, also establish clear differences between these subjects.
That said, a hierarchy principle is assumed by which the accounting work serves, in most cases, as a database for decision-making.
In this sense, the direction and management of organizations (financial work would be among these duties) must be based on objective data when defining plans and strategies.
Financial accounting as a specific branch
In the context of applied accounting, there is the modality of financial accounting.
It assumes the systematization of data on activities or economic situation at a given moment of a company.
In this sense, it is a specific application of accounting tasks to obtaining and communicating relevant information: either for internal managers and decision makers, as well as for potential external investors.
Other aspects to consider
In most SMEs, accounting and financial tasks are usually carried out by the same professionals. This places the separation of these matters mostly in large organizations with defined templates and with a higher level of specialization.
Despite being conceptually signified in separate areas, economic and business everyday life requires the constant interrelation of accounting and finance.
In that sense, the feedback created between both pathways allows the most efficient and prosperous management in a particular business.