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How to write accounting papers

Accounting is a concrete part of any corporate business. Even though they aren't language students, at some points in their school lives, accounting students would have to write at least one accounting paper, if not several. For most students, it's always a daunting task. But once you know where to begin, and how to craft a perfect piece, you shouldn't fear handling such tasks. Remember, in as much as you learn technical skills like bookkeeping, financial analysis, balancing of sheets, and spend most of your time churning numbers, you can't ignore the fact that your writing skills should also be top-notch, from how you arrange your work to spelling and grammar. After all, the paper would contribute to your success as a student. Read on to find more about accounting papers.

What are the accounting papers?

Accounting question paper is a popular university assignment. For promising marks, you need to be familiar with the structure, review literature sources, statistics, figures, and accounting work papers. There are no short cuts to this. You will focus on a particular issue, clarify it, and use precise mathematical calculations to present your data, and indicate the result of the experiment. Accounting discipline has a close relation to mathematics and economics. They are co-dependent of each other in some circumstances. Most times, accountants and auditors prepare these papers. They summarize evidence found in the client's documents or accounts and make a financial statement. Since these papers are technical, you should explain your findings and data points clearly for your audience to understand.

Types of accounting papers for accounting students

Well, there are various assignments that you might encounter concerning accounting. Some of which include:

Personal statements are not common in some schools these days. But, as much as some schools don't request them, most schools usually require it when you are applying for college. Often, you give a little detail about yourself, something that will help the administration know you better. Thus, you have a chance to discuss qualifications that are not in your resume or your academic life. You can explain the reasons why you chose accounting, what you wish to contribute to the accounting world, or what you want to achieve at the end of your professionalism. Let it be something personal about you.

You should avoid tackling cliché subjects, as they are ordinary and eventually dull. Instead, craft something sweet, exciting, and worth someone's time. The ability to write a personal statement can win you a place in an institution or screw that chance. To come up with the best topic, give yourself days or even weeks. When done with writing, proofread. Check for grammatical errors and also spelling mistakes. Is your content engaging? Does it flow or grabs people's attention? Does the information make sense? These are some stuff you should check. Some colleges would ask you to answer a specific prompt, while others will give you the freedom to choose. No matter the case, ensure that your goals and personality reflect here. Even if your school doesn't ask for one, it won't hurt to write, in case of anything.

Research papers

There is a slight difference between research papers and essays. They analyze a perspective, argue on the point of view, or expand on ideas. However, Research explores an idea, uses other findings and opinions of others. A typical research paper starts with a cover page, an abstract, and an introduction. Also, you can outline and discuss the methodology and the limitation of your research. The body is the one that carries the main points. You talk of your findings and support each main point with evidence. In the conclusion part, you need to summarize your points and give final remarks.

You should include the work cited page, bibliography list, all depending on the reference style. Also, you can include charts, photos, graphs, interview questions, or glossary of terms, if need be. Teachers usually allow a student to pick a topic about his/her major. As an accounting student, you can opt for a subject like: 'computer versus annual accounting,' 'the future of accounting profession,' or 'professional ethics.'


Exams are part and parcel of learning. Accounting programs usually require long-form essays in some of their exams. Often, it's five paragraphs with an introduction, three main points, and a conclusion. But, the professors can ask you to write longer or shorter essays depending on the circumstance. In as much as you might know what the content in exams; like the exact topic the professor will examine. You need to verse yourself well, with what you've covered in class, and prepare adequately for the tests.

You don't want to tackle a topic you know nothing about since you will regret it. Once you've gotten your paper, read the prompt first, understand it, and then create an outline. Time can be the most challenging part of these exams. That's why you should use it well. Jot down the key points, and the pieces of evidence to support your answers. Also, don't forget to include your thesis statement as it would act as a guide, assisting you not to deviate from the main points.

Case studies

A case study is a text which describes a scenario in real life. In accounting, for instance, a case study may test the "importance of accountants in a particular business and their role in making the business thrive". While basing the results on the findings, a researcher concludes and recommends the course to better action. Case studies document a specific issue, elaborate on how things happen, and propose a better solution backing it up with data and evidence.

Usually, they require lots of time, but the results are often worth the wait. The insights one gets help a business or an enterprise maximize their potential. Case studies forecast trends, determine the effectiveness of a strategy, and steer companies towards a new direction. Accounting case studies force students to focus on the broader issues in business, to use critical thinking, analytical, and strategic skills. You should use clear writing to convey data, interpretations, and recommendations.

As much as they focus on one subject, case studies sometimes compare two approaches. For instance: 'computer versus manual accounting'. Undergraduates don't conduct real-life case studies. However, some may complete case studies as part of their objectives or thesis. Usually, they evaluate case studies that were performed by other accountants and researchers. However, doctoral and master students are likely to assist in such cases.

Steps to Follow When Writing Accounting Papers

Even before handling the paper, you should have an interest in accounting. Unlike other articles, accounting papers can be quiet boring to write. They require lots of calculations, formulas, techniques, and numbers. Thus, you need to ensure you are on the right mindset. Take a look at the following steps:

Select a topic 

Professors often assign topics, but in case you have difficulty in formulating one, then you can read newspapers or watch the news for great topic ideas. Also, you can develop your topic ideas from the subtopics in your course work. Examples of the topics are financial accounting, management accounting, and auditing accounting. Always remember the subject should be relevant to your course and also the audience. Lastly, make sure it's narrow enough for the ease of research and more accurate results.


You need to perform background research. Have at least three to four sources which you will use as evidence, and also to support your thesis. Without research, there is no paper. Nonetheless, how will you prove your thesis statement and support your arguments?

Generate a draft

The first step is to formulate a thesis statement. Let it be at least two sentences and vividly outline the intention of your paper. How do you want your article to appear? What are your concerns on the topics? How will you conduct your research, and what methods will you use? This will determine the direction of your paper.

Write down the draft

The introduction, body, conclusion, and references are the four main parts of your paper. Your introduction part should include the thesis statement, pointing out the essence of your argument. When one skims through your writing, then they should have a clue on what your topic is all about. In the body, properly discuss your key points, supporting each with evidence. Summarize your points in the conclusion, clearly reaffirming your thesis. Lastly, write the reference and ensure you cite your sources on a different page.


It's now time to go over your paper. Refer to your drafts and outlines in the process of writing your work. When you come up with new ideas, add them to your work. You can omit some ideas which aren't concrete enough. Lastly, remember to arrange your point in chronological order and make sure they make sense.

Edit and proofread

This is the last step to a perfect job. Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and arrangement of your sentences to ensure that they make sense. Your grammar, style, and word usage should be top-notch. Nobody would take your research seriously if your work is full of trash with fragments, run-off sentences, and ambiguous sentences.

Citation guides for accounting students

In any academic writing, you should acknowledge your sources. Where did you get your information, ideas, data, statistics, and even graphics? Citing sources strengthens your evidence and give weight to your efforts in the research process. Also, proper citation protects your work from plagiarism, which is a criminal offense in the academic world. Whether intentional or not, plagiarism cases can be fatal to your academic career and your subsequent professional career. It can lead to a suspension or even expulsion, as it's a question of your integrity. There are different citation styles. Some professors would require you to choose a specific one. Examples include

  • American Psychological Association (APA) Style 
  • Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) Format
  •  Associated Press (AP) Style

Business and finance students used both the APA and MLA styles to cite their sources. Of the two, APA is the most common one. However, you don't have to worry on the method to use if you are a student, professors usually recommend one.

Other tips when writing an accounting paper

  • Avoid the use of the colloquial style. - Your work would look wordy, repetitive, and disorganized.
  • Don't divert from the topic. - Always make sure you focus on the subject. When writing, keep asking yourself if you are on the right track. If not, then avert.
  • Don't include irrelevant sources.- You should back your information will relevant data. Don't fill your paper with anecdotes or data from other blogs that don't add value to your research.
  • Passive voice instead of an active.- Passive focuses on the object rather than the purpose. Let your focus be on the one performing a task. For example: ‘Mary ate the cake.’ instead of ‘The cake was eaten by Mary.' Passive voice makes your work look wordy with a lack of authority. For an exciting and concrete work, try to eliminate such constructions from your paper.

Punctuate well

The way you use the punctuation marks can make a lot of difference in your writing. When should you use the comma? Or the full stop? Or the semicolon? Look at the following sentences:

  1. A man without her woman is nothing.
  2. A man without her, the woman is nothing.
  3. A man, without her, woman is nothing.

Although the sentences are the same, the comma brings out the different meanings in them. Also, know how to use a colon and semicolon as these two are usually confusing. A colon introduces a list, while semicolon can act as a conjunction to expound on a subject. Remember, if you misuse punctuation, it might fail to bring out the intended meaning.

Lastly, coming up with excellent accounting papers is easier said than done. But, with the correct guidelines, the right topic plus in-depth research, nothing should stop you from crafting the best one. Good luck with your next writing!

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