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Old 02-22-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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Default CPA without accounting degree?

Is it possible to become a CPA with an accounting degree?

Also, if it is possible, how would employers view someone that has a degree in a different field but has a CPA license?
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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In Florida you need to have a BA/BS but it doesn't ahve to be in accounting. You could conceivably do it with a business major and an accounting minor but you need 24 credits of advanced accounting classes and 24 credits in business, with six of those credits in business law classes. So it's not like you could get a sociology degree and then become a CPA without returning to college for what amounts to a couple of years.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Tampa, Florida
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CPAs are licensed at the state level and each state sets its own requirements. To my knowledge each state has educational requirements. I believe some states require that your degree be in accounting but many simply require a bachelors degree and a certain number of credit hours in accounting coursework. So your degree can be in something else but you need the requisite minimum hours in accounting classes. Check with your state's accountancy board.

I don't know how employers would view it but I would be surprised if they would care much. The CPA exam isn't easy so I think if you are a CPA the underlying major wouldn't make much difference.
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I think a CPA license pretty much supersedes everything, although in most states you have to get 1-2 years of work experience with a CPA in order to get a CPA license. Being qualified to take the exam and being qualified to get the license are two different things. Being a CPA will usually get your resume a second look, although I think they still will go with someone with more experience over someone who has less experience but has a certification. That's been how it has been for me, anyway.

I am a CPA and have an undergrad in English. In order to sit for the exam I had to have 24 hours in business and 24 in accounting. It made more sense for me to just get a master's degree in accounting.
If you have to get that many credits you might as well get a degree for it. For a lot of schools that is the main reason people enroll in accounting master's programs, to get the required number of hours for the CPA exam.
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
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I'm working on my CPA now (passed 3 parts, going for the 4th). My degree is bus admin with a major in accounting. Most of the states that I've looked at require an accounting degree or bus admin + a certain number of accounting hours. Some state are extremely specific about the courses needed in order to take the CPA. My advice would be to read the state requirements before taking any classes to make sure you're taking the right classes.

The jobs that I'm applying for specifically ask for the number of credits in accounting and most also ask for my GPA in those classes. Also, I'm finding that employers want that magic combo of degree + education + experience. The only time I've seen where the CPA designation may substitute for experience is in non public accounting, specifically gov jobs.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:19 AM
 
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I am in the state of Virginia and trying to help a student at a small private liberal arts college get eligible to take the CPA with only 1 year of accounting so far. We do not offer an accounting program here, but wondered if there is a fast track program where he can take enough courses to take the CPA exam while I am still working on his regular undergraduate work in business?
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Inception
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeha View Post
Is it possible to become a CPA with an accounting degree?

Also, if it is possible, how would employers view someone that has a degree in a different field but has a CPA license?
Is it possible, in most states yes. However, while the degree may not be in accounting a potential CPA candidate should expect to take up to 30 credit hours in accounting and up to 24 hours in general business courses as a post baccalaureate student or within a Masters program.

Many states are moving to the 150 requirement to earn the CPA certificate; however, some states will allow a candidate to actually sit for the exam with less than the 150 credit hour requirement. Upon earning a CPA certificate, the major of the bachelors degree may be slightly less significant but expect those with a BS in Accounting, BA in Business Admin with major in Accounting, and Masters of Accounting candidates to be of higher preference, particularly in the larger public accounting firms. Often, these firms will recruit entry-level candidates directly out of college programs.

I recommend you visiting your states Board of Accountancy website as well as Becker CPA which lists individual state requirements to sit and earn the CPA exam. Also view the AICPA (http://www.aicpa.org/Becoming+a+CPA/CPA+Candidates+and+Students/The+CPA+Exam.htm - broken link) website.

Good Luck
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:28 AM
 
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Default You can become a CPA without an accounting degree

In many states you don't need a BA or BS in accounting to sit for the CPA exam. You just need a college degree and a certain amount of course work in accounting. There are lots of programs out there online. You can check out this one in Pennsylvania at Clarion University. [URL="http://www.clarion.edu/anywhere-cpa"]www.clarion.edu/anywhere-cpa[/URL]

A
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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I've heard about a lot of people taking online courses at LSU to meet the requirements. I don't believe it is an actual program, just something where you pay so much for each course.

It should probably be repeated, passing the exam and being a CPA are two different things. Passing the CPA exam is just one part of the puzzle. Generally, you have to work for 1-2 years under the supervision of a licensed CPA in order to become a CPA yourself. However, a candidate who has already completed the exam will probably at least get a second look.
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Old 06-12-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e_cuyler View Post
However, a candidate who has already completed the exam will probably at least get a second look.

I agree.

Although it might be coincidence, I got a call from a Big4 recruiter and an interview after updating my resume to include "CPA Candidate: Passed 2 sections in May with plans to finish exam by August."

So there is some hope.
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