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Old 09-22-2009, 08:48 PM
 
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I was reading a topic where someone said there was a major in the subject and then there was the CPA. I am majoring in Accounting, but at first I was unsure if I was going to do the CPA until a few people encouraged me to do so. Plus, more money in my pocket.

But are the programs separate?
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croye22 View Post
I was reading a topic where someone said there was a major in the subject and then there was the CPA. I am majoring in Accounting, but at first I was unsure if I was going to do the CPA until a few people encouraged me to do so. Plus, more money in my pocket.

But are the programs separate?
Generally, you major in accounting and/or finance and then sit for the exam. Do realize that most states require 150 hours of college credit with a specific number of accounting credits. Make sure that you understand what credits are required in your state,
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:38 PM
 
Location: southern california
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for you to ask that question, its sounds you are in the beginning of your major. b4 you acquire a no refund 100,000 dollar student loan sit for the CPA, its a sobering experience.
been there done that.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:03 AM
 
16,410 posts, read 30,368,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
for you to ask that question, its sounds you are in the beginning of your major. b4 you acquire a no refund 100,000 dollar student loan sit for the CPA, its a sobering experience.
been there done that.
Most states require a significant portion of your education prior to sitting for the exam. For example, Illinois requires the following:

Illinois CPA exam requirements - Becker Review - Becker CPA Exam Review

Education requirements

Residency requirements

150 Semester Hours Required to Sit for the Exam?YesU.S. Citizenship Required: NoMinimum Degree Required: AssociatesApplicant must be a resident, employee, OR have office in the state? NoOther:

Baccalaureate with 150 semester hours
Other:

Additional Educational Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree with at least 24 semester hours in accounting at undergrad level and at least 24 hours of business courses at the undergrad level or
  • Graduate degree with at least 24 semester hours in accounting at undergrad level or 15 semester hours at the graduate level (based on AACSB accreditation)
  • Candidates will receive "provisional" approval to take the CPA exam while completing educational requirements. Candidates will have 120 days from the time they take the exam to submit final transcripts to clear their "provisional status."
Age requirements
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:41 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 4,875,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croye22 View Post
I was reading a topic where someone said there was a major in the subject and then there was the CPA. I am majoring in Accounting, but at first I was unsure if I was going to do the CPA until a few people encouraged me to do so. Plus, more money in my pocket.

But are the programs separate?
Some schools will integrate a CPA review course into your last year or semester, but the classes will still count as classes for your accounting degree.

If your school doesn't do this, you need to take a commercial CPA review course for a few months before you take the exam or you will probably fail. If you have a job already lined up, your prospective employer might pay for the course.

Actually less than 1/2 the states require 150 hours to sit for the CPA exam. The schools in those states generally offer 5 year combined B.S./M.S. programs in accounting, so you can sit for the exam while you are in school or shortly thereafter. Once you have your CPA certificate after you pass, some states let you call yourself a "CPA," others require you to get a license or go through a registration process. This might entail working for a year or two before you can get the license or registration, depending on the state.

If you get a B.S. and live in a 150 hour state, you can either 1) take the exam in another state without the 150 hour requirement and try to transfer your results to the state if they have a reciprocity agreement with your state, 2) get your M.S. full time right away and take the exam a year later, or 3) get a job and take M.S. classes at night, part-time (hopefully your employer will pay for it) then take the exam.

Most people will just do the 5 year program, unless they are able to get a really good job after year 4.

Kind of complicated, but your school should have an accounting advisor or professor that will guide you through the process. Or at least have a booklet or brochure that explains it all.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
17,234 posts, read 57,219,850 times
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Step-daughter just graduated with dual degrees in Finance and Accounting, part of the reason for this was to accumulate enough course credit to be able to sit the CPA exam.

According to her, you are considered a more desirable hire if you have enough course work to be qualified to sit the CPA exam, almost as good as having passed the exam. I guess the thought is if you are qualified to sit the exam, with some experience and tutoring you can be coached up to CPA level, but if you don't have the required course work, they doubt you will ever go do it.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:54 PM
 
1,624 posts, read 4,875,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Step-daughter just graduated with dual degrees in Finance and Accounting, part of the reason for this was to accumulate enough course credit to be able to sit the CPA exam.

According to her, you are considered a more desirable hire if you have enough course work to be qualified to sit the CPA exam, almost as good as having passed the exam. I guess the thought is if you are qualified to sit the exam, with some experience and tutoring you can be coached up to CPA level, but if you don't have the required course work, they doubt you will ever go do it.
You are probably right in most cases. But the Big 4 accounting firms, some Fortune 500 companies, and some regional firms will offer internships to Sophomores and Juniors in college. If they really like them, they will offer them jobs after their 4th year. Then the firms will pay for them to take a Master's in Accounting or Tax at night to qualify for them to take the CPA exam. I know a lot of people who were able to do this, but they were all exceptional students.

My best friend was offer a free MBA at night from a major company and after a year he had enough credits to sit for the CPA exam. That's a hard offer to turn down to do another year full time with no certain job at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:34 PM
 
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In the state of New Jersey, the 150 credit hours is a requirement. However, you can sit for the exam with just your Baccalaureate degree. If you pass the test, then you can comply with the requirement of the extra 30 credits, and receive the license after the completion of the extra 30 credit hours.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 4,267,077 times
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My suggestions: Plan to acquire your undergraduate degree within the state you hope to live in (also known as getting a job therein). There are exceptions to that advice, particularly with Federal jobs, but it makes planning easier in general. Most accounting programs within a given state will be geared towards that state's requirements. Plan on taking the CPA exam as soon as possible. Commercial prep courses can be a major help. Accounting firms are a very competitive environment, you have to know your "stuff". Its very useful to work with a "name" firm for few years before you branch out. Its a huge field and you can go anywhere with it. Give some consideration to doing an MBA part-time (hopefully on the firm's dime), it will serve you well.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:42 AM
 
964 posts, read 3,164,315 times
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Thank you for the advice. Right now, I'm still in college and considering transferring next fall, but getting a degree in the state I want to live in is quite impossible. I'm in school in Alabama, but the states I had in mind were Texas, North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Missouri.

Paying out of state tuition would be too costly for me even though I am on financial aid.

I wanted to work with either the FDIC or Federal Reserve when I finish school.
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