Accounting Degrees - Becoming a Certified Public Accountant
The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation given to experienced accountants to benchmark their level of competency. The CPA is accepted as an industry standard in all 50 states and is held by accountants with a wide range of disciplines and specializations. If you are pursuing an accounting career, you’ll need to complete an accounting degree to test for the CPA.
The standardized CPA-certification exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is recognized throughout the country. Forty of the states require the 150-semester-hour requirement. Some states also stipulate hours of professional experience before approving your CPA licensure.
To meet the 150-semester-hour requirement, you can combine an undergraduate accounting degree with a master’s degree from the same school; combine your undergrad in another subject with a master’s degree in accounting; or complete a five-year professional accounting degree program.
Curriculum That Leads to a CPA Competency
To prepare for the CPA exam, make sure that your accounting degree program spans the essential fields of taxation, auditing, managerial control, computer software, economics, and business law. The CPA exam will test your knowledge in four sections:
- Auditing and Attestation
- Business Environment and Concepts
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
Your preparation path is quite specific. You’ll need to know government regulations pertinent to spending, taxation, and economic planning. Your finance training forms a backbone in practice. You’ll need to understand cash flow, valuation, capital acquisition and sales. Expect to take courses in business law and ethics as well as in information systems including hardware and database/spreadsheet software.
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Below are more details about some select schools offering accounting degrees:
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Types of Accounting Degrees | Bookkeeping Classes | MBA in Accounting
MBA with a Finance Specialization | Computerized Accounting Courses | Accounting Technology Classes/Degrees
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