dcsimg
Find Accounting Programs

CPA Certification Programs

CPA Certification Prep Programs

While a bachelor's degree in accounting is usually sufficient to become an accountant or auditor, the academic requirements to become a CPA are generally more demanding. Most states require students to earn at least 150 credits in order to satisfy the educational requirements of gaining CPA licensure. As bachelor's programs typically only award 120 credits, this leaves a 30-credit gap that needs to be filled.

Students have several options for gaining the remaining credits. Earning a master's in accounting or an MBA with a concentration in accounting are options. This route can help students gain the remaining credits, while also potentially improving job prospects. Students can also take extra courses during their undergraduate studies, take a handful of graduate accounting and business classes, or enroll in a graduate CPA prep program that awards a certificate.

Some schools even offer a joint bachelor/master's degree program that can typically be finished in five years. Many of these 150 credit hour programs ask students to apply once they have completed the first three years of their undergraduate studies. Some institutions may ask that people take the Graduate Management Admission Test prior to applying.

When looking at programs, it's important to remember that some may only be designed to help satisfy the CPA credit requirements in the school's home state. Contact school admissions counselors and state boards of accountancy to ensure credits earned can be used toward licensure in the state in which you wish to be recognized as a CPA.

CPA Careers

Being a public accountant may entail a number of responsibilities. These tasks can include working on tax forms, balance sheets, providing advice on the positive or negative ramification of a business decision, and even reviewing a company's financial statements and report to investors about the veracity of the information provided. Many public accountants, if they earn the necessary 150 credits of undergraduate work, sit for the Certified Public Accountant exam. While many accountants gain CPA licensure to improve job prospects, it's also required if filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Licensed CPAs may be able to find employment with a variety of different companies, firms, or governmental agencies that need accounting professionals to monitor their finances. Below you will find a table that shows other potential careers an individual who has earned a degree and a CPA license may qualify for.

Accounting Position

Common Duties

Typical Education Requirements

Certification Options

Auditor

  • Ensure the accuracy of financial statements.
  • Prepare tax returns and make the necessary payments.

Bachelor's Degree

  • The Institute of Internal Auditors offers four certifications: the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), the Certified in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), the Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) and the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Management Accountants

  • Record and review an organization's private financial information.
  • Determine how cost-effective the company's processes are.
  • Help upper-management make financial decisions.

Bachelor's Degree

  • Certified Management Accountant (CMA) from The Institute of Management Accountants
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

Financial Analyst

  • Recommend investment opportunities.
  • Learn about the current trends in the economy and the business world.
  • Speak with investors and answer their queries.

Bachelor's Degree

No

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012

Job Outlook and Salary for CPAs

Even with a CPA license, there a many different careers someone who earns an accounting degree may apply for. The following table contains a few examples with relevant information about potential salary and job growth.

Accounting Position

Mean Annual Wage

United States

(May 2012)

Projected # of New Jobs

United States

(2010-2020)

Projected Job Growth Rate

United States

(2010-2020)

Financial Analysts

$89,410

54,200

23% (Above national average)

Accountants and Auditors

$71,040

190,700

16% (Above national average)

Financial Managers

$123,260

46,300

9% (Below national average)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012; Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, 2013

* Salaries and employment opportunities may vary based on experience, education, location and other factors.

Sources:

150 Hour Requirement for Obtaining CPA Certification, American Institute of CPAs, Dec. 21, 2012

http://www.aicpa.org/BECOMEACPA/LICENSURE/REQUIREMENTS/Pages/default.aspx#how

American Institute of CPAs, CPA Career Paths, 2006-2013

http://www.aicpa.org/Career/CareerPaths/Pages/CareerPaths.aspx

Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2012

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132011.htm

Accountants and Auditors, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm

Financial Analysts, May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132051.htm

Financial Analysts, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm

Financial Managers, May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htm

Financial Managers, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Financial-managers.htm

 

Browse Cpa Certification Schools

 
Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            MS in Accounting - Government Specialization
            • Degrees offered include Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and Master of Business Administration.
            • Students are instructed in relevant business skills like communication, mathematics, and management.
            • Coursework emphasizes the development of project management, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
            • Flexible, 100% online and campus based programs available.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Science in Accounting
            • Offers M.B.A. and bachelor’s programs in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing, Accounting, and more
            • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs and Graduate Business Programs for 2017 by U.S. News and World Report
            • Coursework covers topics like project management, management fundamentals, and business strategies
            • Business students complete a capstone class that demonstrates their knowledge of business concepts
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Accounting
            • Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
            • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
            • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
            • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
            • Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MA Accountancy
            • Online degrees offered include BA in Accounting, BA in Business Administration, MBA, and more.
            • Business students may be eligible for scholarships such as the Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
            • Courses help students develop knowledge of marketing, accounting, economic principles, and financial management.
            • Business Administration students can specialize in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Project Management.
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            MA Accountancy - Audit
            • Become the leader you know you can be @ Ashford University
            • Apply Now! Classes Start Every Tuesday!
            • Online Courses
            AS - Accounting Specialist

            The goal of Virginia College lies in its responsibility to its students, the technical and business communities, and the general citizenry. We have a long history of offering new direction to students.

            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Accounting B.S.
            • Serving students in higher education since 1941.
            • Offers diplomas and degree programs in accounting, healthcare, and business. 
            • Uses a unique inverted curriculum that enables students to take core classes in their first year.
            • Provides flexible scheduling for students with four start times per year.
            • Has 36 campus locations across the United States, as well as online courses.
            • Formed program advisory boards to ensure that all course material stays up to date.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Business Management & Accounting (AAS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

            Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

            Show more [+]
            Accounting, Associates Degree
            Daymar College , Bowling Green
            • Providing exceptional career training since 1963.
            • Presents numerous scholarships opportunities for eligible students.
            • Offers programs in business, health care, technology and design, and more.
            • Has 13 campuses across Ohio and Kentucky, as well as online options.
            • Lets graduates use lifelong learning credit to return and review or audit any previously taken course for free.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            MS in Accounting

            100% Online & No Standardized Testing

            We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits