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Master of Accountancy Students Continue to Excel on CPA Exam


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) students continued to perform significantly above the national average and highest in the state on the 2018 Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam, according to the recently released National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) Report.

An impressive 71.4% of A-State MAcc students passed sections of the CPA exam on their first attempt, while the national average among all first-time takers was 57.5%.  The results place Arkansas State at the top among six universities in the state that offer an advanced degree.

Over the aggregate 2017-2018 period, A-State students passed at a rate of 80.9%, based on a weighted average of the number of sections taken. 

The excellent pass rates reflect the high quality of A-State's accounting program, according to Dr. James Doering, Jones/Schaaf Endowed Chair of the Department of Accounting.

“We are proud of the continued success of our MAcc students.  The strong faculty and challenging, cutting-edge curriculum distinguish A-State as the destination school for students in the state of Arkansas and Mid-South who want to pursue a career in accounting,” Doering noted.

The Uniform CPA exam is a 16-hour comprehensive national exam that consists of four sections: auditing and attestation (AUD); business environment and concepts (BEC); financial accounting and reporting (FAR); and regulation (REG).

Candidates take one section at a time and have four hours to complete each section.   A minimum score of 75 is needed to pass each section.  Candidates must pass all four sections within 18 months in order to qualify for certification. 

The CPA exam includes traditional multiple choice questions, written communication tasks, and task-based simulations that require the application of accounting knowledge and skills to arrive at solutions for practical real-world situations.   The AUD, FAR and REG sections include at least one research question that requires the candidate to search the applicable authoritative literature to locate the appropriate guidance. 

The CPA license, the only license for accounting professionals, is considered to be the accounting profession’s highest standard of competence. 

NASBA, formed in 1908, serves as a forum for the nation’s Boards of Accountancy that administer the Uniform CPA Examination, license more than 650,000 certified public accountants, and regulate the practice of public accountancy in the U.S.

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