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Which accounting program characteristics contribute to CPA exam success? A study of institutional factors and graduate education

Brian M. Nagle, K. Bryan Menk and Stephen E. Rau

Journal of Accounting Education, 2018, vol. 45, issue C, 20-31

Abstract: CPA exam pass rates are a widely accepted indicator of an accounting program’s ability to prepare its graduates for success on the exam and are often used to communicate the quality of the program to prospective students. While passing the exam can be very expensive, time consuming, and difficult, it is a critical priority for most accounting students. This study examines (1) whether completion of a graduate degree is associated with performance on the CPA exam, and (2) the institutional variables that are also associated with CPA exam performance. These variables include the schools’ accreditations, selectivity in admissions, faculty credentials, research ranking, and whether the school is public or private. The results indicated that completion of a graduate degree was associated with higher CPA exam pass rates. In addition, accreditation type, admissions selectivity, and proportion of accounting faculty holding a CPA license were also significantly associated with CPA exam pass rates. However, the proportion of accounting faculty with a terminal degree, research ranking, and public versus private were not significant.

Keywords: CPA exam; Graduate degree; AACSB accreditation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jaccedu.2018.09.003

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