Accounting Majors' Perceptions regarding the 150-Hour Rule

Most states now require students who sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination to have 150 semester hours of college education. The 150-hour requirement is intended to, among other benefits, improve the preparation of students for the profession, increase their chances of success on...

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Journal Title: Issues in Accounting Education Vol. 19; no. 2; pp. 211 - 227
Authors: James Bierstaker, Martha Howe, Inshik Seol
Format: Article
Language: English
Published: May 2004
Subjects:
Summary: Most states now require students who sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination to have 150 semester hours of college education. The 150-hour requirement is intended to, among other benefits, improve the preparation of students for the profession, increase their chances of success on the CPA exam, ensure a more well-rounded education for new entrants to the profession, and attract better students to the field of accounting. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether accounting majors' perceptions regarding this requirement match the anticipated benefits of the 150-hour rule, and whether they match the realities of what has occurred in localities where the rule has been in effect. Data were collected from 247 accounting majors via a questionnaire. The results indicate that, in most respects, students' perceptions align fairly well with the intentions and the realities of the 150-hour requirement. For example, most students indicate an interest in obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree for their fifth year of education. This would be a more balanced education envisioned by the framers of the requirement. Most students feel that they should receive additional compensation for the added education. In contrast to the reality in most locations, they do not expect accounting firms to increase compensation for those with 150 hours of education. Although students generally were not in favor of the 150-hour rule, a majority indicated they would continue to pursue becoming a CPA despite the 150-hour requirement. Still, a substantial number of students indicated they would pursue the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation rather than pursuing the CPA.
ISSN: 0739-3172