Could Five Years Be a Deterrent?

BY PAUL TOMASZESKI

I was surprised to see so little mention of the five-year program’s impact in “The Crisis in Accounting Education” ( JofA, Apr.02, page 81).

That there are fewer accounting students, I believe, is directly related to the requirement for five years of education prior to certification. What college student today wants to commit to a field that requires more than a bachelor’s degree, when finance, marketing and information technology do not?

When I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and economics, and a major in accounting, I wanted to study another area of business. So I immediately started to pursue an MBA in finance in the evenings while working days at a CPA firm. This did not preclude my passing the CPA exam the first time around and ranking among the top 10 in the state. A five-year requirement/roadblock might have led me to reconsider pursuing my CPA certificate.

While the five-year program may have seemed to be a good idea 10 years ago, the reduction in accounting majors in college today should tell us to revisit that decision.

Paul Tomaszeski, CPA
Bernardsville, New Jersey

SPONSORED REPORT

Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS warning on cyberattacks and a change in pension rules

Once again, the IRS sounds the alarm about a threat from cyberthieves. See how much you know about this and other recent news with this short quiz.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.