Could Five Years Be a Deterrent?


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


6 key areas of change for accountants and auditors

New accounting standards on revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses present implementation challenges. This independently-written report identifies the hurdles that accounting professionals face and provides tips for overcoming the challenges.


How tax reform will impact individual taxpayers

Amy Wang, a CPA who is a senior technical manager for tax advocacy at the AICPA, answers to some of the most common questions on how the new tax reform law will impact individual taxpayers.