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