Wake Forest accounting graduates achieve nation’s highest passing rates on CPA exam

4.24.2009 Accounting, News Release, School News

For the fourth consecutive year, graduates of Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy have achieved the highest passing rates in the nation on the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.

According to results compiled by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) for the 2007 exam, the most recent scores available, Wake Forest graduates led all first-time candidates by achieving a passing rate of 82.86 percent. By comparison, among all candidates taking the 2007 exam, just 9.4 percent passed all four sections on their first try.

Since the school began offering a master’s degree in accounting in 1997, its graduates have achieved the top national ranking seven times and placed second in the nation three times for candidates passing all four sections of the test on their first attempt.

“These results are a tribute to the hard-working students who complete our rigorous accounting course work,” said Yvonne Hinson, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Faculty Fellow and associate professor of accountancy who directs the Business School’s undergraduate and graduate accountancy programs. “Our emphasis on small class sizes, personal instruction and professional internships prepares our graduates to excel in their careers, from the CPA exam to the real-world situations they will face beyond.”

On individual sections of the exam, Wake Forest graduates achieved an 89.74 percent passing rate (first place) on the financial accounting and reporting section, an 84.62 percent passing rate (second place) on the auditing section, an 85.71 percent passing rate (second place) on the regulations section and an 88.10 percent passing rate (fifth place) on the portion devoted to business environment and concepts.

Successful completion of the CPA examination is required for licensure to practice public accountancy in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and major United States territories. The exam is written and graded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by the NASBA. Prior to 2004, a comprehensive paper exam was administered over two days at certified testing centers twice each year. Since 2004, candidates have been able to take any of four sections of a computer-based exam during any of four testing periods throughout the year.