Wake Forest Schools of Business Graduates Rank #1 in the Nation on CPA Exam Pass Rate

2.15.2010 General, News Release, School News

For the fifth consecutive year, graduates of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business accountancy program 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 2008 exam, the most recent scores available, Wake Forest graduates, without advanced degrees, led all first-time candidates by achieving an overall passing rate of 89.74 percent. By comparison, among all candidates taking the 2008 exam, just 7.8 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 eight 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 and the tremendous faculty who teach in the program,” 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 93.02 percent passing rate (first place) on the financial accounting and reporting section, an 87.5 percent passing rate (second place) on the auditing section, an 83.22 percent passing rate (second place) on the regulation section and an 93.75 percent passing rate (first 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. Before 2004, a comprehensive paper exam was administered over two days at certified testing centers twice each year. Since then, candidates have been able to take any of four sections of a computer-based exam during any of eight months throughout the year.