BY KIM BATES
This year, Drake University’s School of Accounting ranked number 14 in the nation out of 800 schools for the CPA pass rate. In 2014, Drake University ranked 30 in the CPA pass rate.
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. To become a CPA, you must complete four steps, one of them being the CPA exam. This is a 16-hour exam, with four parts each. This exam is typically taken after a student completes their undergraduate degree. Students must receive a passing grade of 75 percent or more on the exam.
“We’ve been pushing more and more students to take the exam because it is good for their professional success,” Kelly Ellis, assistant professor of Practice and Assistant Director in the School of Accounting, said.
The average pass rate is 64.28 percent, and Drake University’s average passing rate is 79.8 percent. The exam covers all four undergraduate years of accountant study. In order to qualify for the exam, an undergraduate must complete the 150-hour rule. This includes 120 semester hours and 30 hours of additional semester education.
“We are all pretty proud of the success of our students, their hard work and being able to be a part of that success and being able to coach and mentor them and encourage them to study for such a difficult exam to pass … The faculty are all really excited,” Ellis said.
“Drake has a great environment to learn,” Shannon Lyons said. “Each professor challenged me and allowed me to learn the material in and out so when I began studying for the exam, it was more of a review of things I already knew pretty well.”
Lyons ranked as a top-four performer in the 2017 CPA exam results.
Becoming a CPA has several benefits for those wanting to be an accountant. Ellis encourages students to consider accounting as a career. Accounting is how companies track results of business decisions. Accounting can lead to other sections of businesses such as human resources, finance, and sales because the accounting department understands the information. Accounting can offer many different career options and acquiring a CPA license can assist in this goal.
There are several professors on the Drake Campus that are ready to support students if they choose to take the CPA exam.
“The CPA exam allows you to become a certified public accountant, it basically tests your overall accounting knowledge and by passing the exam you are, basically, the best of the best,” Brendan Holland said. “It allows you to raise your salary and do any accounting base job. It’s essential if you want to raise the ranks of accounting jobs today.”
Holland is sophomore at Drake University with an Accounting Finance major. “I didn’t know that our accounting school was that good so the fact that we ranked 14th in the nation, and we are such a small school compared to big state schools, helps me know that I’m going to be secure once I graduate college and I’ll be able to pass the CPA,” Holland said.