April 22, 2011
From: Laura J. Woodard, Director of Media Relations
ULM Accounting Majors show above average pass rates on CPA exams
Sitting for the CPA exam has never been easy, but today's CPA candidates must possess an ever-broadening knowledge base when taking the computerized test, thanks to a growing global economic market.
In spite of the additional challenges, University of Louisiana at Monroe students taking the CPA exam are faring quite well, according to recently available data.
In fact, ULM students exceeded the passage rate of students from every school in Louisiana appearing in the study except for two private schools, Tulane and Centenary.
The data was collected from the "Candidate Performance on the Uniform CPA Examination" report, published annually by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.
The results are based on the performance scores of candidates taking the test in 2009, the most recent year available, according to ULM College of Business Administration Associate Dean Michelle McEacharn, who serves as program coordinator for accounting at ULM.
Overall, national pass rates on all four parts of the exam are now around 20 percent, compared to the low teens before the exam became computer-based. Again, ULM students are exceeding these averages.
ULM's overall pass rate also showed higher rates for the Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi tri-state area. For three out of four parts of the exam, ULM's pass rate was higher than the state and national average pass rates.
CPA Exams are administered continuously during a two-month window or open testing period each quarter.
Students are tested on their knowledge in four parts of the exam: Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR); Auditing (AUD); Regulation (REG) and Business Environment and Concepts (BEC).
McEacharn said the data was primarily collected from Appendix J of the report titled, "Performance of Candidates Without Advanced Degrees by Accounting School," in order to measure ULM students with comparable students at other institutions.
McEacharn said that while the results are outstanding, she was not completely surprised by them.
"ULM professors are able to spend more time with our students than many other programs where the focus is on those seeking graduate degrees," she said.
"Our undergraduate accounting majors at ULM are never taught by graduate assistants, and are frequently taught by long-time professors and mentored by working professionals."
"This is not simply great news, but also news that provides evidence of the quality of ULM's College of Business Administration faculty and its students," said ULM President Nick J. Bruno. "We are all exceedingly proud of their accomplishment."