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Meeting the 150-hour requirement in New York and Pennsylvania - 11 De... http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?



Meeting the 150-hour requirement in New York and

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HOT TOPICS New York and Pennsylvania have joined the 47 states and territories that already require 150
credit hours for CPA licensing. The latest state to mandate the change is Pennsylvania, where on AICPA to participate in forum hosted by Prince
TAX ZONE Charles
July 10 Governor Edward Rendell signed a bill amending the state's CPA law to require 150 credit
SMALL BUSINESS ZONE hours and one year experience in public accounting for licensure. The education and experience "Dividing the Estate" enlivens Broadway
changes will go into effect as January 1, 2012.
In New York, where students will have to meet the 150 hour education requirement to sit for the
EXCEL ZONE CPA exam as of August 1, 2009, students are deciding whether to take the exam before the end of
the Spring semester.

Universities in both states are expanding existing graduate
programs or designing new pathways to a master's degree to
OFFICE ACCOUNTING prepare for an expected increase in enrollment, and accounting Add this news feed to your site for free!
firms are adjusting their recruiting programs to help new hires
ZONE meet the requirements.
CELEBRITY NEWS Tim Boyle, Partner in Charge of Recruiting at KPMG in
Philadelphia said that that the new law creates the need to "think
about how we can help." In a conversation with AccountingWEB,
YOUR COLLEGE'S NEWS Boyle emphasized the need to communicate about the firms'
needs with both students and the schools. At the same time, he
says for the interim period, "It has forced us to be creative and
FIND EMPLOYEES/JOBS work with the students." He finds that regardless of the
requirements, more students want a graduate degree and are
looking for a longer term experience in public accounting.
The additional education requirement is not going to change the
plans of many accounting students, Brian Campo, a candidate
PRODUCTS for the Masters in Accounting (MAC) at Villanova University in
LORMAN LECTURE HALL Philadelphia told AccountingWEB. "Accounting students today
expect to go on for a graduate degree. The degree sets you
TRAINING CENTER apart and shows a dedication to the field."
Villanova offers four programs that students can choose from to earn the 150 credits, including a
MY E-NEWSLETTERS popular 4-1, 1-4 program where candidates for the MAC take four courses during the summer after
READER HELP graduation, one distance learning course during both the fall and spring semesters and then return
for four courses the following summer. "Since most accounting grads will not go to work until the
ABOUT US September following graduation," Campo said, "this program gives them the opportunity to get into
ADVERTISE the work force and begin earning a salary with only one summer's interruption."

Some senior accounting majors at Canisius College in Rochester, New York will sit for the CPA
exam in the summer of 2009 rather than take another year of study, said Joe O'Donnell, chair of
the college's accounting department, according to the Rochester Business Journal. "They've taken
the approach, 'I want to beat the deadline'."

One New Yorker who plans to stay in school is Peter Loney, a forward on the men's basketball
team at Damaen College in Amherst, NY. "I planned to get a master's degree anyway," Loney
says. "I think I'll definitely be more prepared with the 150-hour degree as opposed to the 120-hour

At Villanova, faculty and administrators are working hard to ease the transition for students. "We
are going into undergraduate courses, and the faculty are talking about it," Villanova's associate
dean Bob Bonner told AccountingWEB. "Villanova has had graduate accounting programs in place
since 2000, but at the School of Business, we are continuing to look at enhancements."

Bonner plans to meet with the larger firms in the Philadelphia area "who also have a vested
interest in making this transition," he says, to come up with solutions and ideas "so that the
students don't have to have the conversation." Villanova, which has a large number of students
entering as freshmen with advanced placement credits, is considering a range of additional
avenues to the 150 credits that could include a nine-month compressed program for students who
can begin their program in their senior year.

As coordinator of the advanced accounting courses at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch
College of the City of New York, Associate Professor Donal Byard says he, "tried to make sure that
all instructors in these courses informed students early about the impending changes in the
requirements to sit for the CPA exam in New York," according to the school's news site, The

About 450 accounting majors graduate from Baruch each year preparing for the CPA exam.
According to the chair of the department, Professor Masako Darrough, the department is
proposing a revised program, that would allow for more flexibility for students pursuing the major.
The program that used to require 33 undergraduate credits to meet New York's current 124 hour
requirement might require fewer credits if the proposal is put into action, allowing for extra master's
level classes.

1 of 2 12/18/2008 11:56 AM
Meeting the 150-hour requirement in New York and Pennsylvania - 11 De... http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=106611

A hallmark of Pennsylvania's new law, according to Governor Rendell, is that it permits "increased
CPA mobility to practice across state lines." Accounting graduates from Villanova practice in New
York and New Jersey, Bonner says, and the requirement is becoming standard. Currently, only six
jurisdictions do not have the 150 hour requirement in place: California, Colorado, Delaware, New
Hampshire, Vermont and the Virgin Islands.

Twenty-two states allow candidates to sit at 120 hrs, but require 150 for certification. They are:
AK, AZ, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KY, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NJ, RI, SC, VA, and WA.
Pennsylvania can be added to this list, but the 150-hour is still optional until 2012.

AccountingWEB.com Dec-11-2008
Categories: Students, Top News, AW.com Student Zone News
Times read: 1275

Number of comments: 1

frank thomas , 12 December 2008 @ 14:40 PM

The 150 hours requirement is creating problems for our industry
As an owner in a local firm, I would rather require 120 hours of college courses and three years
experience to be certified.

There is a staffing shortage in public accounting and I think the 150 hour requirement is part of
the cause. I don’t know about the rest of the nation, but in our state, the additional 30 hours can
be taken in any subject -not just accounting related courses. So how does this benefit our

When bright young students are deciding what they want to do for a living, they look at public
accounting which requires the additional semester hours and compare it to other fields where the
requirements are less and decide to major in another field. Not only is there the additional cost of
the college courses, there is the opportunity cost of not being able to work for another year.

If a master’s degree was required, that would make more sense. However, this would still present
a problem because the best students have to compete for available seats in masters programs.
There are many who want to get a masters degree in accounting but with the universities’ limited
facilities, they are not accepted into the programs.

Raising the education requirements has decreased the pool of potential staff for CPA firms. This
has driven up starting salaries. Firms are competing to hire from the smaller pool of candidates
and caused starting salaries to be higher and out of line with what a first year person is able to
produce. CPA firms are not usually able to make a decent profit on a first year person because of
the learning curve. The goal is to train the person the first year and retain the staff member for
future years when they will be able to be more profitable. By changing the requirement to 1 year
of experience, those firms who are willing to make the investment in the individual, may lose the
employee because they desire to “shop around” after they get certified. They may even leave
public accounting to go to work for industry.

While additional college classes in accounting and business related fields have their value, I
would rather hire someone with more experience in the real world of business rather than having
an additional year of “book” learning. I would also rather have left the experience requirement at
two years or change the requirement to three years experience.

Frank D. Thomas, CPA, CVA


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