Author: Matt Waldman

Published

Accounting graduates from the University of Georgia boast a 78 percent first-time pass rate on the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) licensing examination. It was the second-highest pass rate of any university in the country with graduates who take the exam, according to the latest results published by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.

"This is an outstanding accomplishment and a strong signal of the quality of our students and faculty," said Ben Ayers, director of the J.M. Tull School of Accounting in UGA's Terry College of Business. "This performance is also a great compliment to the value that Terry places on course rigor and excellence in the classroom."

The results are based on data NASBA compiled from 2007 graduates without a master's degree who took all four parts of the CPA exam. The new pass rate is more than 6 percentage points better than the 71.7 percent pass rate reported in 2006 for Tull School graduates. That was the fifth-best pass rate among all schools for that year. Since 1998, Tull School graduates have recorded first-time pass rates that were two-and-a-half to three times higher than the national average for the CPA exam.

"We're pleased that Terry's accounting graduates consistently perform among the best in the country on the CPA exam," said Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of the Terry College of Business. "We view these results as a by-product of a strong curriculum. Our goal is to develop graduates with sound fundamentals in the accounting field so they are assets in today's marketplace."

The CPA exam tests knowledge, organization and expression of accounting. Individuals are given a total of 14 hours to complete all four sections, and they must achieve a minimum score of 75 percent to pass each section. Nationally, the highest average initial pass rate for all sections of the CPA exam in the past 10 years was 20 percent (2003).