Since its inception, the Eberhardt School of Business has offered an accounting program that leads to licensure as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of California. Historically, approximately 47 percent of the school's accounting graduates have been recruited by the top international, national, regional, and local CPA firms, and have received starting salaries above national averages. Accounting continues to be a growing profession, and continues to be a highly regulated profession. This is particularly true in California with the recent increase in the education requirements for licensure as a CPA.
- Employment of accountants and auditors will grow by 16 percent from 2010 to 2020. Accountants and auditors who have earned professional recognition, especially as a Certified Public Accountants (CPA), should have the best prospects. Job applicants who have a master's degree in accounting or a master's degree in business with a concentration in accounting also may have an advantage. (Emphasis added.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook).
- The percentage of accounting master's program graduates hired during the last eight years has increased from 26 percent to 37 percent while the percent of accounting bachelors graduates hired has decreased from 56 percent to 43 percent (American Institute of CPAs 2011 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits).
- There is an average $16,000 per year salary differential between established accounting professionals with bachelor's degrees and established accounting professionals with master's degrees. Additionally, the average total compensation differential between bachelor's degree holders and master's degree holders is $25,000 (Institute of Management Accountant's 2011 Salary Survey).
To meet today's growing need for accounting professionals, and to meet the increased education requirements for CPA licensure in California, the Eberhardt School of Business offers three new accounting programs.
Master of Accounting
The Master of Accounting is a 30 semester hour graduate degree for early-career accounting professionals or recent graduates who possess an undergraduate degree in accounting and wish to apply for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant under California's new accounting education rules. In addition to advanced courses in financial accounting, auditing, federal income tax, financial statement analysis, and accounting research techniques, the program includes seven units of ethics-related coursework, including a course on Ethics for the Professional Accountant. To enhance the management potential of its graduates, the program also requires courses in leadership, negotiation, and corporate social responsibility. Graduate students who do not have an undergraduate degree in accounting are able to complete the Master of Accounting in two years, and in most instances will qualify for licensure as a Certified Public Accountant.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
The Bachelor of Science in Accounting is a four-year degree that includes study of all functional areas of accounting including financial, managerial, cost, and federal income tax accounting. The program also includes courses in accounting information systems and auditing. Graduates of the program are fully prepared to enter accounting careers in the corporate, governmental, and not-for-profit areas. The program consists of 128 semester hours of coursework, and positions those graduates who desire licensure as Certified Public Accountants to continue their studies.
Dual-Degree Program in Accounting
The Dual-Degree program in Accounting is a five-year accelerated program that culminates with the simultaneous award of the Bachelor of Science in Accounting and the Master of Accounting degrees. The two degrees will be awarded on the basis of 150 semester hours. Completing the Dual-Degree Program in Accounting will satisfy California's new accounting education requirements, and will meet the 150 semester hour requirement in most other states and territories.