Career Advising for Accounting Students in a Multi-state Environment

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentation


Although most accounting majors in U.S. schools have a fairly limited set of career paths, especially when compared to other business school students, they do face a complex set of rules for qualifying to take the Uniform Certified Public Accountant examination (CPA exam) and to qualify for a state license after they pass that examination. Because each state, through its professional licensing laws and rules adopted by its board of accountancy, can set its own unique requirements for each of these career milestones, students must be aware of the laws and regulations for the states in which they would like to become licensed. In schools where faculty provide career advice, it is important for those faculty members to be conversant with these laws and regulations. Many states have quite complex sets of laws and regulations, which are subject to change by legislators and accountancy board members at any time. This environment creates challenges for any school, however, these challenges are exacerbated for schools who regularly graduate students who seek careers in more than one state. In the Northeast region of the United States, where the states are small and numerous, this can be especially challenging. This paper outlines these challenges and provides advice on how to meet them effectively and efficiently. Although the paper focuses on challenges related to the 150-hour requirement that most states have enacted, it does deal with other challenges in career advising. The 150-hour education requirement for licensure (which has been adopted by almost all U.S. jurisdictions) was first proposed in 1937 by the American Institute of Accountants (Van Wyhe 1994), which was then the primary professional organization for certified public accountants (CPAs). The requirement was discussed for many years throughout the last century and began being implemented with Florida’s adoption of the requirement in 1983 and is now in effect in almost all U.S. jurisdictions (Mauldin, Braun, Viosca, and Chiasson 2013). A number of different ways to achieve the 150 hours are possible (Renner and Tanner 2001) and students face choices about how best to fulfill this educational requirement. The relative efficiency of their choices depend on, to a considerable extent, to which jurisdiction’s laws and regulations they are subject.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Feb 2014
EventAmerican Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences 21st Annual Conference - Las Vegas
Duration: Feb 1 2014 → …


ConferenceAmerican Society of Business and Behavioral Sciences 21st Annual Conference
Period2/1/14 → …


  • Accounting

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