Bradley accounting students score big on CPA exam

April 11, 2013

By Elizabeth Szalay ’13

The Certified Public Accountant exam scores from Bradley students set the bar high, for other accounting programs and students.

In 2012, the national average pass rate was about 50 percent; for Bradley students, with graduate degrees, the average pass rate was more than 70 percent. Dr. Simon Petravick, professor of accounting, is very proud of this achievement.

“When we compare our graduate students' pass rate to the pass rates for other graduate schools, we’re 34th out of 437 schools in the nation,” Petravick said. “We’re in the top eight percent.”

With helpful resources, Bradley’s accounting department makes preparing and studying for the CPA exam easy and stress free. Senior Zach Albert is currently prepping for the test with the help of these resources.

“One thing Bradley does to help us get ready to take the exam is that they bring in speakers to talk about their experiences regarding the exam process,” Albert said.

Beta Alpha Psi, Bradley’s accounting honors society, will bring in Bradley alumni, as guests speakers, to share their experiences taking the CPA exam.

“Professionals from the Illinois Board of Examiners come in as well to talk to us about the educational requirements needed to sit for the exam,” Albert said. “This is helpful because students can figure out how many credit hours they need, what classes are required, and how to apply and sit for the exam.”

Alumna Lindsey Vaught agrees that Bradley’s accounting department had prepared her well when she was eligible to take the CPA and pass it.

“I am not the only one that feels that way. I still keep in contact with alumni and we all feel or felt ready to take the CPA exam,” Vaught said. “Everything that was covered in my review sessions was covered in my accounting classes before, which made me feel confident and put my mind at ease.”

According to Petravick, an accounting student needs 150 hours to qualify to take the CPA. This can be achieved either in Bradley’s 3:2 accounting program—three years undergraduate studies, two years graduate studies—or in the traditional four-year accounting bachelor’s program. Not to mention, when it comes to the CPA, Bradley’s program has an added bonus.

“Somebody who earns our master’s degree in accounting will automatically be qualified to sit for the CPA exam in the state of Illinois. That’s because we have a special accreditation, the AACSB, or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Accounting Accreditation,” Petravick said. “The law says anybody with that accreditation automatically qualifies.”

The accounting program’s faculty challenges their students to be successful. With a high achieving program and useful resources, it is easy to see that Bradley accounting students are achieving that hoped for success.

“I think the reason we do a good job is because our faculty are very dedicated to teaching,” Petravick said. “All of them have certifications so they know what it takes to pass the exam, and they keep the bar high in class and our students meet the challenge. It pays off for students when they graduate Bradley and sit for the CPA exam.”