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I have a bachelor's degree in finance. I am looking to work toward my CPA but understand I need certain education requirements in course hours in accounting that need to be met. Certain certificate programs claim to fulfill the education requirement for the CPA. Is the certificate program route from a community or local college a legitimate approach toward obtaining the necessary education and preparing for the CPA? Also from an employers point of veiw, how does a certificate look?

Most local and community colleges have an accreditation of some type, so the programs should meet the proper requirements. As long as the credit hour requirements are met, a community or local college should be a legitimate approach. As for preparing for the CPA exam, some curriculums do a better job than others for a career in accounting. With that being said, there are some schools that include a CPA examination review course as an offering. Each candidate may have different needs, so make sure to ask questions of the school (and the accounting faculty, if possible) before enrolling.

From an employer's point of view, we look for candidates that have met the 150 hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam, not necessarily students who have earned a Masters degree. The best advice I can offer is to check with the state board of accountancy in each candidate's state to make sure the student understands the requirements to sit for the CPA examination in their home state.

Colleges & Classes, CPA Exam & Certification