If you’re an accounting major looking to become a CPA, it’s good to know which classes you should be taking in order to be better prepared for this career route. If your college offers a great accounting curriculum, it will be tailored to cover the subjects tested on the CPA exam. Having recently graduated as an accounting major myself who is studying for the CPA Exam, here are some of my thoughts and experiences on the core accounting classes and how they relate to the exam.
Intermediate Financial Accounting 1
This was the first class required of my university’s accounting degree program. It’s also probably the most important class you’ll take as an aspiring CPA. Some students don’t even realize it when they’re taking the class, but there isn’t one thing in that class that isn’t on the FAR section of the CPA exam. This class usually sets the tone for how the next set of financial accounting classes go for that student. It is also considered a weed-out class. Usually, after finishing this class, a student will know if they really want to major in accounting or not.
Accounting Information Systems
This was my favorite class and is a great introduction to topics on the AUD section and the BEC sections of the exam. Internal controls were introduced in pretty good detail, which is tested on BEC and even more in depth on AUD. This class was a prerequisite for my university’s auditing class. Auditing 1 and 2 were also great classes, specifically for the AUD section. Much like Intermediate Financial, everything studied in that class is tested on the CPA exam.
This was required for getting a bachelor’s in accounting, but Business Taxation was not. However, both courses contain information to help students get ready for REG. Business Law was required for all business majors, and at the time I took the class, I didn’t realize that the topics in that class are also tested on the REG exam.
In Florida, CPA exam candidates must also take a second course of Business Law. My university offered a grad-level business law class that taught many of the non-tax topics covered on the REG portion of the CPA exam. Many of my friends who wanted to sit for the exam before earning credit for the class would sit as a candidate in a different state (that doesn’t require the second business law class) so they could take the class and REG almost at the same time. This would allow them to simultaneously earn the college credits and prepare for REG. For most of the students that did this, it turned out to be a great strategy.
Cost Accounting 1 and 2
These are also great classes for BEC. Beyond the CPA exam, I think they’re great for understanding the decisions and thought processes every business should be doing to survive and ultimately thrive. Getting this inside look as to how businesses operate is definitely beneficial when you’re dealing with clients and if you want to start your own practice one day.
If these classes are required for your accounting degree—great! If not, I would suggest meeting with a counselor and going over your remaining classes with them to see which ones you can take that are related to any of the above. The classes may go under a different title or name, so make sure that you do some research and ask lots of questions to figure out when they’re being offered and what it is they cover.
Hope you all found this helpful! Stay tuned for my Part 2 of this blog which will list some additional classes!
--Carrie Lynn Cross, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review