Roger CPA Review is excited to introduce Guest Blogger, Grace Loi. As our very own Senior Southern California Representative, she shares a insider's perspective on the significance of Master's degrees among California CPA-hopefuls. Read on and learn if you should further your education to bolster your CPA Exam and licensure eligibility, or simply your resume!
Just when you thought you were done with school, the 2014 changes have led to a new surge in the need to get a Masters degree in Accountancy. The Masters population is typically divided into two groups: Those without a background in Accounting, but looking to transition into an accounting career, and those who have a Bachelors degree in Accounting looking to develop a deeper understanding of credits and debits.

Masters in Accounting (MAcc) programs are becoming more common in California. Universities are encouraging their students to pursue a Masters degree in order to ensure that their students are properly prepared to gain CPA Licensure come 2014. Cal State Northridge recently launched their MAcc Program with the same goal. San Diego State University offers what they call a BMacc ( Bachelors and Masters) which is a dual degree in Accounting, offering a way for students to get their 150 credits without having to deal with the rigors of applying to a Masters Program. Just keep in mind, if you do enroll in a dual degree program, you will not be receiving your degrees until the completion of the entire program, and therefore depending on your states requirements, you may not be able to sit for the exam until full completion of the program. In comparison, if you applied to a traditional Masters Program with a background in Accounting, you can begin to register for the CPA Exam and sit while you are pursuing your Masters degree.

If you are interested in pursuing a Masters degree in Accounting and do not come from an accounting program, it can take between one to two years. This includes all the pre-requisites you may need to take while you start your program. These pre-requisites like Financial and Managerial Accounting can also be taken at your local community college to save you some extra money! Other universities like University of Southern California, offer a Summer Intensive program for those with a different background, consisting of eight weeks of accounting and tax classes (hence the term Intensive) to provide you with a core understanding before beginning your one year MAcc program.

Students also choose to enroll in a MAcc program is to gain a competitive advantage over others who simply just have a Bachelors degree. If you are in California, this is to meet Pathway II requirements for licensure. A Masters program is a one to two year program where students can submerge themselves in accounting concepts and gain an in-depth knowledge of tax principles. With that being said, a Masters program also entails a lot of studying, group work, and an opportunity to work on real case examples. These are all great skill sets to take back to the world of accounting, and coupled with hard work, will ensure you success.
Grace Loi, Southern California Representative