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Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc?

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Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2008, 11:17
I am a bit confused on the best way to sit for the CPA exam. I am an accounting major. I know it requires 150 credit hour in most states. What is the best route to get there? I've known people who continued their 5th year as an undergrad to satisfy the 150 credit hour. Also, others apply to a MSA/MAcc program during their senior year to satisfy the other 30 credits to get a total of 150. My question is wouldn't getting a BSBA/BBA and a MSA/MAcc better in the long run than just doing a 5th year and getting only a BSBA/BBA even though both routes would satisfy the 150 hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam?

People have also told me an MBA is not the best way to in satisfying the 150 credit hour because you need experience before applying to a MBA program. People who usually aim in getting the CPA wants to take the CPA exam right after their studies than waiting a few year and having a full time job. But aren't there MBA programs that specialize in Accounting? Like Wharton and Columbia? Can't you use the MBA in Accounting to satisfy the 150 requirement as well? But yet these school, when applying to the MBA programs want some experience. What is the difference then between a MSA/MAcc to the MBA in Accounting?

Say you got your CPA, how useful and helpful is it to go back and pursue the MBA? Should you get your MBA in something else or stick with getting a MBA in Accounting after you are certified? Is it just too extraneous and not required especially when you are working in an accounting firm like the Big 4? Do people with CPA and MBA get higher paid than just a MBA or just a CPA? Or do the firms just scorn on it, suggesting you might not be loyal to the firm since getting a MBA means changing paths other than accounting and moving up?

And one last thing, if anyone knows, what is the difference between a personal finanicl specialist (PFS) and a certified financial planner (CFP) besides the requirements to get the title? Do both actually do the same type of work, but just different titles and ways to get there? The benefits and cons of both? The money difference? Which one has the better job opportunity? Do most finance major go for the CFP? And accounting major go for the PFS since one has to also be a CPA? And any other differences? I would really appreciate the help. Thanks.
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Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2008, 08:50
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If your goal is simply attaining CPA and you have a business undergrad degree, then you should go for MS degree. (Shaves off 1 yr in 2 yr experience requirement for CPA certification)

If you have liberal arts undergrad degree, then you should get MBA Accounting degree for CPA.
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Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2008, 08:45
AnitaJustina wrote:
I am a bit confused on the best way to sit for the CPA exam. I am an accounting major. I know it requires 150 credit hour in most states. What is the best route to get there? I've known people who continued their 5th year as an undergrad to satisfy the 150 credit hour. Also, others apply to a MSA/MAcc program during their senior year to satisfy the other 30 credits to get a total of 150. My question is wouldn't getting a BSBA/BBA and a MSA/MAcc better in the long run than just doing a 5th year and getting only a BSBA/BBA even though both routes would satisfy the 150 hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam?

People have also told me an MBA is not the best way to in satisfying the 150 credit hour because you need experience before applying to a MBA program. People who usually aim in getting the CPA wants to take the CPA exam right after their studies than waiting a few year and having a full time job. But aren't there MBA programs that specialize in Accounting? Like Wharton and Columbia? Can't you use the MBA in Accounting to satisfy the 150 requirement as well? But yet these school, when applying to the MBA programs want some experience. What is the difference then between a MSA/MAcc to the MBA in Accounting?

Say you got your CPA, how useful and helpful is it to go back and pursue the MBA? Should you get your MBA in something else or stick with getting a MBA in Accounting after you are certified? Is it just too extraneous and not required especially when you are working in an accounting firm like the Big 4? Do people with CPA and MBA get higher paid than just a MBA or just a CPA? Or do the firms just scorn on it, suggesting you might not be loyal to the firm since getting a MBA means changing paths other than accounting and moving up?

And one last thing, if anyone knows, what is the difference between a personal finanicl specialist (PFS) and a certified financial planner (CFP) besides the requirements to get the title? Do both actually do the same type of work, but just different titles and ways to get there? The benefits and cons of both? The money difference? Which one has the better job opportunity? Do most finance major go for the CFP? And accounting major go for the PFS since one has to also be a CPA? And any other differences? I would really appreciate the help. Thanks.


AnitaJustina,
I got my MAcc degree right after undergrad (both at university of Michigan). Shortly after that I passed the CPA exams and was awarded my CPA. I would think that a MAcc would be a positive (I am hoping) fro an MBA Adcom b/c it’s an indication that you have the quant ability to succeed in an MBA. Also I believe that the schools would understand that a MAcc is a very specialized degree while an MBA will round you out, so to speak. Presumably you’ll also have had at least a couple of years work experience behind you. Also as far as CFP, I would recommend you go for your CFA as it's more rigorous program and is much more respected in the finance world.
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Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2010, 09:30
Hello, I recently graduated early from UC Davis with an economics major, and I'm currently looking towards applying for a masters in accounting.

UC Davis does not have an accounting or finance major so I wasn't able to take much of the related accounting courses during my undergrad. But, I realized that most of these graduate schools require some prerequisites accounting courses, and some don't accept community college courses as a fulfillment for the prerequisites (They want all accounting prerequisites to be taken at an approved four-year university).

Does this mean that I have to take these classes at another university? I was thinking about taking these courses at a state university near my home, but does that mean that I have to reapply for undergraduate admission? or do extension classes work as well?

So basically what I am asking is this:
Where do most people who already graduated without an accounting major take these prerequisite courses if the graduate school they want to get into don't accept community college classes?

Thank You! I feel lost :(
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Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 13 Dec 2010, 09:56
You can take basic accounting course at a 4 yr school (perferably AACSB certified) or extension program. I don't think you will get credit for community college or online classes at many of the respectable programs.

You should target MS Accounting programs designed for non business or non accounting undergraduate majors. USC and UNC come to mind.
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Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 03 May 2011, 13:53
MSA also helps meet the 150 hour rule too. But "nink" is right on the money on the other stuff.
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Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc? [#permalink] New post 09 May 2011, 13:21
nink wrote:
You should target MS Accounting programs designed for non business or non accounting undergraduate majors. USC and UNC come to mind.


I've heard this many times about USC, but during the interview they sure gave me a lot of grief for not having accounting experience (beyond the listed prereqs, which I took.)
Re: Getting your CPA, Do you really need a MBA or MSA/MAcc?   [#permalink] 09 May 2011, 13:21
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