The accounting profession stands as a beacon of success and growth even as the storm clouds of economic uncertainty continue to cover many professions in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the accounting profession is positioned to grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, with an anticipated 279,400 new jobs in the field by 2018. Current and future accounting career opportunities are strong and to help guide students in their pursuit of accounting careers, the AICPA has launched This Way to CPA. This new website is devoted exclusively to the needs of college students interested in becoming CPAs and graduates preparing for the CPA examination.
The AICPA’s launch of This Way to CPA coincides with the unveiling of an exciting new initiative for college students—the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition. This year’s competition teams accounting students with students in other academic fields in an effort to solve a real-world accounting for sustainability project for an existing business.
New Career Web Resource
This Way to CPA follows the extraordinary success of the AICPA’s popular Start Here. Go Places. website, introduced in 2001 to help high school students explore careers in accounting.
With the most-timely, relevant and practical career insights, career planning resources, study strategies and social networking opportunities, This Way to CPA provides visitors a dynamic, interactive learning experience. The result is the premier, go-to destination for future CPAs.
“This Way to CPA further builds on our long-term commitment to helping students, career changers and exam candidates who are perched at the threshold of their career as CPAs,” said Scott Moore, AICPA, senior manager, College and University Initiatives. “It offers visitors expert guidance, the latest career information and the unique opportunity to learn from both their peers and experienced AICPA members. In the process, they become better prepared for those important first steps toward building a solid foundation for success in a profession that continues to grow in value and prestige, regardless of the economic climate.”
Here is a look at some of the site’s key features that visitors can expect to see:
Tell Us Where You Are includes a timeline that allows visitors to select where they stand in their college or career path, and provides them with resources pertaining to the specific stage. Timeline stages range from “Spankin’ New,” “Declared the Major” and “Graduating Soon” to “In Exam Land” and “Newly Licensed.”
Community provides a forum where students and exam candidates can share their thoughts and experiences concerning the CPA Exam and licensure, careers and internships, college and graduate school, and achievements and challenges. Visitors can participate in polls and engaging discussions on topics that are top-of-mind for students and recent graduates. The community experience is further enhanced through Facebook and Twitter.
State Requirements is an interactive page that offers details on becoming a CPA in each of the 50 states and U.S. territories, including information on exam and state-licensure requirements, residency, number of hours of education and experience, academic degree, age and ethics. It also explains how international candidates can receive their CPA license. In addition, students can find contact information for state CPA societies and boards of accountancy.
Exam and Licensure Timeline and Utility provides a realistic view of the typical exam preparation and licensure process as well as an interactive tool that visitors can use to predict when they might complete the CPA Exam. The utility generates an exam plan to help CPA candidates determine when to study, when to schedule the exam and which sections to take first. If they miss or fail an exam, they can revisit the utility to create a new plan based on new dates.
Find Your Fit is an interactive tool that helps place students on the path to their desired career. Students can chose the type and size of organization where they would like to work as well as their preferred industry, practice area, specialization and more. The tool then generates a report, based on students’ selections, that offers information to help them achieve their career goals.
Other site sections feature videos where visitors can perfect their interviewing skills with an experienced human resources professional, and obtain an up-close and personal look into the daily lives of new CPAs across industry and specialty areas. This Way to CPA also shares with visitors insights into the study and exam-planning strategies of newly licensed CPAs. Each weekday, the site features daily words of wisdom, humorous yet insightful phrases that are linked to related site content ranging from salaries to CPA exam preparation.
New Competition for Accounting and Business Students
The AICPA is unveiling yet another exciting new initiative for college students—the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition. The competition brings teams of accounting students, partnered with students from other disciplines, together to compete for up to $10,000. Working to solve a real-world accounting for sustainability project for a world renowned, North Carolina-based hotel and spa, students gain hands-on experience in the opportunities and excitement of the accounting profession.
Each team has four members, two of whom must be declared accounting majors, including each team’s leader. The remaining two team members may come from any discipline. Team leaders are responsible for all communications and submissions to the AICPA. Teams may select a faculty mentor for assistance.
The 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition, which officially began on September 13, was created through a partnership between the AICPA and the Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD). The following are competition details:
- Teams must register for the competition starting September 13 and will compete in the first round through October 15, when written first-round submissions will be narrowed down to the top-10 teams and announced on October 22.
- The top-10 teams will be given a Flip Video Camcorder to keep, and required to submit a five-minute video presentation and written business case analysis that will be posted on the site.
- A voting period, open to the public, will then take place to help determine one of the three final teams.
- The team of judges, composed of AICPA staff, committee members and accounting profession insiders, will select the additional two teams that will compete in the final competition.
- The competition’s finalists will present their projects in New York City to the AICPA Board of Directors.
- The three team finalists will receive the following awards:
- Third: $2,500/team and a $250 AMEX gift card for the faculty mentor
Learn more about This Way to CPA and the 2010 AICPA Accounting Competition.