JMU College of Business Grads Rank 11 on National CPA Exam

From: Public Affairs

Jan. 20, 2009

HARRISONBURG Ė James Madison University graduates had the 11th highest pass rate among students without advanced degrees taking the Uniform Certified Public Accountants Examination for the first time.

The 2008 edition of the "Candidate Performance on the CPA Exam" reports on success and failures of candidates who took the exam in 2007. Of 47 JMU graduates who took all four parts of the exam, 61.7 percent passed on the first attempt. Virginia Tech was also recognized among the top 25 schools for candidates with advanced degrees with a pass rate of 60 percent. No other schools from Virginia appear in either list.

Passing the exam is the first step toward earning the CPA license, said Paul Copley, director of JMUís School of Accounting. The School of Accounting developed the CPA Boot Camp, a six-week, postgraduation intensive course designed to prepare accounting graduates for the exam. Copley and accounting Professor Brad Roof designed the course using Becker CPA Review materials.

"Our Boot Camp has revolutionized the way Becker markets the CPA Review," said Copley. Becker, the Illinois-based company that has been preparing students for the CPA exam for 50 years, now uses JMUís CPA Boot Camp model to market and administer the course.

Copley says the course gives students the advantage of reviewing for the exam with the same JMU professors who taught them the material in the first place. They study with college friends and usually enter their first job having already taken and passed the exam.

"I encourage the class to set rewards for keeping up with the course," Copley said. "Last year eight students set aside a golf day each week. They used peer pressure. If anyone didnít keep up with their homework, they couldnít play golf on their day off from the Boot Camp." They nailed it, said Copley of the golf buddies, who all passed the exam in 2007.

For more information, contact Toni Mehling, communication director in JMUís College of Business, at 540.568.5169 or mehlintd@jmu.edu, or Bill Wyatt in JMUís Office of Public Affairs at 540.568.3621 or wyattwj@jmu.edu.

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