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Accounting Frequently Asked Questions

 Is Accounting right for me?

Accounting is known as the “language of business,” and fluent practitioners that help ensure financial success for their organizations are in high demand. A career in accounting is prestigious and it helps to prepare you adequately for the business world. As an accountant, the financial data that you provide will be used by the leaders of your company to determine what steps they should make next to ensure financial solidity and profitability.

 What can you do with a Accounting degree?

Some areas of employment include: government -– federal, state and local, public accounting firms, financial services, insurance companies, large corporation and small businesses, law firms, property management companies, banking, academia, non-profit agencies, etc.

An accountant may perform such duties as: financial accounting and reporting, auditing, preparation of tax documents, management services and consulting, financial analysis, and cash management.

 What types of Accounting jobs are available?

Auditor (independent or public), Budget and Forecast Accountant, Certified Public Accountant, Controller, Cost Accountant, General Accountant, Governmental Accountant, Management Accountant, Operational Auditor (Internal Auditor), Systems Consultant, Tax Accountant.

The range of career opportunities for accountants has broadened substantially during the past decade. Some of the new growth areas are: Business Advisory Services, Forensic Accountants, and Risk Management.

 What is a CPA and what do they do?

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a trusted financial advisor who helps individuals, businesses, and other organizations plan and reach their financial goals. Getting your CPA certification opens doors that can fast-track you into influential jobs in every industry.

To be CPA eligible you must complete 150 total education credit hours. Eligibility to sit for the CPA Exam is determined by the state board of accountancy in each of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions.

Upon passing the CPA Exam, you will receive your CPA certificate. This is not a license to practice, there are other educational and professional work experience requirements for licensure that vary from state to state. Once you have obtained your CPA license to practice, you will need to take continuing professional education courses annually to retain your license.

 How can I get the 150 credit hours needed to be CPA eligible?

The School of Accounting offers both a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) degree and a Master of Science in Accounting (M.S.A.) degree. The 120 credit-hour undergraduate degree consists of the four-year major in accounting, leading to the B.B.A. degree.  Students may enroll

in the graduate program, which leads seamlessly to the M.S.A. degree at the end of five years and 150 credit hours.

 How do I prepare for the CPA exam?

The School of Accounting offers a CPA Boot Camp every summer. The boot camp covers all four parts of the CPA exam using a mixture of interactive classroom sessions and CPA self-study materials. Together this combination has produced nationally recognized CPA exam pass rates.

 Are there recruiting opportunities for Accounting majors?

For decades the JMU School of Accounting (SOA) has enjoyed a national reputation for excellence in accounting education and is viewed as a prime recruiting school by employers throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The Big Four or four largest international accountancy and professional services firms (Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG) actively recruit at JMU each semester.

 Additionally, The SOA hosts “Meet the Firms” night every fall. Over 50 firms and organizations interested in hiring accounting majors attend this career fair each year providing an excellent networking opportunity for accounting majors.

 Are there student organizations available for Accounting majors?

In addition to the many student organizations available across the University, accounting majors may join Beta Alpha Psi the International Honor Organization for Financial Information Students and Professionals or participate in the Accounting Club offered through the accounting department.

 Can I study abroad as an accounting major?

Yes! Accounting majors are encouraged to have a well-rounded undergraduate education experience including study abroad. The Semester in Antwerp, in which students complete the COB 300 courses is offered in the summer, fall, and spring.

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