Liberty's MAcc satisfy FL CPA ed requirement?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by jkadegis, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. jkadegis

    jkadegis New Member

    I received a BS in Accounting in 1992 - then I only worked for 1 1/2 years our of college as an auditor for an insurance company. I left the workforce to marry a career military man and spent my life raising my babies. They're grown, and now it's my turn! I've always felt that I left something undone by not pursuing a CPA. At that time, the requirement was only 120 hours.

    I really wish that I had someone to guide me through the process, but those aren't the circles we currently move in!

    Looking at the requirements for Florida (where we are currently and for maybe the next 5-10 years), I want to be sure that the route I take will actually get me there.

    Liberty (online) gives an incredible military discount, and that it the only way we can afford for me to do this. How can I know if the courses meet Florida's education requirements? They appear to, but it would really stink to find out they didn't for some reason.
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Looking briefly, yeah. It looks like it covers 24 UL Accounting courses, and has the right course titles. Assuming your undergrad satisfies General Business spread, this should work.
    What courses did you take in your undergrad? Since you have BS Accounting, you may already satisfy distribution requirements and can get to 180 hours any way you like. For example, an MBA. It still may make sense to go for MAcc in order to refresh for CPA exam.
  3. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Credit is ultimately vetted by NASBA, but I see no reason why they'd have a problem with it given Liberty is RA. But if you have a BS in accounting already, there should be no reason to pursue additional accounting studies to satisfy NASBA, you could raise your total to 150 credit hours in anything: MBA, MA, MS, random graduate hours in any curriculum, random undergraduate hours in any curriculum. Liberty's military discount better legitimately be "incredible" before it'd be a good value in my opinion--and if it's the $275/ cr hr, that's not so remarkable for the value of the LU brand. You can find wonderful values outside of LU: Georgia Tech's MOOC-based masters programs, such as in analytics, FHSU, Missouri State, Boise State (MAcc) have some good bargains. There are several others. The posters here can probably point you in the direction of several programs.

    Disclaimer: I have a bias against Liberty because I have a strong distaste for Jerry Falwell, Jr. (think he's a politician, and a cynical one at that, distorting my faith) and think LU's value in the marketplace has been watered down as they more aggressively marketed their product over the years. Have to think there are some credit hours that would be acceptable to NASBA (again, they do not have to be accounting--you already took care of that with your undergraduate work) and of a little more value in the marketplace that could be obtained at a lower cost per credit hour.
  4. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

  5. muaranah

    muaranah New Member

    Since your experience and your degree were earned quite some time ago, it's possible that you might be grandfathered in somehow with regards to the educational requirements. Check the website for their Board of Accountancy, or whatever they call it, and contact them if your situation isn't specifically addressed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2017
  6. Elephant123

    Elephant123 New Member

    Hope I am not too late with this post but I would caution you to check out NASBA for Florida as someone who graduated from APUS was denied being licensed (even though they had all the required courses). They went as far as stating that the classes weren't good enough to be licensed even though they stated that the classes just had to be RA (that was the only thing they stipulated on their website).

    Florida and Texas make it extremely difficult to get a CPA license unless you go butt in seat (last time I had checked NASBA for Texas they had stated that at least 15 credits of accounting courses had to be done in person + the business school had to be AACSB/ACBSP).

    In fact, I would attempt to talk to someone at Florida NASBA and find out what distance courses/schools are allowed as you dont want to waste time/money. Good luck.
  7. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Interesting... my wife got Florida CPA with an Excelsior degree. My guess is the issue was not with DL nature of APUS degree - maybe credit distribution. Of course, things could change.
  8. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Interesting... my wife got Florida CPA with an Excelsior degree. My guess is the issue was not with DL nature of APUS degree - maybe credit distribution. Of course, things could change.
  9. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Texas doesn't require AACSB/ACBSP accreditation. Even if they did, APUS has had ACBSP accreditation for many years. The only issue with the APUS degree is that it's 100% online. As mentioned, they require that 15 accounting credits be completed butt-in-seat. You can always enroll at a local school and take a semester of on-campus courses.

    I always go directly to the accountancy board websites first. I only check NASBA if there is not sufficient information on the accountancy board websites of a particular state.

    I've been checking the Texas website for years. For as long as I have been looking at it, they have always specified that 15 credits have to be completed butt-in-seat.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2017
  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

  11. Elephant123

    Elephant123 New Member

    Here was the previous wording per NASBA and the Texas State Board prior to them changing both web pages (I was debating about moving to Texas and taking the CPA exam so I was looking as well)

    a. Query Texas schools for information on their accounting programs. The Texas Public Accountancy Act of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy states that all certified public accountants in the state need at least 150 semester hours of college credit and a bachelor’s degree.

    b. If you are still attending college or have just graduated, make sure that the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy will accept your credits. Colleges that are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools--Commission on Colleges and offer a bachelor’s degree or higher are automatically recognized by the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy. If your school is accredited by one of the following regional accreditation agencies AND has a business school or accounting program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) or the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business-International (AACSB), it may also be recognized by the Board:

    Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools--Higher Learning Commission
    New England Association of Schools and Colleges--Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
    Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    Western Association of Schools and Colleges--Commission for Senior Colleges
    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools--Commission on Colleges

    If your school does not meet these accreditation requirements, you must appeal to the Board for its recognition and approval.

    Seems like they dropped the extra accreditation wording but still kept the 15 credit in person requirement.

    For the topic at hand, I unfortunately couldn't find anything with regards to Florida board ruling except that it wasn't acceptable. Just from what I read, the board deemed the credits "not real" and illegitimate even though their own requirement stated that it had to be RA. It seems that they have an issue with a distance only school.

    In OP's case, she could sit for the CPA exam with no issues if she has all the classes required. Otherwise, if she wants to fulfill the requirement now, she can go ahead and get a masters. I would just check to see if the masters degree has the proper courses for her to take the exam/get licensed.

    This a great thing to bring up since certain states are becoming more specific on education requirements for testing. I would always check the websites for the board before proceeding on classes to make sure they qualify.
  12. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Education Advisory Committee

    It looks like APUS was discussed on April 25, 2014. They denied graduate credit for a list of classes. One possibility, just looking at course titles, is that they considered these undergrad-level. The board did approve some WGU and DeVry classes on the same meeting.

    BTW, I looked at both WGU and APUS program. There's a difference: WGU has undergrad prerequisites and looks like additional, advanced-level coursework. APUS looks like a program for career changers who do not have a degree in a field, and parallels content taught on undergrad level. It is unclear if Florida would consider these courses the same as equivalent undergrad ones (eg., "Cost Accounting"); if it rejects these credits even on this level, it is messed up. APUS is RA and is clearly acceptable to many other state boards. Then again, Florida is especially anal.
    It is possible that the applicant tried to use APUS to "launder" foreign credits; Florida only accepts these under this weird rule that the person also needs to earn 15 graduate credits in US Master's program. I severely dislike the rule and the way they apparently applied it here. Among others it means that if I get degrees fro Oxford Brookes and U. London External, I can never use these to get licensed in Florida without getting a second Master's. This blows, even though I do not foresee a need to get a license from that particular state in the future.

    For my wife, we were concerned with whether the Board will accept her Ukrainian credits to satisfy the 150hrs rule. We talked to Accounting faculty at Florida State, and he said it was even unclear for international students taking FSU MAcc on campus. Just to be on a safe side, we transferred enough credit to Excelsior to have well over 150 hours on her BS Accounting transcript. It worked, eventually.
  13. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Florida CPAs require graduate work to make out the 150 hour requirement? News to me. Not saying it isn't so, but that would be highly unusual. Or was this person trying to get their credits certified as graduate work so they would receive additional credit hours for them? (some states will give you credit of 5 for 3 if the cr hr are grad)
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2017
  14. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Or maybe just call NASBA. Website stuff can be confusing. My daughter was looking into grad programs in accountancy and couldn't find anything definitive on their website. She called NASBA to inquire about the acceptability to the state board in her state of the U of London External/UCL program that Stanislav references here. It took a few calls and being run up the ladder to a higher authority within NASBA, but she finally got an answer. They said that U of London was good to go generally, even the pure DL programs, but the particular UCL program which is largely Chartered Accountant exam-based was not kosher for CPA credit hours. Other results may vary, as this was just for her state, but Stanislav ran into the same problem in Florida, so for some reason those hours must spook some people within the state boards. Seems silly, because my thinking is if one of the top universities (UCL = elite, Ivy League equivalent) in the world is OK with certifying a graduate degree based on a student's work, why would some bean counters in an office in Florida think it's not good enough for them? Probably not the point. Likely the Florida Board just doesn't want to make it easy for CPAs from New England and the Midwest to set up shop in Florida and semi-retire there and flood the market with accountants, so they play picky pedantic games with credits.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2017
  15. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    If I understand correctly, the person in question tried to use his/her foreign degree for hours. Florida deem these "unaccredited ". To have credits accepted, foreign degree needs to be used for admissions to a graduate program, and applicant needs to earn 15 Accounting credits in said program. Nuts, if you ask me. The same rule would exclude UCL program as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2017
  16. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Totally in concurrence. It's not about bona fide qualifications, it's about setting up hoops for prospective CPA candidates to jump through. By the way, how are things going with the Oxford Brookes/UCL route?
  17. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Slowed down a bit, but hope to get done with the exams part in December sitting. P2 Corporate Reporting is a beast, especially for someone who don't actually prepare reports on a regular basis. Bottom line, 10 down, 2 to go, and I can move to Oxford Brookes RAP and start UoL Master's in June 2018.
  18. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    10 down, 2 to go sounds impressive to me.

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