Looking for cheap MS / MBA in Accounting to sit for CPA exam, already have MBA

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by KONANRICH, Sep 15, 2009.


    KONANRICH New Member

    Hi All,

    I have an MBA in International Business, I would like to sit for the CPA exam, therefore I need at least 24 credits of accounting , I am looking for a cheap Masters in Accounting or MBA in Accounting . Your help will be appreciated.

  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

  3. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Hey Konarich, what state do you live in and do you know the CPA requirements for that state?

    See Ted, that didn't hurt a bit. ;)
  4. mrbean72

    mrbean72 New Member

    A few options

    Hi Konanrich,

    I agree with friendorfoe that you should look at your state's CPA requirements (both education & experience), as there is a fair bit of variability between states. If you need at least 24 graduate hours in accounting, then a MBA in Accounting may not work and a MS in Accounting would be more appropriate.

    A relatively low cost option is available if you don't need AACSB accreditation:

    Liberty University


    However, if you are looking to teach with your masters or enter a PhD program, then you should seriously consider a program with AACSB accreditation. Fortunately, there are several options that are relatively affordable, with both AACSB accreditation and more name recognition:

    Sacramento State University


    Florida Atlantic University (FAU)


    University of Connecticut (UConn)


    Auburn University


    Incidentally, both FAU and UConn have PhD programs in Accounting. I hope this helps. Good luck with pursuing the CPA designation! It is hard work, but very rewarding both in terms of personal growth and career opportunities. I have the Canadian CA designation, which has opened a lot of doors for me (both work and teaching). At some point, I plan to write the IQEX reciprocity exam to get the CPA as well.


    Michael Weedon, CA

    KONANRICH New Member

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for your assistance, I live in Illinois, I believe my state requires 24 hours of accounting credits, I have only 3.
    I first wanted to enrol in one of the CPA preparation program at a local community college to get the remaining credits but I decide that I will be better off getting another masters for the same investment in time and money.
    I am looking for an university that would transfer yhe majority of my credits so that I can only focus on the accounting classes. i am also looking for something very cheap. Columbia Southern university is a good example of what I am looking for but they don't have MSA or MBA accounting.
    Please guide me.

  6. mrbean72

    mrbean72 New Member

    Illinois CPA Requirements

    Hi Konanrich,

    You are partially correct in regards to Illinois CPA requirements. Here are some related links:



    The second link suggests that only credits from a regionally accredited institution are acceptable, which would rule out Columbia Southern University as it is accredited by DETC (not RA).

    I have been looking at MS Accounting programs myself and Liberty University is the lowest cost RA degree that I have been able to find. They will allow up to 6 credits of transfer courses and your MBA courses should transfer, which would leave 24 graduate hours of accounting to be taken through them. If anyone else can find a regionally accredited Masters in Accounting for less money than Liberty (not just in-state tuition), I would love to hear about it! :)

    If you are really price sensitive, then you should seriously consider the Independent & Distance Learning courses through Louisiana State University (LSU). Here are some links:



    You can earn a Certificate in Accounting by completing 15 credit hours, but they offer more than enough courses for your requirements. LSU is attractive for the following reasons:

    1. Extremely low cost - The courses are less than $300 each or under $100 per credit hour, which is a bargain for RA credit.

    2. Name recognition - LSU is very well known and "The course content and instructors are approved by the LSU Department of Accounting, an AACSB-accredited program." (quote from the web site)


    Michael Weedon, CA

    KONANRICH New Member

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for the information, it's very valuable. Since I have an MBA , I only need 15 credit hours in accounting. I already have 3 , I took Managerial Accounting as part of my MBA. Will the accounting certificate LSU enable me to meet the CPA exam requirements?
    I will go for it.
    Thanks again
  8. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    You may not need the whole LSU certificate. I believe you need to have the 6 credits of intermediate accounting completed before you can do the auditing, income tax, etc for the LSU cert. If you don't have intermediate, you could take those, and two additional courses for your 15 credits.

    Also, TUI University has MBA and certificates in Governmental and Managment Accounting. Each class is 4 credits @ $300 per (or $250 if you're a govt employee).


    However, I was signed up to take Finance at Touro but I really didn't care for the format and dropped it right away and took it elsewhere.
  9. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I will second LSU's program, for accounting purposes they are the biggest bang for buck out there. I was a student for 1 course and dropped out, it was much more in depth than I was wanting to get into. I learned that I hate accounting from that course but ironically, I also learned a ton about accounting and that was only about 1/3 into 1 course. Excellent program if that's what you are into.
  10. mrbean72

    mrbean72 New Member

    CPA Knowledge Requirements

    Yes, friartuck is correct in that you will need to take some prerequisite courses (i.e. introductory and intermediate financial accounting) before you can do the LSU Certificate in Accounting. Fortunately, LSU offers all of the prerequisites by distance/online delivery.

    When working towards the CPA, please keep in mind that the CPA exam is 4 parts and there is quite a bit of material tested. If you are not working in the accounting field and you only have 3 credits in managerial accounting, then you should consider taking the LSU courses in all of the major areas (i.e. financial accounting, managerial accounting, auditing, taxation, business law) in order to learn the material, even if you go over 15 credit hours. As well, you should look at a CPA exam prep course, as the CPA exam is a unique testing instrument. Here are some links regarding CPA exam prep:






    Have you considered some of the other accounting and finance designations out there? There is the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), just to name a few:




    Michael Weedon, CA
  11. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    You can get by in Illinois with only 15 graduate credits, the catch is that they have to be earned at an AACSB accredited business school.

    Some states like MN will accept courses taken past the introductory level at community colleges. I couldn't find whether IL allows this but it might be worth a call to the accountancy board. It's possible you could take on ground courses locally toward your goal. Also, some states allow CPA review courses taken for credit to count towards sitting for CPA exam, others, like MN do not.
  12. Dave Wagner

    Dave Wagner Active Member

  13. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Oh I almost forgot, if you have an MBA already and took managerial finance and managerial accounting or the like, they will waive those prereq. courses, just apply and wait for a response. They accepted mine and admitted me into the program no problem.

    KONANRICH New Member

    Thanks All,

    This is the response I got from LSU, Does any of you knows for sure that their program is accredited and therefore will allow me to sit for the CPA exams?

    Dear Sir,
    thank you for your interest in our program. However, we are unable to say if your state CPA authority will accept credits from our program,as we do not track this information. However, you may inquire with your state board.
    Julio Interiano
  15. foobar

    foobar Member

    LSU is both regionally AND AACSB accredited.

    Unless something has changed very recently, Illinois takes LSU credit.
  16. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    They're undergraduate credits so you'd need 24 in total. Whether or not Illinois will accept online or correspondence courses towards CPA you'd be well advised to contact the state accountancy board. On the NASBA site, some states specifically state they will accept Clep or correspondence or online courses, but Illinois page doesn't give much information. When in doubt go to the horses mouth.
  17. foobar

    foobar Member

    Horse's mouth: http://www.illinois-cpa-exam.com/files/edreq.pdf

    I have an Illinois certificate hanging on my wall - I used three DL LSU accounting courses for it.
  18. friartuck

    friartuck New Member

    There it is. I was in a hurry and tried to find it through the NASBA site.

    The other question for the OP is after you sit for the exam then what? Are you going to work in public accounting? IL isn't a two tier state any more.
  19. ideafx

    ideafx New Member

    In Illinois, I recall that a manager, even a non-CPA, can actually sign off on your experience hours. However, you need auditing and attestation hours, which are probably the hardest to attain at a private company.

    KONANRICH New Member

    When you submit your credentials to the CPA board, do you have to submit all college degrees or just the masters in my case? I have a foreign undergrad in economics.

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