PHD in Accounting, Online?

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by mtaylor583604, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. Taxing

    Taxing New Member

    The first sentence in this quote is completely inaccurate, while the second is spot on. The first sentence would apply to an Enrolled Agent (EA). An EA is someone who has passed a three part exam focusing almost entirely on tax and practice before the IRS. The CPA exam is a four part test and one part deals with tax and business law combined. When I became a CPA I only had a 3 hour class in tax and knew just enough to commit egregious malpractice if I attempted to provide guidance in that area.

    Both the CPA and the EA will qualify an individual to practice before the IRS, but that is not the main point of the CPA. The CPA minimally qualifies someone to attest to the accuracy of the financial statements of a business or individual. There are state (most states) and federal laws requiring the CPA certification for attestation of financial information.

    The CPA designates someone is minimally qualified to practice as a Certified Public Accountant to attest to financial information. The CPA also generally requires at least one year of experience supervised by another CPA and 150 college credits. Someone who becomes an EA is likely to have more tax knowledge that a CPA who has not had substantial experience in tax or taken additional tax courses (most states require 6 college hours in tax for the CPA exam) because the EA exam is focused exclusively on tax.

    Finding the CPA as a requirement for many positions without a legal obligation for the license is very common because the CPA is the gold standard for accounting in the US. Although the exam is supposed to represent minimal qualification, it has a 40% pass rate for each of its parts. The pass rate was lower before the AICPA allowed the parts to be taken separately starting in approximately 2005. For comparison, the Bar exam has a 70% to 98% pass rate depending on the state. A CPA also means someone has at least some experience (as previously stated).

    Many businesses require the CPA because it designates experience working under a more experienced accountant and a demonstration of ability by passing a very difficult examination.
  2. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    That pass rate is not so hot even now; pass rate for all four sections, first time, within the 18 month window, has dropped into the 20% range, according to the latest issue of New Accountant. This is likely because, unlike the Bar, in which test takers usually take the better part of a summer to focus on it and it alone, accountants typically attempt to pass the CPA while working full time in public accounting as green accountants, which is daunting enough (much less piling professional exam studies on top). Son in law's doing it now, getting up at 5am each morning, then making the commute to work at the firm in the city, then back home for more CPA studies until he passes out--I don't envy him! And you're both right, if he doesn't get all four passed within the window, he'll be looking for a new job, even though technically he doesn't HAVE to attest and doesn't HAVE to be a CPA.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2016
  3. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I registered with ACCA, and passed the first paper (F1 Accounting in Business). I'll see how fast can I go.
  4. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

  5. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

  6. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Just to continue the British (for now) theme: how would search committees in academia view a DBA from Heriot Watt? What about someone in Research Stage of this program? Purely theoretical, and not confined to AACSB schools. I must say, the program seems excellent in every way.
  7. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    I don't know because while I've taken part in a search committee at a U.S. business school, have never interviewed someone with a Euro degree. That aside, my horseback opinion is that so long as the other elements are in place, can't see why it'd be a big knock. It appears to be a research degree rather than a practitioner's doctorate (looks something like what I know of the DBA at Louisiana Tech, which is research-oriented and essentially a PhD, but allegedly La Tech had to settle for a DBA because the flagship, LSU, had enough weight to shove around to prevent a PhD competitor in the state system). So the fact that the H-W DBA is a research degree is very good for academia.

    Also, there is a fellow in some sort of faculty role at Ohio State with a H-W DBA, so you wouldn't be the first. The program does seem excellent, H-W is well-regarded, their accounting program, for example, is among the best in the UK. The program's cheap, also, dirt cheap.
  8. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Grenoble, top 100 in the world, triple accredited, has an external program.
    Liverpool , aacsb has an external program operated by laureate.
    A few other u.k aacsb universities have external programs.
  9. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Grenoble, which is a tremendous deal for a triple crown accredited school, is almost three times the price of H-W, is not in accounting, and is in fact a blended program as opposed to full DL. So I think that depending on circumstances, both can be a great choice for applicants. I'm pretty sure that Liverpool for one is substantially more expensive than Grenoble let alone H-W. When one's aspirations are possibly, maybe, try to land a teaching job at a Compass State or at a smaller, ACBSP private school, there is a limit on a price that would keep ROI reasonable.

    What attracts me to H-W is subject matter. It is completely focused on research methods in course stage, and on research process afterwards. I would not mind both Methods training and some hand-holding in research. In fact, the subject matter of the course stage is precisely the same as the University of Florida postdoc program I asked about initially, awards the same level of credential (Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methods) - only for about $5K instead of $26K. EBS is famous and won awards for quality of their DL materials. Plus, as FSU graduate, I'm obligated to hate those Gators.
  10. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Looking at your background, not sure you have to settle for Compass Point U or ACBSP should you manage to get appropriate accounting credentials (I teach at Compass Point, and your credentials are better than mine). I can't recall if accounting has been part of your background, though, so you definitely would have to pursue accounting coursework if you wish to teach it, but there are a number of programs that provide this at a distance, where you can get all the coursework to sit for the CPA plus the requisite graduate credit hours in accounting to satisfy the regional accrediting bodies.

    Frankly, as you already have a PhD, an additional doctoral qualification is absolutely not necessary. You just need 15 (most RA) or 18 (SACS) graduate credit hours in accounting and a CPA, and you'd be golden with your background. The CS PhD would be perfect for one who wanted to teach in AIS (Accounting Information Systems), the law degree from a common law system would also help, as well as the two math degrees. It's really a perfect setup for teaching accounting, provided you have the grad acct credit hours and preferably, a CPA.

    There are inexpensive programs online that run along the lines of 45-ish credit hours that get you all the accounting coursework plus the Masters in Accountancy. They range from expensive and elite (UNC-Chapel Hill, a top 10-ish accounting program) to quite affordable (Auburn, Georgia Southern, Colorado State).

    That'd be what I'd do. Year and a half and you're done, then get after the CPA. Two years from now you'd quite possibly be on the market for accounting assistant professorships at AACSB universities to start in the range of $150K a year. The market is so tight and desperate, pretty much all marginally qualified candidates are getting jobs. And if you wanted to pursue a H-W DBA, nothing stops you from that, but you shouldn't have to wait as long as it'd take to obtain that research degree to get on the tenure track.
  11. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Stan, FTF has offered some great advice. Your credentials are excellent. Also, another idea is to do a master of professional accountancy for non- accountants, 8 to 12 courses max. The mpac was designed specifically for people like you.
  12. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Thank you FTFaculty, Phdtobe!

    I'm sold on this plan. I'll try to follow the ACCA path, with the goal of gaining a MSc degree from University of London. If I stay motivated, I could get there by mid-2018. It's a lot of work, but I have reasonably good experience passing all kinds of tests and exams, and am looking forward for challenging myself this way. I believe I'll have to suspend my LLB studies for at least a year though.

    I have a bit of a pseudo-accounting background. I hold a Certified Information Systems Auditor designation for a while now; I didn't work in a field though. And, my current job is assessing claims of Experimental Development for tax credit, on technical merits. The Agency makes sure we don't have to actually be accountants (instead, we work with audit-qualified colleagues in tandem); nevertheless, this is sure tax-related.

    What gives me pause is FTF's suggestion to produce research. I'm sure I'm generally up to the challenge, but it is a bit intimidating. My last bit of scholarship (in proceedings of a Canadian conference, published by Springer) was in 2012; also, business research looks different from foundations of AI I pursued before (there is a link in studies of auditor's belief change; it uses different frameworks from what I tried to do). H-W program seems to primarily consist of a lot of hand-holding (well, to the extent it's even possible in a doctorate) in the precise area of research mechanics. Tempting. Of course, there are cheaper ways to gain the skills.

    And, FTF, I'm sure your publishing record is better than mine.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2016
  13. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    ... also: there's absolutely nothing wrong with teaching in a Compass State. I had to decline a few offers in these and CCs (one in Hawaii) due to immigration status back in 2008; still bitter.
  14. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Bah, no big deal, good gosh, you got through a research doctorate in CS at a major uni, this stuff is piece of cake by comparison. And no, my publishing record is nothing major: averaging a bit less than one a year in average journals. PM me if you want to collaborate, surely we can find some common interest and can co-author a couple. You're a better candidate than you think you are, certainly in accounting, provided you can do the masters for non-accounting people or can continue working through the ACCA papers.
  15. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    a few ideas
    Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) online programs are often used to switch careers into accounting. It is a conversion course that meets the educational requirements for professional accreditation. A complete MPA program is 3-4 semesters (1.5-2 years) if you study full-time. the program is designed primarily for students from non-business undergraduate and graduate degrees. The Master of Professional Accounting (Extension) is designed to provide non-accounting graduates
    Are you a non-accounting major who wants to enroll part-time? Consider the Rutgers Business School Master of Accountancy in Professional Accounting.
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Average state U, AACSB? I thought AACSB only accredited prestigious schools.
  17. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    XYZ b-school hired me.
    I am not in the same time zone as prestigious.
    Most of my colleagues are not prestigious, either.
    Therefore, XYZ b-school is not prestigious.
    XYZ b-school is AACSB accredited.
    Therefore, not all AACSB accredited b-schools are prestigious.
  18. novadar

    novadar Member

    AACSB-Accredited Schools

    "There are 777 business schools in 52 countries and territories that have earned AACSB Accreditation."

    Take a quick glance at the list. Seven hundred seventy-seven makes the word "prestigious" seem awfully unspectacular.
  19. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    When there only a few schools accredited selective was the adjective.
  20. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Not prestigious, AACSB is about having a high enough percentage of profs with peer-reviewed pubs and having continuous improvement plans and this and that. So far as I've ever seen, it has nothing to do with teaching excellence or having renowned, field-changing scholars or people who made great marks in industry before academia or any of that. Jumping through appropriate hoops is the key.

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