Teaching accounting question

Discussion in 'Online & DL Teaching' started by Randell1234, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    My sister loves accounting and has an AS and BS in accounting and plans to sit for her CPA. She has successful businesses and plans to sell them both and start to take it easy. She is thinking of semi-retiring and just teaching online.

    She has done accounting work for over 20 years for her business and she does side work for a law office, art gallery, dr office, etc.

    Would an MBA with a concentration in Accounting + CPA be good enough to teach or would she need an MAcc + CPA?

  2. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Since no one has responded to this in a couple of days, I'll put in my two cents on it. I'm not currently teaching accounting, but I am considering earning a graduate certificate in accounting and getting the 18 grad credits I need to make it happen.

    Based on what I've read in various places, accounting is one of the more in-demand subjects to teach. It's a subject that schools tend to have a more difficult time finding instructors for. I read on this forum once where someone (can't remember who) was able to land some adjunct work with 18 grad credits in accounting and the CMA certification. That's the path I'm considering.

    One thing your sister may want to consider is the incredible difficulty of passing all four parts of the CPA exam in the time frame that's allowed. I've worked in accounting for a number of years and becoming a CPA is no easy task, even for those who earned very high GPAs and have many years of accounting experience. The exam is highly convoluted. For example, I've seen some practice questions (which are real exam questions that are no longer being used) where every single multiple choice answer is technically correct. To get the question right, you have to choose the most correct answer.

    You also have to complete all four parts in about two years. If you go over that two year limit, you can potentially lose credit for one part of the exam that you've already passed and have to take it again.

    The way the CPA exam is structured, it is enough to make just about anyone pull their hair out.

    The CMA is considered to be an easier exam, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a walk in the park. These days many companies use the CPA and CMA designations interchangeably when advertising open positions. It is now a two-part exam whereas the CPA exam is still a four-part exam. You are also given four years to complete both parts of the CMA whereas you are only given two years for all four parts of the CPA exam.

    Anyway, just a few things to consider.
  3. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    Based on my own research, I don't think it matters which combo you go with. Both should work just fine.
  4. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for the details. She said she planned to do the CPA anyway and the masters was more of an afterthought.
  5. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    Many states now need 150 credits before writing the cpa exams. The master degree may be necessary.
  6. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    She had 180 credits so she is all set.
  7. foobar

    foobar Member

    I don't know of a school that would have a preference for the MAcc vs MBA. The MBA may make more sense in that it would prepare and qualify her to teach business courses outside of accounting.
  8. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    I'm thinking MAcc + CPA.
  9. major56

    major56 Active Member


    The CPA credential could very well stand on its own merit as regards teaching accounting courses. The M.B.A., MAcc, M.P.A. (Master of Professional Accounting), M.S. Accy, M.S. Fin, M.Tax, M.T.A., M.S.T., etc., would be in my view, a complementary academic credential/s to the CPA designation; although, the CPA is generally considered to be the more valued accounting qualification. Moreover, I have personally known, and known of, seasoned CPAs who have been teachers / lecturers at the university level on the adjunct faculties at the Bauer College of Business-University of Houston, Rice University - Jones Graduate School of Administration and the University of Houston at Clear Lake ... with the baccalaureate as their principal academic degree.
  10. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    The more accounting qualifications one received, the less likely that one will want to teach. My opinion, that explained the shortage of accounting professors. A CPA, with mba & macc and experience and semi retired will be in high demand for sitting on boards and committee.
  11. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

    There are very few that have the patience for accounting. It takes someone who really enjoys it to be able to teach it. The teachers that can do so with positive and upbeat personalities are the ones that make a difference. The more qualifications that one can get the better overall caliber they become.
  12. AuditGuy

    AuditGuy Member

    With the changes to water down the CPA exam, but require 150 credits to take it, there seem to be a much larger supply of MBA/CPA's over the past few years.

    Also, the CPA and CMA are NOT interchangeable. The CPA is the required one, whereas a CMA is a "nice to have" for teaching. This is true for the vast majority of accounting courses. Even when talking about cost accounting courses, there is usually a CPA/CMA requirement, or at least a strong preference.
  13. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

    What changes are you referring to?

    It depends on what your career goals are. I've seen countless job postings where it states CPA or CMA required/preferred. For the most part they are used interchangeably in the corporate world. Now, if you are trying to get on with one of the Big 4 accounting firms or some other accounting firm, then yes, you will specifically need the CPA designation.
  14. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    For the Big 4 accounting firms, I've seen "CPA, EA, or Bar membership" listed as requirements for many positions. I researched this before I started working on the EA designation, but I have no expectation of working at a Big 4 accounting firm.
  15. JeepNerd

    JeepNerd New Member

    When I passed the CPA exam in the mid 90s it was 5 parts (later reduced to 4) and the combo of that plus the MBA got me my first local teaching course a few years later. I have been teaching part time, locally and then online since the early 2000s now and just started working on my Doctorate a couple of years ago as the trend is that they are looking for the terminal degree.

    So MBA/CPA certainly works and I believe if you already have an undergrad in Accounting the M.ACC is redundant. I would actually consider MBA or even some sort of Masters in Technology/Information Systems + CPA to be the "hotness."

    With all that said, over the last 5-7 years the majority of new positions seem to require the terminal degree and so pursing a MBA/CPA/DBA or such is almost guaranteed to get a teaching position imho.

  16. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    MBA with 18 credits in Accounting+ CPA is more than enough for adjunct positions. If you are not planning to do a CPA then a DBA or PhD in Accounting might do as well.

    Some schools can take a CMA, CFE or other accounting certification instead of CPA if you want to teach specialized classes in the area of certification.
  17. AuditGuy

    AuditGuy Member

    You can now take the CPA one part at a time, wait a couple months, then take another section. Back in the old days, you had to sit for all 4 parts in a 2-day, 14? or 16? hour slog. To get any credit, you also needed to pass at least 2, and get minimum scores on the other two.

    Most states have moved to the 150 hour requirement, so we have more MBA's, and an easier CPA exam, where the pass rates have come up significantly.

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