Department of Accounting

The Department of Accounting delivers programs that prepare business students to make a smooth transition from college into a successful and meaningful career in the professional practice of accounting, whether it be in public, private, or governmental accounting.

Because of the professional aspects of accounting, equal emphasis is placed upon general education in the arts and humanities and the functioning of business enterprises, as well as the basic underlying concepts of accounting.

A Career in Professional Accounting

Students who plan a career in professional accounting should consider one of our two graduate accounting programs: the Master of Accounting (MAcc) or the Master of Science in Taxation (MST). Students who intend to become qualified as Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Florida must complete an additional thirty credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. Both of our master’s degrees fulfill the accounting education requirements for students wishing to take the CPA exam. Our graduate programs are well received by the professional community and the local, regional, national, and international firms that recruit and hire our students. Our Accounting programs are among the few nationwide that are separately accredited by AACSB International.

Please visit the following websites including the frequently asked questions sections and contact the director of Accounting Master’s Programs, Michael Werner at mwerner@miami.edu for additional information about our accounting master’s programs.

Academic Focuss

The Language of Business

Accounting is the language of business. And as Mark Friedman, an associate professor of accounting explains, you need to know the numbers to make good business decisions.

CPA Exam

Most of our students intend to become qualified as Certified Public Accountants (CPA). While the CPA exam is a national exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, its execution and CPA licensing practices are governed by state law. For example, some states require a certain number of credit hours in particular subjects and have overall accounting and business credit hour requirements. As such, you should check with the state in which you intend to practice to determine what the specific course requirements are for that state. Note: Our department is unable to make a determination of your eligibility to sit for the CPA exam. This can only be done by the appropriate state board. The licensure requirements for the State of Florida can be viewed at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website.

For your convenience, the Florida rules that apply to most individuals are summarized here. Please check the State of Florida website for updates and rules which may apply in particular circumstances.

As of July 1, 2008 the Florida State Board of Accountancy (BOA) separated the requirements to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) into two parts:

  1. the requirements to be eligible to take the CPA exam and
  2. the requirements for licensure to practice as a CPA in Florida.

Requirements to Sit for the CPA Exam

To be eligible to take the CPA exam, you must have completed at least 120 credit hours including 24 credit hours of accounting (auditing, cost and managerial accounting, financial accounting, accounting information systems, and taxation) at the upper division (300-level or above) and 24 credit hours in upper division general business courses with some exceptions in that one microeconomics, one macroeconomics, one statistics, one business law, and one introduction to computers course may be lower division. As part of the general business credit hours, applicants are required to have a total of 6 credit hours of business law courses, which must cover contracts, torts, and the Uniform Commercial Code. Excess upper division accounting courses may be used to meet the general business requirement; however, elementary accounting classes are never acceptable toward the required credit hours nor are courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting. The exam is offered in the following time periods; January – February, April – May, July – August and October – November.  Note: you do not have to have a bachelor’s degree in order to sit for the CPA exam.

Requirements for Licensure

In addition to passing all four parts of the CPA exam with at least a 75% within an 18 month rolling period, the BOA requires that you have completed a bachelor’s degree plus an additional 30 credit hours for a total of 150 credit hours before you can become licensed as a CPA. One year of work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA is now also required to become licensed. (This experience may be obtained before or after sitting for the exam; however, all requirements to sit for the exam must be met before the work experience commences.) If you fail to apply for licensure within three years of receiving the licensure package, (sent after you pass all four parts) the CPA grades expire and you have to retake the examination.

The 150 credit hours must include a minimum of 36 credit hours of accounting courses at the 300-level or above and at least 39 credit hours of general business courses at the 300-level or above (with some exceptions). Excess upper division accounting courses may be used to meet the general business requirement. Courses for non-accounting majors and any MBA courses that are equivalent to elementary accounting are not accepted for this requirement.

Licensed in Another State

If you are licensed in a state other than Florida you can obtain a license in Florida by a process called endorsement. You must provide evidence of meeting all of the requirements in effect at the time of your application. In addition, if you passed the exam more than two years before applying you must provide evidence of meeting continuing professional education requirements.

Accreditation

The Board accepts degrees from schools accredited by the following associations: Middle States Association, New England Association, North Central Association, Northwest Association, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges who have been approved by the Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities, and Canadian Schools who have been approved by their provincial educational bodies. If you have graduated from a school or college which is not accredited by the above-mentioned means, then you must use the provisions of F.A.C. 61H1-27.001(5).

Duplicate Courses

The Fifth Year Option

Many of our graduates satisfy the 30 credit hour requirement for the CPA by continuing on for a fifth year during which time they also can complete the requirements for either the Master of Accounting (MAcc) or Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree.  While the programs are similar in that they offer an opportunity to concentrate in accounting, they differ in degree of specialization and career path orientation. The MAcc program offers two tracks: Assurance (MAcc-Assurance) for students planning to go into public accounting and Corporate Accounting (MAcc-Corporate) for students planning careers as controllers/CFOs or financial analysts. The MST is designed for students interested in careers requiring a high degree of specialized tax knowledge in public accounting, private industry, and government. Students interested in these programs should consult with the Program Director in the Department of Accounting.

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