KU School of Business ranks among top 5 for new CPA success metric

Lauren Cunningham, communications director

LAWRENCE – The 2019 CPA exam pass rate of University of Kansas accounting students ranks in the top five among collegiate accounting programs, according to the CPA Success Index. This new analytic estimates students’ progress toward completing all four parts of the CPA exam in 18 months.

The metric, highlighted in an article by public accounting magazine Accounting Today, was developed last year by Baylor University accounting professor Charles Davis and University of Northern Iowa accounting professors Timothy Lindquist and Joseph Ugrin.

With a CPA Success Index rating of 0.901, KU ranks No. 5 among 521 programs with more than 20 candidates and No. 4 among 251 programs with more than 60 candidates. Across all universities, the average CPA Success Index based on 2019 data was 0.397.

“Our program is very excited and honored to have received this recognition. We believe this relatively new index provides a more comprehensive indication of CPA exam success because it measures the 18-month period candidates have to complete all four sections of the exam,” said Alee Phillips, director of the school’s Master of Accounting program. “Our top five ranking clearly demonstrates that we are doing an excellent job in the classroom and are preparing our students for this big milestone in their professional journeys.”

The CPA Success Index analyzes data from an annual report published by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The most recent NASBA report, which assesses single-section pass rates, shows that 76.4% of KU accounting graduates passed the CPA exam on their first try in 2019.

The KU Master of Accounting program prepares students to meet educational requirements for CPA certification in most states. Students with undergraduate accounting degrees can complete the program in 10 to 15 months.

The School of Business and its accounting program both hold accreditations by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a distinction earned by only 190 institutions.