Table presents results for estimation of Eq
Table 4 presents results for estimation of Eq. (1) using ACTR and SUWE to compare the incidence of attempting the exam between programs. We find alumni are more likely to attempt the exam if they Murine do not hold another professional certification, have worked for an accounting firm, have a higher accounting GPA, can receive a bonus for passing the exam, and have had more time from their graduation date to the time of the survey. With these controls in place, we do not find significant differences between the accelerated and traditional alumni and between our summer and weekend alumni in attempting the CPA exam. Gender, age, and possession of an advanced degree were not significant.
Next we analyze the exam performance of those respondents who have attempted the exam. Considering CPA exam performance as a function of program and control variables, our regressions take the form:
In this second set of tests, we employ three separate measures of PERFORMANCE:
Table 5 presents results for Eq. (2), with our three measures of CPA exam performance. Reviewing the coefficient estimates for the summer versus weekend alumni in Panel A, we find no significant differences in any of our exam performance metrics between the accelerated program alumni. As expected, alumni with higher GPAs are more likely to pass, pass with fewer attempts, and pass sooner after graduation. Alumni who have been out of the program longer are more likely to pass and males are more likely to pass.
As with the case of our comparison of the summer and weekend programs, when we compare the traditional and accelerated students (Table 5, Panel B), accounting GPA is again a significant positive associate with each of our measures of exam performance. Reviewing the coefficient estimates for ACTR in Panel B of Table 5, we find no difference between accelerated and traditional program alumni in the likelihood of passing and the number of attempts required to pass. We find that the accelerated alumni can be expected to take 8 months less to pass the CPA exam than our traditional alumni (p < .001). This may reflect the fact that the accelerated program alumni do not fit in well with the accounting firms’ annual recruiting cycle and often begin working 12 months after graduation while our traditional students typically begin working three months after graduation. This affords the accelerated students more time sooner after graduation to focus their full attention on the CPA exam. We also find that the time required to pass the CPA exam increases by 3 days with each additional month since graduation.
The coefficient estimates on the ADVDEG, BONUS, CERT and FIRM variables in Panels A and B of Table 5 are not significant for all our exam performance measures. We find these results particularly interesting considering that the accounting firms provide monetary incentives for rapidly passing the exam, strongly encourage their employees to pass the exam as soon after graduation as possible, and limit promotion opportunities to those passing the exam. These results may be of particular interest to the profession.
Summary and discussion Our results suggest that, counter to Marques (2012), the creation of a successful accelerated program does not require a fundamental shift in the manner of pedagogy. This may help to overcome faculty objections to accelerated teaching. It is also important to note that our results are unrelated to the question of the value or necessity of a graduate degree for future accounting professionals, or the impact of accelerated accounting education on long-term career success. However, our results may provide food for thought for non-accounting majors in their decision to pursue a Masters in Accountancy vs. an Accounting Certificate, considering the often substantial differences in tuition and opportunity costs between these alternatives. Our results can also assist those designing master’s, certificate, and traditional undergraduate accounting programs by providing some insights as to the efficacy of accelerating instructional aspects for all of these programs.