Robert J. Trulaske Sr., College of Business, University of Missouri

MU School of Accountancy Ranked #14 in CPA Exam Pass Rates

University of Missouri School of Accountancy graduates ranked #14 in the most recent national Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam pass rate rankings. This ranking was based on the pass rate for the graduates with advanced degrees, who took the CPA exam for the first time last year. Some 10,000 candidates, representing 399 schools, took the exam.

"The ranking validates the quality of our students, our well-thought out curriculum and the excellence of our faculty," said Vairam Arunachalam, School of Accountancy director and PwC/Joseph A. Silvoso distinguished professor.

Prospective CPAs must pass the four-part exam to earn certification and as a prerequisite for licensure. MU School of Accountancy graduates with advanced degrees who take the exam for the first time have consistently passed at a rate substantially higher than the national average in all of the exam's four segments.

MU's 89 first-time candidates who took the exam in 2009 turned in a similarly strong performance, according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) 2010 report on candidate performance in the CPA exam. More than 70 percent of MU's candidates passed all four exam sections, compared to a national pass rate of 38.21 percent, the report said.

MU graduates surpassed national pass rates in each of the exam's four sections. The chart below compares MU pass rates for each section with national pass rates, as compiled by NASBA.

MU Accountancy Pass Rates vs National Pass Rates
  MU Pass Rates National Pass Rates
Auditing and Attestation 67.68 percent 55.52 percent
Business Environment and Concepts 79.49 percent 56.28 percent
Financial Accounting and Reporting 62.92 percent 52.73 percent
Regulation 74.15 percent 55.00 percent

The CPA exam ranking mirrors high scores the MU School of Accountancy has recently received in a number of national ratings. MU's accountancy school ranked #19 in the 2009 Public Accounting Report survey of the top 25 graduate programs, and placed ninth in the nation in research productivity, as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Such rankings affirm the MU college's high quality, Arunachalam said. "It enhances our national reputation, and recognizes our excellence," he said.