Santa Clara University

FAQ Undergraduate

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Undergraduate Accounting Program

 

This webpage is designed to answer questions pertaining to the Santa Clara University undergraduate accounting program from each of the following groups:


Prospective students
Transfer students
Current SCU business majors
Current SCU accounting majors
The questions are separated into thirteen main areas:
•   Questions about specific accounting courses

1.     Accounting Courses – lower division courses

2.     Accounting Courses – upper division courses

3.     Accounting Courses – recommended schedules

•   Questions about declaring your major or minor at SCU

4.     Declaring a major

5.     Declaring minors and double majors

•   Questions about the accounting major by study abroad students and international students

6.     Study abroad students

7.     International students

•   Questions about benefits of majoring in accounting

8.     Deciding on whether to major in accounting

9.     Scholarships for accounting majors

10.   Accounting internships

11.   Accounting externships

•    Questions about working as an accountant

12.   What is it like to work at an accounting firm?

13.   What is it like to work for a public company?

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

1.  ACCOUNTING COURSES – LOWER DIVISION COURSES

•   What accounting courses are required for business majors?

•   When should I take ACTG 11?

•   When should I take ACTG 12?

•   Why should accounting majors complete ACTG 11 and ACTG 12 in their second (sophomore) year?

•   Why should finance majors complete ACTG 11 and ACTG 12 in their second (sophomore) year?

 

2.  ACCOUNTING COURSES – UPPER DIVISION COURSES

•   What accounting courses are required for accounting majors?

•   What accounting electives are offered in the accounting program?

•   Do any upper division accounting courses qualify as business core classes?

•   Should non-accounting majors take upper division accounting courses?

•   Should sophomores or second-year juniors take upper division accounting courses?

•   What courses are required as prerequisites for upper division accounting courses?

•   How often are upper division accounting courses offered?

 

3.  ACCOUNTING COURSES– RECOMMENDED SCHEDULES

 

•   When should I take ACTG 20?

•   When should I take ACTG 130?

•   When should I take ACTG 131?

•   When should I take ACTG 132?

•   When should I take ACTG 134?

•   When should I take ACTG 135?

•   When should I take ACTG 136?

•   When should I take ACTG 138?

 

4.  DECLARING A MAJOR

 

•   When should I declare my major?

•   What are the benefits to declaring your major early?

•   How do I declare my major as accounting?

•   How do I change my major to accounting?

 

5.  DECLARING MINORS AND DOUBLE MAJORS

 

•   Are there benefits to having a double major or a minor?

•   Can I double major in the business school?

 

6.  STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS

 

•   If I study abroad, will I still be able to graduate with an accounting major in four years?

•   What are the benefits to studying abroad?

•   What is the best quarter to study abroad?

•   What are the worst quarters to study aboard?

•   If I study abroad in the Fall quarter of my senior year, when should I take ACTG 130 and 131?

 

7.  INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

 

•   What special problems affect international students who wish to work for accounting firms?

•   Should I tell potential employers that I am an international student?

 

8.  DECIDING ON WHETHER TO MAJOR IN ACCOUNTING

 

•   What scholastic factors are important for accounting majors?

•   What personal characteristics are important for accounting majors?

•   Why are communication skills so important?

•   Why is ethical behavior so important?

•   What are the advantages of majoring in accounting?

•   What are the disadvantages of majoring in accounting?

 

9.  SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ACCOUNTING MAJORS

 

•   What external scholarships are available for accounting majors?

•   What scholarships are offered through the accounting department?

•   Who qualifies for accounting department scholarships?

•   When can I apply for accounting department scholarships?

 

10.  ACCOUNTING INTERNSHIPS

 

•   What is an accounting internship and how does it differ from other internships?

•   When are internships offered?

•   When do I apply for summer internships?

•   Do all internships lead to full-time jobs?

•   Can I get academic credit for internships?

•   Can sophomores or second-year juniors apply for summer internships?

•   How many accounting majors are hired as accounting interns during the summer?

•   <<a href="#10.8" style="" id="#10.8|">If I do not get an internship through on-campus interviews, can I still get an internship through off-campus interviews?

•  If I do not get an internship, can I still get a full-time job with a CPA firm?

 

11.  ACCOUNTING EXTERNSHIPS

 

•   What is an accounting externship and how does it differ from an internship?

•   When are externships offered?

•   When do I interview for summer internships?

•   Do all externships lead to future internships?

•   Can I get academic credit for externships?

•   Can sophomores or second year juniors apply for summer externships?

•   Is it difficult to get an externship?

 

12.  WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK AT AN ACCOUNTING FIRM?

 

•   How many accounting majors get jobs at CPA firms?

•   How much compensation do accounting majors earn at CPA firms?

•   What are the benefits to beginning a career at a CPA firm?

•   How many accounting majors eventually become partners in CPA firms?

•   Why do most accountants leave their initial job within five years?

•   Why do CPA firms want to hire Santa Clara accounting majors?

 

13.  WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK FOR A PUBLIC COMPANY?

 

•   How many accounting majors get jobs at public company?

•   What are the benefits to beginning a career at a public company?

•   What is a “rotation”?

 

 

 


1.  ACCOUNTING COURSES– LOWER DIVISION COURSES

 

What accounting courses are required for business majors?

    * All business majors must take ACTG 11 (Introduction to Financial Accounting) and ACTG 12

(Introduction to Managerial Accounting)

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 11?

    * Business majors should take ACTG 11 as early as possible in their second (sophomore) year at

SCU
    * Thus, business majors should take ACTG 11 in the Fall quarter or Winter quarter of their second

(sophomore) year
    * We do not recommend business majors to take ACTG 11 in the Spring quarter of their freshman

(first) year

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 12?

    * Business majors should take ACTG 12 immediately after they take ACTG 11
    * Thus, business majors should take ACTG 12 in the Winter quarter or Spring quarter of their

sophomore year

Return to table of contents


 

Why should accounting majors complete ACTG 11 and ACTG 12 in their second (sophomore) year?

    * Accounting majors should begin taking upper division accounting courses in their junior (third)

year
    * Thus, accounting majors should complete their lower division accounting courses in their

sophomore (second) year

Return to table of contents


 

Why should finance majors complete ACTG 11 and ACTG 12 in their second (sophomore) year?


    * ACTG 12 is a prerequisite for FNCE 121, which is the first course required for all finance

majors
    * Students who fail to take ACTG 12 in their sophomore year will not be able to take FNCE 121

until a subsequent quarter
    * Since FNCE 121 is a prerequisite for all finance courses, failure to take ACTG 12 in the

sophomore year could delay your graduation date

Return to table of contents


 

2.  ACCOUNTING COURSES – UPPER DIVISION COURSES


 

What accounting courses are required for accounting majors?

    * Accounting majors who enter SCU prior to Fall 2007 must take a two-unit self-study accounting

class (ACTG 20), six required accounting classes (ACTG 130, 131, 132, 135, 136, and 138) and at least

one 5-unit elective course:

¨   ACTG 20   - Reporting Financial Transactions (2-units)

¨   ACTG 130 - Intermediate Accounting I (Key Class)

¨   ACTG 131 - Intermediate Accounting II

¨   ACTG 132 - Advanced Accounting

¨   ACTG 135 - Auditing and Accounting Information Systems

¨   ACTG 136 - Managerial Accounting

¨   ACTG 138 - Taxation

    * Accounting majors who enter SCU on or after Fall 2007 must take a two-unit self-study

accounting class (ACTG 20) and seven required accounting classes (ACTG 130, 131, 132, 134, 135, 136,

and 138)

Return to table of contents


 

What accounting electives are offered in the accounting program?

    * ACTG 134 – Accounting Information Systems
    * ACTG 150 – Forensic Accounting
    * ACTG 151 – Financial Statement Analysis
    * ACTG 152 – International Accounting

Return to table of contents


 

Do any upper division accounting courses qualify as business core classes?

    * ACTG 134 meets the information systems requirement for the business core

Return to table of contents


 

Should non-accounting majors take upper division accounting courses?

    * Accounting majors often take additional finance and OMIS classes
    * Depending on their career interests, finance and OMIS majors often take additional accounting

classes

Return to table of contents


 

Should sophomores or second-year juniors take upper division accounting courses?

    * Sophomores and second-year juniors should not take upper division accounting courses
    * These students should instead take their core business classes
    * We also recommend that accounting majors take ACTG 20 in the Spring quarter of their second

(sophomore) year

Return to table of contents


 

What courses are required as prerequisites for upper division accounting courses?

    * ACTG 11 is a prerequisite for all accounting courses
    * ACTG 12 is a prerequisite for ACTG 136
    * ACTG 20 is a co-requisite for ACTG 130
    * ACTG 130 is a prerequisite for ACTG 131, 132, 135, 150, and 152
    * ACTG 131 is a prerequisite for ACTG 132 and 150
    * ACTG 135 is a prerequisite for ACTG 150
    * FNCE 121 is a prerequisite for ACTG 151 and 152

Return to table of contents


 

How often are upper division accounting courses offered?

    * Most required accounting classes are offered two quarters each year
    * Accounting electives are only offered once each year

Return to table of contents


 

3.  ACCOUNTING COURSES – RECOMMENDED SCHEDULES


 

When should I take ACTG 20?

    * 2-unit self study class
    * ACTG 20 is a co-requisite for all upper division accounting courses
    * ACTG 20 is offered every quarter, but we recommend accounting majors to take ACTG 20 in the

Spring quarter of their second (sophomore) year
    * Students can take ACTG 20 in the same quarter that they take ACTG 130. However, we recommend

that students take ACTG 20 in the quarter immediately before taking ACTG 130.

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 130?

    * ACTG 130 is offered in the Fall and Winter quarters.
    * ACTG 12 is NOT a prerequisite for ACTG 130.
    * Most students take ACTG 130 in the Fall quarter of the junior year (we offer three sections at

this time)
    * Students who are not ready (or unable) to take ACTG 130 in the Fall quarter can still take it

in the Winter quarter

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 131?

    * ACTG 131 is offered in the Winter and Spring quarters
    * Most students take ACTG 131 immediately after taking ACTG 130.
    * ACTG 131 is traditionally the most difficult course in the accounting major

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 132?

    * ACTG 132 is offered in the Fall and Spring quarters
    * Most students take ACTG 132 in the Fall quarter of their senior year

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 134?

    * ACTG 134 is offered in the Fall and Winter quarters
    * Students can take ACTG 134 at the same time that they take ACTG 130

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 135?

    * ACTG 135 is offered in the Winter and Spring quarters
    * Students with audit internships should take ACTG 135 in the Fall quarter of their third

(junior) year
    * Students interested in auditing positions at CPA firms should take ACTG 135 in the Fall quarter

of their third (junior) year

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 136?

    * ACTG 136 is offered in the Fall and Winter quarters
    * Students should take ACTG 136 in their fourth (senior) year

Return to table of contents


 

When should I take ACTG 138?

    * ACTG 138 is offered in the Winter and Spring quarters
    * Students with tax internships should take ACTG 138 in the Fall quarter of their third (junior)

year
    * Students interested in tax positions at CPA firms should take ACTG 138 in the Fall quarter of

their third (junior) year

Return to table of contents


 

4.  DECLARING A MAJOR

 

When should I declare my major?

    * We recommend that you declare your major by the end of your sophomore year
    * You can easily switch majors if you change your mind

Return to table of contents


 

What are the benefits to declaring your major early (rather than later)?

    * Majors have priority over nonmajors when registering for classes in their major
    * Only majors can qualify for internship credits
    * Your faculty advisor will be automatically switched to someone who teaches in your major. This

professor has more insight into career opportunities and recommend course schedules than an advisor

for undeclared majors

Return to table of contents


 

How do I declare my major as accounting?

1.      Pick up a "Program Petition Form". You can get a Program Petition Form from Student Records

in Walsh Hall or from the Accounting Department Office in Kenna 303.

2.      Complete the form and bring it to Kenna 303.

3.      Remy Hernandez will sign your form and assign you an advisor. Your advisor will be a

professor in the accounting department.

4.      Take the completed form to the Drahmann Center, Benson 214.

Return to table of contents


 

How do I change my major to accounting?

1.      Pick up the same "Program Petition Form" you used to declare a major. You can get a Program

Petition Form from Student Records in Walsh Hall or from the Accounting Department Office in Kenna

303.

2.      Fill out section 2, "Petition for Change of Major/Minor"

3.      Remy Hernandez will sign your form and assign you an advisor. Your advisor will be a

professor in the accounting department.

4.      Take the completed form to the Drahmann Center, Benson 214.

Return to table of contents


 

5.  DECLARING MINORS AND DOUBLE MAJORS


 

Are there benefits to having a double major or a minor?

    * If you decide to minor or declare a second major, choose an area that you really want to learn

about.
    * Our research does not support the notion that students with double majors or minors have better

chance at finding good jobs than those who do not

Return to table of contents


 

Can I double major in the business school?

    * Business students cannot double major with a second business major
    * However, business students can double major with an Arts & Sciences major (like Economics or

Spanish)
    * We have noticed that some business majors create their own second business major – they take

the equivalent of a second major and describe these additional classes in their resume

Return to table of contents


 

6.  STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS


 

If I study abroad, will I still be able to graduate with an accounting major in four years?

    * The accounting curriculum is designed for students who study abroad before the Winter quarter

of their junior year
    * Students who study abroad as sophomores or in the Fall quarter of their junior year can take

all the courses necessary to graduate  with an accounting major (as long as you pass each course)
    * If you study abroad after the Fall quarter of your junior year, we cannot guarantee that you

will be able to take all the courses necessary to graduate with an accounting major within four

years.

Return to table of contents


 

What are the benefits to studying abroad?

    * Our research has shown that study abroad students have more success with job interviews than

other students
    * This success may be due to the self-confidence and global awareness that students attain due to

studying abroad
    * However, study abroad is not a guarantee of future success in job interviews; it depends on

each student

Return to table of contents


 

What is the best quarter to study abroad?

    * The best quarters to study abroad are the summer and Fall quarters.

Return to table of contents

 

What are the worst quarters to study aboard?

    * The worst quarters to study aboard are the Winter and Spring quarters
    * Many study abroad programs use a semester system, so SCU students would miss both the Winter

and Spring quarters to take a Spring semester abroad

Return to table of contents


 

If I study abroad in the Fall quarter of my junior year, when should I take ACTG 130 and 131?

    * The accounting curriculum is designed for students who study abroad in the Fall quarter of

their junior year.
    * Take ACTG 130 in Winter quarter of your junior year and ACTG 131 in Spring quarter of junior

year.

Return to table of contents


 

7.  INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS


 

What special problems affect international students who wish to work for accounting firms?

    * Some large CPA firms and a few smaller CPA firms hire foreign students for entry level

positions.
    * However, most CPA firms do not sponsor foreign students for entry level positions.

Return to table of contents


 

Should I tell potential employers that I am an international student?

    * Before interviewing with a company, make sure it knows your employment status
    * If you do not tell a company about your employment status before the interview, it will not

hire you because you will be considered a person without personal integrity

Return to table of contents


 

8.  DECIDING ON WHETHER TO MAJOR IN ACCOUNTING


 

What scholastic factors are important for accounting majors?

 

•     Two critical factors:

 

¨    Do you enjoy accounting?

¨    Do you get good grades in accounting classes?

    * If you do not enjoy accounting or if you do not perform well in accounting classes, you should

not major in accounting

Return to table of contents


 

What personal characteristics are important for accounting majors?

    * Successful accountants have good communication skills (oral and written).
    * Successful accountants can work with many different types of people
    * Successful accountants can juggle several responsibilities at the same time (i.e., multitask)
    * Accountants need to be adaptable to changing situations and need a “willing and open mind” to

help their clients in unfamiliar circumstances
    * Accountants need to be able to “think on their feet” and to change directions quickly
    * Accountants should have a reputation for responsibility and integrity.

Return to table of contents


 

Why are communication skills so important?

    * Accounting is the analysis, interpretation and communication of financial information about the

resources of an organization and the use of those resources
    * Technical skills, while important, are not sufficient for a successful accounting career
    * Throughout their careers, accountants must communicate business information to their customers,

subordinates, and supervisors

¨   Accountants often make presentations to clients and co-workers

¨   Performance evaluation is based primarily on the accountant’s written and oral communication

    * As accountants progress in their careers, these communication skills become even more important
    * One of the most common complaints from employers is that their new employees cannot effectively

communicate their findings to clients or to their supervisors in the firm. This frustration often

leads to poor performance evaluations.

Return to table of contents


 

Why is ethical behavior so important?

    * Business professionals expect their accountants to behave with selfless integrity
    * Professional ethics cannot be separated from personal ethics or scholastic ethics

¨   To be ethical one must build good habits by applying ethical principles every day, including

telling the truth, not stealing or cheating, and treating others as you would want them to treat you

¨   Anything less will lead to distorted views about ethics as well as a parade of offenses and

peccadilloes

    * Ethical behavior means that you should act with integrity even in situations in which others

may judge your performance to be deficient in some respect
    * If you cannot behave in an ethical or responsible manner in all your personal and business

dealings, you should seek a different profession
    * For articles on business ethics, see the Markkula Center website

For an article discussing common myths about ethics, see the attached article.

Return to table of contents


 

What are the advantages of majoring in accounting?

    * Hot job market for accounting majors for the foreseeable future.
    * Obtain skills that enhance your opportunities in nonaccounting careers
    * SCU accounting program has a strong reputation
    * Many SCU alumni have leadership positions in accounting firms
    * The accounting faculty has a lot of interaction with students and professionals
    * SCU Accounting Association is among the most active student associations on campus
    * Lots of internship possibilities
    * Accounting internships often lead to full-time jobs
    * The accounting department solicits scholarships for its accounting majors

Return to table of contents


 

What are the disadvantages of majoring in accounting?


    * Challenging curriculum
    * More required courses than other major.
    * Employees at CPA firms often work overtime hours
    * Working as an accountant can be stressful (depending on the clients that you serve)
    * If you do not enjoy accounting, you should not be an accounting major even though there are

many job opportunities

Return to table of contents


 

9.  SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ACCOUNTING MAJORS


 

What external scholarships are available for accounting majors?

    * See our Scholarship Page for links to several external scholarships for accounting majors
    * Scholarship applications begin in February for the following academic year

Return to table of contents


 

What scholarships are offered through the accounting department?

    * Each year, the SCU accounting department awards about 20 scholarships each year
    * About half of the scholarships are awarded to sophomores and half to juniors)
    * Scholarship funds are raised from contributions by CPA firms and companies in Silicon Valley
    * Basic scholarship: $2,500

Return to table of contents


 

Who qualifies for accounting department scholarships?

    * Must be a sophomore or junior
    * Must be a declared accounting major
    * Must have a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0
    * Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all accounting courses taken.

Return to table of contents


 

When can I apply for accounting department scholarships?


    * The application deadline is April 16 at 5pm
    * The application can be found at the SCU Accounting department scholarship page

Return to table of contents


 

10. ACCOUNTING INTERNSHIPS


 

What is an accounting internship and how does it differ from other internships?

    * In accounting, an internship is a full-time or part-time accounting job with a CPA firm or a

company
    * CPA firms pay about $25 / hour; other internships pay less.
    * In recent years, most of our students who began their professional careers with CPA firms were

originally hired by these firms as summer interns
    * Thus, most accounting majors had full-time jobs by the beginning of their senior year

Return to table of contents


 

When are internships offered?


    * Most students work at internships during the summer between their junior and senior years.
    * Students also work at tax internships during the tax season

Return to table of contents


 

When do I interview for internships?

    * Most students interview for summer internships (at the career center) during the Winter quarter

of their junior year
    * Students apply for other internships (e.g., Winter internships) directly with the firm
    * Sophomores apply for externships and leadership conferences with CPA firms in the Spring

quarter

Return to table of contents


 

Do all internships lead to full-time jobs?

    * Students who work as interns with CPA firms often receive job offers at the end of their

internship
    * To receive this job offer, the CPA firm must be impressed with the intern’s performance and

professional attitude.
    * Each year, we hear about students who did not get job offers due to unprofessional behavior
    * Accounting internships at most non-CPA firms do not lead to full-time job offers

Return to table of contents


 

Can I get academic credit for internships?

    * If a student wants academic credit for their internship, he or she must register for internship

credit in the quarter that he or she works as an intern
    * Students can get up to 10 units for summer internships. To receive this credit, however, the

student must register for summer school
    * Students can work as interns without registering for classes. In this case, they do not receive

any academic credit.

Return to table of contents


 

Can sophomores or second year juniors apply for summer internships?

    * Sophomores or second year juniors can apply for summer internships at non-CPA firms
    * Sophomores or second year juniors cannot apply for summer internships at CPA firms because

these firms are interested in hiring the intern for a full-time position at the end of the next

academic year.

Return to table of contents


 

How many accounting majors are hired as accounting interns during the summer?

 

•   In Summer 2004, 57% of our 81 junior accounting majors had internships with accounting firms

•   In Summer 2005, 62% of our 108 junior accounting majors had internships with accounting firms

•   In Summer 2006, 71% of our 76 junior accounting majors had internships with accounting firms.

•   In Summer 2007, 64% of our 149 junior accounting majors had internships with accounting firms.

 

Return to table of contents


 

If I do not get an internship through on-campus interviews, can I still get an internship through off-campus interviews?

 

•   Many firms in the Bay Area (including firms in Silicon Valley) do not interview for internship

position on campus

•   To find these internships, students need to contact the firm directly

•   Most firms who hire interns advertise for internship positions on their website

•   Students can contact firms who attend the Fall quarter’s “Meet The Firms” night for internships

 

Return to table of contents


 

If I do not get an internship, can I still get a full-time job with a CPA firm?

 

•   Big 4 CPA firms expect to hire only about 50 percent of their entry-level (rookie) accounting

personnel through internship programs. The remaining rookies will be hired through senior on-campus

interviews.

•   Most other CPA firms will hire their entry-level accounting personnel through senior on-campus 

and off-campus interviews

•   So even though CPA firms hire many new accountants as interns, most entry-level hiring still

occurs through senior on-campus and off-campus interviews

 

Return to table of contents


 

11.  ACCOUNTING EXTERNSHIPS


 

What is an accounting externship and how does it differ from an internship?

    * Accounting internships are uncompensated extracurricular activities offered by CPA firms
    * These activities can include on-site or off-site conferences or once-a-week meetings for

projects
    * By contrast, an internship is a paid part-time or full-time job

Return to table of contents


 

When are externships offered?

    * Accounting externships are usually offered during the summer

Return to table of contents


 

When do I apply for summer internships?

    * CPA firms begin notifying our accounting department in March about externship opportunities
    * Students can apply for these externships either through the career center or by contacting the

firm
    * Most applications for summer externships are due in April

Return to table of contents


 

Do all externships lead to future internships?

    * Students who work as externs with CPA firms often receive internship offers at the end of their

externship
    * Some firms invite the student for second round interviews before offering an internship
    * These invitations depend on the student’s performance and professional attitude and behavior

during the externship

Return to table of contents


 

Can sophomores or second-year juniors apply for summer externships?


    * Externships are usually targeted at sophomores and second year juniors
    * However, many third-year juniors also participate in externships

Return to table of contents


 

Is it difficult to get an externship?


    * Big 4 CPA firms offer relatively few externships each summer
    * There is strong competition for these positions
    * Most other accounting firms do not offer externships

Return to table of contents


 

12.  WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK AT AN ACCOUNTING FIRM?

 

How many accounting majors get jobs at CPA firms?


 

    * In academic year 2004/05, 69 of our 81 accounting majors (or  85%) began their professional

careers at CPA firms (61 with Big 4 firms and 8 with other accounting firms)
    * In academic year 2005/06, 87 of our 108 accounting majors (or 81%) began their professional

careers at CPA firms (73 with Big 4 firms and 14 with other accounting firms)
    * In academic year 2006/07, 58 of our 76 accounting majors (or 76%) began their professional

careers at CPA firms (43 with Big 4 firms and 15 with other accounting firms)

Return to table of contents


 

How much compensation do accounting majors earn at CPA firms?


 

    * Starting salary: $50-55K (or higher, especially with OMIS knowledge)
    * Newly-hired CPAs can expect their salaries to double in 4-6 years
    * Students who stay at the CPA firm expect their salaries to double again in another 5-6 years

Return to table of contents


 

What are the benefits to beginning a career at a CPA firm?

 

    * Exposure to operating and financing practices at many firms
    * Opportunity to develop skills that can lead to a better position at your next job
    * Opportunity to become a CPA – a designation that is perceived as a mark of distinction

Return to table of contents


 

How many accounting majors eventually become partners in CPA firms?

 

    * Relatively few CPAs become partners in CPA firms (perhaps 10 percent?)
    * Most CPAs leave public accounting within five years
    * Research has shown that accountants who stay longer at CPA firms before switching careers

maintain higher starting salaries in their new positions

Return to table of contents


 

Why do most accountants leave their initial job within five years?

 

    * Working as a CPA can be stressful due to time pressure to meet deadlines. Some people handle

this stress better than others.
    * Depending on their client schedules, some CPAs can work long hours during certain parts of the

year.
    * Some find better career opportunities with clients or other firms
    * Some use their CPA skills as a stepping stone to other nonaccounting jobs (e.g., finance,

management)
    * People who continue to work at CPA firms generally earn high salaries and like their work

 

Return to table of contents


 

Why do CPA firms want to hire Santa Clara accounting majors?

 

    * Many SCU alumni have high positions within CPA firms. These alumni are aware of SCU’s academic

reputation.
    * SCU students have earned a strong reputation among recruiters for intelligence, integrity,

maturity, ability, and work ethic
    * Our students work for firms across the United States and internationally too
    * SCU students who work in the Silicon Valley are less likely to request transfers to

less-expensive areas of the country
    * In recent years, CPA firms have been frustrated in the sense that they wanted to interview more

SCU students to work at their firms

Return to table of contents


 

13.  WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK FOR A PUBLIC COMPANY?


 

How many accounting majors get jobs at public company?

    *
      Public companies often hire MBAs or CPAs to work in their accounting and corporate finance

areas
    *
      Each year, public companies also hire accounting and finance majors for entry level accounting

positions
    *
      Finance majors often need to supplement their finance major with numerous accounting classes to

qualify for these positions

Return to table of contents

 

What are the benefits to beginning a career at a public company?

    *
      Public companies often provide good training in accounting and finance.
    *
      You learn a more specialized range of accounting skills and a broader range of finance skills

at these companies
    *
      Public companies often provide better employee benefits and retirement plans than accounting

firms
    *
      Many public companies have rotation programs

Return to table of contents


 

What is a “rotation program”?

    *
      A rotation program is a system in which employees transfer to different job functions every

12-24 months
    *
      In a rotation program, you learn all the aspects of a particular job function (budgeting,

financial reporting, treasury, financial analysis, mergers and acquisitions, etc.) for s set period

of time
    *
      Thus, a rotation program allows you to learn different aspects of a business and to grow your

skills in different directions
    *
      If you find that you particularly like a certain area, you are often able to transfer

“permanently” into that area

 

Page designed and maintained by Remy Hernandez

Last update: July 26, 2007
 
Printer-friendly format