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Calvin Grads Fare Well on CPA Exam
March 10, 2006

Calvin College accounting graduates have again fared well on the national exam required to become a certified public accountant (CPA).

The annual exam is a four-part test that includes sections on: financial accounting and reporting; auditing; regulation; and business environment and context.

Calvin's participants in the 2004 CPA exam finished among the top ten colleges and universities nationally compared to all other undergraduates taking the test.

On the 2004 exam, Calvin had 80% of its CPA candidates pass at least one part of the test and 55% of its graduates pass at least two parts. In both these categories Calvin was first nationally.

Calvin also had 45% of its test-takers pass at least three parts of the exam - second nationally - and 25% pass all four parts - 10th nationally. Among first-time test takers in 2004 Calvin was in the top ten in three of the four categories.

Calvin's graduates were in good company on all four of the lists where such names as North Carolina, Notre Dame, Michigan and Illinois also appear.

Calvin professor of accounting Julie Voskuil says that while Calvin measures success by more than just test scores, the results are nonetheless heartening.

"At Calvin," she says, "we believe that accountants and managers must be educated to produce sound, honest and relevant information as a basis for decision making and strategic planning. But more than that, our goal is to equip students to live responsibly, making business decisions that further God's kingdom. Our ultimate success is how well our students and graduates carry their faith into all aspects of their lives.

"Yet for the professors who teach accounting, the performance of our graduates on the CPA exam provides valuable feedback on what we're doing in the classroom. So, it's affirming to see such solid results (on the 2004 CPA exam). We are very proud of our graduates."

Voskuil notes too that 2004 was the first time the CPA exam was administered as a computerized test, and that the test was also changed so that students can now take the CPA exam during certain two-month windows during the year at authorized testing sites. Those changes, she says, make it difficult to compare this recent data with previous years.