CPA exam scores high at UK

By Gary Hermann

Master’s students of accounting at UK are at the top when it comes to taking the CPA exam.

“Our students’ pass rates are exemplary and are in the 90th percentile range for each part,” said John Smigla, senior lecturer and director of the Master’s of Science in Accountancy in the Gatton College of Business and Economics.  “Twenty-two out of 28 students from our August 2009 graduating class have passed all four parts of the CPA exam and another four students have passed three parts.”

According to a news release, four students scoring in the upper 90th percentile range received awards from the Kentucky Society of CPAs. The average GPA for students in the program is 3.6.

The dean at the business college praised students and faculty for their CPA successes.

“Our students continue to prove they can compete ‘toe to toe’ with the best and brightest from business schools across this nation,” said Devanathan Sudharshan, dean of the Gatton College. “The same can be said for our strong and innovative faculty.”

When the students took the exam, they hadn’t finished their master’s degree work and had to be listed at their undergraduate college.

“We are rectifying that this year,” Smigla said. “All the data will be in.”

Had the students counted as UK MSACC graduates, the ranking for the program would be at a level usually reserved for UK basketball.

“Given our CPA exam results in 2009 and comparing them to National Association of State Boards of Accountancy statistics for that year, we would rank fourth nationally for highest pass rates among first-time candidates with advanced degrees,” Smigla said.

Smigla believes the UK program is unique to all the others across the country and the curriculum is very innovative. The program incorporates the CPA exam with graduate course work.

Smigla  also commended the graduate faculty for having both “academic scholarship and professional expertise.”