The 150-Hour Requirement: Good or Bad for African Americans?
Flintall, Virginia L., Journal of Accountancy
Despite the proliferation of accounting pronouncements, the impact of technology on the business community and the evolution of global economics, the accounting profession has not changed its entry-level education requirements. To become a CPA, one need complete only four years of education beyond high school with minimal emphasis on a broad liberal arts base. With entry-level CPAS ill-prepared to meet the increased challenges of public practice, the larger CPA firms and some smaller firms have to supplement academic training with in-house training for new recruits to ensure their professional advancement and the delivery of quality service to clients.
For 30 years the accounting profession's leaders have supported increasing the education requirement. The 150-hour requirement was accepted in 1988 when 84% of the American Institute of CPAs voting membership mandated that all new members complete 150 semester hours of college education by the year 2000. See the sidebar, page 101, for what are generally considered the requirement's benefits.
To date, 30 states have adopted regulations or legislation to require 150 hour education as a condition for certification. However, the requirement's dissenters point to the potential negative impact on African Americans as a reason for rejecting it. Specifically, they believe
* African Americans with high academic potential may be encouraged to select other professions.
* The financial burdens of historically black colleges (HBCs) and their students may increase.
* Qualified African Americans' access to the profession may be even more limited.
The American Council on Education conducts an annual survey of college freshmen to, among other things, assess their goals, career choices and education expectations. In comparing …
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Publication information: Article title: The 150-Hour Requirement: Good or Bad for African Americans?. Contributors: Flintall, Virginia L. - Author. Journal title: Journal of Accountancy. Volume: 176. Issue: 4 Publication date: October 1993. Page number: 95+. © 2009 American Institute of CPA's. COPYRIGHT 1993 Gale Group.
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