Magazine article The CPA Journal

Inbox: Letter to the Editor

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Inbox: Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

Consequences of the 150-Hour Requirement

In his article "150 Hours and the Market" (The CPA Journal, February 2005), John Yelvington asserts that the market must move to raise salaries for five-year graduates in order for the profession to attract a sufficient number of new CPAs to meet demand.

From my perspective, the evidence is clear: The 150-hour rule has resulted in a decline in the number of candidates sitting for the CPA exam that is especially notable in those states that have enacted it. Numerous states passed the provision, which in many cases became effective between 1998 and 2000. Although the number of candidates sitting for the exam has increased since then, the number sitting today remains remarkably lower than it was in the 1990s.

This decline can be seen within the context of the demands on the profession for implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Suddenly, CPA firm demand for graduates has soared, with supply remaining a relative trickle.

The result is what an economist would expect: With demand outstripping supply, starting salaries have indeed increased. Thus, in my part of Georgia, one graduate was offered $22,000 more by an Atlanta office of a Big Four firm than another graduate was offered by a small, community-sized CPA firm. …

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