Welcome to Accounting at NOVA!
NOVA is a great affordable option for students who need to complete accounting coursework to sit for the CPA exam. This page is designed for students who already have an undergraduate business degree with a concentration other than accounting. There is also information below if you need the 24-credits in business. (Note: If you do not have an undergraduate degree, then you will want to complete the AS-Business Administration degree at NOVA, which will transfer to a four-year undergraduate business school.)
Here are some steps to follow to help you get started!
1. Review the CPA Exam Education Requirements:
If you already have a bachelor's degree, you should review the Virginia Board of Accountancy’s education requirements. If you received your bachelor’s degree from outside of the United States or received your bachelor's degree from a non-accredited institution, first, you will need to have your transcript evaluated by an Education Evaluation Firm.
2. Send your Transcript to NOVA for Evaluation
Assuming you have already applied to NOVA for admission, you will need to have your previous transcript evaluated. Most of the upper-division accounting classes require ACC 211 and ACC212 (Principles of Accounting I and II) as pre-requisites. You will not be able to enroll in the upper-division classes until your NOVA student record indicates that you have completed those courses (exceptions: ACC220, 261-262).
3. Review the Career Studies Certificate in Accounting
The Career Studies Certificate in Accounting is designed to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA exam in Virginia. You may use this guide to help you select your course work.
4. Consider 24 Credits in Business
If you did not earn an undergraduate degree in business, you would need 24 credits in business to sit for the CPA exam. Or, if you are a few credits short, consider some of NOVA’s BUS, ECO, FIN, or ITE credits. See this guide for more information.
5. Meet with your Faculty Advisor
Your faculty advisor can help you select courses and offer you advice about preparing for the CPA exam and careers in accounting.
6. Review CPA Exam Review Courses
Although the classes at NOVA will help you prepare for the exam, students generally need to take a review course in the months leading up to their sitting for the exam. There are many review courses from which to choose. Each one has its strengths and costs. Here are some for you to consider (in no particular order):
- Wiley CPAexcel (Scholarships available for any student, full or part-time, enrolled in one accounting course!)
Because you are not a traditional accounting student graduating from a four-year institution, you will not have the benefit of accounting firms recruiting you. As such, I highly recommend getting involved in professional organizations. The organizations listed below are very supportive of non-traditional accounting students. Students have obtained positions within the Big 4 by participating in these organizations.
- Virginia Society of CPAs: Free membership for students, scholarships, leadership programs, private online community, and much more!
- American Society of CPAs: Free membership for students, scholarships, webcasts, accounting competitions, workshops, and more. Also, the AICPA's This Way to CPA was developed just for college students to learn about the profession.
- Accounting and Financial Women's Alliance - DC Chapter: I am the Past-President of this chapter. We hold monthly dinner meetings, and students are always encouraged to attend. Our professionals are very welcoming to students, and this is a great networking opportunity if you are interested in a wide arrange of career paths from the Big 4 to corporate accounting to non-profits to tax preparation. And, this isn't just for the ladies, gentlemen are welcome too! :)
- Start Here, Go Places!
- This Way to the CPA!
- AICPA Website
- VSCPA - Information for Students
- Virginia Board of Accountancy CPA Information - CPA Exam Candidates, use this site to determine your eligibility to sit for the CPA exam.
- AFWA - Washington, DC Chapter
- Institute of Internal Auditors - CIA Exam Candidates, use this site for information on the CIA exam.
- Public Company Accounting Oversight Board