Calloway students ranked first on CPA exam for second year in a row

Accountancy students in Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy are comfortable working with numbers, especially with the number one.

For the second year in a row, Calloway students achieved the highest passage rate in the country for their performance on the CPA exam. Of the 25 Wake Forest students taking the exam, 88 percent passed all four parts the first time. The closest university competitor, the University of Virginia, was more than 17 percentage points behind.

“This ranking is recognition of an overall outstanding program,” said Dale Martin, accounting professor and Calloway School associate dean. “The school benefits because the ranking helps recruit outstanding students. The students benefit because employers know they’re coming from one of the best programs in the country.”

Mark Lindley, a 1999 graduate and one of the 25 Wake Forest students who contributed to the number one ranking, couldn’t agree more. He now works with Arthur Andersen, LLP in Richmond, Va., one of the country’s five largest accounting firms.

“Calloway students are a heavily recruited and coveted group,” he said. “The Calloway professors are first-rate and the workload is challenging. We knew classes in the past had done well, so we worked hard to live up to that reputation.”

The rankings are based on CPA exams taken in May 1999 and are the most recent available from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), the governing board that compiles all national scores.

The NASBA called Wake Forest’s ranking superlative, saying, “Wake Forest continued a string of fine performances-second in 1997 and first in 1998 and 1999.”

The NASBA ranks schools in two categories: those with graduate programs in accounting and those with undergraduate programs only. Wake Forest, with its five-year program to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting, was ranked among schools with advanced degrees. The Calloway School’s scores, however, surpassed those from all schools.

Wake Forest earned the highest score on three of four exam components: “Auditing,” “Business Law & Professional Responsibilities,” and “Accounting & Reporting – Other Areas,” where they scored a perfect 100. Wake Forest students ranked second in the fourth category, “Financial Accounting & Reporting – Business Enterprises.”

The Calloway School was recently ranked 28th among the best undergraduate business programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, up four spots from its previous ranking.

Categories: School of Business, University Announcement