After last week's news that graduates of Indiana University and Purdue would not be able to sit for the CPA exam due to a lack of specific accreditation of the accounting departments of those schools, administrators scrambled to get to the bottom of the matter and do what was necessary to get these students into November's exam.
In a public meeting last Friday with representatives from Indiana University, Purdue University, the Indiana CPA Society, the Indiana State Board of Accountancy, and others, it was disclosed that wording was added to original draft of the accreditation rules that made it appear that accounting schools would be required to acquire specific accreditation in order for their students to qualify for the exam.
In fact, according to John Hill, chairman of the graduate accounting programs at Indiana University, the intent of the change in the accreditation rules was to ensure that accounting programs meet the standards of the specific accreditation but not that they necessarily acquire the accreditation. "We presented evidence that we meet the standards, and the board ruled that I.U. and Purdue meet the standards for program specific accreditation," Hill said.
All students who were told they could not take the CPA exam due to lack of accreditation of their schools' accounting programs have been advised that they will be eligible to take November's exam.
With regard to future graduates from these schools, Hill added, "Going forward will be no problem." Indiana University plans to seek the accreditation for its accounting department, however graduates of the program will qualify even without the accreditation. "I.U. will seek the accreditation, but it has a great deal to do with the value of the accreditation. Even though it's a laborious process, there are some advantages to being accredited," including the fact that, "you get a peer review of your program."
"Our program has been so well regarded for so long - accreditation is something that you use to build credibility if you need it, but I've never thought we needed it," Hill stated.