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Accounting Grads Make the Grade on CPA Exam

Pass Rate for First-time Test Takers Among Highest in Massachusetts

Accounting Department faculty members at University Crossing Photo by Ed Brennen
Accounting Department faculty members, from left, Khondkar Karim, Stefanie Tate, Heeick Choi and Huiqi Gan attend the Accounting Career Fair at University Crossing.

10/03/2018
By Ed Brennen

Manning School of Business accounting graduates are among the top performers in Massachusetts on the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam.

Of first-time test takers, UMass Lowell ranks eighth out of 33 colleges and universities in the commonwealth this year with a pass rate of 59.7 percent.

“When you pass the CPA exam, you can look back with great satisfaction,” says Accounting Department Chair Khondkar Karim, who notes that a regular study routine is critical in preparing for the exam. “When you pass, it’s like conquering a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.”

One Manning School alum who knows all about conquering that challenge is Joseph Perrone, who has worked as a core tax experienced associate at “Big Four” accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers since 2017.

“The Manning School of Business accounting concentration helped me to understand everything from the foundational concepts of accounting to advanced accounting transactions and theory,” says Perrone, who earned a bachelor of business administration (with accounting and finance concentrations and a legal studies minor) in 2016 and a master of science in accounting in 2017.

“Leveraging case studies, real-world scenarios and team-building exercises, the accounting concentration prepared me for the wide breadth of concepts tested both on the CPA exam and in practice at a Big Four firm,” Perrone says.

Overall, 58 candidates from the Manning School sat for 119 sections of the CPA exam. Their average score was 72.6. UMass Lowell finished just behind Northeastern University, which had a pass rate of 61.5 percent.

“On behalf of the entire Manning School, I want to congratulate our Accounting Department for preparing our students so well for the CPA exam,” says Manning School Dean Sandra Richtermeyer.