Beyond the CPA: Student Awareness of Accounting Certifications


  • Richard G. Brody University of New Mexico
  • Shihong Li University of New Mexico
  • Ling Zhou University of New Mexico


Today’s accounting profession offers a variety of certifications beyond the CPA, including but not limited to the following: CMA, CIA and CFE. However, are future accounting professionals fully aware of the opportunities offered by these certifications? In this paper, accounting students at a flagship state university were surveyed about their awareness of various certifications. We find that the CPA remains the most recognized certification, while the CMA and the CIA lag far behind. Compared with a survey conducted 15 years ago, students’ awareness of the CMA and CIA actually declined. One of the newer professional certifications, the CFE, on the other hand, has received surprisingly wide recognition among students. The percentage of students aware of the CFE has surpassed that of the CMA and CIA, though it is still much lower than CPA. These results have significant implications for the professional organizations trying to attract tomorrow’s professionals.







How to Cite

Beyond the CPA: Student Awareness of Accounting Certifications. (2017). The Accounting Educators’ Journal, 26.