ROWAN-CABARRUS COMMUNITY COLLEGE OFFERS SEVERAL OPTIONS FOR CPA EXAM PREP AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT
SALISBURY, N.C. — While accounting jobs have changed dramatically over the last few decades, it’s been proven that they are ones that will always be needed.
“In my experience, most people who enjoy accounting have a natural approach and mindset that is sorely needed in the business world today,” said Sharon Brooks who has been CPA in NC for over 30 years.
Demand for thorough financial documentation is expected to increase nationwide in response to the recent financial crises, corporate scandals, and subsequent rule changes mandating more regulations on the industry. Employment of accountants and auditors is expected to grow 16 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has restructured its accounting program so that it can meet the needs of a variety of individuals.
“We have students who come here with a bachelor’s degree, take courses with us and sit for the CPA exam,” said Robin Turner, program chair of the college’s accounting program. “Students can also enroll in courses without any accounting experience whatsoever or with just a few classes remaining before taking the CPA exam.”
One component of the college’s program is that students who have a bachelor’s degree in any field can enroll in accounting courses at Rowan-Cabarrus and sit for the CPA exam.
“If you have an undergraduate degree in any field – even the ones that have little or no business component, like history, sociology and English – you can enroll in Rowan-Cabarrus accounting program, they can ultimately take the CPA exam,” said Turner. “And if your undergraduate major was in accounting, finance or marketing, it takes even less time.”
The accounting offerings at Rowan-Cabarrus are extremely convenient with day and evening classes on both North and South Campuses. Additionally, the entire accounting program can now be taken and completed online.
“We often have students who have marketing degrees who have found that they can’t find a job. We’re a great option for those who want to change careers or make a new start,” said Turner.
Service learning is a component of the degree designed to get students out in their communities where they’ll eventually be working. This allows students to be involved in community activities and network with business owners and other professionals while pursuing their accounting degrees.
“While it is a rigorous program, it’s doable,” said Jane Benson, accounting instructor. “Some of our most successful alumni started out in developmental or remedial math classes, completed the accounting program, and were quickly employed in the field.”
No matter how long you’ve been out of school, Rowan-Cabarrus can work with you. The college also provides a supportive network and one-on-one tutoring when needed. The program is also a great fit for students of any age. Students that leave Rowan-Cabarrus with an accounting degree or CPA prep, they have the same knowledge of the subject, which makes them highly employable in a high demand career area
Planned growth for the program includes CPA review courses designed to further prepare CPA candidates for the test.
“The new tax prep class we are offering, for example, will allow you to secure work immediately – take the course, sit for the exam, and then you can prepare taxes for your parents, your friends and your coworkers,” said Benson. “Students need only apply as a special student, which does not require transcripts or placement testing.”
The Registered Tax Return Preparer (RTRP) will be required for all persons signing returns after December 31, 2013. This certification also paves the way for students to become an IRS Enrolled Agent which means this person is certified to represent a taxpayer before the IRS in the same way as an attorney.
Future courses under consideration include forensic accounting, fraud accounting and international accounting.
“With all of the fraud that’s occurred in recent years, forensic accounting is a growing part of the industry,” said Martha Cranford, who also teaches accounting at the college. “It’s important that greed is kept in check and accountants play a large role in ensuring that laws are followed.”
If you have any interest in the accounting program or courses, please contact Robin Turner, program chair of the college’s accounting program (firstname.lastname@example.org), or any of the college’s accounting faculty members.
“The college wants to accommodate demand for courses and programming, but we need to know where the interest lies,” said Turner.
For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, please visit www.rccc.edu. The college is currently registering students for classes, which begin on August 15.