The 150-hour requirement remains one of the most studied and discussed topics in accounting education. Papers calling for an advanced degree in accountancy can be traced back to the 1880s, but only within the past 20 years have most states legislated such a requirement, and many requirements remain to be implemented. Yet the question remains: Is the additional education having the positive impact on the profession that was predicted? The authors conducted a survey regarding the 150-hour requirement’s effects on the quality of education, the image of the profession, and the value of the fifth year to firms and the profession. The results suggest that the jury is still out on whether some of the anticipated effects of the requirement have been achieved. Whether the 150-hour requirement is a net positive or a net negative may never be completely settled. But the requirement continues to demand more from potential CPA candidates, and it remains among the most important developments in the profession during the past 50 years.

Publication Date



Copyright June 2006, the CPA journal.Used with permission by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. ISSN:0732-8435 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Accounting (SCB)


RIT – Main Campus