Accounting Pipeline

In 2013, Wabash signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business aimed at formalizing a pipeline program that will guide Wabash students through the prerequisites for admission to the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) degree program and give privileged access to Wabash students so that they may enroll at IU immediately upon graduation and sit for the CPA exam the following summer. The MSA at IU's Kelley School of Business is an intensive, one-year, full-time graduate degree program for students with earned undergraduate degrees that will enable them to:

  • Develop advanced skills in a technical accounting curriculum
  • Participate in team-based consulting projects to get hands-on experience
  • Learn about assurance and risk management or taxation
  • Complete the 150-hour requirement to sit for the CPA exam in most states
  • Participate in IU recruiting events and pre-professional associations such as Beta Alpha Psi

IU's Kelley School of Business has contacts with a large array of prestigious firms who recruit MSA's on campus.  Graduates of the MSA Program have a nearly 100% placement rate in fields that include: 

  • Assurance and risk management (auditing)
  • Taxation
  • Corporate accounting
  • Governmental and nonprofit organizations
  • Forensic accounting
  • Management consulting

Access to Kelley’s career placement services

Once enrolled in the program, students are eligible for all services available to any business school student. In addition, students who are provisionally accepted in the spring of their junior year (see above) can participate informally in the job fair organized by the accounting honorary fraternity, Beta Alpha Psi, which brings more than sixty firms to campus every year.

Preparation for the CPA exam

IU offers a six-week intensive “Fast-Pass” class exclusively to GAP students taught by Becker Professional Education immediately upon graduation in May to prepare you to sit for all four sections of the CPA exam that summer.   The national average pass rate for all four sections together is 50%.  Students who have participated in the Becker Fast-Pass class have a 97% pass rate.  Because most accounting firms offer substantial bonuses ($5,000 or more) for passing the CPA exam, the Becker Fast-Pass class usually pays for itself. In addition, firms often will pay for the CPA review classes such as the Becker Fast-Pass class.

Combining the MSA with a law degree or other degree program

Students who are admitted to a combined degree program can generally complete both programs in four years.  However, students must be admitted to IU’s Law School and begin their graduate career there.

For more information about the pipeline program

Wabash contact:  Prof. Kealoha Widdows

IU contact:  Gretchen Handlos

How to get in the Pipeline

Courses to take at Wabash
ACC-201Financial Accounting1
ACC-202Management Accounting1
ACC-301Intermediate Acctounting I1
ECO-361Corporate Finance1
Courses to take at Indiana University or Equivalent
BUS-K201Business Info Systems
BUS-A325Managerial Accounting II
BUS-A32Tax
BUS-L201Business Law
BUS-A424Audit

Additional Requirements

  • Two letters of recommendation from Wabash College faculty
  • An admissions interview with Kelley School faculty or staff
  • IU has waived the requirement that Wabash students take the GMAT.  Thus, a GMAT score is not required for application.

Most if not all of the non-Wabash courses are offered every year during IU’s first summer session, a six-week intensive study period that begins immediately following the end of the academic year in May and concludes in early June.  In addition, Indiana University has given pre-approval for students to take Business Law through Brigham Young’s online program (http://is.byu.edu/site/courses/description.cfm?title=ACC%2D241%2D200). In 2013, the BYU course cost $489. 

GPA

  • Although there are no hard and fast rules, successful candidates for admission generally have GPA’s of 3.2 or higher.  Students with GPA’s of 3.5 or higher will be able to compete for a graduate assistantship, which offers a partial tuition remission and a small stipend.

Timing

  • Students should begin by taking Accounting 201 and 202 during the sophomore year.  Corporate Finance is best taken in the spring of the junior year (note that it has an Eco 291 prerequisite). The ideal time to begin outside preparation for the MSA Pipeline is the summer after sophomore or the summer after junior year.  Students should take the two additional intermediate accounting courses – either at IU or at another institution that offers similar courses – preferably in an early intensive session so that the rest of the summer would be available for internships to gain practical experience.  This is best done in the summer after the junior year at the latest.
  • The following summer (either summer after junior or senior year), the student should take Tax and Auditing (as these are the most advanced courses).  The other courses (Business Law and Business Computing) may be taken at any time.
  • Students can apply for conditional admission to the MSA program anytime after they have completed the intermediate financial accounting course.  Early admission is strongly encouraged, as students who will not ultimately be successful candidates for admission should be advised of this as early as possible.

ACC-201 Financial Accounting

An introduction to the theoretical framework of financial accounting, including assumptions, principles, and doctrines. The components of financial statements are analyzed and the preparation of those statements normally included for financial reporting purposes is emphasized. The student's performance is measured by his handling of accounting problems and cases. Recommended for sophomores and juniors. This course is offered in the fall semester.
Prerequisites: none
Credit: 1

ACC-202 Management Accounting

An introduction to cost accounting, cost-volume-profit analysis, and the influence of income taxes on business transactions. The understanding of financial statements developed in Accounting 201 is applied for managerial decision-making purposes. The student's performance is measured by his handling of accounting problems and cases. Recommended for sophomores and juniors. This course is offered in the spring semester.
Prerequisites: ACC-201
Credit: 1

ACC-301 Intermediate Acctounting I

This course provides students with a thorough understanding of the theoretical framework of accounting principles and procedures as well as furthering their knowledge of the mechanics underlying financial reporting. This rigorous course is suitable for students seeking a career in accounting or finance. The course's primary objective is to give students the tools necessary to understand and execute appropriate accounting procedures, with an appreciation of the broader context in which accounting information is produced and utilized, including an overview of financial statements along with a detailed focus on revenue recognition, current and long-term assets and liabilities, and accounting for investments. The course will also bring theoretical and practical ethical discussion to the students by probing current ethical dilemmas facing the business world and how those issues can be addressed through the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct and other professional standards.
Prerequisites: ACC-202
Credit: 1