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Factors Affecting Cpa Board Examination Results

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Practice of accountancy shall constitute in a person, be it in his individual capacity, or as a partner or staff member in an accounting or auditing firm, holding out himself as one skilled in the knowledge, science, and practice of accounting, and as qualified to render professional services as a certified public accountant; or offering or rendering, or both, to more than one client on a fee basis or otherwise, services such as the audit or verification of financial transactions and accounting records; the preparation, signing, or certification for clients of reports of audit, balance sheets, and other financial accounting and related schedules, exhibits, statements, or reports which are to be used for publication or for credit purposes, or to be filed with a court or government agency, or to be used for any other purpose; the installation and revision of accounting system, the preparation of income tax returns when related to accounting procedures; or when he represents clients before government agencies on tax matters related to accounting or renders professional assistance in matters relating to accounting procedures and the recording and presentation of financial facts or data.

A Certified Public Accountant shall be considered in the practice of his profession, if the nature and character of his employment whether as an officer or employee in a private enterprise or educational institution involves decision-making requiring professional knowledge in the science of accounting or when he represents his private employer before any government agency on tax matters related to accounting, and such employment or position requires that the holder thereof must be a Certified Public Accountant; or if he holds or is appointed to a position in the accounting occupational group in the government or in government-owned or controlled corporations, including those performing proprietary functions, where a civil service eligibility as a Certified Public Accountant is a prerequisite (PRC, 2011).

Each year thousands of candidates sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensure examination in the Philippines. The passing statistics is only about 20 percent of first-time candidates (Bala, 2008). According to Abrugar (2009), many critics say that it is one of the most difficult professional board examinations in the country. The difficulty of passing the CPA board examination is reflected in the relatively low passing rates both in local and national levels. In La Salle University, the CPA results have not been consistent. In some cases, the results were higher than the national percentage. From the May 2008 up to the recently concluded May 2017 CPA Board Exam, the passing rates fluctuated dramatically, ranging below the 70% for the school passing rate and below 50% for the national passing rate. With these trends, it is imperative that we determine the ingredients in these fluctuations and inconsistencies hence, this research.


One goal of every university is to see its name in the leading boards of national board and licensure exams. Everyone wants to be on top but few make it. La Salle University has branded itself as the center of excellence in the heart of Ozamiz City and definitely aims the same. It has benchmarked most of its operational tools from top and leading nearby universities such as Xavier University, University of San Carlos, and Silliman University just to be one of the big guys. Regulated measures are in place to assure that the University keeps it brand to be able to produce highly-competitive graduates. La Salle University’s College of Accountancy envisions itself to be the center of excellence in accounting education with an objective of being a top performing school in every CPA Board examination. But it seems like over the years, its graduates, with the degree of BS-Accountancy in particular, had faltering performance supporting the inconsistent results of the University in the CPA Board Exams. Many issues arose regarding the fact and many policies are put in place to address it, only creating more issues. This research aims to determine which factor greatly contributes to their performance to be able to determine which aspect of this venture should be attacked and proper policies then be put in place.


This study was conducted to determine the factors associated with success in the Certified Public Accountant Licensure Examination of the accountancy graduates of the La Salle University. Specifically, the study sought to find answers to the following research questions:

  1. What is the demographic profile of the accountancy graduate respondents by the following characteristics?

1.1 Name

1.2 Year graduated

1.3 CPA or non-CPA

1.4 First-timer or re-taker

1.5 Review center and location for the Comprehensive Exam

1.6 Review center and location for the CPA Board Exam

  1. To what extent do the following factors influence the CPA examination performance as perceived by the accountancy graduate respondents?

2.1 Teacher factor

2.2 Review Center factor

2.3 Examinations (Qualifying, Diagnostic, and Comprehensive) factor

2.4 Self-efficacy factor


        This study is a quantitative type of research. Quantitative methods emphasize objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques. Quantitative research focuses on gathering numerical data and generalizing it across groups of people or to explain a particular phenomenon (Mujis, 2010). In this study, the method looked into status or trends about factors associated with success in the Certified Public Accountant board examination.

The survey design of research were used. Survey design was used to examine current conditions or status of the sample with respect to demographic profile; teacher, review center, examination, and self-efficacy factors that may influence performance in the CPA licensure examination, and enhancement of licensure examination performance of the accountancy graduates of the La Salle University.

The respondents of the study included 20 graduates of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the College of Accountancy of the La Salle University who took the CPA licensure administered by the Board of Accountancy of the Professional Regulatory Commission in the recently May 2017 exam and the preceding examinations. The respondents were conveniently chosen and the researchers acquired the help of the initial respondents to ask their colleagues to answer the same survey.



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