Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 5-10-2022



Examining Committee Member

Amanda Grossman, PhD, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Denise O'Shaughnessy, PhD, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Najib Sahyoun, PhD, Committee Member



Students who graduate with an accounting degree often take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam to increase their earning potential and gain prestige within the accounting profession. The Regulation (REG) section of this exam exemplifies a student's knowledge in the United States’ tax filing system and makes up a quarter of the total exam. Accounting students often participate in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs which may provide an avenue of preparation for the REG section of the CPA exam. This research aims to identify if there is a connection between universities that offer a VITA program and their respective students' success on the REG section of the CPA exam. Tax course options are also analyzed to determine if the amount of tax courses taken also impacts the REG section score of the CPA exam. This was done using a combination of public data consisting of different universities’ first-time pass rates on the REG section and a survey that was distributed to professors regarding their accounting and VITA programs. No difference was found in REG pass rates between those universities that offered VITA and those that did not offer VITA. However, this research did find that when students attended a university that offered elective tax courses, they scored higher on the REG section of the CPA exam. This means that universities could begin offering additional tax courses if they wish to see an improvement in their students’ CPA exam scores. The results of this research can be used to communicate to universities what level of significance VITA programs have on their accounting students’ future success.

Included in

Accounting Commons