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FAQ

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about the Accounting and Finance Program, please message Terry Mullin


General FAQs

Do I really need to talk to an academic counselor before I sign up for classes?

Although the student registration system will allow you to sign up for classes without seeing a counselor, we strongly recommend that you always talk to an academic counselor to be sure that you are on track with your education plan. You may miss a requirement that could mean you cannot graduate on time or not be able to finish remaining classes since you have not met the prerequisites to take those courses.Be sure to take a print out of your coursework and your plan of study to any meetings with your adviser so your time together is the most efficient.

Are there any tutors that can help me with my homework?

Yes, depending on the semester. We ask students who have previously taken courses and have done well to be tutors for those who are currently taking them. The HUB on upper campus is where you can find out who is tutoring and the hours that they are available. We also encourage students to form study groups early in the semester and take advantage of your professor’s office hours.


Accounting and Finance FAQs

Why choose accounting as a major?

Accounting is a profession that offers many opportunities for advancement and substantial rates of income. For individuals who earn CPA or CMA designation, the ability to find employment in the financial sector is significant. People who move into financial services, such as stock brokers, financial advisers and investment banking can potentially earn annual incomes well in excess of $100,000 and even as high as millions of dollars. As long as government and businesses exist, there will be a need for accountants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, accounting positions will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

What is the difference between auditors and accountants?

While accountants and auditors both work in the financial field, they have different job responsibilities and goals. Accountants are more concerned with daily tasks, such as processing financial information, paying the company's bills and balancing the books. The position of auditor is higher than that of an accountant. Someone in this role may review the work of a company's accountants to ensure that it is correct and are responsible for testing internal controls to determine if they are adequate to prevent errors and monetary loss for the company.

What jobs can I get with an accounting degree and no experience?

There are many entry-level accounting positions that do not require extensive job experience, but do require an accounting degree. Positions as auditors, budget analysts and cost estimators are excellent opportunities to gain work experience. Before you graduate, you may be able to find employment as an accounting clerk or bookkeeper to gain experience while you are still studying. Many employers offer opportunities for advancement for employees as they continue their education, including increased income and tuition assistance benefits.

Does the Accounting Ethics course (Acct. 16) count toward the CPA course requirements?

Yes. For the Accounting Ethics requirement, the California Board of Accountancy states it must be completed at an upper division level or higher unless completing it at a community college. Cabrillo College is proud to offer this course.  Many students from all over the state take this course which brings a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds to the class.

Do classes taken on a Pass/No Pass basis count toward the CPA course requirements?

The answer is Yes as far as the California Board of Accountancy is concerned as long as you receive credited units for the pass/no pass class on an official transcript but according to the Cabrillo catalog, students majoring in accounting are not allowed to request a Pass/No Pass option. If you are looking to be successful in accounting classes, we strongly recommend that you form study groups early in the semester and take advantage of tutoring offered by the HUB and your professor’s office hours.

Do advanced placement credits that I took in high school count toward the 150-unit CPA Exam requirements?

Yes, they count towards the overall 150-unit requirement, however, they cannot be applied to the specific accounting, business, and ethics course requirements.

Do I need to have a heavy math background (calculus, algebra, etc.) to do well in Accountancy?

Not really. Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division are basically all you need, but you need to be well-practiced at these tasks.

How do I qualify for a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license in California?

The answer for this is a bit more complicated and you should go to the California Board of Accountancy website for a more specific answer. Essentially, you have to have 150 hours/units of college credit but those credits have to be in certain areas. The department has created brochures that list all the courses that fulfill the CBA’s requirements. You can download those brochures from this website. This website will also provide you with the steps in sitting for the CPA exam (cost, registration fees, locations, etc.)

Why should I get my CPA license?

The CPA credential is a symbol of trust and professionalism in the world of business. It's a highly challenging professional track, but the reward is that CPAs are considered the most trusted advisors in business who help individuals, businesses, and other organizations plan and reach their financial goals. In addition to completing business and accounting courses in college and passing a comprehensive national exam, CPAs continue to maintain and update their skills as part of their commitment to a truly dynamic profession. Getting your CPA certification opens the kinds of doors that can fast-track you into influential jobs in every industry. To a potential employer it means high ethical standards as well as measurable experience, education, and skills. CPAs work mainly in public accounting, business and industry (corporate accounting), government, not-for-profit, and education.

Will the courses in the accounting program at Cabrillo count towards the requirements for getting a CPA license?

Our CPA preparation certificate is designed to allow students who have a Bachelor’s degree earn the required accounting courses for the CPA exam. Most students who have their BA in business or MBA have only the basic accounting courses. Our certificate is flexible enough for students to choose from a variety of courses so they can match their coursework with their personal interests. All of the courses in the certificate program are available online. Students who take online courses at Cabrillo have all the benefits and resources as our on- campus students. All of our courses will allow students to earn an associate’s degree at Cabrillo (lower cost of classes) that will then transfer to a senior college. Our hope is that these students will return to Cabrillo’s online courses to complete the requirements to sit for the CPA examination.

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