Accounting, a CPA in four years!

Receive individualized attention in the classroom and in advising. Listen to guest speakers, attend professional conferences, get a resume review, and participate in professional development opportunities. You can become a CPA in four years.


  • Accounting students may apply to take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. In Iowa, students who pass the exam must have accumulated a total of 150 semester hours of college credit before they will be awarded a CPA license. Students are able to complete 150 hours in just four years at Simpson.
  • Simpson students' first-time CPA exam pass rate is three times higher than the national average.
  • Our proximity to Des Moines and ongoing connections with alumni combine for outstanding internship opportunities.
  • 100% employment-that’s what success means in accounting at Simpson College.  In our survey of spring 2014 and 2015 accounting graduates, allrespondants affirmatively stated that they had found full-time employment with 95% working in an accounting-related role. (84% and 78% response rate for 2014 and 2015)
  • Our broad based, liberal arts curriculum is designed with the general needs of employers in mind.  You will develop the skills you need to succeed in your career: accounting expertise and skills in critical thinking, analysis, and communication.

Want to learn more?

Careers in Accounting

Public Accounting
Tax Staff
Staff Auditor
Consultant Staff

Private Accounting
Internal/External Auditor
Financial Accountant
Cost Accountant

Governmental Accounting
Internal Revenue Agent (IRS)
Tax Specialist (IRS)
Staff Accountant (SEC)

Consulting/Small Business
Business Accountant
Financial Accountant
Forensic Accountant

Jobs and Internships

RSM McGladrey Inc.
Ernst & Young
Deere Company
State of Iowa Auditor's Office

It All Adds Up: Simpson Accounting Majors Find Success

“I think ‘Big Four’ firms find Simpson students marketable because many of us have great internship experience and recommendations from professors who were in the field,” said Rachel Wollschlager ’15. “Professionals in the field know and trust our professors.”

Course Requirements

  • Econ 100 Principles of Economics
  • Econ135 Applied Statistics (Prerequisite: One of: MATH 105/105T, 130/130T, ACT math subscore of 22 or higher, or Math SAT of 530 or higher.)
  • Acct 201 Introduction to Accounting
  • Acct 250 Introduction to Accounting Systems (Pre-req: ACCT 201)
  • Acct 341 Intermediate Accounting I (Pre-req: ACCT 201, 250)
  • Acct 342 Intermediate Accounting II (Pre-req: ACCT 341)
  • Acct 345 Advanced Accounting Topics (Pre-req: ACCT 342)
  • Acct 353 Cost Accounting (Pre-req: ACCT 201, 250)
  • Acct 354 Individual Taxation (Pre-req: ACCT 201, 250)
  • Acct 358 Auditing (Pre-req: ACCT 341, 342)
  • Magt 131 Management Concepts
  • Magt 231 Business Law and Business Ethics I (Pre-req: MAGT 131 and sophomore standing.)
  • Acct 385 Capstone in Accounting (Pre-req: MAGT 131, 231; ECON 101,135; ACCT 201, 250, 341, 342, 345, 353, 354, 358)
A student who majors in Accounting with the CPA Concentration may not also major in management. CPA Concentration Students will complete five courses as follows:
  • Magt 232 Business Law and Business Ethics II (Pre-req: MAGT 231)
  • Magt 333 Organization & Behavior (Pre-Req: MAGT 131 and junior standing)
  • Econ 339 Corporate Finance (Pre-req: ECON 100 or 101 or 102; ACCT 201; ECON 135
  • CIS/MAGT 145 Management Information Systems and Business Intelligence
  • Elective: Choose one 300-level Accounting Course
Simpson College requires students to complete at least 128 semester hours of coursework prior to graduation. Students who graduate with a major in Accounting may apply to take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam in Iowa. Upon acceptance, students may sit for the CPA exam; however, students who pass the Iowa exam must have accumulated a total of 150 semester hours of college credit before they will be awarded a CPA certificate. State accounting boards differ in their certification requirements, so students are advised to determine individual state requirements. This requirement exceeds the Simpson College graduation requirements for Accounting majors by 22 credits. Students may complete the 150 hours in four years at Simpson, in more than four years at Simpson, or in a master's program at another institution. The department has completed articulation agreements with other institutions to ease the transfer process and to reduce graduate level requirements. See the department chair for information on these combined BA/MBA, BA/MS, and BA/MA programs.