The American Institute of CPAs has launched a new Web site to encourage more college students to become CPAs, and to educate them about the opportunities.

The new site, ThisWaytoCPA.com, is also aimed at CPA Exam candidates to teach them about the path to becoming a CPA. The site is a companion to a Web site called StartHereGoPlaces.com, which the AICPA launched in 2001 to entice high school students to consider accounting careers. That site has attracted students in 180 countries.

“Tens of thousands of college students major in accounting each year,” said AICPA vice president for students, academics and membership Jeannie Patton in a statement. “ThisWaytoCPA.com gives students and exam candidates information and tools to answer questions about many rewarding accounting careers.”

Key features of ThisWaytoCPA.com include journals by individuals who recently passed the CPA Exam explaining what they did to prepare for the exam, along with mock job interviews and résumé tips. The “Find your Fit” part of the site provides a set of questions that will help users determine which areas of accounting are of the greatest interest.

An exam timeline on the site maps out the process of taking the exam. The site includes state-by-state CPA licensure requirements, such as the education prerequisites to take the exam, with links to the various state CPA societies and state boards of accountancy. The site also contains a list of more than 100 scholarships available to accounting and business students, along with information about career paths and jobs. A forum on the site allows students and exam candidates to post questions and interact with their peers. CPA profiles on the site detail the day-to-day activities of real-life CPAs, and there is information on specialized credentials available to CPAs.

ThisWaytoCPA.com also features the new AICPA book, “The Inside Track to Careers in Accounting,” by Stan Ross and James Carberry. The book provides a compendium of job descriptions, salary ranges and interviews with 50 CPAs from all sectors of the profession.

To give college students an opportunity to experience working with a client, the AICPA is sponsoring a competition on improving sustainability practices in business. Students will compete to make the practices of The Umstead Hotel & Spa, a North Carolina luxury hotel, align better with the principles of sustainability. The contest is open to students pursuing either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Students must work in teams of four, each of which must include at least two accounting majors. The team placing first will receive $10,000; the second-place team, $5,000; and the third-place team, $2,500.

The AICPA’s “2009 Trends in the Supply of Accounting Graduates and the Demand for Public Accounting Recruits” reported that there were more than 66,000 bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting awarded during the 2007-2008 academic year — a record number — and more than 213,000 accounting students enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral accounting programs. The next Trends report is due in 2011.

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