The Bachelor of Science in Accountancy (BSA) program is composed of subjects in accounting ( financial, public, managerial), audit, administration, business laws and taxation. Its primary focus is not limited to business subjects, but to other fields as well, such as banking and finance, government, social services, education, and more. The program also teaches students to integrate information technology concepts into business systems, in order to create a more systematic and organized way of storing business related data. As a student, you will be taught computerized accounting systems, and basic understanding of computer programming and auditing systems. The program also instills in students the importance of computational and communication skills both in written and oral English.
The BS Accounting program is taught in a variety of teaching methods such as case analysis, individual and group reports, simulations, classroom discussions and guest lecturers. It also includes extensive exposures to business immersions (an internship where there is a probability that the company will hire/absorb you after graduation) and an on-the-job training that will provide you with the understanding of practical accountancy.
Is Accountancy a profession?
Accountancy is a proffesion. A graduate of BS in Accountancy who passed the board exam is called a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), or in short an Accountant. An accountant's job includes the performance of financial functions related to the collection, accuracy, recording, analysis and presentation of a business, organization or company's financial operations. The accountant usually has a variety of administrative roles within a company's operation.
What are the admission requirements for BSA?
According to CHED
(the official governing body of both public and private higher education institutions), the standards of admission to the BSA program should be sufficiently rigorous and demanding, that is why it has set a standard for Colleges and Universities who offer the BSA program to conduct a selective admission policy.
Requirements at each school are different, but the following are the common requirements:
- Must be a high school graduate.
- Must have a college entrance examination of above average or depending on the specified rating set by the school.
- Aside from the college entrance examination, you must pass the separate aptitude test specific for BS in Accountancy.
- Must pass the interview conducted by the college admission officer.
- Some schools require a high school QPA of 85% and above with no grade less than 80% in all subjects.
- There are schools who require students to have an 85% or higher average rating in the National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT).
- As set by CHED, all schools must conduct an English Proficiency examination to all BS in Accountancy applicants.
- Admission for Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) passers mainly depends on the school's discretion since some colleges and universities only offer selected courses.
What skills are required to succeed in this course?
A combination of knowledge, skills and the right attitude are needed to succeed in this course:
- A student who is to take BS in Accountancy must be intellectual enough to carry out problems that need abstract logical thinking.
- Reasoning skill is important because this will help in the discovery of underlying principles between two or more objects and use it to solve a problem.
- Analytical skill is a must because it is imperative to be able to review, interpret, evaluate financial data and systems and operational data/controls in order to form conclusions.
- Problem solving - the ability to discern the true nature of a situation and evaluate applicable principles and techniques – is also important, as well as the ability to link data, knowledge and insight together from different sources and disciplines to make informed decisions.
- Interpersonal and effective communication skills are essential as well because you will be working in groups, so being a team player helps.
- A good grasp of the English language is also required.
- Commitment, patience, and hardwork complete the necessary attitude that will help you succeed in this course.
How difficult is BS Accounting?
BSA is quite a difficult course. Many students end up shifting to other courses because they cannot withstand the demands of accountancy. Although it requires only basic mathematical operations, what makes it difficult is the use of analytical and logical thinking. Rigid training and a difficult board exam complete the list of obsticles for this course.
How long does it take to complete BS in Accountancy?
Normally, the BSA program takes 5 years to complete. Some schools who apply the trimesteral system do the program in 4 years.
The duration is spent in interactive classroom discussions, business immersions and on the job trainings. Depending on the school, the estimated total number of hours for on the job trainings ranges from 150 to 240 hours.
Review classes in preparation for the CPA licensure examination, can require an additional 5-12 months, depending if you pass on the first try or not.
The Board Exam
An accountancy graduate needs to take the Certified Public Accountant's Licensure Examination
before he/she can practice as an accountant. The examination is conducted by the Board of Accountancy
under the supervision of the Professional Regulation Commission
(PRC). It is scheduled twice a year in the month's of May and October.
All board subjects are given 2 units with a minimum exam hours of 3 hours each subject. Since there are 7 board exam subjects all in all, there is a total of 14 units and 21 hours. A candidate for the examination should obtain a general weighted average of 75% with no rating belong 60% in all 7 subjects.
You can view the passing rates for the CPA Licensure Exam here
Career opportunities for BSA graduates
Jobs for licensed CPAs (board exam passers)
- Entry Level jobs
- Accounting Associate – support senior level accountants and auditors with administrative, bookkeeping, clerical, accounts payable and accounts receivable duties.
- Audit/Tax staff – perform internal audits and they are also hired by the IRS and other governmental agencies to ensure that the company is abiding by financial laws and regulations.
- Financial Accounting and Reporting Staff – manage or give advice on finances for clients or companies. Accounting staffs handle duties such as making bills are paid on time and taxes are deducted, and suggest methods of cutting costs.
- State Accounting Examiner/ State Accountant/ LGU accountant – government accountants help the federal government as well as state and local agency record and prepare financial reports in accordance with government accounting principles and professional standards.
- Budget analyst – aids federal authorities in evaluating budget data, estimating revenue and expense levels, and adjusting social programs.
- Junior Accounting Instructor – a CPA who teaches at a university or college
- Mid-Level Positions
- Audit Manager – supervise the activities of an audit department. This department ensures that financial reports comply with policies, laws and regulations.
- Comptroller – comptroller supervises income and expenditures, keeping track of all ingoing and outgoing money
- Senior Auditor – responsible for analyzing and communicating financial information; reviews the operations of a company making sure that they comply with corporate and government policies.
- Senior Fraud Examiner – an expert in fraud investigation as well as in its prevention and deterrence.
- Financial Services Manager – supervises financial services sales representatives or associates and ensures they meet business performance requirements (sales quotas). A financial services manager may work for an insurance company, an investment bank or a mutual fund.
- Advanced Positions
- Senior Consultant – evaluates a company's internal processes and procedures, detects performance (productivity) levels and provides recommendations for improvement.
- Financial Advisor – gain and retain clients with excess money to invest.
- Chief Financial Officer – responsible for overseeing the financial activities of an entire company.
- Vice President For Finance – highest level finance expert within a business.
Jobs for Non Board Passers
- Bank Teller – handles basic money deposits, withdrawals and check-cashing transactions.
- Accounting Clerk – keeping financial records and making computations throughout the course of a typical workday
- Assistant Product Manager – works under the leadership of a product manager, assisting in the development of corporate brand strategies in the short term and long term.
- Data Entry Operator/Clerk – responsible for supplying accurate documentation that may be part of a billing, patient, inventory or customer service capacity
- Financial Advisor
Jobs not related to the BSA program
- Call center agent – answers phone calls and inquiries of clients and provides customer support, usually to people from other countries
- Freelancer working online – doing online jobs for clients abroad, such as data entry, article writing, SEO, customer support, administrative support etc., which mainly depends on your skills
- Administrative Staff – personnel responsible for the organization and management of office duties and tasks; positions that include office secretary, personal assistant and office clerk
Career Opportunities AbroadMost countries require their own licensure examination to work as a licensed accountant, so oppurtunities abroad are mostly for jobs which do not require licensure. Another option would be to take and pass the licensure exam at the country which you intend to work in.
Salary LevelsIn the Philippines, entry level jobs for both board passers and non board passers are more or less the same. Starting salaries can range from 12,000php to 18,000php per month. For those who have more experience and who passed the CPA board exam, salary can reach as high as 60,000php.
CPA's are some of the highest paid employees in developed countries. In US dollars, a CPA's salary can range from $2,500 to $10,000+ a month, depending on the country, experience and position.