Hey! Thanks for the great question. I remember my first year at Mizzou thinking about the exact same question and thinking, “Well, wouldn’t all the accounting courses be helpful for the CPA Exam?” The answer is no, not really.
There are extremely important accounting classes and extremely important non-accounting classes. Then, there are not as important but helpful accounting classes and non-accounting classes. With that in mind, let’s discuss which accounting and non-accounting courses are important for each section of the CPA Exam.
Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
For Auditing and Attestation, you may have guessed that an auditing course would be super helpful for succeeding on this section of the CPA Exam. You would be right! However, Auditing is not the only course that is super important for this section of the CPA Exam. Specifically, you may also be interested in taking a course in Advanced Auditing and Accounting and Information Systems. If your schedule permits, I would also recommend taking Internal Audit and a Corporate Governance course to help you succeed on this section of the CPA Exam.
Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
For Business Environment and Concepts, you may have guessed that business courses would be super helpful for succeeding on this section of the CPA Exam. You would be right once again! Specifically within business, you should consider taking courses in Accounting Information Systems, Cost and Managerial Accounting, Corporate Governance, Financial Statement Analysis, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics. Additionally, if you have room in your schedule, you should consider taking Auditing, Operations Management, Project Management, and Internal Audit course to help you succeed on this section of the CPA Exam.
Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
Now for Financial Accounting and Reporting, you probably guessed that you want to take courses in financial accounting; however, your guess would be incomplete. FAR covers more than just financial accounting. Content related to governmental accounting and not-for-profit accounting is highly tested on this section of the CPA Exam. As a result, you should consider taking courses in Financial Accounting I, Financial Accounting II, Advanced Financial Accounting, Governmental Accounting, and Not-for-Profit Accounting to help you succeed on this section of the CPA Exam. Also, if you have time, consider taking a course in Corporate Tax to help you with book-to-tax conversions.
Last but not least is Regulation. REG covers all things tax and business law. To succeed on this section of the CPA Exam, you should consider taking courses in Individual Tax, Corporate Tax, Financial Accounting I, Financial Accounting II, Business Law I, and Business Law II. If you have some availability in your schedule, taking Tax Research may also help you succeed on REG. As always, remember to breathe.