The Illinois CPA Society’s inaugural Jumpstart to Accounting program welcomed more than 100 college students and professors from more than 30 colleges and universities across the state of Illinois on April 24.
The new conference, targeting college students interested in an accounting career and professors working in accounting departments, offered insights into an accounting major, how to study for the CPA exam, presentations from the executive director of the Illinois Board of Examiners and president/CEO of the Illinois CPA Society, an interactive panel discussion with young professionals and visits to public accounting firms.
“The conference really helped me expand my knowledge on the field of accounting. Meeting young professionals and hearing their process to get to where they are was very helpful,” says Ronald Luce, a sophomore at St. Xavier University.
The Young Professional Panel interacted with participants, answering questions about the accounting major and what to expect as a young accountant, while presentations from the Illinois Board of Directors and the Illinois CPA Society focused on the value of the CPA credential and Society membership.
“[The students] befitted from the overview of the need for the CPA credential and information on taking it,” says Dr. Vicky Eidson, associate professor of accounting at Quincy University. “They need to hear this message a lot throughout their years of school.”
Jumpstart to Accounting also presented the real world experience of public accounting. Students and educators toured the offices and interacted with staff at PwC, Crowe Horwath, Grant Thornton, Miller Cooper and Plante Moran.
“Visiting the firms was amazing. I realized the personality of the accounting firm you plan to work for is more important than the size or prestige,” says Thomas Vitale, senior at Quincy University.