Like professional accounting organizations many
Like professional accounting organizations, many accounting educators have also embraced the potential recruitment value of advanced placement. For example, high school and college educators collaborated to create the Accounting Pilot and Bridge Project (APBP), in order to jump start the profession\'s entry into advanced high school education, and encourage the College Board to offer an AP accounting course (Deines et al., 2012). Recently, the APBP joined forces with the AICPA to develop and provide training and curriculum to high schools interested in offering a rigorous AP “like” accounting course, and the schools can include a qualifying exam that leads to college credit at participating universities. Positive outcomes from the ongoing APBP initiative would support the premise, that an AP accounting course could attract high-achieving students into collegiate accounting programs (Cohn, 2014). Interest in advanced placement within the profession continues to grow, with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) providing financial funding to “help educators and accounting professionals better understand some of the challenges associated with developing high-quality, advanced placement courses in accounting” (McCabe, 2017). Although the accounting community\'s efforts toward implementing an AP accounting course have been productive, unfortunately, the College Board has yet to sanction an official AP accounting course.
The current research examines whether AP engagement and success is associated with CPA exam performance. It also more narrowly identifies specific types of AP courses that are likely to be associated with higher CPA exam performance. Using constructs from Bloom\'s Taxonomy of Learning (Bloom & Krathwohl, 1956), the current study predicts that particular AP courses, specifically those emphasizing higher-order thinking skills, have a relatively stronger correspondence with the higher-order thinking skills demanded on the CPA exam. The surprising results from this EZ Cap Reagent AG analysis may help college recruiters identify high school students who have taken particular AP courses as the most likely to perform well in accounting curricula and ultimately on the CPA exam. Furthermore, the results provide valuable insights for the ongoing campaign to implement an official AP accounting course by identifying course characteristics that may translate to students\' success in future accounting endeavors.
Hypotheses The Pathways Commission has promoted AP students as the type of “high-quality” recruits who would excel in the accounting profession. Although, there is no empirical data directly linking AP to future academic pursuits in accounting, the literature does suggest that AP students may share qualities with CPA exam passers. The most widely documented correspondence is in the context of college entrance exam scores. Researchers have shown that college entrance exam scores are higher for students who pass AP exams (Warne et al., 2015), and also for students who perform well on the CPA exam (Howell & Heshizer, 2008). The current study expects to find similar outcomes with respect to standardized exam scores: Assuming H1, H2 to be true, the syllogistic argument would be that AP students will ultimately do better on the CPA exam. However, those relationships cannot necessarily be used to predict that higher AP success will result in higher success on the CPA exam without theoretical explanation. ACT/SAT scores are standardized measures of the English and math skills required for college level learning, and when considered alone, could deceptively lead to the conclusion that, because AP students have higher college entrance skills, they would likely perform better in accounting curriculums, which would result in better performance on the CPA exam. However, this scenario can be contradicted with the collective work of Klopfenstein and Thomas (2009), Williams (2010), and Evans (2009), which shows students performed equally well in upstream college coursework whether or not they took AP courses. This outcome may be because non-AP students “catch-up” to their AP counterparts with respect to skills and knowledge as they complete their degree requirements. By the time non-AP students take the CPA exam, they would have presumably gained knowledge equivalent to that of AP students. Thus, entropy would be impossible to know whether higher knowledge implied by ACT/SAT scores explains why AP students would perform better on the CPA exam. The current research argues a more plausible explanation can be found in the psychology literature related to human motivation.