Hawaii Accounting Schools
Hawaii’s universities and colleges offer a range of programs in general accounting as well as programs designed to help students prepare for careers in other accounting roles like auditing and accounting management. The following guide to accounting schools in Hawaii contains key information so that you can compare the schools and programs available and find the right school for you. Hawaii schools offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees with various areas of specialization, curricula, and schedule formats. Read on below to find out more information about school rankings, professional accounting licensure, and career outlooks in the accounting industry in Hawaii.
- 7 public colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Hawaii.1
- 2 private not-for-profit colleges and universities offer an accounting degree program in Hawaii.1
- 5 schools offer a certificate in accounting.*1
- 5 schools offer an associate’s degree in accounting.*1
- 4 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in accounting.*1
- 2 schools offer a graduate degree in accounting.*1
- No programs ranked in US News Best Undergrad Accounting Programs 2018.2
- No programs ranked in US News Best Graduate Accounting Programs 2018.3
- No schools ranked in the Princeton Review Great Schools for Accounting Majors 2018.4
- No schools ranked in Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016.5
*Public or private not-for-profit colleges and universities only.
Highest First-Time CPA Exam Pass Rate with a Bachelor’s Degree
Each year, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) releases a report including data on candidate performance on the Uniform CPA Exam.7 The following schools had the highest first-time CPA exam pass rates in Hawaii in 2015 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree, with the overall average pass rate for Hawaii being 42.2%:
- University of Hawaii Hilo 66.7%
- Brigham Young University Hawaii 50.0%
- Hawaii Pacific University 50.0%
- University of Hawaii Manoa 40.8%
Schools in Hawaii with Accounting Degrees
Undergraduate Accounting Programs
University of Hawaii at Manoa
At the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, students can earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Accounting. Students start with general education requirements before continuing on to study broad business concepts and specialized accounting courses. Accounting major classes include Accounting Information Systems, Federal Individual Income Taxation, and Auditing. This curriculum provides a foundation for a wide range of positions within the accounting field. Some graduates go on to work in auditing, tax, or advisory services in public accounting, while others may find positions in private business, not-for-profit organizations, or governmental groups. Those interested in earning CPA licensure may find that this undergraduate degree prepares them for further advanced study. UH-Manoa also offers a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree, and students can choose an accelerated path and finish both degrees in five years.
University of Hawaii Hilo
The College of Business and Economics at the University of Hawaii Hilo offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting degree. This degree is ideal for those interested in pursuing further graduate study and finding work in public, private, or governmental accounting. Students first study a broad base of general education subjects before completing a business and accounting core. Accounting majors learn theory and technical skills that allow them to translate and communicate the information behind complex financial data. The curriculum also prepares students to pursue further study and/or successfully pass licensure and certification examinations such as CPA. Many undergraduate students work part- or full-time, and graduates can go on to work in entry-level positions such as auditor, budget analyst, financial reporter, tax accountant, and accounting clerk.
Brigham Young University Hawaii
Brigham Young University Hawaii offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Accounting degree. The curriculum focuses on general business knowledge as well as specialized accounting skills. Students learn critical thinking and teamwork skills in courses such as Managerial Accounting, Federal Tax-Individuals, Auditing, and International Accounting. Coursework focuses on the software and technical approaches commonly used in the accounting industry so students are prepared to enter the workforce. BYU Hawaii also emphasizes written and oral communication and interpersonal skills. Undergraduates have the opportunity to complete an academic internship, where they learn how to combine their classroom skills with real-world experience. Graduates from the program may go on pursue advanced study in accounting or business programs before working in public accounting, private business, or not-for-profit organizations.
Graduate Accounting Programs
Chaminade University of Honolulu
At Chaminade University of Honolulu, students can earn a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting. The program can be completed on-campus, through evening courses, or entirely online. Students are prepared to work in public or private accounting, and the curriculum meets the academic requirements for the CPA licensure. The advanced coursework is combined with management classes, and students are encouraged to seek out leadership or project management roles in the accounting industry. Accounting majors can also add additional concentrations in Not-For-Profit or Island Business. This degree is primarily aimed toward students with accounting undergraduate degrees, though some individuals may be able to take prerequisite courses for admission into the program.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Shidler College of Business offers a Master of Accounting (MAcc) degree. This 30-credit program prepares students to sit for the CPA examination through classes in advanced accounting subjects. Students learn about subject areas such as taxation, financial accounting, auditing, and data analytics. The curriculum focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to work in public practice, business, government, and other organizations. Shidler emphasizes conceptual knowledge as well as research skills so that students are equipped to adapt to a changing accounting field. For post-graduation opportunities, students can complete an optional internship for academic credit or take advantage of the resources offered by the career development services office.
Online Accounting Programs
Leeward Community College
Through Leeward Community College, students can earn an Associate in Science (AS) in Accounting degree entirely online. Students take courses such as Principles of Accounting, Payroll and Hawaii General Excise Tax, Business Income Tax Preparation, and Introduction to Managerial Accounting. These classes teach students skills like how to organize accounting systems, prepare financial statements, and compose business documents. Courses also teach students the theory behind understanding, managing, and communicating accounting information. Classwork emphasizes analytical and problem-solving skills as well as technical computer programs and applications. Graduates from the associate’s program may go on to pursue further accounting education or find entry-level accounting positions in accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, inventory, or bookkeeping.
Hawaii Pacific University
At the College of Business at Hawaii Pacific University, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting entirely online or through a blended on-campus and online option. This degree prepares students to pursue further graduate study and the CPA designation in addition to careers in public accounting, private industry, government service, and not-for-profit organizations. Students learn from a curriculum that focuses on real-world skills, such as financial reporting, auditing, and tax strategy. Online students also have the option to complete an internship for elective credit, allowing them to graduate with experience in the field. HPU also offers an online Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, and all graduates can take advantage of alumni and industry networking opportunities for post-graduation career plans.
Hawaii CPA Requirements
The Hawaii Board of Public Accountancy requires that CPA candidates complete at least 150 semester hours and at least a bachelor’s degree. 24 of these semester hours must be in upper-division accounting courses, and 24 must be in business courses. All school credit must be from an accredited college or university. Once a candidate has completed all required semester hours and passed the Uniform CPA examination, he or she must complete at least 1,500 hours of related experience in an accounting firm. This experience must be verified by a licensed CPA. Candidates can then apply for licensure, and this licensure must be maintained through Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours completed on a regular basis.
Career Opportunities for Accounting Grads in Hawaii
Graduates with accounting degrees may find many different opportunities within the accounting field in Hawaii. Graduates can work for major accounting firms in Hawaii such as Deloitte & Touche, KMH LLP, and Ernst & Young. Some graduates also choose to work for small, local firms or open up their own firm or consultancy. Major corporations and companies are also a great source of employment opportunities for graduates, providing possible positions in finance and accounting management. Major employers in Hawaii include Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Petroleum, and Servo Pacific. Accounting grads may also find positions in governmental positions in the state’s treasury department, transportation department, FBI, state and local government, or armed forces.
Hawaii Accounting Salary and Jobs by Metro Area
|Metro Area||Accountants & Auditors Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area||500||$61,400|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2018.8
Hawaii Schools with Accounting Degree Programs
3140 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Leeward Community College
96-045 Ala Ike St
Pearl City, HI 96782
Student Review:“I didn’t necessarily find much initial interest in accounting or the program, but I enjoyed the teachers and the material presented nonetheless and grew to like it in the end. Of course, I was also quick to realize how important accounting was to business and how it is applied on a day-to-day basis. This led to a further interest in corporate law and tax law, which melded very well with the accounting courses. Overall, it was very good experience indeed.” -student at Leeward Community College
Hawaii Pacific University
1164 Bishop St
Honolulu, HI 96813
University of Hawaii
200 W Kawili St
Hilo, HI 96720
1. National Center for Education Statistics: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. US News & World Report Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/business-accounting
3. US News & World Report Best Accounting Programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/accounting-rankings
4. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges 2018 Edition. Penguin Random House, 2017.
5. Bloomberg Businessweek Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2016: https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-best-undergrad-business-schools/
6. AACSB-Accredited Universities and Schools, Accounting: https://www.aacsb.edu/accreditation/accredited-schools
7. The NASBA Candidate Performance Report, 2015 University Edition: https://nasbareport.com/
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Hawaii: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_hi.htm