Jan Fahs and Nick Cripe
Perfect for the profession and for
students: Manchester’s new
150-hour accounting program
Manchester College’s new 150-hour accounting program seems tailor-made
for Nickolaus R. Cripe of Goshen, who began his new career with a
nationwide CPA firm in January, primed to take the grueling exam to
become a certified public accountant.
Cripe came to Manchester to pursue a master of accountancy but made a
smooth transition to the much shorter 150-hour program when it was
announced last spring while he was interning with the Fort Wayne firm of
BKD, LLP. The accelerated program put him into his career (and
earning a paycheck) nine months earlier. He’s pleased, and so is BKD,
which has a new employee in time for the busy
audit and tax season.
For students, employers and Manchester, the 150-hour program makes
sense, said Janis Fahs, CPA, coordinator of the 103-student accounting
program. The new program ideally positions Manchester College students
in the job market well-prepared for certification as public accountants,
The timing is perfect: “Firms are scooping up competent accountants
right now. Firms don’t want to wait for a master’s degree; they want
them now,” she said, pointing to new accounting regulations and
accountability pressures on businesses and organizations.
Those pressures likely will increase the
demand for CPAs, said Gary M. Bolinger, CAE, president and CEO of the
7,500-member Indiana CPA Society. “The Manchester College 150-hour
program for students pursuing the CPA designation is of great value in
filling the need for future CPAs,” he said.
Students need 150 credit hours and a bachelor’s degree to qualify for
the four-part CPA exam in Indiana. They typically would complete
Manchester’s new program in 4½ years – in December, ready for the busy
season. Those who take summer and January session classes could finish
in as quickly as four years. They could receive a bachelor’s degree
after successfully completing 128 credit hours; or wait until completing
the additional 22 credit hours required to apply for the CPA exam.
Manchester’s accounting program is recognized as one of the finest in
the state and its graduates are heavily recruited. “We take great pride
in graduating students who possess the work ethic, the maturity, and the
educational foundation necessary to make immediate positive
contributions to the accounting profession,” Fahs said.
After surveying regional and national accounting firms, Manchester
suspended its master of accountancy. Many firms do not pay higher
starting salaries for a master’s degree, nor do they consider it for
“Accounting is the department flagship, and we are committed to
maintaining and building upon the standards of excellence that Art
Gilbert established many years ago,” said Fahs. Arthur L. Gilbert,
professor emeritus, created the accounting and master of accountancy
degrees at Manchester College, building a CPA-readiness program whose
graduates populate accounting firms across Indiana.
The opportunities are vast for CPAs, who serve as trusted business
advisors, strategic thinkers and problem
solvers. For more about Manchester College’s accounting programs, visit
or contact Janis Fahs, CPA, at 260-982-5300 or