The program prepares for two certifications: the Dutch Registered Accountant (RA) and the CPA title (optional). In the curriculum of the EPMA program there are 3 full days of classes about the US GAAP standards in comparison with the IFRS and Dutch GAAP standards. This 3 day window is compulsory for all EPMA students. In second half of the third year students have the time to arrange the CPA exams in the US when they opt to retain this title.
The EPMA program can be finished in 3 years and consists of 7 seminars of 1 or 2 weeks each. In the second half of the third year time is reserved to write the practical thesis or term paper (referaat). This makes sure that there is a nice combination between the theoretical and practical education.
The total study load is 72 credits according to the ECTS without the deficiency courses. Classes are always from Monday up to and including Saturday. In the beginning of the seminar, the written exams pertaining to the preceding seminar are taken. The seminars are held in Tilburg (Netherlands), Bucharest (Romania) and Valencia (Spain). The seminars will always be held in November, May and July.
The program tries to bridge the gap between practice and theory. This implies that teaching is problem-based, making use of cases taken from practice, and that students' existing and potentially tacit knowledge is activated as much as possible by means of focused discussions with fellow students and faculty. Testing takes place by means of a variety of instruments, including: written exams, papers, oral exams, cases, and presentations. Group as well as individual performance is considered in grade determination. In between the seminars e-learning will be used to keep students activated. An exception is the period from January till April where no formal study requirements except for homework cases are imposed on the students, to allow them to focus on the busy season in the office.
Corporate Law and Tax Law are deficiency courses that are embedded in the curriculum. These are only mandatory for students who do not have the required previously acquired competencies in these fields. Therefore the total # ECTS does not contain these courses. Students who do have previously acquired competencies in these fields are not required to attend classes nor participate in the exams. However, we strongly recommend to attend classes anyhow since laws and regulations frequently change.
* In year 3 six days will be spent on CPA training and exam. The CPA training is not part of the regular EPMA curriculum. This training will be given in the USA (Chicago, IL). An additional tuition fee of € 5.000,- applies.
Accounting Information Systems
Dutch Laws and Regulations
You are held accountable for the traineeship in Accountancy practice via a practice thesis and half-yearly trainee reports. Registration for the practice thesis is completely independent of the university where you did the theoretical part of the Accountancy program. You can register for practice thesis supervision as soon as you are admitted to the third year of the traineeship, which normally is after finishing the EPMA.
Obviously Tilburg University will take care for excellent thesis supersvision if you decide to do the practice thesis here, under guidance of one of our lecturers with a practical background. We then assess which supervisor is the most proficient in the topic that you have chosen for your thesis. From start to end you will have frequent discussions with your supervisor who advices you and serves as your personal sounding board.
After the practice thesis is approved by your supervisor, a second examiner is appointed who evaluates your thesis independently from your supervisor. You defend your practice thesis in front of the exam committee, consisting of your supervisor, the second examiner and in some randomly chosen cases, an examiner of the traineeship office of the NBA. The organization of the thesis defense is done by Tilburg University.
The Law on Accountancy Education makes a distinction between a theoretical and a practical educational program.
To become listed in the charter of the NBA, after which you are allowed to bear the title Registered Accountant (in Dutch: Registeraccountant, abbreviated as RA, to be put behind your name), you have to submit your diploma from the Tilburg University EPMA as well as official proof that you finished the three-year practice traineeship.