The study aimed at determining factors that influence performance in CPA examinations conducted by KASNEB. Two approaches were used: First, approach examined factors that influence completion period of CPA examinations. A sample of 190 qualified students was randomly selected from a population of 1865 candidates who had qualified as at December 1996. Second approach examined factors which determine whether a student would pass the CPA Section 6 or not. A sample of 112 candidates who sat the December, 1995 and June 1996 examinations and passed was examined alongside a sample of 146 candidates drawn from a total population of 1007 candidates who sat and did not pass in the two sittings.
For each of the approaches, correlation, multiple regression analysis, stepwise regression, stepwise discriminate multiple discriminate analyses were conducted. In both cases, mode of study, educational background and occupation were found to be very significant variables. Age appeared also but with least significance. Analysis two identified Kenya College of Accountancy as a college that positively influenced passing. Analysis one gave emphasis on the manner of attempting the examination. English and Mathematics at “o” level also a positive association with completion period.
Regression analysis revealed that variables identified explained 80% of the reasons influencing completion period. Descriminant analysis showed that the same variables constituted over 90% of the discriminating attributes between those candidates who finished the course within a short time and those who take a long time to complete. Variables covered in influencing passing however, could only account for 30% of the reasons for passing or not passing under regression analysis and had only 35% discriminating ability between those candidates who fail and those who pass. This means that over 70% of the reasons for passing or not passing were not captured in this set of variables. Consequently, there is need to search and establish the factors that constitute the remaining 70% in all the analyses, regression and discriminant analyses strongly agreed on the findings.