Becoming a Certified Public Accountant is a challenge. You will have to endure 150 hours of education and undergo a grueling exam. After that, you will have to continue your education to stay up to date on the information you need for your license. While contemplating this workload you may ask yourself "why should I even bother?" Don't give up before you begin - there are many benefits that make becoming a CPA worthwhile.
If you want to become a CPA, chances are you love accounting. But this love won't get you far during those long nights of studying. Instead, think about the leap in salary you will enjoy once you have your license. In 2011, college graduates with a degree in accounting averaged a salary of $50,500. In contrast, CPAs averaged $73,800, with the top earners making six figures. While this number will vary based on the area you live in and how much experience you have, there is no doubt that becoming a CPA will have a positive effect on your bank account.
Getting the Job
Many businesses are looking specifically for CPAs. If you have an accounting degree but are still looking for a job, you are probably familiar with this fact. Being able to put CPA on your resume will tell employers that you have the skills needed to complete the job correctly. An employer may be more willing to give a young accountant a chance if he can prove that he has the fortitude to make it through the CPA testing process.
Being a CPA marks you as someone whose skills are multifaceted. Depending on your interests and past experiences, this can open up doors to several different types of specializations. Auditing and advising on taxes are two areas that may jump to mind quickly, but look further. Business consultation, international financial reporting, and even information technology are all areas you can pursue as a CPA
No one makes it through the CPA exam by guessing. If you earn this distinction it is because you are proficient in your craft. This will help you to get the job you want, but there are additional benefits. When you pass the exam, let it go to your head. The confidence you will achieve from knowing you have what it takes will serve you well in all your interactions, both personal and professional.
No matter what the economy looks like, companies need the skills of a CPA. If you have this distinction, you will have the skills and the title you need to be desirable to many top notch companies. This gives you the flexibility to work a company that fits your goals and mindset. If one position does not work out, you will have an easier chance of finding a new job than your peers in different fields.
Being a Certified Financial Accountant means a lot, both to you and to the people you come in contact with. When your employer or client knows that you are a CPA, they know that you have the skills and training necessary to earn the distinction. They know that your intelligence, ethics, and character have all been tested and that you have passed every exam with flying colors. You will be set apart from those who are simply "accountants," giving you a perceived level of professionalism that cannot be achieved any other way. The qualities of a CPA are desired by many businesses, and with those three letters by your name you can prove that they are qualities you possess.
The educational and testing requirements of becoming a CPA are arduous, but every minute you spend sweating through it will pay off later on down the road.
Sarah Jackson loves all things Accounting from high atop her perch as Associate Editor at Proformative.com. When no writing and editing, she is the loving mother to three precocious children, who make it all worthwhile.