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Are you a high school student curious about resumes? Or the CPA exam? Or the size of your future paycheck? Enter your question below and we’ll have a real-life CPA answer it. 

If you are in college or beyond, get the answers to your questions by contacting the Academic & Career Awareness team.

 

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Q: What is the best part about being a CPA?

Being a CPA has several intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. For promotion to Senior Associate at PwC, associates must obtain their CPA. The Firm also awards associates who complete the CPA exam during their first year with a bonus! As client work gets busier over time, it is definitely beneficial to complete the CPA exam early. Even if you decide not to work in public accounting, having a CPA helps give you credibility as an accountant. You are more likely to receive a managerial role at a company by having a CPA compared to someone who does not have a CPA.

You can also personally grow and develop an aptitude for accounting through membership in organizations such as the AICPA and state CPA societies. These organizations provide webcasts, reading materials, and training sessions to help CPAs develop skills in accounting areas of their choice. Additionally, as CPAs are required to complete a number of continuing education hours, organizations such as the AICPA and state CPA societies provide interesting courses to help meet the continuing education requirements.

As I'm entering my second year of work, I feel I've benefitted from having the CPA because I have more credibility with fellow teammates, friends and family come to me when they need accounting advice, and former accounting professors call on me to help guide their current students. I definitely feel I am able to add value at work and outside of work because of this credential!

Being a CPA

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Q: On average, how many hours a week do CPAs work?

Answered by:
AICPA

CPA’s have a wide variety of jobs and these jobs have different levels of responsibilities. Depending on which job the CPA has they could work anywhere from 40 hours a week to 50 or 60 hours. It really depends on where they work, what they do, how big their organization is, and many other factors involved. That’s one of the great things about being a CPA, you can choose your own workload!

Being a CPA, Work/Life Balance

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Q: Where can an accountant easily find a job?

Answered by:
AICPA

One of the great things about being a CPA is that they are needed in pretty much every industry. If you want to work in sports, fashion, military, technology, or education they all need accountants and CPAs. A CPA can find a job almost anywhere.

Being a CPA, Internships & First Job

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Q: 1. How long were you in college on your way to earning your CPA? 2. For someone still in high school wanting to be an accountant, what should they be doing to make that happen in the best way? 3. After earning a CPA, is it common for companies to come looking for you, or is it better to apply to any business or company you’re interested in? 4. If so, what sort of things should be on a resume to show your skill as a CPA? 5. What would you suggest to be a good minor to study in college? Communication skills? A foreign language? Or something else?

1. I was not a traditional accounting student, and I actually spent several years as a Chemistry major; however, most accounting students complete their college degree and CPA requirements in 5 years.

2. For a high school student who was interested in an accounting career, I would suggest the student become involved in a school sponsored business organization, such as an accounting club or Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), which will give you an introduction to the business environment. I would also suggest starting the research process of identifying colleges or universities that have a reputable accounting program that offers assistance in obtaining internships in both public accounting and corporate accounting. The student can research the different schools using the Internet and the college's website, talking with his/her guidance counselor, emailing the professors, and visiting the campus, specifically the business college.

3. After a student completes his/her college course work and is ready to seek employment, many universities have career fairs specifically for accounting. I am involved in recruiting new students for the firm I work with for internships and full-time hires. We will attend regional college accounting career fairs, and most of the students will start attending in their junior year of college. Internships are typically offered to students who are juniors and seniors during the Spring Semester, starting in January and ending on April 15th. We also will interview seniors and students in the Masters of Accounting program for full-time hires. The requirements to be eligible for full-time placement are typically that a student has 150 hours, is eligible to sit of the CPA exam upon graduations, and has at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average. Many students will find employment before graduation and prior to becoming a CPA.

4. When a student is seeking employment in accounting, I would suggest his/her resume include the standard information related to education, job history and activities as well as the students cumulative GPA, GPA of his/her major, activities that highlight any accounting experience, leadership and community activities, eligibility to sit for the CPA, and related software skills.

5. There are many different minors that can complement an accounting degree, such as finance, international business, economics, a foreign language, statistics, and many others. Before deciding on a minor, I would take classes in different disciplines to determine where I have an interest and aptitude. I would also suggest becoming active in the local state accounting society as a college student to gain exposure to people in the industry.

Colleges & Classes, CPA Exam & Certification, Internships & First Job

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Q: What are some of the challenges that students might run into taking accounting courses?

The major challenge for students is understanding that to be successful in an entry-level accounting course they will have to be disciplined. Unlike many courses that they have taken up to this point in their academic careers, they can't wait to cram for the exam the night before. Each chapter builds on the prior chapter so it is very important that they don't get behind. If students keep up with the readings and assignments they will be successful, and who knows, they may actually decide to pursue a rewarding career in accounting.

Colleges & Classes

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