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Q: What were your motives to become a CPA?

Obtaining a CPA license was a natural progression for me since my major was Accounting and at the time I sat for the exam I was working in a Public Accounting Firm. My real passion is IT audit (since my original major in college was MIS (Management Information Systems) and I added Accounting). After college I started working at PwC in IT audit and decided to pass the CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor) exam first. Once I gained confidence by passing the CISA exam and realized the value of having a CPA license in the business world (increased knowledge, respect and pay), I worked on passing the CPA exam. What a great decision it has been!

Being a CPA

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Q: At any point in time did you regret working toward getting your CPA license?

That's an interesting question, and I can honestly say I never regretted getting my CPA license. I may have questioned my sanity a time or two while I was studying for the CPA exam, but I always believed having the CPA designation would benefit me. Becoming a CPA requires commitment and hard work, but the pay-off greatly exceeds the cost (gee, I sound like an accountant). Whether you decide to pursue a career in public accounting, the corporate world or government, having your CPA license will only assist you in achieving success in your career. I have, on the other hand, observed where the lack of a CPA license can be an obstacle to career opportunities in accounting.

I remember the challenges I faced while working toward my CPA license, and I had to make some sacrifices, giving up my life to studying for a short period. I have coached several staff members at my firm through the process, and the best advise I can give is to prepare for the CPA exam sooner rather than later. The staff who take the CPA exam while finishing up their college course work or very soon after have had great success in passing the exam, mainly because they still have the good study habits they cultivated during school. Also, once you begin your career in accounting, juggling your work and life responsibilities while squeezing in study time can be a challenge, but it is doable!

I would strongly recommend that anyone planning a career in the accounting field to seriously considered obtaining his/her CPA license. Having this designation will distinguish you as someone who has expertise in the accounting field and will only be an asset to you in your future.

Being a CPA

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Q: Are there jobs as an accountant that don't require you to sit at a desk all day?

There are several jobs as an accountant that don't require you to sit at a desk all day:

1. As a staff accountant at a CPA firm or as an internal auditor for a Company, you can become active in physical inventory observations. These can be very exciting, because they take you out of the numbers and into the inner workings of your Company or clients. You finally get see what that machine looks like that costs $2 million on the books, and what it does to help the Company generate revenue. For these, you usually get to travel to different locations so you can "physically observe" the assets, and you will definitely get some quality time away from the desk!

2. One of my favorite duties as an accountant is making sure my clients are happy. There are many times when you will be away from your desk at client meetings and building relationships. In many cases, I feel very close to my clients and I take pride in these opportunities to make strong bonds! This is a very important and rewarding part of my job.

These are just a few of the things that I have run into during my career, but there are many more opportunities out there to be seen, I'm sure!

Being a CPA, Work/Life Balance

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Q: If you could have any job would you still be a CPA?

Yes. If I could have any job I wanted, I would still be a CPA.

I absolutely love business, so any job I would have would be in some field of business. I know you probably have already heard this, but accounting is the language of business. So, having the CPA designation means that you are a business expert. Although I am currently a Plant Controller at a Fortune 500 company, I have also been an auditor (internal and at a "Big Four" accounting firm), and I have helped my sister start her own not for profit business. All of these assignments have been enhanced by the business knowledge that I have gained by being a CPA.

The funny thing about being a CPA is no matter what you plan to do in the business world, having the CPA will be relevant for your assignment. This is because the CPA means that you know fundamentals about business finances and all businesses want to make money. Therefore, you can apply those CPA fundamentals to accounting, finance, marketing, logistics, human resources, entrepreneurship and on and on..... and if that is not enough, you can have a job as a teacher (or professors) and teach others about those CPA business fundamentals.

Being a CPA, Professional Community

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Q: What typical first job do new CPAs usually get, and what is their average salary?

Answered by:
AICPA

CPA’s can start out in public accounting doing taxes or auditing financial statements, but that is less than half of college graduates. Many CPA’s go to work for a business in a variety of industries or work for their government. They could be doing anything from consulting to small business owners to helping prepare important documents for the SEC. Either way they will be make a good salary as described right here on StartHereGoPlaces.com at www.startheregoplaces.com

Internships & First Job, Salary

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