You’re preparing a balance sheet, crunching numbers, thinking of how to build on your accounting career, but find yourself unable to do so. So you start listing the reasons you chose accounting as your major. You gaze upon the movie posters on your wall, and among Schindler’s List and Apollo 13, a brown-eyed Tim Robbins on the poster of Shawshank Redemption catches your eye. You remember the inspirational moment that led you to pursue professional accounting. The story of an accountant surviving prison through his technical expertise grabs your attention.
Or maybe, you don’t have an inspiration behind choosing your major and just went with the flow of what intrigued you. But you’re here now, juggling between CPA, CMA, and CFA, thinking which is the one for you. CPA seems worth it, but CFA and CMA seem more manageable.
Whether you’re on your way to becoming a CPA and finding it difficult or thinking of becoming one, this article will list all the reasons you should be patient and stick with CPA as a career.
Respect and admiration
A CPA is a prestigious job title that offers respect and admiration from employers, peers, friends, and general society. The tough academic preparation and practical training for this job make it an elite profession. Even the CPA exam schedule is challenging for most, from practice to lengthy exams. On-site learning through a job is another trial as it requires years to master the skills necessary to be a competent CPA.
The rigorous training that goes into becoming a CPA is why this job is considered the “gold standard of accounting.” CPAs are a valuable asset to society, thus recipients of prestige and admiration.
Once you have cleared the CPA exams and attained the license, you will become credible in the eyes of prospective employers. Performance on the tests and job is also synonymous with the kind of job offers you would get, determining your career path. Employers entrust accountants with the CPA title because it shows how competent, determined, and responsible they are, which opens exceptional career avenues like higher management and C-level positions.
CPAs can also work internationally or within their own country, in a large or small-scale firm. Since CPAs work for a wide range of accounting niches like cost, forensic, financial planning, financial analysis, etc., they have many options to choose from and can pave their career path however they please.
As long as businesses are thriving and making money, there will be a need for CPAs. In the 1990s, when the IT industry experienced an economic boom, many students started opting for computer science, finance, and accounting felt like a dead end. However, this has never been the case. CPA is a highly demanded career. As the senior executive population ages and gets ready to retire, it makes room for younger professionals to step up and climb the career ladder.
Since the role of a CPA offers immense job security and career development opportunities, there is also greater satisfaction associated with it. In addition, since CPAs have a lot on their plate as they deal with every accounting domain, this helps streamline their interests and focus on the fields they’re interested in.
Millennials are very particular about giving back to the community. Therefore, those who become CPAs are curious about ways they can use their accounting expertise for the greater good, like choosing to work for a non-profit and handling public audits.
Moreover, scandals like those of the Lehman Brothers (2008) and Enron (2001) influence not only the economy they are a part of, but due to globalization, the impact from a similar event today would be felt globally. CPAs, who hold power to prevent such occurrences, use their skills and expertise towards ethical accounting practice.
Higher earning potential
With great responsibility comes great pay. As a result, CPAs fulfilling a range of accounting duties get paid much more than a general accountant. If you manage to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms like Deloitte or PwC, your chances of getting a better salary are even higher. Although the compensation depends on various factors, it is still worth the challenges you face.
Private and Public Accounting
Although a CPA title emphasizes public accounting, there is no obligation to stick to a particular domain, which is also one of the many perks of a CPA License. Instead, you get to choose the domain where you’d prefer to work. Also, many private firms are keen on hiring CPAs, and you can also apply for a C-level position in the field of your choice.
As mentioned earlier, the career path of a CPA is in their own hands. You can choose which domain to work in and where to work. Thanks to globalization and increased economic integration, CPAs often work in multinational firms and travel for work, something a travel enthusiast might enjoy.
In fact, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, jobs offering remote work are now common. So if you’re not too fond of moving from country to country and would rather work from the comfort of your home, then working as a CPA would not only bring along the comfort you need but a high-paying salary as well.
Your Opinion holds value
A CPA works in every domain, from cost and forensic accounting to handling business valuations, auditing, and financial analysis. Therefore, they know almost everything there is to know about accounting which also makes a CPA the lighthouse for other accounting professionals who might need professional advice.
Becoming a CPA might not have seemed an attractive opportunity before reading this article because it is a profession that requires rigorous academic and professional training. However, the benefits of becoming a CPA are more significant than those listed here, and it is nonetheless a prestigious profession. If you have a knack for accounting or have been looking to upskill, getting a CPA license would be the best decision for your career.