If you are currently in college and are already pursing an accounting degree, the last thing you want to think about is more classes and more tests. But earning your CPA is one of the best head-starts you can make towards your career as an accountant.
What is CPA, Anyway?
CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. To earn a CPA license, you will need to take a few more courses as well as pass the CPA exam. The courses and exams cover in-depth information such as tax preparation, tax audits and ethics. Most accountants who have obtained their CPA license will tell you the pay-off is well worth the extra effort. As you start searching for jobs, you will find that there are many opportunities available to accountants that hold a CPA.
Why Should I Earn My CPA?
Obtaining your CPA will show that you have a commitment to your chosen career and will show potential employers that you are the type of person that will chose to do more than just the basic requirements. Accounts with a CPA earn about 10% more than those with just a degree. When you obtain your CPA, you will find that you can choose the accounting field you would like to work in. Once you earn your CPA, you will also be able to open your own business if you prefer to be your own boss. More information on career opportunities can be found at http://www.aicpa.org/Career/Pages/Career.aspx.
What If I Choose Not to Earn my CPA?
Of course, your career path is up to you. While accounting is a dynamic field and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a job once you graduate, a CPA will give you your pick of companies. If you decide not to earn your CPA, you may find yourself working in a less than ideal location and for less than your expected salary. The extra 10% many CPAs make will go a long way toward paying off student loans. Also, if you chose not to earn your CPA, you may find that you do not advance in a company as fast as you would like. Most entry-level accountants are supervised by a CPA, and if you hope to become a supervisor, earning your CPA is a must.
One option you may consider is earning your CPA while you are working. Many companies will offer incentives and even education reimbursement if you choose to pursue your CPA. Many businesses will view this as both a commitment to your career and a commitment to the company. This is also a great goal to include on your resume, so that potential employers will see that you are career-minded.
Why Are CPAs in Such Demand?
When you earn your CPA, you have a license to show that you have extensive knowledge of accounting principals. Part of the CPA coursework and testing also deals with ethics, a very important consideration if a company is to trust you with their or their clients’ money. The CPA exam also includes some focus on giving tax advice and how to handle a tax audit. Many companies find a CPA valuable for this reason alone, since tax laws only grow more complicated each year.
More money, more career options and more opportunity for advancement are just a few of the reasons you should consider obtaining your CPA license. If you are serious about your career in the accounting world, getting your CPA should be a goal that you set for yourself. You will prove to yourself and potential employers that you care about your career and that you have what it takes to succeed.