Eva Arnold, CPA and our Course Content Coordinator, shares her insight about why having your CPA license is such a vital part of accounting career success. Learn more about the 4 different ways it can impact your professional and personal life, and how these three letters after your name today really impacts your opportunities tomorrow.
1. It can make up for your meh college
If you went to Podunk-For-Profit University, or some other school that rightly or wrongly may be viewed with skepticism by hiring managers, the CPA grants you instant credibility. I know about this favorable perception bump from experience. In a job interview, I was told bluntly by a CPA firm partner, unimpressed with my online degrees, ‘We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if it weren’t for this,’ as he pointed to my CPA Exam score reports.
Ultimately I was successful in my no-accounting-experience, out-of-state job search, and I credit a large part of that success to my having passed the CPA Exam. Passing a uniform exam well-known for its difficulty and rigid adherence to academic honesty shows that you probably did learn something in college. It also indicates you may have more gumption and discipline than others with your same degree.
2. Tie goes to the CPA
In baseball, if a basepath play is too close to call, the tie goes to the runner. If a firm is choosing between two similar candidates for a job, who do you think they’ll hire, the CPA or the non-CPA? If you’re lucky and got a promotion without the CPA, but now you want to change jobs – who do you think a prospective employer will be more interested in, a non-CPA or a similar candidate who has the CPA?
3. Avoid the non-CPA invisible ceiling
Something may be stopping you from advancing in your career, and unlike the famous gender glass ceiling, it’s something you can control. In public accounting, the CPA designation is a must for most management roles. In private accounting, many firms expect the CPA designation for roles such as CFO, Controller, VP of Finance, and the like.
4. A great enhancement to your personal brand
Maybe you want to strike out on your own at some point. The CPA designation lends you instant credibility in the eyes of the general public and adds to the perceived value of your services. In addition, banks look favorably upon the CPA designation in those applying for small business or professional practice purchase loans. Right now there’s a buyer’s market for purchasing the accounting and tax practices of retiring Baby Boomers. The CPA designation can help you get in on this opportunity.
– Eva Arnold, CPA
Roger CPA Review Course Coordinator
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