CPA: The Letters after Your Name Matters

Since I decided to become an accounting major, I have always contemplated if I should become a certified public accountant. I am now a senior and I have decided that I want to obtain my CPA license.

Accountants get their CPA license to work in public accounting. After CPAs get their experience, they do not have to stay working in public accounting firms. Whether they stay in public accounting or work in private business, they are trusted to provide financial advice for businesses.

I was hesitant to make the decision to become a CPA because I was not entirely sure if I wanted to work in public accounting. Another deterrent for me was the challenging requirements that I would need to complete. In order to commit to my decision to become a CPA, it requires planning to fulfill the requirements. The most challenging requirement of getting the license is passing the exam, which has four sections: auditing and attestation, business environment and concepts, financial accounting and reporting, and regulation. Another requirement is completing 150 credits, 30 more than what a 4 year degree student graduates with. Taking these credits is tedious to me because the sole objective is to be able to sit for the exam.

Any CPA will recommend a graduating accounting student to start their career by obtaining their CPA license. Graduating students are more likely to have the motivation to take the necessary and required steps to become licensed. After a student graduates they are not settled in a career or too busy with a full time job. They have the time to buckle-down and focus on studying for the exam. There are time commitments involved that would be difficult once already having full-time job responsibility. Recent accounting graduates that study for the CPA exam, realize that putting in hard work as soon as possible will benefit them in the future.

When I obtain my CPA license it would be a benchmark that represents the financial and business expertise that I possess. A CPA license carries a lot of weight in the accounting and business world. Accountants are an integral part of the business operations and their opinion would be more credible if it is coming from an accountant with a CPA.

Even if I decide public accounting is not for me, I would have the expertise and experience to be a CEO of a private business. An employer in a private industry would find me more hirable with a CPA. The license would be an added bonus for industries outside of public accounting. Employers will put an applicant with the “CPA” letters after their name above others that do not have them.

I believe any accounting major should become a certified public accountant. Getting an accounting degree from Saint Joseph’s is going to help pass the CPA exam. A bachelor’s degree in accounting is not useless without having a CPA license, but with it there are more opportunities that become available.

Posted in: Academics, Advising & Support, After SJU (Graduation & Post-Graduation), Haub School of Business, Internships & Experiential Learning, Majors & Minors

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