Monday, April 13, 2009

Why CPA ?

Well I just finished the first week of classes of my last quarter here at Ohio State. It is kind of bitter sweet. I can’t imagine not getting up on Saturdays in the Fall, putting on a jersey, and walking down the street to one of the best stadiums in college football. I can’t imagine not eating some quick and rather unhealthy dinner while watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune with three of my best friends. It is weird that I will have a real job instead of classes interspersed between naps and that I will never again jump into Mirror Lake in the middle of a very cold, late November night in Ohio to ensure a victory over that hated school up north. What, do you ask, does this have to do with my CPA journey? Everything. This is where my journey began. I came here not knowing what GAAP stood for, let alone it’s many rules, and somewhere in between all the fun I was having, I learned something. And not just about debits and credits but also about who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. That is why the CPA designation is important to me, because without it I haven’t reached my true potential. Plus, after suffering through Intermediate 1, 2, and 3, it will be nice to know it was all well worth the pain.

There are so many more reasons, of course, as to why getting your CPA is important. For one, let’s talk money. It has been shown that those with the CPA designation are paid more. A lot more. But it isn’t all about the money. To quote Roger Philipp, CPA, Deloitte alum, and the founder, CEO, and instructor for Roger CPA Review, “No one can ever take that accomplishment away from you”. He recently looked at the question of “Why bother becoming a CPA?” on a guest post he made on re: The Auditors, a blog by Francine McKenna. Philipp wrote that the primary obstacles that prevent half of the accounting students from going after the CPA designation come down to the difficulty and cost of taking the exam itself. He then showed why these obstacles are not only achievable but well worth it. Philipp references the passing rates for the exam, which, I’ll admit, scare me a bit. The AICPA reports that only 47% of candidates pass the exam. He suggests inadequate studying could be to blame. But the report also shows that eventually as many as 75% pass. So maybe after a first failed attempt, they are learning to study more. I don’t have a ton of experience with standardized tests, but with the experience I have had (SATS), I can say that the second time is definitely easier. The second time around you are more relaxed; you’ve been there before and made it through.

As for the cost, the numbers speak for themselves. Philipp estimates that after the review course fees, testing, and licensure fees, it can total $4500 or more. But this initial sacrifice, he points out, is greatly rewarded with an increased earning potential of up to $18,000 a year, not to mention the potential for advancement opportunities, personal growth, and development.
Read Philipp’s full post here.

Also, employers often help pay for review courses and exam costs! So is it worth it. YES! (Let’s hope I still feel the same way after taking the first section! :)

Personally, I hope to have my CPA designation propel me past the competition and into my dream field of professional sports (particularly football) accounting. So what am I going to do to tackle (no pun intended) those obstacles mentioned above? Well, I have already found a
self study review course that I plan on purchasing and I already have a job with a wonderful firm that encourages becoming a CPA by helping to finance it.

Next post I hope to talk about some of the requirements for sitting for the exam. These I have found can be as tricky as the exam itself and change state to state, so beware!

Now I leave you with something funny and also pretty impressive, although it has nothing to do with accounting, it is one of my favorite youtube videos of all time. Enjoy!

Follow me on Twitter @rjbrownosu

Monday, March 16, 2009

My CPA Journey

Hi! My name is Rebekah and I am a Senior Accounting Major at
THE Ohio State University.

I just finished my winter quarter here and I am one quarter away from walking across the stage, or I guess football field in my case. Although going to the largest school in the country means that my family won't hear my name be called and most likely won't even be able to find me among the thousands of other graduates, I do walk away with my actual diploma which is pretty sweet. Anyway I could talk about how incredibly AWESOME Ohio State is all day, but I will leave that for another time. Go Bucks!

My blog is going to be about the road to getting my CPA in Maryland, because as much as I love Ohio, I actually have a job offer back at home in Maryland so best to take the exam there.

I’ve actually been going down the road for a couple of years now, since deciding that the CPA credential is a must for my career. One thing I’ve had to pay attention to is the different requirements each state has to take the exam. So, it is a “uniform” exam, meaning the content is the same, but every state board evidently decides what you need to have to take the exam (how many credits, what general courses, what specific courses, experience, etc.). Can be confusing and can change too. I am student member of the MACPA and they do a great job of keeping me up on these things. Thanks MACPA!

I want my blog to not only keep you updated on my journey but to help you or yours, or perhaps remind you of yours. So if you are a CPA, on the journey like I am, or just mildly interested in Accounting, I invite you to read and let me know what you thinking of my musings.

With that I will conclude my first post, but not before a little comic relief . . .