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Is it just me or does it seem like every incoming college graduate seems to have their CPA? Kinda dilutes the whole thing. I understand there's a shortage, and so the AICPA is doing everything they can to increase the number of CPAs (reduce restrictions, increase pass percentages). It makes the senior associates w/o the certification look pretty bad.
Wouldnt be surprised if the interns start coming in having passed their exams and all they needed was the hours to get the certification.


Anonymous said…
I hear that. I am about to finish up my Masters of Accounting degree and the faculty created their own CPA prep classes we were required to take for a actual grade. Needless to say about 80% of my graduating class has passed 3 out of the 4 sections. We start our last review class after July 4th. With that said I can't imagine studying for this beast while's stressful enough with other classes.
Anonymous said…
I graduated in June 2008. And then I started studying CPA exam in September and passed all four in this May. Now I am actively looking for an entry-level positions in either private or public Acc firm. However, it is really tough now. I live in NYC.
Here, even entry-level position requires minimum 1-2yrs. experience now.
Anonymous said…
the big 4 firms also do a lot to encourage incoming graduates to take the cpa before they start working. i was an intern last summer and we had a becker representative come in and talk to us about the cpa and taking the classes. The firms pay for the classes and lets not forget there is that $5,000 incentive if you pass in your first year.

when we were getting start dates for the fall, the recruiter reminded us that now (in the summer)is the perfect time to take the exam.
CPAnet said…
Is anyone else having problems adding the RSS feed to their reader? I use NewsGator and have tried adding it a number of times over the past several months.

notfordisplay ~ I also see you have added your blog at the CPAnet Forum, it would be great if you could reciprocate by adding CPAnet ( to your list of sites. Thank you!

I just added your blog at CPA Blogger too.
Anonymous said…
You make it sound like people passing the CPA early on is a bad thing. Are you threatened by them?
notfordisplay said…
Threatened? You'll have a good career as a talk show host, great exaggeration skills.
Doesn't affect me, but it will for the profession if the number of CPAs increase. It reduces your bargaining power for $ and doesn't peg you any higher when you apply for jobs. If everyone gets them, it essentially wouldn't be highly valued anymore. Why do you think the AICPA tries to keep the pass rate around a certain percentage and not higher?
Anonymous said…
I think you have it twisted. I doubt that it is easier than when you started with your firm. Don't forget...5K plus exam expenses in the first year is quite an incentive to knock out the exams.

Also, 1st & 2nd years think that passing the CPA will give them better standing with the firm and shield them from being laid off...though in actuality I don't think passing the CPA is included in the lay-off metric.
notfordisplay said…
Do all 4 firms have the 5k incentive? I never said it was easier. It just looks like a lot of people are passing the cpa earlier than ever.
Sadly, I have to correct you on the CPA metric. High performers have been laid off at my firm solely because they haven't passed the CPA. Believe me, this is a good excuse for the firms to cut payroll.
Anonymous said…
I think it's just the economy.
People want every edge they can get to land and keep their job. Motivation is 98% of what passing the CPA exam is about. People don't end up failing sections because they're not smart enough. A large majority of the time they don't pass because they don't put in the time (and productive time, you don't count 5 hours of study time when you spent 4 of those hours on Hulu).

And while the post above may be right to an extent that a CPA license isn't a bulletproof vest when it comes to layoffs, it's better to have it in the event you lose your job.

It at least gives you a leg up on those AP clerks. :P
Anonymous said…
i was thinking something similar--i work at a small firm--around 30 accountants. when i started last year, no one had a license. as soon as i started sitting, everyone else did--three of us passed last year, and five more people are testing now. wtf? it's like my license is worthless if all the staff accountants are CPA's.
Actually (and I might know since I get to deal with all the future CPAs fresh out of school), I believe it went like this:

Complacency in the industry led to a shortage of CPAs because promotions were flying just like home loans "back in the day" - suddenly you're looking at a promotion to partner and it dawns on you "OMG! I should probably get my CPA now!"

That attitude has shifted, THANKFULLY, and it is no longer acceptable for an individual to move up the public accounting food chain without their CPA. GOOD. That's how it should be. I don't care if it makes a difference or not, it's about jumping through the right flaming hoops.

You are right in that a surplus of CPAs might dilute opportunities but I don't think that's a concern in the short term. We've got to bridge that shortage first, THEN we can worry about what to do with all these CPAs.

The numbers are still a little depressing. I mean as far as candidates who actually pass and get licensed, not the numbers themselves which would be an entirely different subject.

I for one am glad to see the shift from complacency of bygone days. How many unlicensed managers can a firm have? Really?

Disclosure: I work in CPA Review. So of course I'm happy to see this trend change :)


p.s. to Anon June 27, 2009 2:49 PM, your CPA is NEVER worthless. That's like saying your driver's license is worthless because everyone else on the freeway has one too. Just sayin.
Anonymous said…
Ok, Im starting at a big 4 in 2 weeks and I'm one of those people...I graduated in may I recently passed all 4 exams. My one and only motivation for taking the exam early is the bonus. I could really use the money. I put myself through school and I have billllssss to settle. So my bonus will go toward reducing my credit card debt...although I do realize that close to 50% will go to taxes haha.
Anonymous said…
I guess another factor to consider that the number of CPA applications will probably drop off a bit with the increase with states with the 156 credit rule. How many people will decide to go into racket and go to school for another year?
Garmeon Yu said…
That would be me: planning to start studying for the CPA while applying for an internship with PwC. Any advice on how to best go about this would be great.

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