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CPA deadline

Onto the February 2012 questions (only answering questions that I can shed some insight on, or have not already answered before...)

What happens if you do not attain a CPA within 2-3 years? 

The pressure starts to build. Your final ratings for the year can potentially get knocked down if you don't have your CPA, i.e. when two individuals are rated the same, but one has to be rated higher, the one with the CPA gets the nod. Also, and more importantly, the longer you stay at the Firm, the harder it is to find time to study. It starts to weigh on you, and you will always have it in the back of your mind. For some of the Firms, you can't be promoted to manager if you don't have your CPA. If it's a good economy, you will be a "super" senior since your promotion isn't official even though you've put in the time, if it's a bad economy, like it was in 2009, you could get laid off.


Jarno Laitinen said…
Without CPA within 2 or 3 years is really hard just like you said in your short article.It is very important to have a CPA.
Anonymous said…
Hi,I just started doing audit 7 mths ago.i have trouble chomping with datelines and clearing jobs at the same time.i started out doing dormant companies and assisting my seniors.Recentty,my manager decided to throw me into field work alone.

I am not really familiar with the working papers as find it hard to finish work at the client's.i do not know how to go about prioritizing my work.
Sometimes when I am chasing the dateline and trying to do my sections at the client's I panick.My senior and manager have said to ask them if I encounter difficulty at client's but they take a long time to reply and I do not have all the time to wait for them.

I try to look at last year's files to understand and find out what documents to get and what to ask the client.most of the time I find that I only get what is happening towards the end of the audit which means I find out that there are much more work to be done.Every section every test seems so time consuming for me.i don't know how to go about prioritizing.My accounting knowledge isn't strong.Sometimes it takes me time to understand a double entry.i am trying to enhance my knowledge by reading up and improving myself.Any advise on this? Thank you
Anonymous said…
I read one of your posts a while back about the average % salary increase for those leaving a big four firm. But could you tell us what the pay brackets are for big four employees? I keep seeing posts about how the pay doesn't compare to the work put it. All that seems certain is that partners get too much. Also, I read your blog (all years) and am curious of what your position is? Have you reached manager status? Hopefully you'll be able to provide some insight on these questions!
Good attempt. Thanks
Anonymous said…
From all I've gathered future employers consider big 4 experience to be the best thing in a candidate. Though is there really that much of a difference between a person who spent their time at KPMG versus one who was at Grant Thornton for the same period of time? Or is it just a matter of perception?
Kevin H said…
Working at a Big 4 definitely helps you in terms of your perception. Some firms only hire from Big 4 and the experiences you have at a Big 4 are different from a mid-tier accounting firm. For example, you would be involved in bigger client and be under more scrutiny than if you were auditing a small private company. Having said that, there are still companies that hire from a mid-tier and get the same jobs as someone from a Big 4.
Robin said…
Just found this post. I'm taking time off to focus 24/7 on the CPA for a similar reason.

On another note, any thoughts on people from tax going in to audit? I hear it's rare, and I'm pretty sure the other way around is much more common... but I'm considering it to get a well-rounded experience. Potential employers from the private industries near where I live seem to like this.
If you have the CPA you are more ahead than others because you can easily be selected to job if some of your competitor for the position does not have it.
Jyoti Sharma said…
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As a big four employee, lately, I've been hearing a lot about "boomerang" employees. Those who, for some reason or another, decide that leaving work when the sun is still out is not for them and alas, return back to the firm. Yes, the grass is not always greener on the other side, however, is this trending upward or about the same as it always has been? I think, also, that the firms really do a good job in highlighting those that do choose to return to make it appear more common than reality. Can you please speak about how you've seen the trend of "boomerangs" amongst the big 4? 

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