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Is the CPA critical?

Is having a CPA absolutely crucial when thinking about leaving big 4 public accounting for private/industry? How important is it to get that CPA done?

Absolutely critical. I cannot stress how important this is. I know of many companies that will refuse to see your resume if you do not have a CPA. I know a few individuals who couldn't get their CPA done and thus struggled to find a job elsewhere. They did, after months and months of job searches, but it's hard for a recruiter to sell you if you don't have your CPA.

Unfortunately, people associate CPA with competence, and so regardless of your experience, if you are in the accounting world, the lack of the CPA is looked at as a slight.

Personally, I think it's overrated. I still remember this one individual who passed his CPA within a few months of starting at the Firm - he asked me about the debits and credits of some basic accounting issue. And I thought to myself, how can you reward CPAs to such individuals? If you memorize your way through the CPA, then I really don't want you working for me.


Comments

Anonymous said…
Will passing the CPA make it easier to get into the B4? I feel I was passed over in campus recruiting because I did not go for the masters degree, but I am almost finished with the CPA.
Anonymous said…
Hi, CPA here, your blog is great! I was just wondering if you are still working as an auditor? What kept you at it? You seem to have a lot of disagreements with the way the firms do business, but what keeps you motivated to stay?
Anonymous said…
Oh my gosh is that for real? CPA but doesn't know debits and credits? How did he become a CPA or pass his accounting subjects in the list ugh...

Anyway, sad to say, yes CPA is important. I know some who were hired but later on were required to take the CPA in order to be promoted.

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