5 Great Reasons to Become a CPA

5 Reasons for a CPA Career

  • Better Salary
  • Job Variety
  • Career Development
  • Respect and Prestige
  • Job Security

There are many great reasons to become a CPA, otherwise known as a Certified Public Accountant. It is not a position you can attain through education or getting a degree alone, because CPAs must pass an exam to gain the official designation. This additional certification offers a number of advantages and career advancement opportunities. Below are five reasons to become a CPA.

1. Better Salary

CPAs command better salaries than regular accountants do. You will generally make 10-15 percent more as a licensed CPA compared to an unlicensed accountant according to the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). Many firms, especially large ones, also offer a bonus to employee accountants who pass the exam, which means more money in your pocket. As an independent CPA, you can charge more from your clients because of the additional services you can provide and the skill at your profession you have demonstrated.

2. Job Variety

CPAs work in a number of different fields, for private companies, non-profits, government agencies and more. You can essentially work in any industry you want. There are also several niche jobs CPAs can do. For example, forensic CPAs work with law enforcement to “follow the money,” as it were. Certified CPAs have considerable flexibility in their careers. There are even many opportunities for travel with this profession due to an increasingly globalized world.

3. Career Development

CPAs have career options available to them that remain unavailable to unlicensed accountants. Regular accountants cannot represent a client to the IRS. Only CPAs can legally sign documents that publicly traded companies must submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some employers will even pay the cost of taking the CPA exam as a way to increase the value of their employees. Keep in mind that you will likely need to participate in continuing education in order to keep your CPA license.

4. Respect and Prestige

A CPA is the highest level of accountant, and with the title comes a certain amount of prestige. CPAs are more highly-regarded by their clients, employers and non-professional acquaintances. Becoming a CPA shows that you are not only a college graduate or a skilled accountant, but that you are a professional dedicated to your profession. You will also have pride in yourself for passing the difficult CPA exam, which will boost your confidence. Strong confidence and self-esteem can help you gain more clients, perform better work and land better jobs.

5. Job Security

Job security is on the minds of students and job seekers alike. The CPA is one of the most secure professions, because it is highly in demand and gives you an advantage over non-CPAs. CPAs are expected to see higher than average job growth in the coming years, meaning there will be plenty of openings and companies will want to retain talented CPAs. CPAs also have the option of working for themselves which can lead to additional, greater job security and flexibility. This allows you more control over your career and can even provide greater job security than working for a traditional employer can.

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Taking the exam to become a CPA is something every accountant or aspiring accountant should consider. Passing may be difficult, but the benefits may be well worth the effort. With these great reasons to become a CPA, students should weigh the potential benefits this certification can have for their careers.