Bad credit and becoming a CPA

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 99)
Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

CrazedEpidemic in New York, New York

66 months ago

Currently I am studying to become a CPA. I am having trouble with my credit cards and cant afford them any longer. Will having bad credit affect me in becoming a CPA and getting a well paying job. If I was to file for bankruptcy now and apply for a job in 3-4 years will that negatively affect me?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (236) / No (67) Reply - Report abuse

Sheneela in Carmel, New York

65 months ago

Did you find the answer yet? I was also looking to explore being a CPA however my credit is not in good shape. I had filed for bankruptcy.

My Master's and Bachelor's are both in Accounting. I am just trying to find out if the bankruptcy will prevent me from being a CPA in the future.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (54) / No (32) Reply - Report abuse

KEVINT1964 in Independence, Missouri

63 months ago

I am not a CPA; however, I am an accountant who was forced to file for bankruptcy due to prolonged unemployment and debt incurred in my attempts to stay financially afloat. I filed in 2005, and to this day, still don't have a permanent job (I'm going into my EIGHTH YEAR of not having one). I can't even find temporary work right now because even temporary positions want a "stable work history", and if you're stuck in a "temporary jobs only" circle like myself, you're not considered "stable". I've seen employers requiring a credit check for hiring customer service representatives! Bankruptcy was supposed to give people a fresh start and second chance. It hasn't been that way for me; in fact, it has been worse and in my opinion, discriminatory. Yet Michael Vick, the former multi-millionaire Atlanta Falcons QB who went to prison for dogfighting and is in bankruptcy proceedings right now, will be released from jail later this year and get another multi-million dollar contract with a new NFL team, as well as a possible reality TV show. Total BS!!!

Back to the original subject-in all likelihood, if you have a financial related work background or pursuing such a career and file for bankruptcy, you're screwed. I've found that out the hard way.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (42) / No (15) Reply - Report abuse

KEVINT1964 in Independence, Missouri

63 months ago

Additional comment to my previous post. Prospective employers don't bother to ask you about the circumstances behind why you have bad credit and/or filed for bankruptcy. They just see the info in the credit report and consider you to be a thief or potential thief; someone who will steal from them in some capacity.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (14) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

CrazedEpidemic in New York, New York

63 months ago

I decided a while ago that settling the accounts is much better then filing. Yes the negative accounts will show up on my report but it will only be there for 7 years and they wont show in public records like bankruptcy.

Kevin, its horrible that its been difficult for you. Thank you for your response and I hope things get much better!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

KEVINT1964 in Independence, Missouri

63 months ago

In my case, settling wasn't an option. My debt was so high that I would've needed a job paying about 3 times what my last permanent job was paying me in order to just make the minimum payments. Even if they negotiated lower balances to make things easier, I didn't have steady work (and the reason why my debt became atrocious), so I still couldn't have made the payments. Bankruptcy was my only choice. It was so bad, I had to borrow the money from my brother to help pay for the filing and court costs.

Within a week of my bankruptcy being finalized with the court, I lost the temp job I was working and got my car repossessed (the bank wouldn't reaffirm it in the bankruptcy). With no transportation, I couldn't get to a job even if I could find another job. This led to my eviction from my apartment, and I've basically been a transient ever since (3 1/2 years and counting). I still don't have a car because I owe a 4 figure past due personal property tax bill from several years ago that I can't pay.

I'm glad you are able to work out a settlement in your situation. I still think that the bad credit history and a high debt to income ratio makes employers think that if you can't control your own personal finances, how can you do the same for my company?

I've been punished for way too long because of my personal financial problems and its resulting circumstances.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (18) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

sheneela in Carmel, New York

63 months ago

I am so sorry for the circumstances. I wish you luck with finding a job. I know exactly how you feel. How about state jobs, I heard State jobs are the only one that do not require a credit check.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

Takesheart in Minneapolis, Minnesota

62 months ago

Hey sorry to hear about all the problems you went through, just know you are not alone and there are others that went through similar issues such as myself....good luck in the future and hopefully something comes through for you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Someone

62 months ago

I spoke with a CPA who has been in the profession for over 20 years he told me that not once has credit ever been an issue.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (19) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

michelle in Clermont, Florida

61 months ago

I am 26 years old and thinking of going back to school . I plan on going for accounting but just like you guys i have bad credit . I was wondering the same thing should i not even bother because i won't be able to get a job?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (27) / No (9) Reply - Report abuse

nickmobileal in Mobile, Alabama

61 months ago

michelle in Clermont, Florida said: I am 26 years old and thinking of going back to school . I plan on going for accounting but just like you guys i have bad credit . I was wondering the same thing should i not even bother because i won't be able to get a job?

Hey don't worry about it. Do what you can to repair your financial background during the time that you are in school. Here is the bottom line. If you have the talent and character to perform well in school, you WILL make it. Accountants are one of the most in demand fields in America. The market NEEDS their skills. In my opinion, an out of work accountant lacks the presence of will to look priority in the eye. This is one of the best things you could ever do with yourself. Here's the catch, it takes a responsible person. If it were easy or stupid, everyone would be doing it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (16) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

MBA-31 in Carmel, Indiana

61 months ago

It really depends on who you are interviewing with. Big investment firms, banks, and insurances companies will reject you because of bad credit. If you get with a good placement company they will do a background on you and understand that it is not a good idea to shoot your profile to a company that pulls a credit check when they do your criminal check. The good thing about accounting is – you can work for private companies that don’t care about your credit, they care about who you are and what you have done for other companies. I have a BK on my record and my credit is junk to this day and have worked for fortune 500 companies and consulting companies – they don’t care because of what I have done in the past in respects to improving culture and finance performance management. If you have damaged credit get with a good placement company and identify how they can sell you to other companies and what sets you apart from John Doe. You will find a job.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (35) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

ycasteb in Alpharetta, Georgia

59 months ago

KEVINT1964 in Independence, Missouri said: I am not a CPA; however, I am an accountant who was forced to file for bankruptcy due to prolonged unemployment and debt incurred in my attempts to stay financially afloat. I filed in 2005, and to this day, still don't have a permanent job (I'm going into my EIGHTH YEAR of not having one). I can't even find temporary work right now because even temporary positions want a "stable work history", and if you're stuck in a "temporary jobs only" circle like myself, you're not considered "stable". I've seen employers requiring a credit check for hiring customer service representatives! Bankruptcy was supposed to give people a fresh start and second chance. It hasn't been that way for me; in fact, it has been worse and in my opinion, discriminatory. Yet Michael Vick, the former multi-millionaire Atlanta Falcons QB who went to prison for dogfighting and is in bankruptcy proceedings right now, will be released from jail later this year and get another multi-million dollar contract with a new NFL team, as well as a possible reality TV show. Total BS!!!

Back to the original subject-in all likelihood, if you have a financial related work background or pursuing such a career and file for bankruptcy, you're screwed. I've found that out the hard way.

It supposed to be ilegal descriminate against someone that file bankruptcy, but I am in the same boat. Can no find a job because of bad credit. I also work in accounting. Everything goes so well in the interviews and after they run the credit check that is the end.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

cdwhite in Nashville, Tennessee

59 months ago

Please know that you are not alone. I have both a bachelor's and a master's degree and have found it difficult to find a decent job due to having filed bankruptcy.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

perunax in Rego Park, New York

58 months ago

I was looking at the same thing as well. I'm a student at brooklyn college and will have a master's along with a bachelors in Accounting and I'm not sure what's going to happen. I have bad credit and am not sure what to do. Should I or shouldn't do a bankruptcy. I live in NYC and have really good grades, what are my chances on landing a job in the public sector?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

sweet k in birmingham, Alabama

58 months ago

Hello! I am 7 classes from having an associates in accounting. I was wondering is this worth finishing? What kind of job(if any) will I be able to find?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

Ant in Providence, Rhode Island

56 months ago

Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida said: You should check the Internet - do a search under banrkuptcy questions. Considering this economy, bankruptcy is very understandable.

lol he is checking the internet now.... if you dont know dont answer

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in boston, Massachusetts

56 months ago

Depends. Employers want young with 2-7 years experience no more & no less. If you are going on interview after interview & not getting hired it is more likely your interview skills or references than your credit that is causing you to get rejected.

The majority of people (over 90%) are employed and in fields like accounting & finance the unemployment rate is less than 4%.

If you are being rejected due to credit or something in your background, the employer is required to tell you that the adverse action was due to info in the credit reporting file

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Professional Tax Preparer in Tampa, Florida

56 months ago

Most states will not prevent you from being licensed because you have filed bankruptcy. However, the employers/CPA firms do not have to hire you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Batman in Oswego, Illinois

55 months ago

There are congressmen who are doing something about it! Voice your concerns to your congressional representatives to vote for this bill! H.R. 3149 making it illegal for any employer to pull a credit report.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (26) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Accountant133344 in Birch Tree, Missouri

55 months ago

In Arkansas any financial job they check your credit for almost anything in that field. Having bad credit can ruin your chances at finding a job. I knew a friend who had a b.s. in accounting and couldn't even find a job as a bank teller because they checked credit. So if you have bad credit I would recommend going into something else, but as long you have a degree there are other things out there, but it is going to be hard to find a job as an accountant with fair credit act with bad credit. Maybe impossible, no matter how good your skills are.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

dato in Indianapolis, Indiana

55 months ago

What is the impact of using a third party to take care of your credit, especially since talking individually to the creditors is proving to be difficult? I graduate in may 2010 with BSB Accounting with a not too hood of a credit. I am considering dent settlement.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

dato in Indianapolis, Indiana

55 months ago

What is the impact of using a third party to take care of your credit, especially since talking individually to the creditors is proving to be difficult? I graduate in may 2010 with BSB Accounting with a not too good of a credit. I am considering debt settlement.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Accountant in New Philadelphia, Ohio

53 months ago

perunax in Rego Park, New York said: I was looking at the same thing as well. I'm a student at brooklyn college and will have a master's along with a bachelors in Accounting and I'm not sure what's going to happen. I have bad credit and am not sure what to do. Should I or shouldn't do a bankruptcy. I live in NYC and have really good grades, what are my chances on landing a job in the public sector?

I am an accountant and I was declined for a public accounting position because my BK13 filing. One of the partner (friend) called me and told me that the CPA firm denied me for that reason. Another public accounting firm hired me a year later, but I was in the first round of laid off worker. In public accounting very important the staff financial reputation. Even I was a tax accountant, the firm also provided financial advise services.
Keep trying, might you will beat the adds.
Private accounting more lenient, keep applying for these type of job too. I successfully completed my BK13 and I am now in the fifth year since I had the BK13 on my record. I am unemployed a year ago, and I still do not getting any interest from the public accounting firms.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Nikki in La Puente, California

52 months ago

With all of the people being laid off from the recession BK's are growing in numbers. I paid my bills on time for all of my life but unfortunely I was laid off multiple times recently and got very behind, BK was my only answer. Employers are going to have to loosen up a bit and realize that just because you filed for BK you are not a criminal.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (11) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Melissa Savi in Las Vegas, Nevada

50 months ago

If you are still in school maybe it makes sense not to file for now. Just wait till you graduate, then find a job. And when you already working at a stable company where you already earned a good reputation, then file.
What do guys think?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

SeaBreaze in Atlanta, Georgia

50 months ago

sweet k in birmingham, Alabama said: Hello! I am 7 classes from having an associates in accounting. I was wondering is this worth finishing? What kind of job(if any) will I be able to find?

I have a BS in Accounting working on my MBA currently working but not in my graduate field of study. I make a good salary but would like a career change, but nothing yet. I would love to work in an accounting firm and only need a chance. I have a long work history, I have been on the same job for over 13 years now.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Christian B. Peper in Saint Louis, Missouri

48 months ago

The bankers that control America have gone crazy with greed. Now America is nothing more than a shell of what it was now that the big companies have moved the factories overseas. The biggest depression ever will hit this country and the currency will become worthless. Already college graduates are begging at intersections with cardboard signs. This is what happens when a country abandons its constitution and instead tries to declare war on the world.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Are you Kidding??? in Saint Louis, Missouri

44 months ago

Bob Wallton in Bradenton, Florida said: I filed bankruptcy twice in the last 14 years. I also ran up debt after my second bankruptcy. My belief is if banks lend me the money then it is free money. I don't care to pay it back. My credit record is horrible. However, I have no problem finding work. I just work for myself. I setup my own small office since I am a CPA and do great during tax season. I then skip town not paying the lease. I rinse and repeat this process from town to town. If there is a will there is a way. Work the system baby.

Bob, I hope that was a joke, becuase that is an unethical thing to do. And makes life pretty hellish for the people you leave in the wake of your selfish choices.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Olive in Arnold, Missouri

42 months ago

Christian B. Peper in Saint Louis, Missouri said: The bankers that control America have gone crazy with greed. Now America is nothing more than a shell of what it was now that the big companies have moved the factories overseas. The biggest depression ever will hit this country and the currency will become worthless. Already college graduates are begging at intersections with cardboard signs. This is what happens when a country abandons its constitution and instead tries to declare war on the world.

I agree. Our lovely government/business structure caused this downfall all in the name of THEIR greed!!! They don't care about us little guys. Who are we..but the servants of these mighty giants.

Anyone can go online to Jessie Ventura - to view how the government caused 911 and numerous other endeavors to hurt America. It's a crying shame those in CONTROL care nothing about those they supposedly take care of. It's a total scam! I'm no longer proud to be an American after learning how we've been undercut out of jobs etc.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

just me in Chesapeake, Virginia

42 months ago

KEVINT1964 in Independence, Missouri said: I am not a CPA; however, I am an accountant who was forced to file for bankruptcy due to prolonged unemployment and debt incurred in my attempts to stay financially afloat. I filed in 2005, and to this day, still don't have a permanent job (I'm going into my EIGHTH YEAR of not having one). I can't even find temporary work right now because even temporary positions want a "stable work history", and if you're stuck in a "temporary jobs only" circle like myself, you're not considered "stable". I've seen employers requiring a credit check for hiring customer service representatives! Bankruptcy was supposed to give people a fresh start and second chance. It hasn't been that way for me; in fact, it has been worse and in my opinion, discriminatory. Yet Michael Vick, the former multi-millionaire Atlanta Falcons QB who went to prison for dogfighting and is in bankruptcy proceedings right now, will be released from jail later this year and get another multi-million dollar contract with a new NFL team, as well as a possible reality TV show. Total BS!!!

Back to the original subject-in all likelihood, if you have a financial related work background or pursuing such a career and file for bankruptcy, you're screwed. I've found that out the hard way.

First of all you are not a NFL player and Vick has nothing to do with your issues. He is good at what he do. It is plain and simple, no one wants you to handle their credit or a company doesn't want you if you can handle your own bills. That is the way it is. You should of paid your bills and you would have a job.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (19) Reply - Report abuse

Olive in Arnold, Missouri

42 months ago

Dear dear KevinT1964....sadly it's very clear you've never had a dive in the financial pocket. The gentleman who wrote in his question is certainly a man with credentials. It's our stupid system that denotes whether or not a person is deemed perfect or not. And...guess what???? no one not even the pompous are above reproach if in fact you or anyone does one thing out of line.

Now, back to common sense.....many fall into a time of despair, perhaps you haven't as of yet, but when you do...and you will, because you see...when you're hi minded your the next to fall. It's a lesson the great energy's of the Universe lay on each and every one of us. So just be kind to others because you may be the next to experience what that gentleman experienced. It's not a good place to be with ones nose stuck up in the air.

Have a good day.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No Reply - Report abuse

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

Hello everyone!
I'm noticing some trends in my current employment search regarding bad credit. The quick history- BBA Accounting, Passed CPA exam, verifiable employment history, filed CH 13 Bankruptcy exactly 2 years ago due to health problem with an ankle reconstruction and I could not keep up and had not benefits to support my disability for 1 full year of rehabilitation.

The truth is: I have been on 4 VERY promising interviews recently. Each interview has been in accounting with Fortun 500 CO's or Public firms, and I have matched the qualifications very well with their requirements. After my interviews, they have requested a background check, including credit check. Of course, I give them permission to check and suddenly, I never hear from them again, EVER. Not even a no thank you.
So, although I'm not required to report a BK to a potential employer, and the bankruptcy law provides for protection from discrimination, I think it is definitely causing a problem for me to move on in my career.

What do yo think about if I were to tell a hiring manager about it in an interview? To be up front and honest about it even though it is not required. I am starting to feel that they would maybe consider my position and then consider my interview and qualifications.

My last interview a few weeks ago was 3.5 hours. I was clearly qualified. I met with 3 people and it went super well. Then, background check, and nothing.

I don't want to waste any employer's time. I am feeling at this point that I should tell the recruiter this during the phone call to get on with the next interview if they clearly aren't interested.

And by the way, getting the CPA done was the best thing I could have done for myself to make good of a bad situation. My phone rings many days to offer me an interview now that I have it listed as "finished" on my resume. The CH 13 BK will only sit on my credit report 7 years, so I WILL be able to use the credential SOME DAY.

Any thoughts?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

just me in Chesapeake, Virginia said: First of all you are not a NFL player and Vick has nothing to do with your issues. He is good at what he do. It is plain and simple, no one wants you to handle their credit or a company doesn't want you if you can handle your own bills. That is the way it is. You should of paid your bills and you would have a job.

I just can't wait for the ball to slip on you one day! I hope you suffer even harder then any of us on this forum ever have.

You would TOTALLY deserve it with your pathetic attitude. My bills were paid every month with solid credit through my entire 20's until I had to have an ankle reconstruction and my employer had no long term benefits to offer.

You deserve to be "just me in Chesapeake VA" because the rest of the country won't have your disgusting attitude, and your writing grammar is terrible.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

criminal in Stockton, California

41 months ago

I worked in another occupation for 15 years and decided to go back and get a BS in accounting. Well, last year I just graduated with highest honors (3.8 GPA, summa cum laude) and a minor in CIS.

But 12 years ago, I got busted for being on 'x' at a party that got busted. It is still on my record of course, and will never leave my record even though I completed all the drug treatment program, bla, bla, etc, etc, etc,... and have had no incidents of any kind since. I have been 100% clean since, but this one stupid charge will haunt me for the rest of my life.

I have been out of school for 3/4 of a year now, interviewed by all 4 of the "Big 4" + many other firms and companies.

I have not been offered one single accounting position and/or internship anywhwere. I have come close only to get turn-down letters after they do a "background check" on me.

I should warn people that:
If you have even a minor misdemeanor on your record (DUI, weed, etc....) you can basically forget about an accounting job from my experience.

I wish I knew it was going to be like this before I went back to get my BS in accounting. I'm just screwed! Looks like I will be returning to my old blue collar occupation and forgetting about accounting all together.

Good luck all.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Olive in Arnold, Missouri

41 months ago

I may not be a CPA but I believe you should mention it up front. Get it out of the way. It's not wasting their time - it's wasting your precious time too. Just let them know, talk about the why's of the experience and move forward more quickly. After all it's your pocket that's not being filled by a silly man made credit report system that doesn't take into account the reason why things happen. This economy has knocked the foundation of many peoples lives. Turn it around with straight forward conversation and see what that brings. Most...even those with their noses turned up...actually understand the situation. What can it hurt? I wish you all the best.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

Olive in Arnold,
thank you for your opinion. I completely agree with you that this is how I have to approach the interview now. I'm very qualified and know I should have been hired somewhere 6 months ago. And it is definitely that I have the Bankruptcy on my record, which is holding me back. I was in Big 4 and went through background then too, and was hired on 24 hours later.

Criminal in Stockton,

You are not out of the running yet. Step back from the "BIG" jobs like Big 4 and focus on the local smaller tax and audit companies, and apply there. The 4 person accounting office can be a better experience for many people, has better quality of life and pays "almost" as well. They don't really do background checks at the small places and hire based on personality.

Good luck in your decision. It is very tough that the business world is so rigid.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

criminal in Stockton, California

41 months ago

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Olive in Arnold,
thank you for your opinion. I completely agree with you that this is how I have to approach the interview now. I'm very qualified and know I should have been hired somewhere 6 months ago. And it is definitely that I have the Bankruptcy on my record, which is holding me back. I was in Big 4 and went through background then too, and was hired on 24 hours later.

Criminal in Stockton,

You are not out of the running yet. Step back from the "BIG" jobs like Big 4 and focus on the local smaller tax and audit companies, and apply there. The 4 person accounting office can be a better experience for many people, has better quality of life and pays "almost" as well. They don't really do background checks at the small places and hire based on personality.

Good luck in your decision. It is very tough that the business world is so rigid.

Thank you J.

I got a question maybe somebody here would know the answer. I was actually thinking about trying to open my own CPA practice, and try to get many of my former employers as clients in my old occupation. (I did bookkeeping for 10+ years as a manager at small businesses).

My biggest hurdle to getting licensed (besides passing the CPA exam of course) is the experience requirement. So I have found out that there are 2 states that wave the minimum experience requiremnt, Colorado and Massachusettes. They have an "additional education in lieu of work experience" option, which requires 30 units in accounting above the Bachelor's degree.

My question:
Does it mean that I need a graduate degree, or becuase, in addition to my BS in accounting, I also have 2 Associate degrees - Industrial Tech and Liberal Arts, would that qualify me?

I was just wondering if anyone knew. I know that I will have to contact those states' Board of Accountancy and ask. But I was just wondering if anyone here has gone that route...???

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

There are a few ways you could approach this.
I just finished the final part of the CPA exam 4 weeks ago. The reason I did it in 2010 was because the new requirement beginning in 2011 is 150 credit hours to sit, while in 2010 and prior the requirement was 120 hours, which was where you need only a bachelor's degree to sit. Now the 150 requirement means you have to obtain a Masters degree in taxation, or an MBA to be deemed eligible. The Associates degree work would not qualify unless it was 30 credit hours of accounting related coursework which was not covered also in obtaining your BBA in Accounting.

so basically, you can spend $60K to get your MBA and then spend $5k to prepare for and test for the CPA, and then apply and receive your license.

OR

you could seek accounting work in a smaller CPA office where your work is reviewed by a CPA for 3200 hours- MAX is 1600 hours per year, so basically 2 years under someone who is also a CPA, and 400 of those hours have to be attest (Audit) work, which is why you would need to be at a CPA office and not at say an HR Block. You can still get the hours in at the 4 or 5 employee office of CPA's.

The other thing you could do to open your own practice is to take the Enrolled Agent's Exam (EA Exam). It is issued by the IRS and you receive your own license number which is now required of all employees preparing tax returns for other parties.

If you have the EA then you can open a tax office and submit returns to the IRS for clients, the same as a CPA.

The key difference is that for a CPA, you are the police of the financial industry and protect the interest of the public, and can freely do audit, consulting, tax, bookkeeping, econ, the whole realm in a CPA practice office.

While with the EA you only get the IRS tax return preparer ID.

www.aicpa.org will give you all the current information on the CPA exam, and you can get the link to your state board of accountancy there too, for their requirements.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

CRIMINAL in Stockton, California

41 months ago

I believe here in CA there in a 2 year experience requirement, or 1 year if you have 150 semester credits + Bachelor's. Like all states they have the 30 unit requirement for accounting classes.

Here, like most states, you can sit for the exam but you can't practice as a CPA until you fulfill the experience requirement. On top of that, it has to be documented into a formal agreement with the Board of Accountancy.

<begin rant>

The thing that really sucks is that unemployment is close to 20% here (the BLS data is misleading!), and jobs are very hard to get - especially good jobs like in accounting, and all the employers here know it. Becuase of this, here the employers are EXTREMELY overly selective in the hiring process and if you have one miniscule thing wrong with you, no matter how petty or trivial it may be, they will pass over you because they know that they will find the "perfect candidate."

It makes no difference whether they are a small accounting firm, a small company, or a big corporation, hiring is very scarce here. And if you a record like me, forget government. All government jobs (even on a local city level) want only "squeaky clean" people. I can't even count how many gov't jobs I have been turned down for because of my "under the influence of a controlled substance" charge from 12 years ago.

Further, recruiting here is a joke. For example, one local company was recruiting for 20 accounting manager trainee positions. However, for those 20 positions, they were recruiting at 15 universities! That's right, FIFTEEN UNIVERSITIES in CA and in other staes as well! (Like there aren't enogh 'qualified' people here to choose from - they have to go outside the stae as well...LOL...LOL...LOL!)

It swear its a pathetic job market, and I really don't see it getting better any time soon.

<end of rant>

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

41 months ago

CRIMINAL in Stockton, California said:
The thing that really sucks is that unemployment is close to 20% here (the BLS data is misleading!), and jobs are very hard to get - especially good jobs like in accounting, and all the employers here know it. Becuase of this, here the employers are EXTREMELY overly selective in the hiring process and if you have one miniscule thing wrong with you, no matter how petty or trivial it may be, they will pass over you because they know that they will find the "perfect candidate."

It makes no difference whether they are a small accounting firm, a small company, or a big corporation, hiring is very scarce here. And if you a record like me, forget government. All government jobs (even on a local city level) want only "squeaky clean" people. I can't even count how many gov't jobs I have been turned down for because of my "under the influence of a controlled substance" charge from 12 years ago.

Further, recruiting here is a joke. For example, one local company was recruiting for 20 accounting manager trainee positions. However, for those 20 positions, they were recruiting at 15 universities! That's right, FIFTEEN UNIVERSITIES in CA and in other staes as well! (Like there aren't enogh 'qualified' people here to choose from - they have to go outside the stae as well...LOL...LOL...LOL!)

It swear its a pathetic job market, and I really don't see it getting better any time soon.

<end of rant>

Same here in the Boston area. Supposedly, this is the best or 2nd best job market in the country but I have not have a perm position since 2009 . I don't have public accounting experience which has eliminated me from many jobs. At my age of 35 should I even bother with a CPA or will I be wasting my time??
Even 2 month temp jobs require a full interview & background check thru the client. The assignment then ends without notice one Friday nite at 9pm or so via a phone call when you lease expect it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

41 months ago

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Olive in Arnold,
thank you for your opinion. I completely agree with you that this is how I have to approach the interview now. I'm very qualified and know I should have been hired somewhere 6 months ago. And it is definitely that I have the Bankruptcy on my record, which is holding me back. I was in Big 4 and went through background then too, and was hired on 24 hours later.

Criminal in Stockton,

You are not out of the running yet. Step back from the "BIG" jobs like Big 4 and focus on the local smaller tax and audit companies, and apply there. The 4 person accounting office can be a better experience for many people, has better quality of life and pays "almost" as well. They don't really do background checks at the small places and hire based on personality.

Good luck in your decision. It is very tough that the business world is so rigid.

Many of those companies want SPECIFIC experience in public accounting particularly audit & tax -- actual experience in addition to the CPA certificate.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

Nothing is a waste of time when you consider your education.

I am 35 also, and finished the CPA exam last month. I get phone calls and emails ALL the time which I did not iniate contact for. Having the CPA finished has done alot for me, AND it tells employers you are serious about your intent to have a career in accounting.

Even if you both don't have the experience and you both take the time to complete the CPA exam and can then list it on your resume, you will get an interview immediately whether for public or private industry.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

41 months ago

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said: Nothing is a waste of time when you consider your education.

I am 35 also, and finished the CPA exam last month. I get phone calls and emails ALL the time which I did not iniate contact for. Having the CPA finished has done alot for me, AND it tells employers you are serious about your intent to have a career in accounting.

Even if you both don't have the experience and you both take the time to complete the CPA exam and can then list it on your resume, you will get an interview immediately whether for public or private industry.

Really --- seems to be that if you are currently unemployed, moved around too much or are blacklisted in a recruiters database (somehow due to an incident literally years ago I am blacklisted by Robert Half) you are unemployable. Many job listings in accounting ask for specific industry experience, with specific software etc..
What about moving to a different part of the country?? or will I be put on the defensive and given the 3rd degree on why I 'chose to move'?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

41 months ago

And unfortunately I don't have any Big 4 or equivalent experience which is probably the single worst mistake in my career.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

J in PA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

You do NOT need Big 4 experience. There are MANY local and regional tax and audit businesses that hire on even without experience. Even if you were to contact the local tax offices in your neighborhood and worked there for one year to get current, then you could move forward. AND that would be one year of the two year requirement met for you to obtain the CPA license once you pass the exam.

It is not all black and white. There are many options. You have to get out there and make it happen. I'm not saying that is something you are not trying to do, don't get me wrong.

Is your resume as current and professional as it could be? That is the starting point. I spent one full week in Barnes and Noble researching the new trends in resume building and learned a ton of new information. If you are anything like myself, which I assume you are, since we are the same age, then your resume probably needs an overhaul. If you tell me your email address, I will gladly show you mine(will remove my contact info) and you will get an idea of how to update it.

With no public experience you should definitely be hitting the local offices of CPA's and tax accountants to start moving in that direction. You will do well and the quality of life is WAY better than big 4.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

prayingservant in Pomona, California

41 months ago

I am a ca cpa -manager laid off from the private industry and thinking of filing bankrutcy due to overwhelmeing debt (bad investments) during the transition period before getting a new job, to begin a new slate...should i?...would this be an issue in ca...once i hit the job market?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

J Roll in Williamsburg, Virginia

40 months ago

I did exactly what you are proposing in 2009 and although its hard to prove, I do believe is the primary reason I am still unemployed.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

40 months ago

J Roll in Williamsburg, Virginia said: I did exactly what you are proposing in 2009 and although its hard to prove, I do believe is the primary reason I am still unemployed.

What exactly file for bankruptcy? I had two offers for contract positions rescinded because I failed the bankground check due to credit not because I filed for bankruptcy but because I have chargeoffs that are over $5,000. Ironically if I had filed for bankruptcy I would have passed the bankground check assuming I didn't incur any additional unpaid debt after filing.
This has damaged my reputation as well as making employment opportunities in this area very limited. These were two major banks --- other recruiters have submitted my Resume for similar opportunities. They then hear that I was offered the job and failed the bankground check. Afterward, I never hear from those recruiters again

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

J Roll in Williamsburg, Virginia

40 months ago

Yes I file for CH 7 in 2009 (completed in 2009 also). My credit score is ok (fair category) but I cannot get an interview even with my CPA license and an MBA. This has to be the reason why although I cannot prove it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.