Career advise on 44 yrs old who just passed CPA exam w/o experience

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 54)
Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

Steve in Memphis, Tennessee

67 months ago

I am in the same circumstances except almost 20 years older.
I am wondering if getting back into public accounting at this
late time in life is worth it? I am taking some bookkeeping
courses from the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers,
which I hope will at least get me on the staff with a Public
Accounting firm. I have applied to various accounting positions
with different companies and have received very little response.
I have not taken the CPA exam in many years so feel very
much like a duck out of water.

Thank you for any input.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (54) / No (11) Reply - Report abuse

Steve in Memphis, Tennessee

67 months ago

jinmo,

Thank you for your comments.

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

Bmess in Reading, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

Jinmo,

Thanks for the information. I am strongly considering taking the test soon instead of spending more time and money going back to school again. I will concentrate my efforts on focusing towards passing the exam. I have enough accounting credits, but I was just concerned since it's been years ago since I was at school. I have years of accounting experience, but cannot proceed prefessionaly because I lack the three letter word designation after my name. I was sort of in a dead end job and it became extremely monotonous and boring. This is a challenge I want to undertake for myself, and I know it's going to take a lot of study time. It's very helpful to have forums like this because I get to see so many inspiring stories like yours. I wish you the best of luck in your search for that job that suits your ability and accomplishments. Your CPA designation and your master's degree is very impressive. To start doing basic accounting jobs doesn't pay as much but it's a start. I know one that started at $13/hour doing auditing for a local CPA firm here in PA, then went to a pretty decent high paying job working for the IRS after only two years of experience. Again, the best of luck to you, and thank you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (13) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Bmess in Reading, Pennsylvania

67 months ago

Steve,

I was surfing online, and I found this link. I think this person is about your age too. This person used Gleim resources too, same with Jinmo. Age is only a number. I think what matters most in your professional life is that you've attained your fullest potential. I'm sure you've thought of that because you want to advance in your career at this point in your life. I am in the same boat. With perseverance and support from our families, we can tackle this. I sure hope so. Let's brace ourselves for a lot of study hours. Good luck to you! Oh, by the way, below is the link. It's a clean link Steve. I promise you it won't take you to a bad website..:-)

www.43things.com/how_i_did_it/view/329/how-to-pass-the-cpa-exam

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (11) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia

67 months ago

Bmess, tnanks for a nice comment. You sound very determined, and with your accounting credits and hands-on experience, I assure you can do it. There are so many expensive materials for the CPA exam prep, but I believe the best ingredients for the success is the determination. I was pretty happy with Gleim text books, but the start is that you just grab one of those prep materials. If you can learn from reading well, then that's pretty much all you need. When you feel comfortable with what you have studied, you buy test prep software so that you can actually test your knowledge in a test-like environment. I wish you a lots of fun studying! ..and I will do my very best to find a little fist step to get my career started, as you suggested. Good luck.

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

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

67 months ago

Age is only a number, and so are CPA exam scores. There is only "pass" and "fail" for purposes of satisfying that part of getting a license.

Bmess, I love "43 things!" I haven't been there in a while but it's an awesome site.

I passed the first two exams and have been told by my mentor that my experience will probably be enough - which means I could be a CPA this year!

Flash cards and going over the practice questions at least 3 times did it for me. Nothing like repetition, and if I'm wasting too much time on an area I move on. Of, course I DO come back to it! But I let it percolate for a bit. Time management is a good thing to learn for the exam!

I used Becker. It was expensive but worth every dime.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

sherry in Raleigh, North Carolina

67 months ago

I would love to ask you all something. I am tooking up Accountant at an community college and I was trying to stay away from student loans, but is it worth it going to an community college or do I need to go to an university.I don't want to waste my time at an community college. I have not got into my major yet, because I am taking Math 060,Red 090,etc. Is accounting easy, because I was told it was hard. I also want to make sure I attend an good college. Also, are getting student loans for college are they worth it? Please help me.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

67 months ago

You'll need a BA not an AA. At least that is what all the job postings say, so you will have to do 4 years' worth of college to get a BA.

I went to law school on student loans. It was the only way I could go. I got a *great* return on that investment (especially since it was the 1970s and law school was $5,000 a year!). Just be stingy about how much you REALLY need. There is a temptation to borrow a lot more than that - though schoolbooks and electronics are expensive. And NEVER buy books at the bookstore before you have checked out Amazon.com first to see if you get it used.

Repayment interest rates are low, a fourth maybe of credit-card rates.

Community colleges are great to get your general coursework out of the way. Then you can transfer to a four-year school to finish your last 2 years. If the community college's credits will be accepted by your BA school of choice, go for it!

I don't think accounting is that hard, but I love it and I've been around it for ages. If you go into it just for the money, you may be bored. But I just love it. It's not rocket science either. Anyone who wants to learn it can if they put in the effort.

That's what student loans are for. And the interest is tax-deductible, I think. There are all kinds of tax breaks related to certain education expenses. Uncle Sam WANTS you to borrow!

You'd be crazy to pass up that deal, unless you have the money.

Good luck!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

AndyGer in Honolulu, Hawaii

67 months ago

Hi Jinmo: First, congratulations on you accomplishment. Your focus and perserverance is truly inspirational especially because you achieved your goals while caring for your children.
If your ultimate goal is to counsel small businesses it would be advantageous to become a certified public accountant. Being a "CPA" provides instant respect and trust. Especially if you plan to be an independent consultant to small business. That CPA designation provides instant validation.
Many states require actual accounting experience to become certified. If Virginia requires that (e.g. 2 years of public auditing experience), you need to get that out of the way first.
I would suggest working at a small to mediaum sized accounting firm since they are not as highly structured as the national/international/regional accounting firms that have staff dedicated to certain practice areas. As such, you can volunteer or get pulled into other practice areas (tax, consulting etc.) However, those efforts only detract from your audit experience requirement - should Virginia require that. Certainly, a smaller accounting firm may be more interesting since you have a greater opportunity to get into many accounting/business consulting areas. Furthermore, small accounting practice will be similar to what you could expect for your future practice goal.
Finally, getting into a AP/AR position, to me, detracts from your ultimate goal to be an accounting/financial advisor to small business. The challenges involved in AP/AR are well below your MBA/CPA qualifications.

Good luck!

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

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

67 months ago

Having done just about every line-level bookkeeping task there is, I don't think that a newly-minted CPA could be truly effective with only a superficial understanding of exactly what it is what her people do. Then again, I don't want to work for a CPA firm - certainly not as an auditor; I want to be a controller,eventually. So my target skill set would be different. My MBA didn't address basic accounting functions at all except in a cursory way, and the CPA exam doesn't address them at all. I imagine that the CMA and CFE exams do, however, require a more nuts-and-bolts understanding of what line people do. Then again, we all start out incompetent, whether we're new lawyers or new CPAs.

IFRIS is going to hit big here. I have heard that big accounting firms are now hiring people not as auditors (the traditional entry-level job) but as consultants on the still-evolving international accounting standards. There will be a great demand for people with some kind of credential in international accounting standards. I expect this to be a whole new field of study and expertise. And it will provoke a flurry of hiring, the way SOX initially did.

So I hear, anyway.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

66 months ago

I would ask my graduate accounting professors. They can be very helpful. And you might want to join your local CPA association as an associate member and attend the seminars they hold, so you can network.

That's all I have at the moment.

And don't forget the tiny CPA offices near you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Ty in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

66 months ago

I was wondering if someone on this forum could give me some advice. I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Accounting in 2000. I have been working in corporate accounting for the past eight year. I went back to school and got my MBA in Information Systems Management in 2004. I am about to start my Becker CPA Review courses in April, but I realize that I have to have public accounting experience to obtain my CPA license. I am 31 years old and will be 32 in May. I am very bored in my current Corporate Accounting job and would like to exercise both my Accounting and Information Systems expertise in a new facet of accounting. I realize that the transition from private to public accounting is going to be a challenge, but I realize this is the only way to really maximize my experience in this field. I am definately going to put forth the time and effort to study for and pass the CPA exam, but I was wondering if someone could give me some guidance as to what I need to do at this point in my career. I have a MBA, but I realize that is not enough.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

66 months ago

Hi, Ty. I have an MBA too, and I wouldn't sell it short. I learned a LOT in B-school. You were smart to get it early.

It may seem obvious, but have you checked out the actual websites for the Big 4 and regional firms? There are a lot of opportunities. And MIS is an awesome field to have expertise in now.

I swear I've *seen* opportunities for people with your background in CPA firms' management consulting services job listings. Register with the firms, and apply for one job to get started. It's an inefficient and time-consuming process at first, but you can at least save your information, so it gets less irksome in the future to apply for others job at a given firm.

Becker's is a great course, by the way. Make sure you go through all of the questions at least 3 times (and there are a LOT of questions!). The exams themselves will seem like a breeze if you prepare like that. And do ALL the practice exams, and make sure you're up-to-date with the Becker materials, because they do get updated a lot.

Network. Join the state/local chapter of the PA CPA society as an associate member and attend the functions they have. And don't quit your job. I'm in NJ and it's very slow at the moment. Use contacts from your school - career services, faculty, etc.

I hope things will pick up when international accounting standards are adopted more and more in the US.

And don't complain about your job! You're lucky to have one today. It's a lot easier to get a new job when you're currently employed.

I plan to go for the CMA and CFE designations after I get my CPA license. I think I already have the requisite experience. I may just hang out a shingle on my own, once I can officially do so.

Good luck.

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

Vineeta in Nashik, India

66 months ago

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia said: Hi, Bmess and Steve. I graduated years ago with MBA in finance. I had lots of finance credits, but not enough accounting credits to qualify to sit for the exam. I took seven accounting courses online at a local community college. I then bought Gleim books/test prep CD and studied them myself. I had the same worry as you do, but Gleim (and probably other reputable test prep companies do it equally well..) did very good job to cover and explain the necessary material, I did not have any problem to digest it. You can always make sure if you understood okay by working on the problems. You need to invest your time in studying but if you have your mind on it, it is very doable!

Hi,

I am enthused by your achievements. I am also a house wife, but 37 years old and after a degree in engineering and a MBA-Finance, are quite seriously pursuing CPA. After reading your blog, I find that my profile is quite similar to your's and hence I would like some guidance from you;

Which community college did you use?
Could you please provide the names of the 7 online courses that you did?
What were the fees that you paid?

Request for your kind advise.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Another Mother in Houston, Texas

66 months ago

I loved my experience in public accounting. However, as a mother and wife, it's a difficult juggle. I missed almost all of my daughter's kindergarten year because I spent time traveling with one of the Big 4. While the Big 4 experience is unrivaled, many believe it to not be the sacrifice. Our society forgives fathers who make this choice far easier than its mothers. I would recommend you look at a boutique firm which doesn’t require the long hours and heavy travel. A smaller firm will also provide you experience of working with the smaller clients that you are interested in supporting. You could also find an individual CPA who owns his or her own business and would be interested in selling the clients in 10 years so that you would work for the other CPA while you gain experience AT the clients you eventually will be supporting when your boss retires. All dependant on you finding a CPA looking for retirement.

I don’t know if this helps, best of luck.

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

Mary in Belmar, New Jersey

66 months ago

Another Mother, I like the way you think. I am now preparing myself for hanging out a shingle.

Vineeta, you have to check the educational requirements of the state in which you plan to seek licensure, and you need to get those requirements in writing. Not all online schools have the necessary regional accreditations to be counted as part of the education requirement. You REALLY need to actually communicate with the state accounting board so that there is no understanding. Go to www.nasba.org and find the state you wish to be be licensed in.

I took my courses in traditional classrooms, and I recommend you take Financial Accounting, International Accounting (that's where the US is headed SOON), Intermediate I & II (the meat and potatoes of accounting), Auditing, Managerial (Cost) Accounting, Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting, and whatever Income Taxation courses you have time or money left over for. I'm just going by what's covered on the exam. Business Law would be helpful too, though it's not an accounting course. If you're an engineering graduate, accounting will probably be very easy for you. But there is a lot of material to cover.

And you should start to practice writing in correct English. It *is* part of the exam, and a number of people lose points because they can't communicate in a professional manner in standard English. I don't mean that as a personal criticism of you. But it is very important for your success on the exam, so don't neglect it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

ME! in Irvine, California

65 months ago

Hey jinmo,

Congratulations on passing the exams with such high scores. I'm currently in public accounting. It's not a good time to look for a job in public accounting now considering that a lot of firms are laying people off at this point as the slow season is starting. A lot of firms don't start hiring for the 2010 tax season until later this year. I think the next best position for you at this point is to try to get a job as a staff accountant in industry under the guidance of a CPA (to sign off your experience) or get a job with the IRS or your state (plenty of CPAs to sign off your experience too). The IRS is hiring right now and you'll have very good job stability with the IRS opposed to public accounting. Being in payroll and AR/AP sort of corner yourself but if that's the rung you land on in this economy, it's better than nothing. I would try to apply to a position with a broader role before I apply to those jobs.

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

Laura Stewrd in Lanham, Maryland

55 months ago

I will graduate with a degree in business management in October 2010. I am 47 years old and interested going into the accounting field. I work in banking as an assistant manager. I do not have accounting experience. Any suggestions on how to gain experience and is it worth me going into accounting at may age?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (18) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Thao Nguyen in Houston, Texas

54 months ago

You can sign up with IRS to become volunteering tax preparer and earn experience.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Angie in Glendale, California

49 months ago

I liked reading everyone's comments. I am in a different situation and was wondering if anyone could offer some advice to me. I am 26 years old and graduated from CSUN with a Business Finance degree in 2008. I have been studying for the GMAT and want to take the test this November. I would love to attend USC but don't know which path to take. I want my CPA and at the same time. I landed a job after graduating at an Accounting office and really enjoy it. Would love to move towards that...but feel miserable that I don't have an Accounting degree. I know Finance is not that off of subject. I have heard a lot about the Masters program at USC and the Master of Business Taxation program. What would you suggest? Which path should I take? I want to be earning a lot of money and work at a company like Deloitte, KPMG, or Pricewaterhouse. I heard some of these companies help pay for the Masters Program. Also, if I don't meet the prerequistes to sit through the CPA exam...which school should I attend? Your help is much appreciated!

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

D.Derrick, CPA in Falls Church, Virginia

47 months ago

Angie in Glendale, California said: I liked reading everyone's comments. I am in a different situation and was wondering if anyone could offer some advice to me. I am 26 years old and graduated from CSUN with a Business Finance degree in 2008. I have been studying for the GMAT and want to take the test this November. I would love to attend USC but don't know which path to take. I want my CPA and at the same time. I landed a job after graduating at an Accounting office and really enjoy it. Would love to move towards that...but feel miserable that I don't have an Accounting degree. I know Finance is not that off of subject. I have heard a lot about the Masters program at USC and the Master of Business Taxation program. What would you suggest? Which path should I take? I want to be earning a lot of money and work at a company like Deloitte, KPMG, or Pricewaterhouse. I heard some of these companies help pay for the Masters Program. Also, if I don't meet the prerequistes to sit through the CPA exam...which school should I attend? Your help is much appreciated!

You should apply directly to the companies you like and usually they have a mentor program. The senior person will train you.

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

D.Derrick, CPA in Falls Church, Virginia

47 months ago

Laura Stewrd in Lanham, Maryland said: I will graduate with a degree in business management in October 2010. I am 47 years old and interested going into the accounting field. I work in banking as an assistant manager. I do not have accounting experience. Any suggestions on how to gain experience and is it worth me going into accounting at may age?

You can try an internship program if there is one in your area www.usajobs.gov You can take training courses in Appropriation Law, Basic and Advance Ledger. However, an accounting degree is very helpful at least 24 hours. You may visit www.opm.gov

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

mary in Trenton, New Jersey

38 months ago

hi can anybody tell me what is a CPA exam I took accounting when I were done with High School and now I became a nurse I very bore with
the nursing field and willing to try something news and going back to accounting seen very great I'm also 44 years young and not afraid to change field. I believe it 10 years or less you will be a great
accounting and helping small business is great.

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

Isaac in Lake Worth, Florida

37 months ago

power for a purpose in Franklin, Tennessee said: I am in my forties and had also been a stay at home Mom for years. I am not in the CPA/Accounting field but I do wish to encourage you to follow your dreams! I have a home based business that is growing exponentially and I believe it is partly because I really believe in what I do. You are never to old to have your dreams come true. The real hard part is believing! If you don't have belief, contact me and I will loan you some. That is what makes the difference. I am proof of this with my new business and it's success. Hey, I am always looking for people who have undeniable determination. I will support you. Anyway, I say believe and you will succeed! Blessings.

Hi:

My name is Isaac. I sure would like to know what you do there that has made you so successful. I do know that I have been in teaching for about 13 yrs and I am as miserable as can be. I have a BS in Acctng from 1980 but virtually no exp since I graduated right after the big crash of '87. I know that at the age of 50 and considering the experience that my ate wants to see upon passing the CPA exam , I am not sure if the dream is feasible any more. But I do need a major change - fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HEEEEELP My e-mail is lwhp3537@yahoo.com

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

Paul in Jeffersonville, Indiana

36 months ago

I am also in my mid forties, I am interested in a career change and went back to finish my BS Accounting in 2009, economy tumbled so I stayed at my current employer. I am now enrolled in grad school for a Masters in Strategic Finance, would you recommend switching gears and focusing on the CPA exam first? I have over 25 years of management experience in the restuarant industry including multi unit, however my aspirations are to change now while I have another 20 years ahead of me.. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

stranger in Holtsville, New York

35 months ago

don't bother with the cpa, realistically, you're too old -- i'm sorry -- but that's the truth -- the thing is no cpa firm will hire you to get the 1 year experience even if you pass the exam -- so be very aware of that

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (28) / No (43) Reply - Report abuse

5 in New Albany, Indiana

35 months ago

stranger in Holtsville, New York said: don't bother with the cpa, realistically, you're too old -- i'm sorry -- but that's the truth -- the thing is no cpa firm will hire you to get the 1 year experience even if you pass the exam -- so be very aware of that

Just wondering your perspective? Are you a current CPA or someone who has the afore mentioned hiring authority? Demographically speaking where do you fall. I appreciate the input, but would apprecioate the qualifications behind the statement.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (11) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

MBA Student in Antioch, Tennessee

35 months ago

This is interesting that I have stumbled across this site. I am a grad student pursuing my MBA. I have an undergrad degree in Accounting. I am working on an empirical study research paper and my topis is "Does a candidate sitting for the CPA exam have a better chance at passing the exam if they have gained experience in the field of accounting or rather than sitting for the exam right after graduating from grad school." I am interesting to know you all thoughts on this. I think it will greatly help in my research. I decided on this topic because we have hired several new graduates at my job who have already begun sitting for the exam after graduating. While there are others who have worked there for several years and are just now deciding to take the exam. I can be emailed at ms_kindheart@hotmail.com. If you send an email please put CPA as the subject. Thanks!

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

AR in York, United Kingdom

35 months ago

Hello

I know its really difficult for people to find work in accountancy, finding work is tough at the moment.

I wasnt getting anything back from my CV send outs so I needed CV help.
I have had my CV overhauled by www.editmycv.org and I am getting interviews now and have my fingers crossed about a job in York fingers crossed.

Hope this helps :)
:)
Cheers
Alex

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

old cpa in Dallas, Texas

34 months ago

You all realize that you do not have to work for a Public Accounting firm inorder to get the one year of work experience?

I am 42 going back to school to get more hours and then take the cpa exam. I already have my work experience signed off by my last manager.

Read the requirments for work experience and talk to your professors or talk to the AICPA people about experience. Don't listen to some yahoo on some stupid forum page. Get the CPA, you will never ever regret it.

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

Army in Canton, North Carolina

34 months ago

Nobody answered the original question! Everybody just said congrats and gave advice on how to pass the exam or just asked for the same advice. Ugghh!

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

mary in Trenton, New Jersey

34 months ago

I think you should continue in your field of study but stay working at your present until you finish also taking the CPA exam because later you may want to
start your own food business and you will not have any problems with hiring a
accountant so good luck and stay strong and sorry i didn't get back incontact
with you sooner i also in my 40 and i going back to school to inprove my skill

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

jdickson in Belgrade, Montana

34 months ago

Hello everyone....I am 60 and raising three grandchildren ages, 11, 9 and 7...just learning that I am soon to be a single mother at 60!! I am a CPA in Montana with a Masters in accounting and was thinking of going back to school and getting a masters in taxation as I have not worked in public accounting doing taxes for any length of time. What would you all recommend?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

C. Payne in Mount Rainier, Maryland

34 months ago

I am the managing partner in a new start-up that is looking for a CPA to handle work for our clients. If interested in discussing the opportunity please email to discuss the details. Either we are going to work with a small boutique firm or we will work with several individual consultants. I look forward to exploring the opportunity with you soon.

Kind Regards,
C. Payne Lucas, Jr.
Founder, Managing Partner
Claims Settlement Advisors, LLC

THE WILLARD OFFICE BUILDING
1455 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Dave in Gordonsville, Virginia

32 months ago

Hi jinmo. Did you take 7 courses at PVCC and did these qualify for your 24 hours?

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia said: Hi, Bmess and Steve. I graduated years ago with MBA in finance. I had lots of finance credits, but not enough accounting credits to qualify to sit for the exam. I took seven accounting courses online at a local community college. I then bought Gleim books/test prep CD and studied them myself. I had the same worry as you do, but Gleim (and probably other reputable test prep companies do it equally well..) did very good job to cover and explain the necessary material, I did not have any problem to digest it. You can always make sure if you understood okay by working on the problems. You need to invest your time in studying but if you have your mind on it, it is very doable!

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

Arnoldmh in Cincinnati, Ohio

31 months ago

Hello everyone, if you looking to get into the Accounting field is it better to have a degree in Accounting or can you get your foot in the door with an MBA and passing the CMA and CPA and no degree?

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

CPA2012 in Torrance, California

31 months ago

Hi All,

I just took the FAR section of the CPA Exam today, and I'm hopeful that I will pass it. To address some of your concerns, I'm 47 years old going on 48, and I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in accounting just a little over a year ago. Accounting is a career change since I was in marketing previously. I now have a great job as an Auditor for a great company. One thing that really helped me was school. I got involved with business clubs like Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting Society, and that helped me meet a lot of people in the industry. As a result, I got lots of interviews, and the rest is history. So the bottom line is that if you want to get into the accounting and audit industry, even if you're in your 40's, you can do it. Just be willing to do whatever it takes, such as perhaps going back to school, doing a lot of networking, and be persistent.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (13) / No Reply - Report abuse

CPA2012 in Torrance, California

31 months ago

To address Arnold, if you have an MBA, you don't need to go back to school, unless you use it to network. An MBA with CPA license is more than enough.

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

Arnoldmh in Cincinnati, Ohio

31 months ago

CPA2012 in Torrance, California said: To address Arnold, if you have an MBA, you don't need to go back to school, unless you use it to network. An MBA with CPA license is more than enough.

Thanks CPA2012, after reading your post I think that I will go ahead and complete dual MBA/MS in Accounting degree. It seems with both degrees and sitting for the CMA and CPA, I might have a better chance in landing a job after graduation. Being that I am also in my early 40's, the advice that you gave about networking was very helpful.

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

Irena in San Jose, California

29 months ago

For those who are interested in pursuing the CPA certificate, please be aware that to study for the exams is one thing and to get the work experience under an "Active" CPA is another thing. So, before you committed yourself to studying for the CPA exams which takes weeks, months and sometimes years to pass the exams, please think twice and carefully plan especially if you don't already have the work experience under the "Active" CPA defined by the CA state board of Accountancy. Being active means that the CPA has to have a current CPE hours and a current license. Without the CPE hours, the CPA will not be considered active. Most of the CPA only current with their licenses renewed. So, from my personal experience, I strongly recommend that you don't waste your time on studying for something and find out later that you will have another road block ahead of you which is the work experience. The state won't make it easy for anyone to just get the certificate. To get your foot in public accounting firm, you will probably need a lot of luck which I don't have 89% of the time. So, I strongly urge you, my friend, to think carefully before you spend your time, money and energy into the exams that is nearly hell and later find out you won't be able to obtain your license due to lack of work experience.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (13) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

going back to college in Pell City, Alabama

29 months ago

I noticed here some people are saying go to work for the IRS preparing taxes. I thought about that as well to get the experience. I'm willing to volunteer to get experience.

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

going back to college in Pell City, Alabama

29 months ago

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia said: I recently passed all the sections of the CPA exam with scores 90+ after have been stay-at-home mom since 2000. I took the exam to make myself a little bit more marketable to re-enter the workforce, but I am having a difficult time to find an entry-level accounting position to get myself going. I do have an extensive experience in marketing research and strategy, but none in accounting.

I am already 44, and my goal in 10 years is being a accountant who can help small businesses with daily accounting to business/personal taxes. Since I have lots of expeience in analysing performance and making business recomendations in marketing/operations, I think it would be great if I can go a little beyound accounting and do some consultation on business performance using accounting data.

Now I very much like to envision a career path ahead of me, but without accounting experience, I just cannot do it myself. I need experienced accountant who are ahead of me in his/her career to help me create my career path.

What I have in my mind at this point is..
- Take some Quickbook and Peachtree course (some people suggested you just buy those software and work around with it. Would it work?)
- If I can get a job in public accounting, it is great, but if I cannot, I will start in payroll and AP/AR in business. But after couple years there, which way should I go?
- How do you get tax experience, if not working in public accounting? Is there any way? I like to have experience with personal, sole proprietor, partnership, S corp etc.

Have you thought about H & R Block they give you alot of experience with S Corpations and such

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

going back to college in Pell City, Alabama

29 months ago

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia said: I recently passed all the sections of the CPA exam with scores 90+ after have been stay-at-home mom since 2000. I took the exam to make myself a little bit more marketable to re-enter the workforce, but I am having a difficult time to find an entry-level accounting position to get myself going. I do have an extensive experience in marketing research and strategy, but none in accounting.

I am already 44, and my goal in 10 years is being a accountant who can help small businesses with daily accounting to business/personal taxes. Since I have lots of expeience in analysing performance and making business recomendations in marketing/operations, I think it would be great if I can go a little beyound accounting and do some consultation on business performance using accounting data.

Now I very much like to envision a career path ahead of me, but without accounting experience, I just cannot do it myself. I need experienced accountant who are ahead of me in his/her career to help me create my career path.

What I have in my mind at this point is..
- Take some Quickbook and Peachtree course (some people suggested you just buy those software and work around with it. Would it work?)
- If I can get a job in public accounting, it is great, but if I cannot, I will start in payroll and AP/AR in business. But after couple years there, which way should I go?
- How do you get tax experience, if not working in public accounting? Is there any way? I like to have experience with personal, sole proprietor, partnership, S corp etc.

Have you thought about H & R Block they give you alot of experience with S Corpations and such

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

going back to college in Pell City, Alabama

29 months ago

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia said: I recently passed all the sections of the CPA exam with scores 90+ after have been stay-at-home mom since 2000. I took the exam to make myself a little bit more marketable to re-enter the workforce, but I am having a difficult time to find an entry-level accounting position to get myself going. I do have an extensive experience in marketing research and strategy, but none in accounting.

I am already 44, and my goal in 10 years is being a accountant who can help small businesses with daily accounting to business/personal taxes. Since I have lots of expeience in analysing performance and making business recomendations in marketing/operations, I think it would be great if I can go a little beyound accounting and do some consultation on business performance using accounting data.

Now I very much like to envision a career path ahead of me, but without accounting experience, I just cannot do it myself. I need experienced accountant who are ahead of me in his/her career to help me create my career path.

What I have in my mind at this point is..
- Take some Quickbook and Peachtree course (some people suggested you just buy those software and work around with it. Would it work?)
- If I can get a job in public accounting, it is great, but if I cannot, I will start in payroll and AP/AR in business. But after couple years there, which way should I go?
- How do you get tax experience, if not working in public accounting? Is there any way? I like to have experience with personal, sole proprietor, partnership, S corp etc.

Have you thought about H & R Block they give you alot of experience with S Corpations and such

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

Entrepreneur in Tomball, Texas

29 months ago

going back to college in Pell City, Alabama said: Have you thought about H & R Block they give you alot of experience with S Corpations and such

Email me ksuya@mail.ru

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

ps55 in Summerville, South Carolina

24 months ago

I am desparately needing to make a career change at age 55. I got my bachelors in acctg in 1981 and have worked as an auditor for the government and am now an accounting manager. I am topped out at my current job and feel I don't have what it takes to be competitive. I am wondering if I should look into studying for the CPA exam. Do you need to have a masters degree? I am worried that I am too old and have been out of school for too long but I have to do something. Any suggestions, advice????

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

Melissa in Toronto, Ontario

20 months ago

ps55 in Summerville, South Carolina said: I am desparately needing to make a career change at age 55. I got my bachelors in acctg in 1981 and have worked as an auditor for the government and am now an accounting manager . I am topped out at my current job and feel I don't have what it takes to be competitive. I am wondering if I should look into studying for the CPA exam. Do you need to have a masters degree? I am worried that I am too old and have been out of school for too long but I have to do something. Any suggestions, advice????

I'm not sure if I can give you any helpful advice, but I can answer your question about the CPA requirements. You don't need your masters.. just your accounting degree to be able to write the entrance exam. Since your from the states it may be different though. Goodluck with everything

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

Todd Carreiro in Fall River, Massachusetts

17 months ago

5 in New Albany, Indiana said: Just wondering your perspective? Are you a current CPA or someone who has the afore mentioned hiring authority? Demographically speaking where do you fall. I appreciate the input, but would apprecioate the qualifications behind the statement.

I am a graduate with holding a 3.73 with a BS in Accounting. I am 43+ years old a wiz at numbers and how to place them. I am also very good at math and finance and I am going to say it straight don't bother. They will teach you but no one seriously will hire you after 36 as a male.

All of the big accounting firms want young. It also helps to be the president of the school's accounting club. So save your money and time but read as much as you can ... and information is all over just look for it online. what ever you do be a self made person and screw the IRS.

Thanks what we do now ..

Todd Carreiro

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

Fiona in Paterson, New Jersey

15 months ago

ps55 in Summerville, South Carolina said: I am desparately needing to make a career change at age 55. I got my bachelors in acctg in 1981 and have worked as an auditor for the government and am now an accounting manager . I am topped out at my current job and feel I don't have what it takes to be competitive. I am wondering if I should look into studying for the CPA exam. Do you need to have a masters degree? I am worried that I am too old and have been out of school for too long but I have to do something. Any suggestions, advice????

You don't need a masters but you do need 150 college credits in mosst states to take the exam now. The requirements vary according to states. Sommetimes we have to look ino other places CFO at non profits in NY can me six figures. You should take while you have recent work experience as NY requires two years work experience to get your CPA. New Jersey requires one year work experience. ps Sabanes Oxley will open the doors up to us oldies.

Good luck.

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

Marcie in Sewell, New Jersey

9 months ago

CPA has been on my list of things to do for a while now. I sat forever ago and quickly gave up. Now I am married and a mother of three. Taking the test is not my worry. I am worried about the experience. I started my own tax practice two years ago and it is going great. Don't want to close up shop for a year to get experience. I always worked in AP and AR management when I was in the corporate world.

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

Page:   1  2  Next »   Last »

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