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Comments (9)

JFLOYD3619@*****.*** in Millersville, Maryland

57 months ago


I am a CPA MBA with a 16 years with one company as a controller, then took 6 years off to stay home with the children. Went back to work as a Director of Finance for 2 years for a large non profit. Took about 10 months off to wrap up a divorce. Now have been unable to find a job, except some short term temp jobs.

Technical skills are pretty up to date, but can't seem to compete. I was making too much money (6 figures) and now can't get a job even as a temp. Should I take some courses and become a technical person? Like Microsoft certified?

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Bean counter in San Jose, California

56 months ago

With your credentials and experience, you must keep trying to look for the same level of jobs in your field. On the employment gap, one has to be creative in this horrible job market. A finance director was struggling to explain years' unemployment and was asking a agency recruiter for help in an accounting support group meeting , next thing I saw in linkedin is this:

-Improve financial management processes for small companies and self-employed individuals.
-Certified to prepare tax returns in CA.

Forget about MS certificate, it won't help, the IT field is dead, with all the outsourcing and oversupply here in US.
Should consider taking tax class to prepare tax returns as a side job in the beginning while continue looking for a normal job. Suggested this route to my ex many years ago and he's been doing very well, actually quit his good paying finance job and started his own company doing accounting and tax returns. Don't lower your expectation ... with your CPA/MBA!

Hope this helps.

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Bean counter in San Jose, California

56 months ago

You may want to expand the locations.... go to where the jobs are... can't afford to be picky these days.

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alice105 in New York, New York

52 months ago

I was thinking of becoming an accountant, is it worth te investment of 5 years of my life? Will there be jobs when I graduate? I live in NYC.

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CP-Yeay! in San Bernardino, California

39 months ago

Not surprising that you can not find work as an accountant / CPA. There is a vast oversupply of accountants and CPAs in the United States. It has been this was for more than 15 years, take for example the fact that salaries have not budged in the last decade. The industry knows this, and they have attempted to slow down the number of new CPAs coming into the industry by increase the amount of credits to 150 just to sit for the exam. Not to mention the current exam format is way, way harder to pass than it was back in the 1990s. In the current environment, (What I’m calling the Great Depression 2.0) we are seeing some crowding out of other professions, due to the oversupply and cheap labor of CPAs. Jobs that once belonged to CIA (Certified Internal Auditors) are now going exclusively to CPAs just because they can hire them for less money to do the same work an internal auditor used to do.

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toosmart in Los Angeles, California

37 months ago

Alice105 in New York, New York said: I was thinking of becoming an accountant , is it worth te investment of 5 years of my life? Will there be jobs when I graduate? I live in NYC.

No,not worthwhile, I am a CPA with a few more 3 letters credentials. I have 12 years' experience practicing accounting. I have been look for a job change for the last 12 months but can't find any. I am now stuck at my low pay job $85K a year and working 70 hours week managing the firm, audits and also tax returns. It totally sucks. Being in Los Angeles, $85K doesn't buy much after taxes. My average hourly pay is less than my hair dresser, much less. She makes $102K a year. My officer manager who has no degree and not a professional staff, she is paid $79K....She has no OT, no much to do either because I take care of everybody's CPE and the firm's quality control. She just pays the bills and print invoices from the computer to send to clients. So don't waste your time, be an officer manager at my firm, or a bookkeeper who makes $80K a year and also doesn't have the stress or OT like myself. By the way, I am going to quit end of this month regardless whether I will find a job, because I am sick and tired of working like a dog to support others who are less educated and get good pay.

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thefinancewriter in Georgetown, Texas

37 months ago

The job market is hot for accountanting graduates, but not necessarily for CPAs looking to shift away from audit or return to work after an absence. Accounting firms are hiring young staffers who they push with extensive work. Sure, they get some off-season perks and good managerial positions if they stick with the grind for about 5 to 7 years.

A more satisfying avenue has been achieved by CPAs who venture into the tax specialty. Almost everyone needs tax assistance, so marketing for a solo operation is not difficult. Many CPAs I know brushed up on their tax expertise by studying for the Enrolled Agent exam. They take the course at fastforwardacademy.com/enrolled-agent-exam-prep.htm. It doesn't expire until they pass the EA exam, which is farily easy for a CPA.

Armed with sufficient tax knowledge and return prep software, CPAs can work on whatever schedule suits them. Some work a lot during peak season, but the rewards are better than getting the shaft from employment at a large public accounting firm. Others work only a little extra during peak season and have a steady volume of extended tax returns occuping their summer.

There's no reason to continue searching in vain for a corporate accounting gig when you can start controling your own work environment and earn a good living by obtaining a bit of extra tax education that leverages your CPA license into an independent practice.

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Martin595959 in San Francisco, California

24 months ago

When Becker advertises the difference for a CPA salary using a 40 year career path you know that the market is not good. Have you seen any other careers where they had to use a 40 year earnings potential over a non-degreed person to come up with something attractive? Yes, the CPA path is not what it used to be in the 70s, 80s and even 90s. And most accounting grads have not caught on. They keep believing that there is a 28% job growth as one CPA education selling site advertises in 2014. Always verify any stats for accuracy. Please note that these sites don't talk about the low salaries CPas get paid in comparison to the difficulty of their education. Please be aware that this post doesn't contain advertisement links to a tax school which is trying to make money off you taking a tax education. CPAs earn a lot less than the chiropractor next door whose taxes they do. You'll also have a lot more stress and work more hours than most professionals, including the chiropractor, ever will. There are better careers out there than the CPA. Orthodontist, dentist, computer programmer, etc.

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Martin595959 in San Francisco, California

24 months ago

Here are a few more stats: according to PayScale’s database in 2010, a senior tax accountant with over 20 years of experience earns somewhere between $60,000 - $85,000 per year. Meanwhile, a CPA with 20 or more years of experience earns between $65,000 - $110,000 per year. Translation: A CPA with 20 years experience earn anywhere from 5,000 a year to 25,000 a year more than a someone without the CPA license. The maximum of 25K more is after 20 years!!!!! of experience. Not exactly the healthy paycheck that computer programmers make after 5+ year or so of solid experience. And don't forget that the CPA will have to work more hours than most professionals ever will for 110K.

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