Entry Level CPA job

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Andy in Bothell, Washington

59 months ago

Hello, All
I am also in same boat as most of you, I am currently studying for CPA exam, one done 3 to go. Seems like www.bls.gov has completely wrong stats regarding accounting career. May be we should all CPAs and CPA exam takers should get together online and bounce off ideas off each other. It seems like CPA firms dont really care about entry-level CPAs, to me it seemed like many of the big CPA firms' HR people are racists (I am not blowing it out of proportion) look on their face when I walked in for interview gave me a vibe that this person isnt gonna hire me no matter how qualified I am.

Leave a comment.

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Herman in Brooklyn, New York

59 months ago

Hello:
this is so depressing. all the comments posted above. and the problem is that most of then seem to be right according to my experience in looking for work in the accounting field. I graduated with a major in accounting and a Bachelors degree from Baruch college in New York city in 2003. my GPA was around 3.85 and i had about 10 interviews with medium and large cpa firms back in 2003. however, i never got a job offer. Instead, all I got was rejection. so after graduation i took a job as a bookkeeper for a small company for 2 years. after that, i took another job as a bookkeeper for another bigger company for 3 years. However, i never liked working as a bookkeeper. My dream was always to become and work as a CPA. So in the last 18 months, i took all the cpa exams and passed them with flying colors. I passed the last one in september 2009. Now, in the last month, i began to send my resume to small, medium, and large cpa firms, hoping to be able to get an interview with them. However, only after 1.5 months, i am already becoming discouraged since nobody seems to reply to my applications or sendind of my resume. THIS is so difficult. getting an entry level job in public accounting is so difficult. And I am exactly 40 years of age right now, which makes things even more complicated. I know this is the beginning of my job search. however, because of all the comments above and my previous experience back in 2003, i feel like this job search is gonna be really difficult and discouraging. Nevertheless, i refuse to give up on my dream of becoming a CPA.Here in new york, you need 2 years of working experience to get the license. I just hope and pray to be able to get a cpa firm job soon!

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Lola in Dayton, Ohio

59 months ago

Herman, I think your problem may just be the timing with the economy. Lots of the bigger and regional CPA firms have been laying off junior staff and also have hiring freezes in the last year. But that doesn't mean they won't ever need entry level staff! The way CPA firms work is that when staff do well, they are promoted, which means their pay and billing rate goes up. This generates an ongoing need for entry-level staff who can do all the time-consuming audit work and tax preparation.

There have been and will be entry level CPA jobs if you can wait it out. If you continue gaining a variety of accounting experiences through bookkeeping, you will have some good industry specific skills to sell the firms. Networking is definitely a good idea, and you could also try to get a foot in the door by seeking a part or full-time tax season position. Good luck!

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Herman in Brooklyn, New York

59 months ago

Thank you for your advise, Lola. I am facing a dilemma right now. I am not working. I am collecting unemployment. I got laid off 8 months ago and took advantage of it by passing the remaining 3 parts of the cpa exam that i needed to pass. However, in the last 2 months, I have sent my resume to many cpa firms hoping to get an opportunity with no luck yet. My experience in the last 5 years has been in AR,AP, payroll, bank reconciliations, financial reports and things like that.But I do not want to work as a bookkeeper again. I do not like it at all.And although I would like to work preparing taxes this coming tax season, it does not make any sense to give up unemployment benefits to work as a tax preparer for only 4 months. So I guess that I will continue applying to cpa firms for the near future. I have not made any cold calls to cpa firms yet, but I feel that it is something that I will need to do soon if I do not make any progress in my job search. I never thought it would be so difficult to get an entry level cpa job when I was in college.Thank you for your advice.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

Herman, are you working for some company doing taxes? If you are, tout yourself. Get a turbotax and do people's taxes for $25.00. I'm sure you would get a lot of people.

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Herman in Brooklyn, New York

59 months ago

no, Mary. I am not working or doing taxes for anybody right now.Thanks anyway.

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Future Non-CPA in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

Why are accounting firms showing up at college career fairs when they've been laying people off?

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JulieBird in Lansing, Michigan

59 months ago

In these tough economic times I say take what you can get while keeping that goal of becoming a CPA. Gaining some of the general accounting knowledge and business smarts through bookkeeping jobs at least keeps you active in the accounting field. Gaining some tax experience is a good idea too. I know it's hard to get experience without having the opportunity to have a job that gives it, but there are things like volunteering with VITA where you volunteer a few hours a week to prepare income tax returns for low income families. If you have paid thousands toward classes, then volunteering can be looked at like a class that you have to attend one or two days a week that you don't have to pay for. For many employers, I don't think it's an issue of how well you do in a classroom, but how well you can actually perform when it comes to working with their clients. Some of the most brilliant people that I know are idiots when it comes to dealing with people.

Good luck to everyone out there. I think that the accounting profession and accounting degrees ARE in demand; however, it's important to realize that being a CPA isn't the only profession out there for accounting majors. Most of those large companies that hire the CPA firms for their tax return and audits also have internal accounting staff that require a college education. They just don't pay the big bucks that many were looking forward to.

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Herman in Brooklyn, New York

59 months ago

I understand your point, Julie. However, I just finished passing the cpa tests. And I do need to get the auditor cpa experience soon since,I am not so sure about how long it is for New York state, there is a window of time limited to get that experience before the exam scores and its validity are lost. I know that for Florida, for example, you have three years since you pass the tests to obtain the working experience requirement fulfilled.

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Isabel in Roseville, California

58 months ago

jinmo in Charlottesville, Virginia said: Mary, I admire your hard work! You are my inspiration.

I am a 44 year old stay-at-home mom. To go back to the workforce, I have taken accounting courses and studied for the CPA exam. I have recently passed all the sections with excellent scores. I have started applying for job and working with recruiters, but my lack of experience in accounting (I was in Marketing before I became a stay-at-home) makes things even harder. Knowing that you are working hard at age of 54 is a great encouragement for me! There must be a way. Good luck with the last two sections!

Hi
I am so glad to know that you have passed yor CPA exam as a stay-at-home mom. You are my encouragement. I am currently a stay-at-home mom who takes care of three young childrens( a five year old and three year old twins). I plan to prepare for my CPA exam next year. I am hesitating to start the review courses because my husband does not agree with it. He thinks it will have a huge impact on our family life. We do not have relatives to help out. My five year old is in kindergarten for a half of the day and the twins are attending preschool for four hours each week. I don't know how to work out my schedule without impacting the quality of our family life if I start the course. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Professional Tax Preparer in Tampa, Florida

58 months ago

Someone above made a comment to buy TurboTax for $25 and do people's taxes. This is against the law. TurboTax does not allow you to sign as paid preparer. CPAs do not need to be breaking laws. You can get TaxAct for professionals for like $125. Try that. I too am currently sitting for the CPA exam, have a BS and MBA in accounting, and am an Enrolled Agent.

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MJ in Brielle, New Jersey

58 months ago

I thought that the IRS had no specific requirements for tax preparer qualifications. Preparers who aren't lawyers, CPAs or EAs just can't represent people in front of the IRS.
Can you cite me an IRC section or reg? I don't prepare people's taxes anyway, but I do know accountants who aren't CPAs who prepare taxes for others.
Thanks.

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MJ in Brielle, New Jersey

58 months ago

Professional Tax Preparer in Tampa, Florida said: Someone above made a comment to buy TurboTax for $25 and do people's taxes. This is against the law. TurboTax does not allow you to sign as paid preparer. CPAs do not need to be breaking laws. You can get TaxAct for professionals for like $125. Try that. I too am currently sitting for the CPA exam, have a BS and MBA in accounting, and am an Enrolled Agent.

Preparer, how did you go about becoming an EA?

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Pro Tax Preparer

58 months ago

You currently do not need to be a CPA or Enrolled Agent to prepare tax returns, but anyone who gets paid to prepare them MUST sign the paid preparer line and provide a SSN, EIN, or PTIN. Go to IRS.gov, click on tax professionals at the top, and then Enrolled Agent to learn more. You need to pass 3 tests and go through a background check. I used the Phoenix Tax Group course to prepare.

And by the way, since there are so many incompetent nobodys out there with barely a high school education who have decided to declare themselves tax pros and screw the returns up, the IRS will soon require testing for ALL paid preparers.

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Alex Nour in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

Can any one help me is it to hard to find a job with zero experience so the question why many people preparing it

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Alex Nour in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

hjjgj

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Pro Tax Preparer

58 months ago

Try to get a job at H&R Block, Liberty Tax, or Jackson Hewitt. They will hire you with no experience. The job is temporay and the pay is low, but at least you'll get some experience. Or depending on your financial situation, if you can afford it- try to get a small CPA firm to let you intern for free during tax season.

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Mo in Denver, Colorado

57 months ago

Looking for opportunities just want to makes me want to about puke anymore I see very well why so many people have dropped off the unemployment chart for awhile. I have been laid off from my job for a year now but working and doing fine but looking for a job right now is still near impossible even getting a simple interview is like pulling teeth. I think for most industries we will have to wait till July or August and will begin to see some relief.

I think Obama is going to have to force companies to hire because companies right now I think are just sitting back and still don't want to look at employees yet. The banks also will have to ease up on their lending ASAP!! Once employers start looking for employees they will obvisously hire the experienced first but I think once hiring get's rolling again the unemployment will drop pretty fast and companies will then start to feel the crunch and pressure and start to hire the not as experienced and entry level people. Once Obama and his administration get back from the holiday breaks I am betting this will be the major issue they will handle after the health care reform is passed.

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

57 months ago

Kirk Ward in Ellijay, Georgia said: Dianne,

One of the best things you can learn if you want to work in Public Practice is marketing ... becoming a "Rainmaker." Every practice needs new business and if a new member of the staff shows promise in this area, then they will have a fast track to partnership.

Get either book "The Rainmakers Toolkit" or "Rain Making." Both are good, but I prefer the Toolkit.

You can also take a look at the stuff offered at instantpracticebuilder.com

Kirk

This information is really goof Kirk!! I will try to remember this!!

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

57 months ago

Professional Tax Preparer in Tampa, Florida said: Someone above made a comment to buy TurboTax for $25 and do people's taxes. This is against the law. TurboTax does not allow you to sign as paid preparer. CPAs do not need to be breaking laws. You can get TaxAct for professionals for like $125. Try that. I too am currently sitting for the CPA exam, have a BS and MBA in accounting, and am an Enrolled Agent.

Wow!! are you going to go into practice for yourself?? I have been think ing about doing so after I pass the CPA exams!!

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

57 months ago

Isabel in Roseville, California said: Hi
I am so glad to know that you have passed yor CPA exam as a stay-at-home mom. You are my encouragement. I am currently a stay-at-home mom who takes care of three young childrens( a five year old and three year old twins). I plan to prepare for my CPA exam next year. I am hesitating to start the review courses because my husband does not agree with it. He thinks it will have a huge impact on our family life. We do not have relatives to help out. My five year old is in kindergarten for a half of the day and the twins are attending preschool for four hours each week. I don't know how to work out my schedule without impacting the quality of our family life if I start the course. Does anyone have any suggestions?

wow Isabelle!! I know how that can be!! I am a mother of a one yr old and a four yr old who is in Preschool. My one yr old stays with my mom during the day while my husband and I work!! Also, I am finishing up my Master's in Accounting!! I want to take the CPA courses at night, but with me working during the day, I feel like it would be too much time away from my little ones!!

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Leah in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

57 months ago

Isabel in Roseville, California said: Hi
I am so glad to know that you have passed yor CPA exam as a stay-at-home mom. You are my encouragement. I am currently a stay-at-home mom who takes care of three young childrens( a five year old and three year old twins). I plan to prepare for my CPA exam next year. I am hesitating to start the review courses because my husband does not agree with it. He thinks it will have a huge impact on our family life. We do not have relatives to help out. My five year old is in kindergarten for a half of the day and the twins are attending preschool for four hours each week. I don't know how to work out my schedule without impacting the quality of our family life if I start the course. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Isabelle, I think you should just go for it, but don't take on too much at a time!! I almost cried when I started the Master's program in Accounting, because I was so afraid to be away from my son (who was a baby at the time)!! Then, i just did it!! i only did one class per quarter!! It took me 4 yrs, but I finish in March and I am so happy that I did it!!

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MJ

57 months ago

Hi, Preparer and all! Happy New Year! I got a seasonal associate job with H&R Block.I won't be doing taxes this season, but there is a lot of CBT available to me and I will be able to take their 1040 course for $ 20 when it's next offered. They also have classes that help people prepare for the EA exam. I went online and tested out of having to take Block's 1040 course, but at that point they had already hired all the Tax Pro's they needed.

But at this point, having a job is a very good thing indeed after being unemployed for so long. The pay is low, but the benefits are pretty decent, and they offer a lot of courses. It also appears to be older-worker-friendly, which is pretty uncommon.

I recently learned that the IRS is requiring paid preparers to be certified. That is good news for us, I think.

Take care, all!

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Beverly in Alpharetta, Georgia

56 months ago

TJ in Mableton, Georgia said: I plan to sit for my CPA exam in Georgia in 2009 but I won't have 5 years work experience under a CPA until 2011. Will the CPA scores expire?

The requirements are changing. You will only need one year of experience. Look on the actual CPA application for Georgia. Some websites have not yet been updated with the new law.
Best of luck,
B

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roant in Bronx, New York

56 months ago

No, they won't.

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Beverly in Alpharetta, Georgia

56 months ago

Well, let me know why they are not following new law passed this summer.
Hard to believe but look it up:
O.C.G.A. § 43-3-6
( (B) (For effective date see note.) One year of continuous experience in public accountancy immediately preceding the date of application for the certificate or within a reasonable time prior to the date of such application as provided by the board by rule, provided that the board may promulgate rules stating certain circumstances which shall constitute acceptable breaks in the continuity of said experience; and provided, further, that the board may accept, in lieu of such year of experience in public accounting, evidence satisfactory to it of one year of continuous employment in the accounting field in industry, business, government, or college teaching; any combination of the above; or any combination of the above and practice of public accountancy immediately preceding the date of application for the certificate or what the board determines to be the equivalent thereof; and provided, further, that any person certified as a certified public accountant under the laws of this state on July 1, 1977, shall be deemed to have the experience in the practice of public accountancy required by this subparagraph; and

(4) Who shall have passed an examination approved by the board in such related subjects as the board deems appropriate.

O.C.G.A. § 43-3-6

see lexis
web.lexis-nexis.com/research/xlink?app=00075&view=full&interface=1&docinfo=off&searchtype=get&search=O.C.G.A.+an Accountant7+43-3-6

Also you can retrieve from sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/PLBLaws.asp?Board=22

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Beverly in Alpharetta, Georgia

56 months ago

Do let me know if I am misinterpreting or if there are additional regs I am overlooking. I have been hearing about this from other accountants since last year and am really interested since I start sitting for CPA this month.
Cheers.

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Edgar B in San Francisco, California

56 months ago

hi i just recently landed an internship at a small CPA Firm in San Francisco after trying to since I graduated with A Business Mangement/Accoutning degree from UC Santa Cruz. I did not have prior experience in accounting until now. I am planning on studying for my CPA Exam sometime in the near future but would like to find someone to study with. If anyone is interested I would greatly appreciate it.

I want to pass my CPA Exam in order to become a stronger candidate to work for a top accounting firm.

If you have any suggestions feel free to reply

Thank You

EB

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vvm in Montreal, Quebec

56 months ago

Hi people. Read your comments. Life sux. I've just completed the CPA exam, I'm also MBA in Finance with several years in both accounting and finance... can't find anything. Was offered an internship with a CPA firm for $10/hr (!) and am almost ready to take the offer, because this way will be the fastest to get licensed. But otherwise... was it really worth the effort?

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loosetrak in Richmond, Texas

56 months ago

Hi Edgar, I am also working in a small CPA firm as a bookkeeper. I am finding it interesting as we have various clients and all of them are different. Its a good experience. I am getting exposed to payroll a lot as well, which I think is good. I am planning to study for CPA as well in the very near future. I have to complete a federal tax course, before I want to subscribe to any review courses. I would like to get and keep in touch with you. Please send me an email to loosetrack@yahoo.com. Any candidates in similar situation are welcome and may be we can join to create a group/forum etc. or something similar. God bless all!

Edgar B in San Francisco, California said: hi i just recently landed an internship at a small CPA Firm in San Francisco after trying to since I graduated with A Business Mangement/Accoutning degree from UC Santa Cruz. I did not have prior experience in accounting until now. I am planning on studying for my CPA Exam sometime in the near future but would like to find someone to study with. If anyone is interested I would greatly appreciate it.

I want to pass my CPA Exam in order to become a stronger candidate to work for a top accounting firm.

If you have any suggestions feel free to reply

Thank You

EB

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Jack in Los Angeles, California

55 months ago

I graduated in Dec. 2006 in Economics from UC (low GPA of 2.5) and currently working at a community bank (publicly traded, but not so reputable) as a credit analyst. This is my 2nd job and I was lucky to get back into the same field after being laid off from my first job. I have about 2.5 yrs in total experience in commercial lending. I am 26.

During the time I was laid off (about 5 months), I started taking accounting classes from community college and I have been studying since then. I will start to take the exams starting this upcoming March, and I am planning to finish all four by end of this year. As far as passing the test, I feel pretty confident. However, I am a bit worried about starting my career in this field. I do not think I qualify to get into BIG4 (of course I will apply and try), so I am planning to start off at some small to medium sized accounting firm and later move up to BIG4 at a later time, hopefully within 2 or 3 years.

Here are my questions.
1. Even if I pass all four parts, what are the likelihood of myself getting a job in this field? How are the demands for entry level accountants from a non accounting major? (not licensed but a candidate who passed all four parts) these days? Especially in So. California area?
2. I see alot of people mentioning about importance of networking and I totally agree. The question is, how can I build that network? I work full time, come home after work, and same thing repeats on a daily basis. How can I build a network from nothing? any suggestions?
3. How much credit do the employers give to the work experience from a different field (in my case, commercial lending/credit)?
4. What are some aspects the employers look for from a entry level accountants?

I will start applying to those jobs like many of you once I pass two parts. I would greatly appreciate for your honest opinions.

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vvm in Montreal, Quebec

55 months ago

Jack in LA, as to CPA emloyability, look what people have posted before you. Maybe it's just the recession. Anyway, try passing the exams first, maybe something will change in the meanwhile. As to what is required in an accountant, look at the appropriate job postings with position descriptions. In terms of networking - I'm pretty sure that, working in a bank, you certainly talk to accountants as clients and other clients and business owners who use CPA services, so talk to them as well. Good luck.

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Anonymous in New York, New York

55 months ago

After graduating college I was lucky enough to leave with a job offer ready at a mid-size accounting firm. I worked at the firm for about 15 months and unfortunately I had to leave for personal reasons. During my time away from the firm I have taken care of these personal issues, completed the CPA exam, and conducted volunteer work (which involved leading teams of volunteers for various projects).

My question is:

Should I apply for a job at an entry level position or should I apply as an experienced hire?

If anyone has any advice as to how I should go about my job search, it would be really helpful.

Thanks.

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BROUCE in Scarborough, Ontario

55 months ago

Hi,evryone.I'am glad to find this topic and join you.I have the same experience as most of you.I passed the CPA exams in 2008;Plus, I got the bachelor degree of accountancy in 2007.Unfortunately, I found it's useless for me to find a job neither in US nor in Canada.What I need is one year experience to get my license.I sent tons of resumes, no responses except for some agents'calling.Some famous agents, like Robert half and Accountemp, are very arrogant and picky. I'm sick of their bad attitude.Some times I ask myself:"is it a wise choice to do accounting job?".If I'd chosen another profession,my life could be another situation.I really want to find a job in US,but it's very difficult for a canadian.Can somebody give me some suggestions?Hope your help.Thx

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vvm in Montreal, Quebec

55 months ago

Hey people is anyone here from OH or ready to move there? I spoke to a guy who runs a small CPA firm in the middle of nowhere in OH, close to Cincinnati. He'd take a CPA finalist for $10/hr and no benefits and no relocation allowance. Yes I know you can make more working as a cashier in a supermarket, but that's the reality. If anyone is REALLY interested, drop me a line at masliav at vif.com. I'd take the offer myself just to get done with CPA (I need one year to get licensed), but I want to give it a year and see if I can get anything for more than $10/hr.

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MJain in Bayonne, New Jersey

55 months ago

Edgar B in San Francisco, California said: hi i just recently landed an internship at a small CPA Firm in San Francisco after trying to since I graduated with A Business Mangement/Accoutning degree from UC Santa Cruz. I did not have prior experience in accounting until now. I am planning on studying for my CPA Exam sometime in the near future but would like to find someone to study with. If anyone is interested I would greatly appreciate it.

I want to pass my CPA Exam in order to become a stronger candidate to work for a top accounting firm.

If you have any suggestions feel free to reply

Thank You

EB

I suggest you to study through Beckers material. There is also this website cpareviewforfree.com This site has hundreds of practice questions. Wish you good luck.

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vvm in Montreal, Quebec

55 months ago

Beckers IS THE BEST!!! Don't waste money/time on other providers.

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shingivyas in foster, California

55 months ago

Guys please help,

So I have around 225 semester units, MS in accounting with 3.9 GPA( though from India), Passed CPA EXAM( with good scores), have 4+ work ex in corporate finance & 1+ in public accounting( in India)but no JOB.

I have posted my resume on career builder & monster. filled up those long profile forms at deloitte/ pwc but nothing. What should I do next?? I have started feeling,I wont even get an interview call.

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littleone in Sharon, Massachusetts

55 months ago

deansuraci in Cornwall, New York said: Back when I was coming out of college with my accounting degree all firms would give you a chance, and with no CPA license. (not the big Accounting firms however, different animal) And, on top of that, I never did an accounting internship while in school.

All I can say is keep trying.

Employers and Recruiters nowadays are very very anal and have bigtime tunnel vision when selecting candidates in all fields, not just accounting. 15 years ago, you go for an interview or two and if they liked you, you got the job. Nowadays, you go thru 4 interviews and they want a laundry list of qualifications. And, most employees today leave after getting hired after 3 years or so-no loyalty. So, it's not like employers are choosing the right candidates.

Good Luck and I wish you all the best.

I agree with your comments about how hard it is to impress an employer nowadays. I received my degree 20 years ago. I did not do an internship while at school. When I got my first job companies were downsizing. Then I got my first real accounting associate job and they downsized too. I was not the only one to get laid off in either case, but it greatly affected my self esteem. I took a retail job for 4 years and then temp jobs immediately following. I kept up my computer skills and am now learning quick books with the hope of maybe starting over in the field after so long. I was young when I went to school and learned the material, but now I would learn how it actually relates in the real world. For example; What the financial reports really mean. At my first job my supervisor didn't have her degree yet. I wanted to learn from her, but it didn't happen.

I think my only hesitation is dealing with incomplete paperwork. I really had a hard time chasing people for there expense reports and receipts at the job mentioned above.

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littleone in Sharon, Massachusetts

55 months ago

vvm in Montreal, Quebec said: Hi people. Read your comments. Life sux. I've just completed the CPA exam, I'm also MBA in Finance with several years in both accounting and finance... can't find anything. Was offered an internship with a CPA firm for $10/hr (!) and am almost ready to take the offer, because this way will be the fastest to get licensed. But otherwise... was it really worth the effort?

Hi wm, I wouldn't underestimate the vale of this internship offer. Did you take it. If you didn't get another job yet you can still look while doing an internship. Experience, Experience, Experience !!! I currently do not have a full-time job.

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vvm in Montreal, Quebec

55 months ago

littleone in Sharon, Massachusetts said: Hi wm, I wouldn't underestimate the vale of this internship offer. Did you take it. If you didn't get another job yet you can still look while doing an internship. Experience, Experience, Experience !!! I currently do not have a full-time job.

I'd take it if I didn't have to drive to the new place 12 hrs with all my stuff and rent a place there. Surviving on a $10/hr job when you have to pay for everything is questionable...

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F.S. in Lynn, Massachusetts

55 months ago

MJ in Belmar, New Jersey said: Mike, you were in the military?

Thank you.

Also, check out usajobs.gov. Your being a veteran will give you a leg up, I believe, and the Feds are hiring like crazy right now, especially Defense and Homeland Security.

I have a friend who got her Federal agency accounting job from that site, and she swears by it. Another friend was just hired by the Army as a technical writer. I just completed an online simulation for being an IRS Revenue Agent. It was a kind-of-cool experience. But I first saw the opening at usajobs.gov. Try it.

Everyday in Massachusetts there is a new example of waste or fraud in all levels of government. Stimulus money in Massachusetts went to save government jobs. A big developer gets $20 million help start a parking garage for "new parking demand"; hotels, retail space, condos etc. If the latter never gets built then who will use the parking garage at Wonderland. I can go on and on.

This makes sense may be if enough people get hired by the government then the job recession will end.

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F.S. in Lynn, Massachusetts

55 months ago

Phillip in Midland, Texas said: Nice to see that I'm not alone in this battle. Guess I had this vision that once becoming a CPA, the struggle would be over. Not so. However, I've grown to learn that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you as long as you believe in yourself. Then, you have everything.

Ah the lure of the CPA certificate. I wasted 6 years trying to pass that. The CPA just kept going over the same material with the promise oh just take the exam again, you'll do better. While I was studying for the CPA exam i worked in Corp. Accounting mostly at the clerk level. But also applying for jobs at CPA firms. Recruiters gave the same excuses about finding the perfect job. CPA field is very competitive until you pass the exam.

Take the exam wait 3 months for the grades. Fail then sign up for the same CPA classes which use the same books, same lectures etc. I memorized the answers from material instead of really learning the material. And after wasting all that time I stuck with my adopted field of Investment Accounting. Now I'm overqualified for Investment Accounting and overqualified for Corporate Accounting.

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vvm in Montreal, Quebec

55 months ago

F.S. in Lynn, Massachusetts said: Ah the lure of the CPA certificate. I wasted 6 years trying to pass that. The CPA just kept going over the same material with the promise oh just take the exam again, you'll do better. While I was studying for the CPA exam i worked in Corp. Accounting mostly at the clerk level. But also applying for jobs at CPA firms. Recruiters gave the same excuses about finding the perfect job. CPA field is very competitive until you pass the exam.

Take the exam wait 3 months for the grades. Fail then sign up for the same CPA classes which use the same books, same lectures etc. I memorized the answers from material instead of really learning the material. And after wasting all that time I stuck with my adopted field of Investment Accounting. Now I'm overqualified for Investment Accounting and overqualified for Corporate Accounting.

Maybe you aren't using the right books? I tried Bisk, Wiley and Kaplan (this one being the WORST, a huge waste of money), but then switched to Becker and passed! BECKER IS THE BEST!

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

55 months ago

Same here, don't have the CPA but have a BA in Accounting and a MS in Finance. Experience is in investment accounting but 'under qualified' for anything in corporate accounting and recruiters basically tell me that I have no chance in getting hired in a corporate accounting job outside of investments. Having transferable skills, and an accounting degree means nothing to them.

I was considering the CPA but after reading these comments here I also wonder why bother... Even on CPA job forums, many say that if you don't start in public right after college it is nearly impossible to get hired on later on.

It is a two tiered job market. For college & very recent college grads, the market is still as good as in the dot com days, if you are over 32 and unemployed with experience you are basically out of luck.

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dianaprince in Emmett, Idaho

54 months ago

Wow! It is nice (and at the same time frustrating) to hear that many people are in the same boat as me. I recently graduated with my bachelors in accounting. I have been working the past year in AR. I would love to find an accountant position in a smaller to medium sized firm (or just an accounting position, period). No one seems to be hiring and the ones that are want at least 5 years experiance. My favorite job posting was a company that wanted someone with at least 15 years experiance. Seriously, are their accounting issues that complex? I doubt it. Has the market gotten so terrible that companies can be ridiculously picky? It appears so.

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Vince in South Bend, Indiana

54 months ago

I graduated from IU in 2009 with a master's in accounting, applied extensively, and had no responses. I actually applied with all the recruiting firms, ones that specialize in placing accounting and finance professionals. No luck.

I have passed FAR, am taking BEC soon, ang going from there. Sadly, I am not hopeful I will get a meaningful professional accounting employment, at least any time soon...

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FS in Salem, Massachusetts

54 months ago

Amy in Cincinnati, Ohio said: I have passed CPA exam currently and began to search for a job. I focus on corporate accounting positions.Only recruiting companies called me. Both my GPA and CPA scores are very high. However, no response as Nikki said. Most employers right now use taleo.com software to sceen applicants' resumes. I think resumes without experience will be screwed out by the software.

I've seen Taleo.com a lot too. Do you still have to register with each company? I stick to one e-mail address to avoid registering twice with the same company.

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janet reynolds in Attleboro, Massachusetts

53 months ago

I keep trying to figure out whether to get my cpa license or not. I am a graduate with a Bachelors in Accounting and all I have ever gotten is tax jobs for the season. I am not sure whether it is smart to pay money for a review class and for then for the exam to only find that people hire you only for tax season. My friends are having similiar problems. I thought an accouting degree would open up many doors. I feel like I'm paying for a degree that is useless in the current market. I have even tried talking to some cpa's but only one would talk to me and not for very long Any suggestions.

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Vince in South Bend, Indiana

53 months ago

janet reynolds in Attleboro, Massachusetts said: I keep trying to figure out whether to get my cpa license or not. I am a graduate with a Bachelors in Accounting and all I have ever gotten is tax jobs for the season. I am not sure whether it is smart to pay money for a review class and for then for the exam to only find that people hire you only for tax season. My friends are having similiar problems. I thought an accouting degree would open up many doors. I feel like I'm paying for a degree that is useless in the current market. I have even tried talking to some cpa's but only one would talk to me and not for very long Any suggestions.

(1) In Indiana one has to have 150 hours to sit for the CPA. It appears that that is not the case in MA.

(2) If you have come this far, do whatever it takes to get your CPA.

(3) I didn't take review classes. Overrated. Just get a review book such as Gleim, Bisk, etc. and review at your own pace.

(4) Try to get any job in public accounting. The truth is that accounting jobs can pay well, but you need experience. ALSO, look up "accounting placement agencies" and let them do the search thing for you -- it is their business to search for jobs for accounting graduates. I prefer "Robert Half Finance". Good luck.

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