Entry Level CPA job

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

50 months ago

Nick in Tampa, Florida said: h.

Anyhow, if you graduate with a decent state school and have a GPA above 3.0, you should find work. I only had a 3.64 and internship experience as a financial adviser intern and accounting intern at a large zoo. Yes, I think finding entry-level CPA work is hard to find due to the economic situation, in general, work of any kind is hard to find these day. I have more than 150 credits hours for the CPA license (economics/accounting), but choice to work as an analyst at a financial firm because it was more interesting.

I think if you are over 35, it is extremely difficult to find a CPA job, since of age discrimination at HR. You have to think of the labor market you are competing in. There are tons of soon to be grads who are wet behind the ears that are vying with you for that same spot. Also if you make it to a CPA firm, the turnover rate is about 50% by the 2nd year. Most then move to industry.

It is better not to take the CPA examination until you are hired at an accounting firm, the designation makes you look overqualified for most accounting jobs. In the business world, experience trumps over anything. An accounting degree enables you to work in any firm, I would say it is better than any other business degree, hands down. The best idea is to minor or double major in something else like finance, economics, or info systems to make yourself standout.

I am 35 and have a BA in Accounting & MS in Finance and currently unemployed. I am about to give up altogether and start over in another career. Is that what you think the problem is?? that I am 35 with experience?

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

50 months ago

Nick in Tampa, Florida said:
I think if you are over 35, it is extremely difficult to find a CPA job, since of age discrimination at HR. You have to think of the labor market you are competing in. There are tons of soon to be grads who are wet behind the ears that are vying with you for that same spot. Also if you make it to a CPA firm, the turnover rate is about 50% by the 2nd year. Most then move to industry.

It is better not to take the CPA examination until you are hired at an accounting firm, the designation makes you look overqualified for most accounting jobs. In the business world, experience trumps over anything. An accounting degree enables you to work in any firm, I would say it is better than any other business degree, hands down. The best idea is to minor or double major in something else like finance, economics, or info systems to make yourself standout.

Thanks for suggesting what the problem is. I am 35 so I am considered overqualified. I was considering getting an MS in Taxation as well but was discouraged from one of the dept heads because as he said 'it is a designed for people who are working' and 'will hurt me more if I go full time' because I will have a huge hole in my resume (his words).
I have given up on the Big 4 or anything related and now looking for $15-$20 temp jobs with a BA in Accounting, MS in Finance and over 10 years experience

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Lee in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

Nick in Tampa, Florida said: If you are graduating from a decent college and are in your 20's with an accounting degree, it is very versatile tool in your career. I graduate this past semester and got interviews with 2 of the big 4, regional CPA firms, and financial firms. I go to USF and their accounting program is rigorous, only a quarter of the students make it from start to finish.

Anyhow, if you graduate with a decent state school and have a GPA above 3.0, you should find work. I only had a 3.64 and internship experience as a financial adviser intern and accounting intern at a large zoo. Yes, I think finding entry-level CPA work is hard to find due to the economic situation, in general, work of any kind is hard to find these day. I have more than 150 credits hours for the CPA license (economics/accounting), but choice to work as an analyst at a financial firm because it was more interesting.

I think if you are over 35, it is extremely difficult to find a CPA job, since of age discrimination at HR. You have to think of the labor market you are competing in. There are tons of soon to be grads who are wet behind the ears that are vying with you for that same spot. Also if you make it to a CPA firm, the turnover rate is about 50% by the 2nd year. Most then move to industry.

I am 23 and graduated last year with 3.5 GPA from a decent college. I have also passed 2 sections of the CPA exam. I can't even get a temp job due to "lack of experience" and "minority". I don't know what to say :(

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Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts

50 months ago

Lee in Chicago, Illinois said: I am 23 and graduated last year with 3.5 GPA from a decent college. I have also passed 2 sections of the CPA exam. I can't even get a temp job due to "lack of experience" and "minority". I don't know what to say :(

Yeah it sucks. 'Nick' from Tampa Florida also didn't tell you about the WASPY 'all boys network' that exists in many accounting & financial firms. Hiring is also based on nepotism, cronyism, having the right 'last name', being the right color (sorry to say).
I am 35 considered too experienced for temp jobs and under qualified for senior accounting roles because I don't have my CPA or don't have experience with tax (reasons I am given). I interviewed with the CFO of a private equity firm for over an hour and didn't get the job because they 'didn't think it was the right fit' even though I spent over $1,000 on clothes to wear to the interview and really did my homework

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Lee in Chicago, Illinois

50 months ago

Nick L in Medford, Massachusetts said: Thanks for suggesting what the problem is. I am 35 so I am considered overqualified. I was considering getting an MS in Taxation as well but was discouraged from one of the dept heads because as he said 'it is a designed for people who are working' and 'will hurt me more if I go full time' because I will have a huge hole in my resume (his words).
I have given up on the Big 4 or anything related and now looking for $15-$20 temp jobs with a BA in Accounting, MS in Finance and over 10 years experience

I am planning to get a MST as well. Would that hurt me in my case? I couldn't find any work as far. The only thing that I can think of is to increase credential/education, but it also increase my student loan in the mean time. Please advise.

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Nick in Tampa, Florida

50 months ago

Lee, did you take any internship while you were in college? This is the "traditional" way to gain experience. There's no way around this, since you have to pay due diligence sometime in your life. I don't know your situation fully. What college do you go to? Chicago is a highly competitive region that is cut throat, but there are also plenty of opportunities there.

If I were you, I would go back to college as a undergraduate in the meantime and try to get a ISM or any other degrees I listed part time for a year. Info Sys Management goes well with a Acct degree, but it depends on what you want to do in accounting though. Then apply for internship through the school career center you are attending. The school you are going to should have a decent connection to corporate world, if it doesn't then the school is not worth attending.

Being a minority should be a advantage since public firms are required to hire minorities under the Equal Employment Law. What nationality are you? Usually minorities help each other, so it will help if you establish yourself in that community of minorities, they can be a huge asset as being your eyes and ears when it comes to looking for opportunities.

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Nick in Tampa, Florida

50 months ago

Read this link, go volunteer with ARC and network with the employees at the accounting firm. I hope you know how to network effectively.

www.chicagoredcross.org/general.asp?SN=483&OP=484&SUOP=1417&SUOP2=2457&IDCapitulo=VF223FBDFD

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N_D in San Francisco, California

50 months ago

I was wondering what the affects of looking for a job in the Bay Area are? I mean, we do have a lot of CPA firms, so are there going to be more jobs available? Of course, we also have a lot of highly educated young professionals, so the competition will also be fiercer. To be honest, there's a lot of horror story posts here about how getting your CPA doesn't do anything without experience and they're pretty scary; I have essentially no accounting experience, and while I do have some accounting classes (150 hour requirement) my degree was in economics not accounting. Plus, my GPA sucks, it's 2.5 (3.15 for accounting courses, though). I've also passed BEC, AUD, and FAR. Also, I graduated at the end of 2008, then finished my accounting classes to sit for the exam last June, so I guess I'm kind of a recent graduate.

I've know that my friends (and I) kind of assume that there will be a job out there for those who pass all four parts, even without work experience, as long as you look. I'm not picky, as long as it's with a CPA firm I'm willing to do what it takes to work my way up.

Any advice on this would be much appreciated, thanks.

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Nick L in East Elmhurst, New York

50 months ago

N_D in San Francisco, California said: I was wondering what the affects of looking for a job in the Bay Area are? I mean, we do have a lot of CPA firms, so are there going to be more jobs available? Of course, we also have a lot of highly educated young professionals, so the competition will also be fiercer. To be honest, there's a lot of horror story posts here about how getting your CPA doesn't do anything without experience and they're pretty scary; I have essentially no accounting experience, and while I do have some accounting classes (150 hour requirement) my degree was in economics not accounting. Plus, my GPA sucks, it's 2.5 (3.15 for accounting courses, though). I've also passed BEC, AUD, and FAR. Also, I graduated at the end of 2008, then finished my accounting classes to sit for the exam last June, so I guess I'm kind of a recent graduate.

I've know that my friends (and I) kind of assume that there will be a job out there for those who pass all four parts, even without work experience, as long as you look. I'm not picky, as long as it's with a CPA firm I'm willing to do what it takes to work my way up.

Any advice on this would be much appreciated, thanks.

Why do you 'assume' there will be a job. Why this attitude of entitlement?? Sounds like you and your friends have been drinking the media kool aid of a 'shortage'. Many accounting jobs have been automated, outsourced to India etc.. In my case, I have no chance because I am 35 years old and worse have bad credit which makes me unemployable anywhere

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N_D in San Francisco, California

50 months ago

Nick L in East Elmhurst, New York said: Why do you 'assume' there will be a job. Why this attitude of entitlement?? Sounds like you and your friends have been drinking the media kool aid of a 'shortage'. Many accounting jobs have been automated, outsourced to India etc.. In my case, I have no chance because I am 35 years old and worse have bad credit which makes me unemployable anywhere

Sorry, I guess that didn't come out the way I meant it. What I was trying to say was that we believe that there are jobs out there (for entry-level CPA firms) even if we haven't interned with them as undergrads. The belief is that jobs are out there, not that anything will be handed to us, sorry about the confusion.

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Salman in Greensboro, North Carolina

50 months ago

Hi everybody

For people who have CPA license. did they try to apply outside the US like applying for the UN United Nation or the big4 outside the US because it's very hard to find CPA licensed people outside the US since no one can take the exam anywhere else other than US so I think the competition would be less

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xyz in Hollywood, Florida

49 months ago

Dianne in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: I have passed CPA exam in 2004 but do not have any accounting experience. Due to some personal commitments I could not work earlier. Can anyone suggest/what will be the best way to find a job as everyone needs some experience. What do I do to get experience. Also since its been long since I passed is there any other course or exam that I can do that adds value to my qualification and increases my chance of getting a job at the same time.

I am in the same situation as yours . I passed in 2008 and till today no accounting job . All I have is experience in taxes. I believe sincere efforts and hard work does pay off so lets be hopeful and keep trying.

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angelie_della in Baguio, Philippines

49 months ago

I'm currently studying accounting in Saint Louis University and i will be graduating on 2013, I'm really concerned if by the year 2013 there will be an available job for me in the industry since almost all the comment i read talks about needing a job in accounting.

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kimi in Baguio, Philippines

49 months ago

during our discussion in my financial management subject our instructor said that it is better to major in financial management than in accounting because computers now can work the accountant job.

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Richard in East Hampton, Connecticut

48 months ago

Taslima Aktar in West Palm Beach, Florida said: Hi:
I am looking for an entry level accountant position in South Florida Area. Any one have any suggestion, please see my profile please. Thanks.
Taslima

I was wondering if you were able to find accounting work in West Palm Beach? I was just recently down there looking for work but with the economy the way it is - it's so much more difficult.

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FS in Lynn, Massachusetts

48 months ago

angelie_della in Baguio, Philippines said: I'm currently studying accounting in Saint Louis University and i will be graduating on 2013, I'm really concerned if by the year 2013 there will be an available job for me in the industry since almost all the comment i read talks about needing a job in accounting.

It's a guess. I graduated in a recession and it took me close to 3 years to find a regular full-time job but I temped for all that time. I was left at a client for 14 months as a temp with no benefits. I had to walk out and quit which was embarrassing for me, the client and temp agency. At least someone could have told why I was left there for 14 months.

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olivera in West Palm Beach, Florida

48 months ago

Hi Taslima,
I live here for 10 years and is very hard to find any kind of job now, but nursing. I have friends highly educated without job in their profession or they work for 10-15/hour in profession. I do not see bright future soon.I hope you will have better luck! Entry level jobs i.e for accountants or CPA are hardly to find.

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olivera in West Palm Beach, Florida

48 months ago

Hi Taslima,
I live here for 10 years and is very hard to find any kind of job now, but nursing. I have friends highly educated without job in their profession or they work for 10-15/hour in profession. I do not see bright future soon.I hope you will have better luck! Entry level jobs i.e for accountants or CPA are hardly to find.

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myidhere in Orlando, Florida

48 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.

Amy I am looking for an in-house CPA
I am located in Florida, I lived in Cincinnati most of my life
you may e-mail me @ myidhere@yahoo.com
Thank you

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myidhere in Orlando, Florida

48 months ago

Taslima Aktar in West Palm Beach, Florida said: Hi:
I am looking for an entry level accountant position in South Florida Area. Any one have any suggestion, please see my profile please. Thanks.
Taslima

I am looking for an in-house CPA
I am located in Florida, I lived in Cincinnati most of my life
you may e-mail me @ myidhere@yahoo,com or call me @
Thank you

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myidhere in Orlando, Florida

48 months ago

Vince in South Bend, Indiana said: 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...

I am looking for an in-house CPA
I am located in Florida.
you may e-mail me @ myidhere@yahoo.com or call me @
Thank you

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Belinda in Dallas, Georgia

47 months ago

I am not sure if I make a right decision to be a c.p.a. I am working on my accounting two so far. Am I doing right thing to contiune to graudate to be cpa? Help

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Mimz in Los Angeles, California

46 months ago

I graduated in 2009 with an accounting degree from a well known univ in Los Angeles..I am looking for a job and i have about four month of A/P experience. Due to being low on $$$, i registered with ROger cpa (it is the WORST)...SO I failed bec and far...now im studying again for far...becker is much better...but a bit more expensive...but now i d rather save $$$ to buy each section of the cpa separately from Becker....also im doing my masters in Accountancy online since i am really pissed at not finding a job...im hoping the MS will help + cpa license one dayyy!!!

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Beverly in Alpharetta, Georgia

46 months ago

I am sorry to hear about your tough time. I was able to pass BEC with Gleim online ($159) and an old Wiley Book. However, I had IT experience and a good undergraduate background in econ.

My employer sprang for Becker for Financial so I am using Becker. I will say that my review is taking forever using Becker.

Good Luck. I hope things turn around for you soon.

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Nate in Staten Island, New York

46 months ago

I graduated in 2008 and have passed the CPA exam (GPA=3.6 and no experience). Can I find a job? NOPE! I'm in New York so you'd think that there'd be PLENTY of firms hiring but they all hire a year in advance and my resumes are sent out to them semi-annually.

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Lee in Chicago, Illinois

46 months ago

What's school did you go to?? You may wanna go back to school to get a master degree since there are more on-campus interview opportunities for fresh grads.

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CPA in Mamou, Louisiana

45 months ago

Nikki in Sunnyvale, California said: Hey Guys,

I have passed my CPA exams last year with excellent scores and
now its been 4 months I am looking for job and have not receive any response from cpa firms. I have also posted my resume to every job sites, but this doesn't help me much.
I guess, they don't care whether u passed cpa exams or not, they only care about how much experience u have and unfortunately I lack US experience.

HAVE YOU APPLIED AT SMALL FIRMS WE ARE DESPERATE

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nina in Pasig, Philippines

45 months ago

what should be done to the following scenario?

an invoice was recorded in the AP ledger and paid with the wrong currency. without knowing that it was successfully paid, a credit memo was created to offset the entry made.

now, there would be no matching item for the debit balance in the ledger. im not sure if it can be reversed by the system. if not, what else are the possible solutions?

second, what amount should be posted as the correcting entry using the correct currency - the difference or, the whole amount then refund previous payment?

Thanks alot

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nina in Pasig, Philippines

45 months ago

CPA in Mamou, Louisiana said: HAVE YOU APPLIED AT SMALL FIRMS WE ARE DESPERATE

there are a number of vacancies in google mountain view, calif.
apparently, working environment there is enjoyable and stress is bearable. try to apply online. below's the site. =)

www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/uslocations/mountain-view/finance/index.html

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nina in Pasig, Philippines

45 months ago

Nate in Staten Island, New York said: I graduated in 2008 and have passed the CPA exam (GPA=3.6 and no experience). Can I find a job? NOPE! I'm in New York so you'd think that there'd be PLENTY of firms hiring but they all hire a year in advance and my resumes are sent out to them semi-annually.

hallo, why don't you try other multinational corporations rather than eyeing an accounting firm which gives you a little chance of getting hired? believe you'll get almost the same experience as that of an accounting firm. i mean if you badly need a job, look around.
as a bonus, they can give you travel op since they are multinational, not to mention the competitive compensation package they can offer. however, if you dont find these companies as such, grab whatever opportunity come your way without making it obvious to your employer you're desperate. just a friendly advice. =)

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terran in Los Angeles, California

45 months ago

Ashley in San Francisco, California said: You could try small/ mid sixe accounting firm in cragslist. Start with payroll/ account payable/ account receivable & from there gether your accounting experience. I'm now back to Accounting after leaving for 6 yrs. It's kinda hectic for me to pick up what I've learned in the past. But dun, worry....u will find ur way out. Try craigslist.

You are really really wrong. I quit corporate accounting jobs two years ago. You are wasting your time by doing those jobs.

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jennifer Carter in Havelock, North Carolina

44 months ago

I don't want to sound racist or anything but has anyone applied at some of the minority accounting firms in your area, they may be more open minded to hiring people based on their qualifications.

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keba in San Francisco, California

42 months ago

Chymeka in Lithonia, Georgia said: Same thing happen to me Alonzo. I got my BA in Accounting. I was told have better chance at passing the CPA exam if took graduate courses. I waited to go back to school because needed income at the time. I ran into a wall, could not find an accounting job. Moved and still no luck. Went ahead and went to graduate school and got my MBA but still no accounting job. So, after all this time of chasing this accounting job, I still have not used any degree I work so hard for. Oh yeah, have tried volunteering, internship, and temp jobs. No direct accounting job. Any advise??

Hi guys, Your history is my history. I just gave up trying to get a job in accounting. I did try applying for the State, but they ask me all kinds of question. Some questions were related to accounting, but others were about Statistics, etc. You have to be able to answer all the questions otherwise you get disqualify. I did work for a while for an insurance company, but my boss was mistreating me for not reason. She was extremely aggressive and when I did tried to defend myself she fired me. So now I am going for a Master is Social Work. I hope this time I get it right.

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Roxy in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

41 months ago

I am a freshman in college. I am thinking about going into the field of accounting. I feel like accountants don't make a very high salary. I know that a salary isn't the only thing I should be worried about, but it is important to me. I want to enjoy my career while also having a decent living. What else can I do with a degree in accounting besides being an actual accountant? (A salary I have in mind is around $100,000)

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Beverly in Alpharetta, Georgia

41 months ago

With a bachelor's degree, there is not really any jobs with a $100k starting salary. Starting accounting can vary between 28K and 50k.

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Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

After reading this site, I have had the same struggles with finding a job in public accounting. I have passed 3 parts of the CPA exam. I recently was offered a position in public accounting, with commuting over an hr each way. While I was expecting a higher salary, I am happy to start my career. Good luck to everyone looking for a job in public accounting.

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JL in Los Angeles, California

40 months ago

Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania said: After reading this site, I have had the same struggles with finding a job in public accounting. I have passed 3 parts of the CPA exam. I recently was offered a position in public accounting, with commuting over an hr each way. While I was expecting a higher salary, I am happy to start my career. Good luck to everyone looking for a job in public accounting.

Not to be nosy or anything, but just wondering how much those companies pay for a entry level CPAs. Do you mind sharing them? In addition, how much accounting experience (or other relevant experiences) did you have?

I am currently in banking (lending field, 4 yrs exp) and am working on my CPA exam. I have no doubt I will pass them sometime down the line, but the question is if I really can make that shift to public accounting firm and take somewhat of a lower salary (as I will be considered as a new entry or with less experience compared to other CPAs). I really want to becmoe an auditor or a forensic accountant... I would greatly appreciate it if you can share your background... thanks.

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Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

JL in Los Angeles, California said: Not to be nosy or anything, but just wondering how much those companies pay for a entry level CPAs. Do you mind sharing them? In addition, how much accounting experience (or other relevant experiences) did you have?

I am currently in banking (lending field, 4 yrs exp) and am working on my CPA exam. I have no doubt I will pass them sometime down the line, but the question is if I really can make that shift to public accounting firm and take somewhat of a lower salary (as I will be considered as a new entry or with less experience compared to other CPAs). I really want to becmoe an auditor or a forensic accountant... I would greatly appreciate it if you can share your background... thanks.

After bonuses, the starting salary is in the Mid-40's. Lower than what I was making. But without taking a step back in salary, won't get the experience needed to be a CPA, or a better job down the line.

I have 6-7 years being a staff accountant in private industry, and 3 months in public accounting. The very small CPA firms I found do not offer the training needed to be a well-rounded accountant.

I have spoken with recruiters, they said they don't look at your past work experience as an accountant for an entry level position in a public accounting firm.

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Aysha in Phoenix, Arizona

40 months ago

Hello fellow accounting people!

I would love some advice. I am currently a law student with one year left. My undergrad is in accounting and masters is in taxation. Yesterday, I applied to the New York CPA and once I get accepted (hopefully) I will begin the process. My big life plan is to the take all four sections while trying to live through my last year of law school. Then, because I need a year of work experience, apply for accounting jobs in NY, hopefully get one, and fulfill the requirement to get my CPA. After that, I plan to find a legal job doing international tax law. I think my plan would be absolutely perfect if went the way I have planned, but is it realistic??

Also, to fulfill the work requirement, do you have to receive the experience in the state in which you took the CPA (NY) or can you receive the experience from any state?

Last question (for now), are there any review courses that you found to be the most helpful. I will need an online course that is intense and fully prepares me because I won't have a ton of time to study.

Thanks!!

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MJ in Belmar, New Jersey

40 months ago

Aysha, state requirements differ. I live in NJ and was told that any active CPA licensed in any jurisdiction could sign off on my experience (when I get some!). Check with your state board (it may also be in your candidate's bulletin).
I used Becker, and it was worth every penny. But I also put in a lot of time (there is a TON of practice materials). However, they have a very high pass rate overall, and all candidates in every state take the same exam. If I had to take the exam again (God forbid!) I would use Becker again. Reading Wiley is like reading the phone book, and I've found errors in it that are annoying, and although I used it for supplemental study I would not recommend it. I don't know about the other courses. Good luck.

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Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

Aysha in Phoenix, Arizona said: Hello fellow accounting people!

I would love some advice. I am currently a law student with one year left. My undergrad is in accounting and masters is in taxation. Yesterday, I applied to the New York CPA and once I get accepted (hopefully) I will begin the process. My big life plan is to the take all four sections while trying to live through my last year of law school. Then, because I need a year of work experience, apply for accounting jobs in NY, hopefully get one, and fulfill the requirement to get my CPA. After that, I plan to find a legal job doing international tax law. I think my plan would be absolutely perfect if went the way I have planned, but is it realistic??

Also, to fulfill the work requirement, do you have to receive the experience in the state in which you took the CPA (NY) or can you receive the experience from any state?

Last question (for now), are there any review courses that you found to be the most helpful. I will need an online course that is intense and fully prepares me because I won't have a ton of time to study.

Thanks!!

I used becker also, and I would recommend it. Each test requires at least 150 hours of study time per test, so no mater what material you use, you have to put in the time required to pass. I dedicated a month each, 6-8 hours per day atleast. I don't see how you will have the time with law school. I passed 3 exams on the first try, and failed one with a 74.

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MJ in Belmar, New Jersey

40 months ago

Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania said: I used becker also, and I would recommend it. Each test requires at least 150 hours of study time per test, so no mater what material you use, you have to put in the time required to pass. I dedicated a month each, 6-8 hours per day atleast. I don't see how you will have the time with law school. I passed 3 exams on the first try, and failed one with a 74.

I don't see how Aysha would have the time either, now that I think about it. No matter what, you really do have to put in a lot of time - there is SO much material, and you may have not seen some of it before. The good news is that I think there still is a pretty long window of time that they give you to pass all 4 exams. I think it's still 18 months but I'm not sure.
The NASBA site recommends that a candidate take no more than 2 exams in each testing window. I think that's doable. But again, you need time.

Maybe you can take some easy electives in your last year? :)

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Aysha in Mesa, Arizona

40 months ago

Did all of you study for about 150 hours in addition to the online classes or was it about 150 hours total per test? I would have 18 months to complete all four sections. That's about 4.5 months per test. I would want to complete each test after three months just incase I have to retake one. If I studied for at least 2 hours each day for three months that would put me at 180 hours per test.

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Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

Aysha in Mesa, Arizona said: Did all of you study for about 150 hours in addition to the online classes or was it about 150 hours total per test? I would have 18 months to complete all four sections. That's about 4.5 months per test. I would want to complete each test after three months just incase I have to retake one. If I studied for at least 2 hours each day for three months that would put me at 180 hours per test.

The total time was over 150 hours per test. You should not use the 18 months as a guide to how long to take each test. A realistic goal is 2 months per test of studying, and passing all of them within 8 months. You need the extra months as a cushion in case you fail, possibly multiple times, and don't risk loosing the credits of the test you did pass. You cannot wait for your test results to see if you passed to take it again asap, as there is a 2-3 month gap in test scores. You have to start studying for the new section right away, and if you fail, re-study for that test all over again. If you give yourself such a large window of 3 months to study, you will forget the items you learned 3 months ago. This is happening to me, I am studying for Auditing, I knew everything from the first two chapters by heart, and now that time was passed (2 months), now I only know part of it.

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dan in Diamond Bar, California

39 months ago

OK,

My retail business after 10 years was going down and I decided to sit for CPA. I passed all sections on my first attempt and I now have difficulty finding a job. I keep applying and applying without any success. I am running a family and my only source of income is unemployment check. I do not know what is going to happen after the unemployment compensation is over. I am losing my confident.

I live in CA, but I am willing to relocate to any location anywhere.

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Vinita in Providence, Rhode Island

39 months ago

dharani in Bridgewater, New Jersey said: Hi , I am in the same boat . I passed two parts of the CPA exam , taking the other two in OCT/Nov and desperately trying for a job . I have an MBA from India but no work experience here .

I am from India too and moved to the U.S recently and I am considering taking up my CPA exam. I do not have any accounting experience.. Do you think its worthwhile to think about CPA?

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Frances Nyandemoh in Los Angeles, California

39 months ago

I have a BSc in Accounting with a GPA of 3.8, and a MBA with specialization in Public Finance. I am currently working on my CPA to be licence in state of california. I was to know if teaching accounting, auditing,and taxation can be counted as experience, other than working for a CPA firm. To be precise, I want to know if while teaching and been supervised by a CPA who can signed off on my skills can count as work experience for one year.

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MJ in Belmar, New Jersey

39 months ago

Frances Nyandemoh in Los Angeles, California said: I have a BSc in Accounting with a GPA of 3.8, and a MBA with specialization in Public Finance. I am currently working on my CPA to be licence in state of california. I was to know if teaching accounting, auditing,and taxation can be counted as experience, other than working for a CPA firm. To be precise, I want to know if while teaching and been supervised by a CPA who can signed off on my skills can count as work experience for one year.

I don't know about California, but in NJ they want to see audit-related experience. I just got my CPA license in NJ, and I know that here, except for full-time professors, teaching can count toward CPE once you get your license, but I don't think my prior taxation teaching experience counted at all towards the 1-year requirement. It had to be public accounting experience, and they had a checklist of audit-related activities for my employer to fill out. But your state may be different. I think the NASBA website had links to all the state requirements. Good luck.

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Aysha Shen in Istanbul, Turkey

39 months ago

Liz in Jamison, Pennsylvania said: The total time was over 150 hours per test. You should not use the 18 months as a guide to how long to take each test. A realistic goal is 2 months per test of studying, and passing all of them within 8 months. You need the extra months as a cushion in case you fail, possibly multiple times, and don't risk loosing the credits of the test you did pass. You cannot wait for your test results to see if you passed to take it again asap, as there is a 2-3 month gap in test scores. You have to start studying for the new section right away, and if you fail, re-study for that test all over again. If you give yourself such a large window of 3 months to study, you will forget the items you learned 3 months ago. This is happening to me, I am studying for Auditing, I knew everything from the first two chapters by heart, and now that time was passed (2 months), now I only know part of it.

Thank you! Your advise was very helpful! I am planning my study schedule now. My first test is on Mon, Aug 29th. I will be taking BEC.

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Vinita in Providence, Rhode Island

39 months ago

Hi..I have a commerce background and just moved to the U.S 6 months back and I am thinking of preparing for the CPA exam..I was told that the 4 parts of the CPA exam have to cleared within 18 months. Can anyone tell me if the 18 month window begins from the day you receive your NTS or from the day you take up your first exam?

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