(Closed) Any CPA bees out there?

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 3
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@oracle:  Hey!  I am a CPA…I worked in external audit for 6 years and have now been in Internal Audit for 1 year.  I think being a CPA is an incredible profession – but I only have experience from the audit side,  A few things to keep in mind:

1) Studying for the exam is a BIG deal.  Its a full time job commitment and not a cheap exam so its important to take it seriously.  The exam itself costs approx $1000 and the materials range from $500-$3500 (Beck being the most expensive).

2) Audit & Tax career paths will require heavy time commitments.  I have not done tax but I know they work like crazy Jan-Apr.  From my experience in External Audit, I was working 50-60 hours a week for the whole year, and that would increase to 70-80 for 4 months throughout the year.  There were always about 4 weeks during the year when I would break 90 hours a week – depressing.

3) Internal Audit is definitely better hours however it generally requires travel.  I am lucky and landed a job that is only 10-15% travel which is very low from an internal audit perspective – additionally most of my travel is internation which is great.

4) Bookkeeping – this is a stable job, however I do somewhat worry about this career path in the long run as many company’s are outsourcing their basic/entry level bookkeeping to low cost countries like India.

Bottom line, I LOVE my job and chosen career path.  If accounting interests you at all I think it is a great decision.  Further, I think Audit is such a strong starting point because I think it teaches you many of the fundamentals to succeed in the business world in general.

As for salaries, most of the Big 4 accounting firms are starting their employees in the $50K mark.  In the 7 years I have been working I have doubled my salary which I am pleased with.  Auditing also opens the door to many other career paths: Financial Reporting, Technical Accounting, Financial Analysis, Internal Controls, etc.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions – I’d be happy to answer!

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