Among accounting students and young accountants who have managed to make it into the working world, obtaining a certified public accountant (CPA) license is a fairly common goal, and with good reason. If you are a prospective accounting student, a current accounting student or an accountant who has some reservations about becoming a certified public accountant, here are a few reasons why you should consider becoming certified.
You Do Not Mind a Little Extra Schooling
Most accredited colleges and universities require students to complete somewhere between 120 credit hours and 130 credit hours to earn their undergraduate degrees. However, even after students have earned enough credits to leave campus with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, most states require them to take another 20-30 credits of accounting and accounting-related coursework before they are deemed eligible to sit for the exam. Many accountants enroll in graduate-level accounting programs to fulfill their states’ requirements, allowing them to add another credential to their resumes in the process.
Resource: Top 10 Online Accounting Degree Programs
You Are Always Up for a Challenge
After having earned an undergraduate accounting degree and, in many cases, an MS in Accounting, then spending their workdays solving clients’ accounting problems, accountants are probably not too excited about spending several hundred more hours of free time studying to pass each round of the exam. If you simply cannot wait for your next challenge, though, you should dive headlong into preparing for the exam. The sense of accomplishment you feel when you pass will make all your hard work completely worth it, and will no doubt leave you looking for a new professional challenge to conquer.
You Want to Maximize Your Earning Potential
After all, who does not want an increase in earning potential? The hours you will spend studying for and taking the exam will pay significant dividends that will be visible in your bank account almost immediately after you have passed the final portion. On average, CPAs earn about 10-15% more than accountants who are not certified. Over the course of your career, that difference will add up to a significant sum.
You Want to Increase Your Job Security
Becoming certified gives you a leg up on your non-certified counterparts if your employer decides to downsize, if you are applying for an internal promotion and in just about every other staffing-related workplace scenario you can imagine. If you want to increase your career’s stability, becoming certified is definitely in your best interest.
You Want to Make Yourself More Marketable
If you are ever planning on leaving your current job for another accounting job, becoming a CPA will make you a much more desirable candidate than your non-CPA competitors. Prospective employers will know that because you are certified, you have a specific breadth and depth of accounting knowledge and skills that a non-CPA may not possess.
Accounting is an in-demand, high-growth industry. Although there will be jobs aplenty for both non-certified and certified accountants, earning a CPA license offers a number of benefits that will give you a distinct advantage in the accounting job market.