If your career goal is to work in a growing field with numerous opportunities, then you should consider becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). As a CPA, you’ll be working with businesses of all types and sizes, helping them to keep their finances in order. Here are 10 benefits of becoming a CPA:
1. You get to help people and businesses
The accounting profession is a rewarding career that allows you to help people and businesses. You’ll have the opportunity to work with clients and help them with their financial needs. What’s more, you can make a difference in their lives.
As a CPA, you’ll work with a wide variety of clients — from individuals to small businesses to large corporations. And because there are so many types of businesses out there, there’s no limit to the type of job you can find.
In addition, as a CPA you can be involved in every step of the accounting process, from analyzing data and financial statements to providing advice on how to improve performance and profitability. You can even get involved in tax services if you choose this specialty area.
2. You earn a respectable salary and have opportunities for advancement
The average CPA earns $68,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But some CPAs earn much more: The top 10 percent earn more than $119,000 annually. And if you become a partner at your firm, you could earn six figures or more.
A CPA can boost his or her salary by earning additional certifications and credentials. The BLS reports that a certified management accountant (CMA) earns about $14,000 more than an entry-level CPA. And CPAs who earn the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (FCE) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) designations can command higher salaries as well.
3. You can have a flexible work schedule
Yes, accountants work long hours, but an accounting degree can help you secure a job that allows you to set your own hours. You may be able to choose when you want to start and end your day and how long you want to work each day. The flexibility to set your own schedule is especially important for students who are still trying to juggle school with work, family and social obligations.
4. You can be your own boss if you want to become a CPA freelancer
The main reason why many people pursue their CPA license is because they want to be their own boss. And why not? Working for yourself is one of the most rewarding experiences in life.
You don’t need to work for a corporation or a small business to become an entrepreneur. You can get started by simply offering your services as a freelancer and finding clients who need your help. You don’t even need to quit your full-time job, as you can start by doing this on the side while working full time.
Once you get good at what you do and build a reputation, people will start coming to you looking for help with their tax returns or other accounting needs. You could even start offering bookkeeping services or financial planning advice if that’s what interests or excites you most about being an accountant.
5. CPAs are always in demand with long-term job security
A CPA can find a job at any time, and it’s often much easier to get a new job than to even think about changing careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be more than 1 million accounting jobs available between 2014 and 2024, which is a 13 percent increase over the previous decade. Plus, there are many types of positions available for accountants — from tax preparers and auditors to controllers and financial analysts. If you’re a CPA and looking for a job, it’s likely that you will find one quickly. If you want to change careers, there are many options available to accountants who want to move into management or other areas of business.
6. Networking opportunities with other professionals who need CPA services are endless!
As a certified public accountant (CPA), you know just how valuable your services are to a wide range of professionals and businesses. But have you considered the endless networking opportunities that come with your profession? Building relationships with other professionals who require your services can be one of the most lucrative and rewarding aspects of being a CPA.
Here are just a few examples of professionals who need CPA services and provide networking opportunities:
- Attorneys: Lawyers often need accountants to help with financial statements, tax law, and business valuations. Establishing a relationship with a local law firm can lead to ongoing referrals and long-term business relationships.
- Financial Planners: Financial planners can benefit from working with a CPA to provide tax planning and preparation services to their clients. Establishing a referral network with a financial planner can be an excellent source of new business.
- Business Owners: Small business owners and entrepreneurs often need the expertise of a CPA to help with bookkeeping, payroll, and tax planning. Attending local business networking events can lead to valuable connections and ongoing business relationships.
- Real Estate Professionals: Real estate agents, brokers, and investors all require the services of a CPA to help with tax planning and real estate transactions. Establishing relationships with real estate professionals can lead to ongoing referrals and valuable business opportunities.
- Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit organizations often require the expertise of a CPA to help with financial audits, tax filings, and compliance issues. Establishing relationships with local nonprofit organizations can lead to rewarding and fulfilling work.
As a CPA, the networking opportunities are endless. By building relationships with other professionals who require your services, you can establish long-term business relationships, increase referrals, and expand your client base.
7. It’s an opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills and build up your knowledge base while learning new things every day that will help prepare you for more advanced accounting careers down the road (such as becoming an auditor)
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a CPA is the opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills. As a CPA, you will be working with a wide range of clients, from individuals to businesses, and you will need to be able to communicate complex financial information in a clear and concise manner. You will also need to be able to build strong relationships with your clients, which requires excellent interpersonal skills.
In addition to developing your interpersonal skills, becoming a CPA is an excellent way to build up your knowledge base. As a CPA, you will be required to take continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on the latest accounting standards and regulations. This ensures that you are always learning and expanding your knowledge base, which is essential for advancing in your career.
Furthermore, becoming a CPA can help prepare you for more advanced accounting careers down the road, such as becoming an auditor. Auditing is a highly specialized field that requires a deep understanding of accounting principles and regulations. By becoming a CPA, you will have the foundation needed to pursue a career in auditing or other advanced accounting roles.
Becoming a CPA can be a financially rewarding career, one that provides the knowledge and experience needed to become more financially independent. And while it’s true that there are plenty of careers out there with many of these same benefits, there is something special about the career of accounting. The fact that it is constantly evolving offers continued opportunity for accountants to refine their financial acumen and give them a leg up on the competition when it comes to saving and investing for the future.