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gardnerjigman

Accountant Help!

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Hey guys,

My wife graduated 2 years ago from Pittsburg State University with her major in accounting. She got a great job out of college as an accountant for a dental management firm. She wants to eventually move to be a controller and eventually a CFO.

Now for the question:

CPA, Masters or both? And if both, in what order?

My response was go for your CPA (she already has enough credits and reached all other criteria to sit for it now). I feel that if she obtains her CPA then the masters would be "pointless" and unnecessary expense.

Thoughts?

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In my opinion from working with various accounting people, a CPA is the best to have.

 

Having both also increases your value.

 

She needs to be a Certified Pain in the Ass!!!!

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She needs to be a Certified Pain in the Ass!!!!

She had that when we got married! Lol. Keeps me on my toes and the heart thumping in my chest!

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My wife is an accountant, if she is going to do one or the other, the CPA is the way to go. As I'm sure you already know the testing procedures are intense and extensive, takes about a year to complete the entire process, there are four different tests that cost a couple hundred each. A lawyer buddy said for him the bar exam was easier than the CPA exams. The MBA isn't useless and with today's competitive job market would be advantageous to have, especially if she is wanting a CFO position. IMHO an accountant without a CPA it's like an attorney who never took the bar.

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My wife is an accountant, if she is going to do one or the other, the CPA is the way to go. As I'm sure you already know the testing procedures are intense and extensive, takes about a year to complete the entire process, there are four different tests that cost a couple hundred each. A lawyer buddy said for him the bar exam was easier than the CPA exams. The MBA isn't useless and with today's competitive job market would be advantageous to have, especially if she is wanting a CFO position. IMHO an accountant without a CPA it's like an attorney who never took the bar.

I don't mean to degrade the MBA. Just from what I've seen it seems the CPA can ultimately take the place of the MBA in job requirements. I've been told that the only reason most CPA's have an MBA is because they needed to get the 160+ credits it takes to qualify to sit for the CPA.

And from what we have seen, the CPA costs a few thousand (study materials included) and one you request the material, you have 18 months.

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I don't mean to degrade the MBA. Just from what I've seen it seems the CPA can ultimately take the place of the MBA in job requirements. I've been told that the only reason most CPA's have an MBA is because they needed to get the 160+ credits it takes to qualify to sit for the CPA.

And from what we have seen, the CPA costs a few thousand (study materials included) and one you request the material, you have 18 months.

Sorry if my post wasn't clear, I think the same as you. My wife is sitting for her CPA now, and like your wife says she has so many credit hours that it wouldn't be hard to finish her MBA. I think that CFO positions would have intense competition, so if that is her final goal, it wouldn't hurt to have both.

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Sorry if my post wasn't clear, I think the same as you. My wife is sitting for her CPA now, and like your wife says she has so many credit hours that it wouldn't be hard to finish her MBA. I think that CFO positions would have intense competition, so if that is her final goal, it wouldn't hurt to have both.

Agreed

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I got my masters then my CPA. I found working in finance for larger companies the degree was more important to them than the certification. If her goal is really to be a CFO, I highly recommend she get an MBA and MPA. It doesn't require that much more course work and the MBA helps in advancing to upper management.

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Please pass on my congratulations to your wife on both the degree and her job.  Now the questions.

 

Does her job or future advancement require her to have a CPA license?

 

Has she read and understood all of the requirements beyond passing the CPA Exams?

 

When I took these tests many years ago, there was a requirement to perform CPA duties under another CPA prior to cutting loose on my own.  The following is a portion from the link shown below:

 

1. What is the experience requirement for a permit to practice?

One year of accounting experience obtained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice, providing any type of service or advice involving the use of attest or nonattest skills, all of which was verified by a CPA holding an active license to practice. 

 
I would strongly encourage your wife to read through all of the FAQ's and perhaps talk with management at her current employer for advice on whether this license would help her move up the company's management ladder.  Besides that, I would suggest that she looks into going after her Master's Degree as this should be focused on management.

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My sister got her MBA first, entered the job market, then got her CPA. She has her own firm now.

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Please pass on my congratulations to your wife on both the degree and her job. Now the questions.

Does her job or future advancement require her to have a CPA license?

Has she read and understood all of the requirements beyond passing the CPA Exams?

When I took these tests many years ago, there was a requirement to perform CPA duties under another CPA prior to cutting loose on my own. The following is a portion from the link shown below:

1. What is the experience requirement for a permit to practice?

One year of accounting experience obtained through employment in government, industry, academia or public practice, providing any type of service or advice involving the use of attest or nonattest skills, all of which was verified by a CPA holding an active license to practice.

http://www.ksboa.org/faq.htm

I would strongly encourage your wife to read through all of the FAQ's and perhaps talk with management at her current employer for advice on whether this license would help her move up the company's management ladder. Besides that, I would suggest that she looks into going after her Master's Degree as this should be focused on management.

Where she is employed now is a privately held company. The controller and CFO are young enough that it will be 20+ years before they retire.

She (my wife) is wanting to advance to her goal levels in a hospital type setting, but wants to obtain her CPA or MBA at her current job as they are willing to work with her schedule.

In response to the required one year of working under a CPA, her controller is a CPA but with it being a private company, she isn't a practicing CPA. How does she get around that?

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Where she is employed now is a privately held company. The controller and CFO are young enough that it will be 20+ years before they retire.

She (my wife) is wanting to advance to her goal levels in a hospital type setting, but wants to obtain her CPA or MBA at her current job as they are willing to work with her schedule.

In response to the required one year of working under a CPA, her controller is a CPA but with it being a private company, she isn't a practicing CPA. How does she get around that?

 

I'm not sure if she can as it clearly says that it has to be under an active CPA.  Perhaps talk to a CPA in the area, or contact the licensing office.

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Thanks

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Sounds like you are going to be able to fish more! ;)

Let's hope ;)

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Forgot to mention earlier, each state has their own (sometimes unique) laws that govern the testing process, education requirements, CPE requirements to maintain current licensing. Passing the initial battery of tests is merely the beginning. Additionally MBA's are becoming more specialized as well, many colleges offer different specializations. I.E. the generic and vague business administration, business management, finance, human resources, accounting, audit, etc. The old standard MBA is becoming a dinosaur, most now have a specialization designation.

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So for a CFO what would would be the key MBA to have if one has BS in accounting?

Finance, management?

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Honestly idk, finance and accounting with a CPA would make a strong highly specialized combination. Business administration or management a more balanced education if CFO is really her goal, I would think finance, the real world experience and licensing in accounting would be terrific, add to that finance and she is able to advise on investing, creating cash flow, and even debt management.

Just asked the wife, she said finance. She also said that as long as her boss is a CPA her employment will count as being under a CPA's supervision.

Most ppl equate being a CPA with tax.preparation. In reality traxes are a small part of being aCPA. One firm my wife worked at the CPA's didn't do taxes, the firm had EA's (enrolled agents) that did the taxes. In actuality an EA is the best route to go for tax preparation, they're authorized to deal with the IRS on your behalf and are accountable to the IRS, CPA's are not; that's separate. So those of you who think your butt's covered because a CPA did your taxes, you're accountable for their work! Funny thing is anyone can become an EA, but it takes a four year degree and supervised work history to become a CPA.

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Jigman, one of my clients, a CFO of a major Virginia medical center, has both a CPA and MBA.

 

I asked him today for his thoughts you your query and here is his answer.

 

Best to get a job with the largest accounting firm you can find and take two years to do audit and other work to learn how the real world operates.

Then figure out what industry you want to practice and focus on that industry, such as insurance, medical, construction, engineering, legal, general accounting, etc.

Go back to get your MBA and use your real life experiences to help you get through the program.

Then get your CPA as you will have a strong "on-the-job" work experience to balance your bookwork and you should do well on the CPA exams which are very difficult on a good day.

All the best.

Merry Christmas.

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Solid information guys. I really appreciate it!

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