California CPA Licensing requires that you have a bachelor’s degree with related accounting courses + pass the exam + 1 year and only 1 year of experience certified by a licensed CPA to get your CPA license. I could pass the exam, on practice tests, I’ve passed with 80% or better. I have a masters of science in accountancy, I have over 100 hours of continuing education, each year I get about 20-30 hours of continuing education and I have over 25 years of accounting experience but I don’t work for an licensed CPA or CPA Firm and have no desire to work for someone else or at a CPA Firm. I had a friend that worked for a CPA firm and it almost killed her, the amount of work and stress related to working there and I have no desire to be that stressed out to just gain the 1 year of experience from a licensed CPA.
I think the laws need to be changed, you should be able to get your certified of experience from other sources such as letters of recommendation from clients or mentors, you should not have to get your experience certified by a licensed CPA. I don’t know that I’d want to work for someone that only has a year of experience or just holds a bachelor’s degree. When I was in my master’s classes, a lot of those people had no experience in the actual day to day accounting.
I also think the laws should be changed to require more than 1 year of experience, you should have a least 5 years and that should include bookkeeping, accounting, software integration, business administration, economics, consulting, business management, marketing, computer science/information systems, statistics, business communications, mathematics, business law, taxation, representation, ethics and auditing, start from the ground up and work your way through the accounting field. I’ve know many a CPA that have no clue on how to use an accounting system, don’t even understand the basic concepts of Quickbooks, that have screwed up Quickbooks and the data so bad that the only way to fix was to just start over and sure as hell, don’t know how to troubleshoot a quickbooks file gone wacky and yet, people think a CPA designation is the top level of professional accomplishment. I say BS to the law and the experience requirement.
And the law should be changed to include getting your masters of science in accountancy not just a bachelor’s degree with some accounting courses.
So what’s the plan? The plan is to get my Enrolled Agent license and then get my doctorate in taxation and maybe help change the damn laws for CA CPA Licensing requirements.
So what the hell is an Enrolled Agent?
Enrolled agents (EAs) are America’s Tax Experts. EAs are the only federally licensed tax practitioners who specialize in taxation and also have unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS. Only enrolled agents are required to demonstrate to the IRS their competence in all areas of taxation, representation and ethics before they are given unlimited representation rights before IRS. Unlike attorneys and CPAs, who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes, all enrolled agents specialize in taxation. Registered tax return preparers have passed a minimal competence test on tax forms for individuals, and have only limited representation rights. More info here