Question by Beotch4Life: Enrolled agent or CPA?
I graduated with a Bachelor in Finance but been working as an international tax analyst in a large corporation ever since. I don’t really intend to ever work for a CPA firm or switch to the accounting department, I prefer a corporate tax setting, but to advance in the tax world, I will eventually need something more than my bachelor to go along with my experience. I have enough credits hours, but I’m 18 “accounting” credit hours shy to be able to sit for a CPA exam in my state, however, a MS in Taxation is only 30 credit hours away. I decided to go for my MS in Taxation and then take a test to become an EA instead since I can sit for that exam whenever without the accounting credit requirement.
1. What do you think of my decision for the direction I want to go? Bad move? That might work? Pros & cons?
2. I guess I still don’t quite understand the difference between an EA & a CPA. I mean I know what they are and what I need to become one, but how differently are they view?
Answer by bob b
I think the MS in Taxation is an excellent choice for your career. As a former Corporate Tax executive (over 20 years in a Fortune 500 company), I would strongly recommend that you try for the CPA designation as well. An EA designation is fairly narrow since all it says is that you are knowledgeable enough to represent taxpayers before the IRS. A CPA on the other hand says you are a knowledgable financial person, not just an accountant. I believe that if you are looking to get the most out of your career in Corporate Tax and beyond, the CPA is definetly preferable, particularly if you are going to stay in the International area.
Either way, your employer should appreciate the fact that you are working to enhance your professional standing and contribute to their success.
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