As an accountant, you have to take a difficult exam to get your CPA certification. But, once you do, the benefits can be significant. Not only does getting your CPA designation to help you become more marketable in the industry and qualify for jobs with higher salaries, but it also offers you important tax advantages! Read on for four of the advantages CPA certification can help you acquire as an accountant.
1. Increased Salary Potential
Many accountants dream of one day getting their CPA certification. For many, the reason is increased salary potential. According to the “Wall Street Journal,” CPAs often make 20% to 30% more than other accountants with similar qualifications. When you look at the numbers, it’s not hard to see why! The top 10% of tax accountants can make $107,000 or more annually, while the bottom 10% earn about $45,300. And that’s not including the many highly-paid opportunities available to CPAs with their practice. For example, an independent CPA can earn upwards of $300,000 annually. It’s hard to make a case that a CPA certification isn’t worth it!
2. More Marketable in Job Market
CPA certification can also help you become more marketable in the job market. A job-savvy CPA can get ahead in the hiring process and find a better job offer. Many CPAs with additional education such as a master’s degree, certification from other organizations, or even higher levels of education from an institution of higher learning can also find that their certification proves to be a better “selling” point for prospective employers. According to the American Institute of CPAs, nearly 70% of all accountants in the U.S. are CPAs. If you’re serious about landing a great job in the accounting field, the CPA certification is a great thing to have.
3. Tax Advantages
There are many tax advantages that you will have over non-certified accountants. For example, CPAs can be better able to handle the complex tax requirements of their clients and won’t get tripped up by legal requirements. Additionally, because of their expertise, they will often get more deductions for themselves. CPAs are also able to represent their clients before the IRS in person and CPA exam preparation which is faster and more efficient than doing so via written correspondence. You will even be eligible for certain tax credits that other accountants cannot claim. For example, non-CPA accountants can’t claim incentives for research and experimentation, but CPAs can.
Many CPAs start in the accounting field, intending to help others keep their finances in order. For this reason, you end up helping individual taxpayers with their taxes. In addition to preparing tax returns and filing them for people who request them, you often prepare tax forecasts for clients. Hence, they know what they might owe should they have an additional income or asset such as a second job or extra money earned from investments. And for you, this work involves preparing your tax returns so that you can maximize the amount of federal taxes you pay.
4. Gives Credibility and Professional Development
CPA certification can give CPAs a lot of credibilities. The AICPA says that when an accountant has their CPA certification, “the public is more likely to view the person as a professional and competent professional.” In addition, it’s not uncommon for non-certified accountants to shy away from advising on financial matters because they are afraid their clients won’t allow them to act as independent advisors. But when a certified, professional accountant is doing the talking, the client will likely listen.
As a CPA, you will also be able to get free continuing education credits that can be applied toward your re-certification. This will help you stay up-to-date in your field and help keep your skills sharp. If you are looking for a job, continuing education is also a great way to show employers that you are serious about the profession. A CPA designation lets employers know that you have the credentials to handle important and sensitive tasks. It also shows that you have passed a stringent test and are committed to keeping up-to-date on current regulations and tax laws.
Tax season could be a stressful time if you are not a CPA. Patients, deadlines, and complex forms and regulations can add up quickly. If you are an accountant or planning to become one, earning your CPA certification is well worth the effort! Keep in mind that, though this article lists four main advantages, there are many other benefits.