Finances are the lifeblood of any business. Whether it’s in the industry of gaming, tech, or household construction, every for-profit company runs with one purpose in mind: profit.
Core to succeeding in this goal is a good understanding of numbers and organizational figures. Owners usually delegate this to professional accountants who specialize in this area and perform up to a good standard.
One position within that niche is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). It’s not a manageable title to obtain and involves a significant investment, but you’ll find the pay-off well worth it.
Here’s why you should consider becoming a CPA in Ontario or elsewhere. And for more insight into the accounting field, reach out to AHK Accounting Recruiters at 833-399-1663 or through our contact page.
Who is a CPA suited for?
Naturally, the CPA is meant for accountants of all varieties as it is globally recognized and respected. If you’re looking to work in business or finance, you’ll need a professional accounting credential, such as a CPA, to enhance your opportunities.
If you want to work at an accounting or advisory firm, a Fortune 500 company, or somewhere like a consultancy, becoming a CPA could be the right choice. These organizations hire vast staff coffers of CPAs, and you’ll likely need the certification to get your foot in the door.
As for what work you’ll be doing, CPA employment can range in activity from tax preparation to financial planning, reporting, and analysis. There are many different jobs that you can do with a CPA, ranging in difficulty and involvement, so if you want this flexibility, becoming a CPA could be the right call. There are plenty of opportunities for Canadian CPAs.
If you’re more interested in lower-level accounting jobs that center around repetitive, comfortable activities, like booking and reviewing journal entries, then a CPA designation may not be necessary.
However, suppose you want to focus on more complex tasks and apply a deeper level of judgment regarding decision making and analysis — like through new implementations and technical research — to eventually progress into an executive position. In that case, you may want to undergo the CPA certification program.
What are the advantages of becoming a CPA?
Aside from the job opportunities it opens up; there are other advantages to being a CPA.
More Gainful Employment
Adjacent to the field of work that it opens up for you, becoming a CPA generally makes it easier to find a job. Employers look closely at all resumes and certifications to determine whom they want to place in any given role. Considering the competitive nature of today’s job market, having a well-respected designation like being a CPA could be the make or break factor in getting work in a company or field you genuinely care about.
It even gives you flexibility beyond accounting roles. CPAs can work in finance and business, specifically in niches in financial analysis areas, where they can work in transactions or valuation modelling. The flexibility of skills that being a CPA gives you makes you invaluable for employers who want someone to do it all.
Even in terms of career progression, CPAs have the advantage. They’re generally preferred for the higher-up jobs in the corporate ladder, with companies deferring to CPAs to offer critical insights beyond past numbers and figures. If you want to make accounting a lifelong career with room for growth, becoming a CPA will open the door and is practically a necessary certification.
You’ll notice this requirement when you first start to look at higher-ranking jobs in the business sphere, as they almost all require a CPA. This is because you will have to perform more advanced accounting functions and specialize in a broad range of auditing, international tax, and forensic accounting.
The icing on top of this attractive cake is that CPAs also enjoy excellent job security. They’re always in demand, and with the passing of new tax laws and increasing older generation retirement, the need will only rise. CPAs find it easy to find gainful employment, from finding jobs to climbing the ladder and keeping your career.
Increased Earning Potential
Earning more money is one of the most obvious motivations for taking the CPA exam. A CPA can help ensure a higher starting salary, with opportunities for advancement. According to the CPA Profession Compensation Survey, Canada’s professional accountants’ average compensation in all working sectors, age ranges, and regions in the country was $141,000.
How to Become a CPA
Before sitting the common final exam (CFE), most areas will require you to complete 120 credit hours or the equivalent of education at a university or college, with specific higher-level ethics and accounting courses required by the licensing group even to begin to qualify for the CPA license.
You may have to take a Master’s to get these additional hours, which signifies a significant time and financial investment. Even the exam preparation materials can cost thousands of dollars and test fees that fall within the same price range.
Depending on your educational background, there are different pathways to gain your CPA.
During the exam, the sections you must succeed in range from auditing and attestation, regulation, financial accounting and reporting, to business environment and concepts. If it’s not already clear, the CPA license is coveted for a reason, as it’s challenging to get and requires a heavy investment before even being allowed to be tested.
If you’ve read this far, then you know how many doors being a CPA can open up to you. If you’re concerned with long-term progression in your career, higher earning potential, or the many other professional advantages a CPA certification can open up to you. It is almost certainly worth the investment to become one. Just be prepared for a long and arduous path.
For more information about CPA certification and whether you should get one to help your career, call AHK Accounting Recruiters at 833-399-1663 or contact us here.