July 3, 2020 at 6:24 pm #3041490Key522Participant
I passed the CPA exam almost 4 years ago but I have not worked under a CPA for a year for the experience requirement. How do I put that on my resume? CPA (experience pending)? CPA Candidate?July 3, 2020 at 6:45 pm #3041505
Do you have a year of accounting experience that an actively licensed CPA could attest to? If so there are states that will license you. I just did that and was approved by Montana for my initial license then by Colorado, where I live and work, through reciprocity. I can finally work as a CPA in the state where I live.
Until you are licensed all you can do is list your successful completion of exams and license is pending experience.
Some states, NC is one, will license you with 4 years of accounting experience – I don’t know what documentation is required. It is on the NC Board website.
Check it out!July 7, 2020 at 12:04 pm #3044097madhavGuest
Hi I got my license after NASBA verified my experience through their contracted CPA. It cost $500 if you do not work under CPA to review your experience. It is easy process but you do need accounting experience(see state requirement).July 7, 2020 at 9:12 pm #3044652Key522Participant
I’m located in NJ. NJ is not listed as a state they will do the review for. Did you get licensed in your state?July 7, 2020 at 11:43 pm #3044793ParthamisParticipant
I was in a similar situation over a year ago; Passed all the parts for 2 years, and looking for a job without the experience to fufill the requirements.
You should have a line at the bottom of your education portion of your resume, here's what I had:
Passed all CPA Exams in 2017: BEC (2/07), REG (3/21), FAR (9/19), and AUD (12/19); License pending
This puts emphasis on the fact you passed the exams, which is the hardest part of the procedure. Most firms that sees this will welcome you with open arms, and once you complete a year at the next firm, then apply for the license.July 10, 2020 at 11:42 pm #3047376PeteParticipant
I’ve found firms don’t care about having the cpa exams passed that much. They would much rather have you be available for on-campus interviews/hire from their intern pool. I’ve found it incredibly difficult, just to get the firms to send a response rejecting me. I’ve networked hard for a long time to no avail.July 11, 2020 at 12:42 pm #3047652
Get licensed in another state with experience verified by a licensed CPA then apply to NJ through reciprocity. Read the NJ regs and statutes to see how it is done.July 15, 2020 at 5:38 pm #3050676
To be honest, in NJ and NY, they don't care much if you only passed the exam. I've passed the exam closed to 8 years from now, and still searching for an employer willing to take me. Employers understand that they pay you regular price because you don't have a license, and once you do they will need to promote you or pay you premium. With so much competition right now, a lot of employer will rather just take a regular employee who is not interested in license at all (there's plenty in the market). Same price no long-term problem.
With the big firms, it's even worst. I have had at least 8 interviews with big 4s and CPA firms after I graduate. No body wants to take me. I have solid accounting experience and have been working in full time, in a big private company. They don't value it unless you are also in public accounting. Since the pay in CPA firms and public accounting isn't any higher than my existing ones, I just stay with where I am now and hope for a management position.
I told myself when I get to management I will hire a CPA to sign myself off!July 16, 2020 at 5:14 pm #3051345fsugirl2005Participant
How would you describe your personality? I just find it so odd that you had that many interviews and not one person was interested in you. When it comes down to it, if the interviewers don't click with you, they won't hire you…experienced/licensed or not.July 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm #3052053
It would be my personality, or maybe I was asking for too much in the job. Most of my interviews with the big firms were from college career fair, because only through career fair are you CPA-exempted. Almost if not all Big 4 posting preferred CPA equivalent in NYC.
Anyhow, since I was already working full time, I was hoping for a competitive salary and benefit package in my job. I do need to feed a family. I don't think I was asking for a lot, a $60k salary and benefit package (sick leave, annual leave, pension, health insurance, etc.) I guess they aren't happy for it. I don't think it was my personality, other than the fact that I don't like to party.
I think the Big 4 prefer fresh college graduate that year, with no experience and can be work / shape as needed. They don't like you having so much opinions. The salary offer was also low that year. A bunch of my friends got the offer but was only offering $55-65K when working over 40+ hours. Over the years, salary just get worst. You don't even get paid when working as interns.July 18, 2020 at 11:03 pm #3052734PeteParticipant
The above poster is absolutely correct. It’s nearly impossible to get into public accounting, unless you have the on campus recruiting. He’s doing better than I am because I can’t even get interviews despite passing the CPA/CFE. I’ve been sitting on this piece of paper for years as well. They discriminate heavily against non-interns/campus recruitees. It’s Almost as if they consider it a plague on your resume to not be hired while on campus. I even did an internship At a National firm to try getting my foot in. They ended up going with the partners/manager’s sons for full-time. Go figure. Now I’m essentially acting as an accounting manager, making under 50k/year, working 50-60 hours per week. Most places won’t even look at me because I don’t have the public accounting/CPA background. To the above poster, I absolutely feel your pain in this area. Hell, I’m barely able to get entry level accounting interviews. I recently had a 4 round interview, only to get rejected for an industry job.July 18, 2020 at 11:05 pm #3052737fsugirl2005Participant
Ah, understood. I think you can get $60K at a regional firm. Did you check those out?July 20, 2020 at 1:19 pm #30539374EverInDebtParticipant
I'm in this same boat and it's so frustrating. It was hard enough for me to pass those damn exams (I repeated 3 of them) and all I need is the damn experience. I only have experience in AR/AP with like 6 months exposure to tax prep (basic tax prep) using quickbooks and doing mostly the tedious work like bank recs, a few journal entries, filling out tax docs, etc and now this pandemic. Not to mention that I've been out of work for 4 years. From studying for the CPA exams to taking care of personal issues, etc and now a year into my masters I still can't find a job to work under a CPA. I passed my last CPA exam in June 2019. So the clock is ticking…
I've been to a couple of interviews. I've been told that I'm likable that they like me etc….but of course no luck yet. It's probably the fact that I've been out of work for 4 years but hey shit happens, everyone has their life problems. I guess I just have to keep looking and hopefully one day I'll land a job working either for a small CPA firm or a bigger one.
I know I can get a job working in A/R, AP, bookkeeping, but this damn requirement is making it so complicated that I refuse to start working in those areas. I even had to turn down a job offer (before COVID) in AR because I was made to belief by the employment agency that it was an accounting position…yeah sure that's what they always call it.
Good luck to everyone on their journey to become a CPA!July 20, 2020 at 4:44 pm #3054279
I have considered that option, but it looks like NYC is over-competitive and might have too much accountants hanging around (CPA and non-CPA). I have been referred to several CPA firms through connections and other accountants, most of them offer somewhere $40-50 K. I think most firms knew that you are basically here for your license and try to offer a much lower salary. They basically want a few labor to trade off the licensing. Even after licensing, they will not offer you a bigger salary. The truth is, they don't have enough sales to paid for an extra CPA, unless you somehow can bring them extra sales.
I am seeing more and more of my friends not pursuing the CPA license, or into other positions outside of accounting. The truth is, the cost to maintain the license is costly, and unless you are in auditing / tax / public, there's not much use. More companies are exporting their services to CPA firms, and a 50 people CPA firms need maybe only 2 CPA to run the game (with 40 unpaid interns – free).July 20, 2020 at 4:49 pm #3054282
Consider transfer over to a state that doesn't have a time requirement. The score in NYS never expired. In addition, due to COVID, many online position is available. Try to get an online freelance / volunteer / part-time position that have a CPA hanging around. It doesn't need to be in the same state as you are currently in.
When I did my job hunting, I used LinkedIn a lot to search if the firm has a CPA (for non-accounting firms). This way, I applied as a regular accountant and doesn't look like “I'm here for the license”.
If you are not very picky, and willing to land on companies outside of CPA firms, you should be able to land on something.July 21, 2020 at 12:15 pm #3055101
@4EverInDebt Hook up with your state's CPA Society and start networking or request a mentor you can talk to about this. Many states do not expire scores but many do require that the experience requirements be met within a certain period of time. I struggled with the experience requirement too and just this year finally met the requirements for Montana. I was originally a NC candidate but could not get a year of experience supervised by a CPA. Once Montana licensed me I was able to get licensed by CO where I live and work but whose education and experience requirements I could not meet for an initial license. So it is possible. Attending CPA Society functions and getting a mentor to help with my resume were very helpful. I don't know why you don't consider A/R and A/P jobs accounting experience, most states accept industry experience and these would count in the states I am licensed in. Don't give up, it took me 4 years after passing the exams and 7 years from the time I went back to school for the education requirements but within months I am now licensed in two states. Good luck!July 21, 2020 at 1:56 pm #30552724EverInDebtParticipant
Thank you @JFKGY & @monikernc for all the great suggestions. I'm not so sure though I want to do all that transferring process but I'll look into it to weigh in my options. I'm in the sunshine state, FL. So they give you 3 yrs to get your license from the time you passed your last exam. It's been stressful because I'm very eager to start working but when I'm asked “so tell us why do you want to work for our firm?” or “why did you choose us” LOL I'm like, BECAUSE I NEED TO GET THE EXPERIENCE TO GET MY DAMN LICENSE! LMAO. Of course I don't say that. I just smile and give them what they want to hear.
As for why I don't consider AR or AP accounting experience, it's not that I don't, it's that since my work experience has to be signed off by a CPA, when I worked in those positions, my supervisor was not a CPA. And most of the time working in any private company, they won't have a CPA supervising those positions. Many times they'll even have a CPA outside of the company doing their taxes.
I'm definitely not giving up. I've come so far, so I can't give up now. Thank you for the encouragement.
p.s. That's the document that needs to be filled out (in FL) by your immediate supervisor who needs to be a CPA
http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/cpa/documents/DBPRCPA32VerificationOfWorkExperienceForm.pdfJuly 21, 2020 at 5:08 pm #3055458
I get what you mean. Public accounting, law offices, and accounting firms definitely have the most CPA. However, you should consider ALL possible options. The chances to find a CPA out of the nowhere in private and small firms are much less likely, but is not impossible. Do look at EVERY post and search in LinkedIn if they got a CPA hanging out.
1. If the CPA that contract out is willing to sign off for you. It does not have to be in the same company. In NY, as long as the CPA can proof that he/she oversee you, it works.
2. Find a job online freelance under a CPA. Look into non-profits. A lot of top CPA like to “give back” to the society and act as a board of trustees of some local social group.
3. Work during tax season, 3 years X 4 months = 12 months.
4. Work in general accounting for now and move on to CPA. Find a position that you can easily take off days to interview, do meaningful jobs that perhaps specialize in a particular field to increase your competition. Build networking. Highly recommend finding in contract / bids / commission/ royalties/ energy / transportation / factories (these kind of industries, if your state is not a “wall street city”). These kind of industries are either easy to move around and have an actual specialty. Stick to big / mid size companies that usually have at least 20 people in their accounting department. Someone in the department got to know a CPA that can refer you if friendly enough. In addition, just in case 3 years went by and didn't work out, you still got something in your pocket and move into management.
-Notes from the unlucky one that spent 8 years looking for the exp already and still hanging out.July 21, 2020 at 6:56 pm #3055563
@4EverInDebt, the transferring is easy to do. NC didn't charge me anything but Florida may charge for transferring grades. For me, Montana wanted a transcript from every college I attended not just the one I graduated from…8 schools, that took an afternoon and about $40, but it was easy. If NASBA has already evaluated your education for Florida you may be done with that.
I don't know what @JFKGY is waiting for..I can't tell if you have the experience and just need sign off or you need more experience.
I can tell you, that getting the initial license is worth it. Take a look and see what you can figure out about getting it done. In the end it is entirely up to you.July 22, 2020 at 6:13 pm #3056406July 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm #3056643
@4Ever… I don’t see in Florida’s requirements that you have to be supervised by the CPA who verifies your experience. Any licensed CPA who is familiar with your work can verify. http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/certified-public-accounting/licensure/
Do you have a year of experience that can be verified?