Best post CPA license to get?

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  • #1861354
    Nate
    Participant

    So I just found out I passed REG and I'm now done with all four exams and I know I should be focused on finishing the narrative the State of Oregon requires along with the lengthy application, but I can't help but think about any future licenses I might want to get. My wife is looking to get her Masters this fall/winter, and I figured I should make use of my time while she is studying (I'm not a TV or video game person). I figured one good way is to get another license to further my career, and I've mainly been looking at the post-CPA licenses the AICPA offers. I was hoping that by posting on here, people with experience in different areas can give me an idea of what I should go for.

    I figured it would help people advise me if they knew the work I do and what I enjoy most. I work in a small firm and I mostly do taxes for pretty much everything, I prepare 1040's, 1120's, 1120S's, 1065's, 990's, and 1041's. I occasionally prepare FS Reviews/compilations/preparations and work with planning/strategy from both a financial and tax perspective. I really enjoy the reviews the most and the business returns, it seems my main passion is working with small businesses and helping them start their business and get to a good selling point. I have particularly enjoyed first year 1120 returns where the business is a mess and need their finances/books to be organized to give them a fresh start. Given that passion, the license that appeals to me the most is the ABV (Accredited in Business Valuation), however there's hardly anyone in the area that I live in that has this license, so it may be hard to find a way to fulfill the experience requirement for that license.

    I also very much enjoy helping families and individuals with their personal finances, and it always seems like my Church is volunteering me to help people with finances and at least once a Sunday I get asked about taxes and personal finances, and given that the PFS (Personal Financial Specialist) also appeals to me. One of the partners at my firm also has this license so that'll help me fulfill the experience requirement.

    I'm also open to other licenses, including ones that aren't from the AICPA. I've also reviewed the CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) and CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics) licenses. Pretty much I'm open to any license if it aligns with my passions, are there any suggestions for what licenses I should look at?

    AUD: 54 (10/31/15); 83 (12/02/17)
    BEC: 70 (01/31/16); 90 (07/02/17)
    FAR: 73 (10/03/15); 88 (02/17/18)
    REG: 83 (06/09/18)
    AICPA Ethics: 91 (06/28/18)
    Licensed: 08/16/18

    Let us not become weary in doing good,

    #1862083
    ReckedRecked
    Participant

    CCW… just sayin'

    Memento Mori - Kingston NY CPA & EA (SUNY Albany 2002)

    FAR-93 11/9/17 (10wks, 250 hrs, Roger 1800+ MCQs, Gleim TB 600+MCQs, SIMs)
    AUD-88 12/7/17 (3 wks, 85 hrs, Roger 1000 MCQs no SIMs hail mary)
    REG-96 1/18/18 (6 wks, 110 hrs, 1400 MCQs, no SIMs)
    BEC-91 2/16/18 (4wks, 90 hrs, 1240 MCQs)

    #1862089
    Nate
    Participant

    Well I'd make my retired police officer dad proud with that license.

    AUD: 54 (10/31/15); 83 (12/02/17)
    BEC: 70 (01/31/16); 90 (07/02/17)
    FAR: 73 (10/03/15); 88 (02/17/18)
    REG: 83 (06/09/18)
    AICPA Ethics: 91 (06/28/18)
    Licensed: 08/16/18

    Let us not become weary in doing good,

    #1862332
    AnthonyAnthony
    Participant

    The best post CPA license to get is the one the aligns with your goals and the one that you believe that future/current employers will value.

    AUD - 82
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 81
    REG - 82
    FAR - 74 first attempt
    #1862551
    Nate
    Participant

    @Anthony right I get that, I was just hoping that by posting here, I could get some info regarding what people with those licenses do so I know which ones align with my passions and goals.

    AUD: 54 (10/31/15); 83 (12/02/17)
    BEC: 70 (01/31/16); 90 (07/02/17)
    FAR: 73 (10/03/15); 88 (02/17/18)
    REG: 83 (06/09/18)
    AICPA Ethics: 91 (06/28/18)
    Licensed: 08/16/18

    Let us not become weary in doing good,

    #1862959
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I agree you should pursue something that aligns with your goals. I am in corporate finance, so the CPA + CMA is right for me, I am also getting a CSCA since this has more alignment with a CFO role. I've looked into different Risk certifications as well.

    I have also been a registered security rep with FINRA in the past and a “licensed” insurance broker. In a previously life I was a Financial Advisor. I still think if I want to make a mid career move going back to a Financial Advisor role would be the logical choice. I would then need to get activated for my Series 7, 66 and Insurance license again. The obvious certification that aligns with this career path would be a CFP, but I don't think I would chase it, since to work in the field you really need the papers from the FINRA and the State Insurance boards, plus at this point the general public doesn't make much of a distinction between and CPA and CFP.

    I think anything you chase should add value, knowledge and competency in the field your are in. Otherwise, you are just chasing designations.

    Finally, the CPA is a license, as it is issued as a license and regulated by the State in which it is obtained. Certifications and Designations are not licenses. Some fields require actual licenses to work in the industry (see the FINRA and Insurance papers above) The CMA, CFP, CFA, CSCA, ARM, CGMA, FPS, CFF, CCE, ABV, etc, etc ,etc… are all just competency building and confidence boosting “nice” to haves.

    #1863022
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Like everyone else has said, you need to look at what aligns with your goals. Also, it sounds like you already are, but just be sure to pay attention to the experience requirements for each certification/designation. I've thought about trying to tackle the CFA exams next, but I can't justify it since I don't think my experience would count.

    #1863505
    Nate
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice everyone, it's a tough decision, and like you guys have said, it should align with my goals otherwise I'm wasting time and money. I am conflicted, part of me thinks I should just enjoy life and never take another exam again, but then another part says why not do more when the opportunity is there. The PFS could be good, so I may consider that as one of the partners has it and I know my Church would find it useful. Though one of the partners at my firm has expressed that it'd be very valuable to the firm if I get the ABV credential and keeps encouraging me to go for that. However the experience part of that credential would be hard to fulfill given I don't know anyone with that credential and there's only like 1 or 2 people in the city with it. Regardless, I'm going to take the Summer off of studying for anything, so I'm in no rush to make a decision. I'll weigh what everyone said and hopefully find a credential that fits my career goals and aspirations.

    AUD: 54 (10/31/15); 83 (12/02/17)
    BEC: 70 (01/31/16); 90 (07/02/17)
    FAR: 73 (10/03/15); 88 (02/17/18)
    REG: 83 (06/09/18)
    AICPA Ethics: 91 (06/28/18)
    Licensed: 08/16/18

    Let us not become weary in doing good,

    #1863601
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I've not completed the CPA journey as yet, but I've also contemplated post CPA license. I came to the conclusion that I would like like to improve my technical skill set. I plan to eventually transition from accounting to finance.

    I intend to learn programming starting with Python.I would also like to improve my Excel VBA skills. I also intend to learn SQL.

    At first I contemplated getting the CFA certification but I think it would be nice to gain some technical skills before pursuing another certification.

    #1864765
    AnthonyAnthony
    Participant

    Think long and hard before attempting the CFA exams because you have no clue that you are getting yourself into. Do you really want to spent 2.5 years at minimum studying for an exam that you only have 1 shot to 2 shot each year to pass?

    People on this forum complain about how hard/the amount of material that the CPA exams cover and how much time they wasted studying. As someone who just recently sat for Level 1, the CPA exam is a joke compared to the CFA exams.

    AUD - 82
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 81
    REG - 82
    FAR - 74 first attempt
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