October 15, 2019 at 11:55 pm #2753409
Hello. I am ready to start studying for the EA exams since I cannot hold myself out as a CPA (I lack the work requirement). For reasons that I cannot recall now, it took me 5x to pass REG. And I think I know REG and BEC way better than FAR and AUD. The MBA helped me pass BEC easily.
I need to start my side hustle tax/accounting biz so need to get EA licensed ASAP.
1-Is the EA exam easy compared to REG? I know many have asked this question but I was looking for a couple of concrete reasons why EA is easier than REG.
2-I was thinking about going with PassKey. Should I go with the books or the software? $25 or $40 monthly subscription sounds really good for the software. And I am hearing there is one comprehensive book out there for all 3 parts? I am not seeing it on Amazon.
MBA, PMP, CPA, CISA -> EA…when will it stop 🙁October 16, 2019 at 2:04 am #2753556
The EA exam is very doable. You don't need a subscription.
The Passkey books from Amazon is more than adequate.
However, i highly recommend that you must purchase the Passkey book that has the 6 practice tests also too.( It looks the they broken it into 2 books now )
Finally, the order of the exam to take is: Individual, Business, then lastly Representation.
FYI – The EA exam is a cakewalk compare to REG. Each exams contains 100 questions all multiple choice with some redundant questions. Not only that, but you get 3.5 hours which you'll finish with time to spare.
Now back to chasing Victoria Secret Models.😀October 16, 2019 at 10:19 am #2753802
Thanks Skynet. How's the chase going anyway 🙂
It looks like they have separated each section over 3 books, and the there are 3 workbooks as well. This is for the 2019-2020 version. I may get the 2018-2019 PassKey version (3-in-1) or I may purchase the Fast Forward Academy book (3-in-1 with exams).
I think I saw a post where you mentioned that you are in So Cal? I am here in SD, and it sounds like I will need an EA license if I can't hold myself out as a CPA.October 16, 2019 at 11:51 am #2753916
Also, can I get a PTIN while studying for the Enrolled Agent exam? Or do I need to pass the exams, apply for the EA license, then obtain a PTIN? I am not seeing a definitive answer.October 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm #2753973
Anyone can apply for a PTIN, and you need a PTIN to take the EA exams.October 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm #2754186turo9992000Participant
Since you passed the CPA exam, you could probably pass the EA exam tomorrow without studying. Do you work in tax? The EA exam was made so that someone with about 5 years experience should be able to easily pass it.October 16, 2019 at 4:03 pm #2754294
Ok, thank you both. I will register for a PTIN soon. I will purchase Fast Forward Academy 3-in-1 w/exam questions.
I do not work in tax. I learned a lot while studying for REG and I have completed approx 100 returns – e.g., VITA and friends. I am looking to start small…October 16, 2019 at 4:10 pm #2754309
The 2019-2020 PTIN early renewals are open, just did mine today.October 16, 2019 at 4:55 pm #2754381
Done. I did it for 2020 only. I won't be ready for anything until then anyways…
Thank you!October 16, 2019 at 11:11 pm #2754756
@Last Chance CPA – The EA is an actual license issued by the IRS so you'll be able to do more than just preparing taxes such as representation.
The CPE requirements is also less stringent too compared to the CTEC license which requires an additional 8 CPE units on CA tax laws every year to maintain.October 17, 2019 at 10:25 am #2755080
Thanks Skynet. That's what I understood. I will get the EA done as soon as possible, hopefully pass all 3 prior to Thanksgiving.
I just need to figure out how to position myself as a CPA/EA without getting in trouble. Do I call myself an EA and CPA (inactive) or CPA (non-licensed)? Do I steer clear of the word CPA altogether?October 17, 2019 at 12:18 pm #2755176
Depends on your state's laws.
On a resume you can indicate passed all 4 parts of the CPA exam, but it's tricky on a business card or something of that nature.
In NY I believe it's a misdemeanor to hold yourself out as a CPA, when you are not licensed as a CPA.
Any person shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor who shall use, in connection with the practice of public accountancy, or in any manner tending to imply that he or she is an independent accountant or auditor, the designations “chartered accountant”, “certified accountant”, “expert accountant”, “certified tax accountant”, “tax accountant”, “enrolled accountant”, “enrolled public accountant”, “registered accountant”, “licensed accountant”, “incorporated accountant”, “registered public accountant”, “licensed public accountant”, or any abbreviation thereof, or the letters “C.A.”, “E.A.”, “C.T.A.”, “T.A.”, “E.P.A.”, “R.A.”, “L.A.”, “I.A.”, “P.A.”, “R.P.A.”, or, “L.P.A.”, except as provided elsewhere in this article, or any other designation tending to imply that he or she has expert knowledge in accounting or auditing. The title “enrolled agent” or the designation “E.A.” may only be used by individuals so designated by the United States Internal Revenue Service.October 17, 2019 at 12:20 pm #2755179
You don't need to take them in any particular order, and you can take them more than once.
I would start with part 3, you should be able to knock that one out in a few weeks. I think I did it in 4 weeks at 10-15 hours a week, invested maybe 40-60 hours. Like I said before, the Gleim course is very extensive and I was definitely over-prepared.October 17, 2019 at 1:04 pm #2755218
Thanks recked. I will have to figure out how to market my CPA/EA without getting in trouble in the state of CA. I bought the Fast Forward Academy book. I will start reading it this weekend and see where I should start. Starting with part 3 might be ok.
Need to buy tax software next and start playing around in it while I study.October 17, 2019 at 1:52 pm #2755314turo9992000Participant
Don't hold yourself out as a CPA until you are licensed. The only exception is on a Resume, just put that you have passed the CPA exam and are working on the work requirement. You already did the hard part, just wait and you'll have those letters before you know it.October 18, 2019 at 5:23 pm #2756829SilentParticipant
Just market yourself as EA. You can do pretty much anything that CPA can do. If you want to make good money, start your own tax/accounting business. In few years you can be making 200k+ a year.October 18, 2019 at 7:09 pm #2756967
$200K? What do I look like, a peasant 🙂 ?!?!?October 20, 2019 at 9:55 am #2759268Jimmy DuganParticipant
I don't know how much value the EA is going to be for you, especially from a marketing standpoint. Nobody outside the tax world really knows what it is, and you can already do paid return prep without it.October 20, 2019 at 12:30 pm #2759421
Well, in CA, I either need a CTEC or EA since I don't have a CPA license #. And it's good knowledge…October 20, 2019 at 2:07 pm #2759523freecloudParticipant
I have an EA, still working on CPA. I dont think it will be worth enough especially the people only know CPA since I have been asked for many times when talking to clients. You will feel reality especially when you are going to do your own business.October 23, 2019 at 4:19 pm #2763843belam3057Participant
Following this post. I'm also studying for the EA exam to hopefully pass by the middle of January to also start a part time tax business. I need all the tips and advice I can get!!October 23, 2019 at 7:39 pm #2764095Small4Participant
the book is all you need tbh.
Also, CPA is much more known than EA. I feel like those with EAs are the ones who actually become tax preparers for boutique firms that they create. CPA firms typically dont mind their staff having EAs only with the expectation of getting the CPA soon after. If i were you, have BOTH of them active.October 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm #2770476Future CPAParticipant
I will say your posts are inspiring. I worked in tax at a small tax firm for a year. I passed all 3 parts of the EA exam and became licensed in 2017 but it is inactive right now. I’m currently studying for the CPA and will hopefully get through it sooner rather than later. I never thought about doing tax as a side hustle before but now it seems so tempting. I wish you luck on the EA exam.October 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm #2770653
Thanks Paige. I am still going back and forth with whether I will take the EA exams. I have enough exams/certs under my belt. At this point, I am going right into tax, bookkeeping/payroll, and small business accounting as a side hustle. Maybe I will get my CPA work requirements covered somehow in the future. But I will most likely remain in IT consulting as my primary career.October 30, 2019 at 5:07 am #2770956
@ Last Chance CPA – You should just go for it. It doesn't cost much to take the 3 exams. Plus there is no experience requirement. Plus it costs very little to maintain the CPE requirements each year. I spend a little over $100 each year for the CPE through “ClientWhys”.
Plus there are also lots of networking opportunities with CSEA and CSTC chapter meetings which you can earn CPE for going to these meetings. You can land a seasonal job for the tax season if you find someone who needs help during the tax season and willing to take you on and train you.
I don't work in tax right now, but while i was interviewing, i would leverage the EA to the accounting positions i was applying for which helped me in the interview process because i had some tax experience.
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