July 10, 2018 at 9:07 am #1878445NoWorriesMyAccountantHandlesThatParticipant
I start working at Big 4 in tax this September. I plan (if all goes accordingly) to have all my exams done by start date. I am not the strongest candidate, as my overall GPA took a huge hit because of family problems (which I haven't been asked about yet, but currently in the background check process now, and no I didn't lie) but my accounting GPA is very strong. I think I got hired because of my personal skills and willingness to learn and the fact that I already had taken 2 exams when I was interviewed assured them that I am CPA eligible (which is all that they care about I believe). Anyways. Has anyone taken the Enrolled Agent Exam? Is it basically a more detailed REG? I want to build my foundation in tax as best as I can so when I start practicing I have a leg up on other 1 year associates and prove my GPA doesn't define me. Plus, oddly enough, I like studying.July 10, 2018 at 9:19 am #1878460DefoParticipant
Have you already passed two exams? Even if you haven't I would still think you're time is better spent getting the CPA finished.July 10, 2018 at 9:22 am #1878475ReckedParticipant
I took the EA (preCPA) so I could sign off on POA's for audit rep.
I was doing tax for 10 years at that point, and I still learned a boat load.
I used the Gleim EA prep system. It was overkill for sure, but I passed all 3 on the first shot.
It certainly can't hurt, but you should talk with your manager or supervisor to see if it will really benefit you in anyway.
I was waiting out my time before I became eligible for the CPA, which is the only reason I went for the EA.
Most people view it as a waste once you have the CPA. The tax topics are covered MUCH deeper for the EA exam. CPA Mile wide, inch deep. EA inch wide, a mile deep.
NATP also offers EA review books, they are on sale right now.
I found the Gleim EA test bank to be very useful.
Going with just a textbook would be comparable to studying for the CPA exam without a test bank, but that's just my opinion.July 10, 2018 at 9:34 am #1878496TommyTheCatParticipant
im of the mindset that an EA isnt worth a whole lot once you already have your CPA. I wouldnt waste my time with EA now that I have passed exams and am about to be certified once my application clears.
Just my 2 cents.July 10, 2018 at 9:43 am #1878520MadhavParticipant
I have similar question. I recently passed my CPA exam and i am looking for job. Is it worth for me to get EA certificate just to do tax? Also how difficult is EA exam?July 10, 2018 at 10:00 am #1878568ReckedParticipant
You can sign POA, which you can also do with CPA.
You can represent clients in all 50 states for federal tax issues. Your CPA license is technically only good in your state, or any state you are registered in. For state tax purposes, NY will only recognize resident EA's. Your state may be different. These are all technicalities, as I have never been asked to produce any proof of my identity during any audit proceeding, ever. Never asked for an EA card, or CPA cert, or even a driver's license to prove I am who I say I am.
Once you have a CPA, I can't really justify the time or expense to obtain the EA. I think I had around $1600 into the EA exams between the review course and 3 exam fees. It was 4-5 years ago so numbers are fuzzy. I think I invested 80, 60 and 100 ish hours for the 3 parts. I went Part 1, Part 3, and Part 2. Studied about 15 hours a week. A couple nights after work a week, and then 10ish hours on the weekend. You have 2 years to pass all 3 parts, so I started on Part 1 after the October 15th deadline, maybe Nov 1st, and then tested on Dec 31st. passed so I took the next 4 weeks to knock out part 3. Then I took off for tax season and the summer to play golf, and after Oct 15th deadline I got back to taking Part 2 which required the most time investment. I think I took that exam Dec 24th.
It served the purpose to carry me over until I was CPA eligible. It's not CPA difficult for sure, but studying in some manner is advisable. Some people knock all 3 parts out in a month or 2. You only receive pass/fail, no scores, but I was most certainly over prepared.July 10, 2018 at 10:17 am #1878604MadhavParticipant
@recked, thank you for that info. I definitely will not pursue EA as it will cost too much time, money and effort.July 11, 2018 at 6:57 am #1879750Golfing NY CPAParticipant
I actually took the enrolled agent exam after passing the CPA exam.
I passed the last two parts of CPA exam in December of 2017 and started studying for the enrolled agent on January 1st.
The main reason is that it was December in the holidays and I couldn't play golf so I was bored and decided to study and take the exam even though I knew I didn't need it. It was also an insurance policy in case I wasn't able to get a sign off with a CPA and plus with New York State slow application process I knew it was going to take for the five months to get certified.
I used Fast Forward Academy which cost me about $400 and I passed each exam on the first try (with the last section passed on February 28th) and each section cost me $112. Fyi the new exam fees are much higher.
While the EA certification is not needed it's still a little feather in the cap when you are in a competitive job market against a majority of other applicants who also believe that you don't need the EA after you have the CPA.July 11, 2018 at 8:51 am #1879900Fratty RedneckParticipant
Like Recked, I also took the EA exams pre-CPA in order to represent clients before the IRS.
I bought the Passkey comprehensive book on Amazon for around $150. I studied for each section of the exam for one week before sitting and finished the entire EA exam (3 parts) in less than a month.
If you have any tax knowledge, you should be able to study and pass the EA exam with minimal effort. I'm not the most studious person as evidenced by my CPA journey (8 attempts before licensure), so if I can do the EA in 3 weeks, so can you.
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