Enrolled Agent for now or not?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Silent 4 months ago.

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    Hi everyone.
    I want to take the EA exam and was wondering if it's just a waste of time and money.
    I've decided to go the tax route and want to get my foot through the door for tax. I worked tax outside the US for the Nigerian government
    I haven't worked public before, I have only worked corporate in the US. (non-tax), so I definitely don't have extensive US tax knowledge.
    I was already studying for the CPA but have to put that on hold after finding out I'm pregnant and it's a very difficult pregnancy.
    I know I won't be able to study for the CPA for at least another year but I really want to get into doing taxes and having that knowledge.
    So I gave myself two options:
    1.) Take the EA exam and use that at my Aunt's tax services firm next year and then getting a job in tax with a CPA firm.
    2) Study the EA exam and learn tax laws etc, without taking the exam, working at my Aunt's tax service next year and then try getting a job with a CPA firm.

    Which would get me through the door faster?
    Would having the EA designation assist me in getting a job seeing that I have no US tax experience so far?

    I have done research by looking at job sites to see if anyone hires EAs. I did see one for PWC in my area and other CPA firms, but I would really appreciate real life experiences and opinions.

    Thank you

    Hopefully it all works out!!!


    You don't need an EA to work tax. Well, not in the U.S. If you're going to obtain the CPA or EA you're going to have to study. The CPA is more valuable in my opinion than the EA. EA may seem to be an easy way to become a professional, but I wouldn't put time into something that won't pay off in the accounting arena. Unfortunately there is no easy way or easy door. Maybe your aunt could let you work for tax experience but getting an EA for the purpose of easy is a waste of time. (IMO). Find a way to work under a cpa so you can gain experience while you work on that CPA.

    Even though you're going through a tough expectancy is not a reason to give up CPA. Take care of yourself, use the down time to really study, read the books, listen to the audio while in bed or in the recliner. When you pass you'll be glad you're able to take care of your child.
    Good luck to you. Don't waste time. Please let us know how your journey is going.

    It begins with a 75
    Been here too long as a cheerleader.....time to pass

    Pork Flavored Bacon

    Just an FYI, PwC may hire you as an EA for a tax position but the expectation will be for you to obtain the CPA license. Without the CPA license at PwC you will never make senior associate and will be let go. At other Big 4s you will need CPA licensure to make manager. And again, if you don’t, they will cut you loose after a period of time.
    As others have said on this forum, an EA designation can be useful depending on your career path but the CPA license is more desireable and will put you above others without it.
    I had never even heard of an Enrolled Agent before until maybe a year ago when someone on this forum explained what it was.
    If your ultimate goal is to obtain CPA licensure, I would personally not waste time studying to be an EA. Use that time to study for the CPA exam.


    The EA exam is a walk in the park compared to the time and dedication needed for the CPA exam.
    It gives you a couple letters after you name, and gives you the ability to sign off on a POA to call the IRS or state taxing agency on behalf of a client.
    If the CPA will not work for you right now, the EA and working at your aunt's tax shop seems a no brainer. The EA exam will teach you a great deal about tax, and its pretty cheap comparatively. And then the experience of working in a tax shop will give you real world knowledge to put to the letters. If I were in your shoes I would take that route, and then after the baby and everything settles down, you can look back into the CPA.

    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)
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    REG-96 1/18/18 (6 wks, 110 hrs, 1400 MCQs, no SIMs)
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    EA is a good alternative to CPA. Many CPA firms that mainly do taxes will hire EA. In reality Enrolled agent is a good alternative to CPA and if someone just wants to do taxes, there is no reason to get CPA designation. Yes EA is not known widely but when it comes to taxes have same type of power as CPA. I personally would hire EA over CPA any day when doing taxes as they are tested much heaver on tax part compare to CPA.

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