October 26, 2014 at 5:50 pm #189564
For anyone who has taken or is taking the EA exam, in comparison to the cpa exam, how difficult is the EA exam?
Are the questions as tricky as the cpa exam or are they more straight forward like a college class test?
Are there review courses for the EA exam?
ThanksOctober 26, 2014 at 10:28 pm #643803
The EA exams is not that difficult. The exams consists of 3 exams containing 100 questions each exam and you get 3.5 hours. The EA exams are nothing compare to REG of the CPA exam. If I can pass all 3 sections of the EA exam on the first try, you can too.October 26, 2014 at 11:01 pm #643804
Thanks skynet. Does having the EA designation confer any additional benefits upon someone or entitle you to certain things the cpa designation does not (aside from networking opportunities which is important)..
Also, were there specific review courses you used for the EA test, or did you just use your CPA materials and that was sufficient?
Thanks again for the infoOctober 26, 2014 at 11:16 pm #643805
Not necessarily. Since I'm in Southern California, a license is required to prepare taxes which is the CTEC license unless you are an EA or CPA. I chose the EA because I can do more with it such as Representations. With the CTEC I can only do personal taxes.
As for the course i used, which I don't recommend, was the Passkey EA materials on Amazon.October 27, 2014 at 4:07 am #643806
I'm interested in this too.
I have been very undecided whether to pursue the EA after the CPA exams, and recently decided that I will go for it, immediately after I get through REG.
so, I'm wondering if I should test for the EA with only my CPA REG study materials or buy an EA study course?
I plan to review the sample questions of old EA exams from the IRS website, so I wonder if that's enough in addition to REG study material??October 27, 2014 at 1:45 pm #643807
Don't waste your time with the EA after your CPA. There is not added benefit of getting an EA when you posses a CPA.October 27, 2014 at 1:48 pm #643808
Compared to the CPA exam, the EA exam is probably on a scale of 1-10, about a 5. CPA Exam is much tougher.January 29, 2015 at 6:21 pm #643809
From what I understand, you can pass all 3 exams within a couple of months if you are motivated. While the material of all 3 combined would be more than REG, and more detailed, the questions asked are more straightforward, while the AICPA likes to trick candidates.
That being said, I don't see that much benefit if you are a CPA already. If you aren't yet licensed, and want to represent people, then it's definitely not a bad idea. Also, I don't know if CPAs can practice out-of-state like EAs.January 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm #643810
CPA = Doctor
EA = Nurse/Orderly….
Getting an EA after CPA makes no sense whatsoever…January 29, 2015 at 7:31 pm #643811
As I said, a CPA is licensed to practice in a particular state, whereas an EA is enrolled to practice before the IRS anywhere. I don't know that there are that many instances where this makes a difference, but it's still different nonetheless.
I could also see someone taking the EA exam as a way to brush up on their tax knowledge. There are many CPAs who have worked in audit who don't have a clue how to fill out a tax return.January 29, 2015 at 8:16 pm #643812
how many states can you really work in? I wouldn't waste time on an EA when you will make more money with the CPA including taxes.January 30, 2015 at 3:37 am #643813
EA exam is super easy if you are a tax person. I passed all three parts on the first try. My studying was last minute cramming 3-4 days before the exam. If I pulled that crap with the CPA exam I would most definitely have failed.
I used the Gleim review system with the UCLA Extension review class.January 30, 2015 at 2:28 pm #643814
I'm surprised to hear that you guys feel that the EA exam is so easy, I've heard in the past that it was harder than the Reg exam section. I was thinking about pursuing the EA exam at some point in the distant future to brush up on my tax knowledge.January 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm #643815
It's not really the content that makes it easier than REG (though I still stand by my original statement of if you are a tax person, it is easy).
The REG testlets are adaptive to how you answer them.
EA exam questions are given at the start of the exam and they do not change. You can answer them in any order and you may go back and change your answer at anytime.
REG has simulations in addition to the 72 MCQs, and you have three hours to finish the exam.
The EA exam is 100 MCQs,(only 85 count toward your score), and you have 3.5 hours to finish the exam.
REG you can only take breaks between testlets.
EA you can take a break whenever you want.
I retook REG after three months of EA classes and studying. My REG score expired. I figured I had been studying tax for a while, so it seemed like a good time to retake. I get my score next week.January 30, 2015 at 6:13 pm #643816
But as a CPA you are very technically only authorized in the state issuing the license, if like me you live very close to a state line and are as likely as not to do taxes in another state, the EA may be worthwhile if you aren't licensed in both states.January 30, 2015 at 7:54 pm #643817
CPA and EA both allow you to represent a taxpayer before the IRS no matter the state. However, I do not know if this is true for the State Taxing Entity, but I would be willing to be both could still represent the taxpayer.
Why? Non-resident taxpayers. I have filed OK, AL, LA, and even NV state returns on behalf of our clients as non-residents and residents. You have to be licensed in the state that you practice in. Live and work in NY, you better have your license through NY. So on and so forth.January 30, 2015 at 8:05 pm #643818
to hecubus –
many on this posting (an others) have said there is no reason to pursue the EA and the CPA.
To someone who is still deciding whether to pursue the EA or not (like me), what feedback would you have for them?
Why are you pursuing both?
What advantages do you foresee?
Do you know someone who is already working in that field who has both, and would recommend it to others?
I plan to specialize in tax, and since I'm studying for REG, I figure I'll be half way through the EA material anyway, so may as well get the additional certification right after REG since the knowledge will be so fresh.
I guess I see additional certifications as potentially attractive for getting work. You never know when it will actually help, and it certainly can't hurt.
So, that's my thinking, but when others say it's a waste of time, I start having doubts.
I like the idea of not being limited to state lines, but a CPA told me that those geographic limitations don't apply to tax anyway.
Open to feedback.January 30, 2015 at 8:40 pm #643819
Let me chime in a bit.
I do agree with some people here that by being a CPA, you don't necessarily need to be an EA. Only a total of 4 states require you to have a Tax Preparer's license anyways. The EA is more for those who want to do taxes and work in tax related jobs yet don't want to prusue the CPA. You also have to understand that the states that require preparers licenses are often limited to preparing taxes only. By having an EA, you can represent the tax payers too.
Because I'm in SoCal, a preparer's license is required. I only have it because, I was out of the workforce for some time during the Recession and needed a way to get back into the Accounting field. Because I spent a year getting it, letting it go would be a waste even though I'm pursuing the CPA. It only costs me less than $200 to maintain it.
I know many professionals who are CPA's that are EA's and CMA's too and a few who also holds the CTEC license as well. A little redundant but hey to each his own.January 30, 2015 at 9:13 pm #643820
I pursued EA to boost my confidence. You can only fail AUD so many times before you want to end your life force. If you have a CPA you do not really need an EA. In my firm the mangers who are EAs were grandfathered in. Now if you are CPA eligible, you must pass the CPA exam to be promoted to manager.
An advantage to having EA is that I can be on the Power of Attorney. You can also be on Power of Attorney with your CPA, but it is faster to get the EA. You can also sign tax returns (again, you can also do this with a CPA).
Studying for the EA exam also got me back into the mindset of studying.
So after passing the EA exam,I started over with CPA exam again. I took REG at the beginning of the month and I take BEC next week. I feel that this time around I have a better understanding of the time commitment and what sections I need to focus on.January 30, 2015 at 9:18 pm #643821
@hecubus330 – Surprisingly, passing the EA exams on the first try did the same thing to boost my confidence and got me back to studying the CPA exams again too after many prior CPA exam failures.January 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm #643822
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