Work/life balance

This topic contains 8 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Safe 2 days, 13 hours ago.

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  • #2403351

    Can’t fail
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I am hoping to pass the exam in about a year+ and start working within a year even if I haven't passed, yet.

    I have no accounting experience, and my Master's was obtained slowly while working in a different industry (NFP). Most of my experience is in NFP, but I'd like to go into Tax.

    Is it at all realistic that I could get a job in Tax with no experience and either all or part of the exam passed?

    Secondly, I have a family, and no family/friends within 7 hrs. Is it also at all realistic that I won't be at work all the time? Are there jobs that end at 430/5?

    Job security/stability is the end goal, not to be a partner or anything. Just want to be able to pay for my kid's braces😂

    Thank you!

    #2403396
    Recked
    Recked
    Participant

    NFP's also have tax filing obligations and your knowledge and skill set might fit well with a firm that deals in NFP issues.
    Most accountant's (in my experience) would rather avoid the NFP accounting and tax, so you might have a foot in the door.
    Tax season is typically pretty rough at most firms and I would not expect to be done at 4:30-5:00 unless you were to start work at maybe 6am.
    I think 8-6 is a typical work day during tax season for most larger firms.
    The smaller the firm, the more flexibility you might find. You can also look into governmental jobs. I had an uncle that worked for NYS doing audits on NFP entities.
    Normal 35 hour gov't workweek, pension, benefits. Not too shabby.
    _
    Current advice, because of your “non-traditional” background I would attempt to use your NFP experience to get your foot in the door in an accounting firm and then transition towards more of a tax role as you go.

    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)

    #2403402

    dukenuke
    Participant

    I do not think the likelihood of passing the CPA exam is very high without an accounting background. There are always exceptions to the rule but from a statistical likelihood perspective I would say the odds of being successful are pretty low.

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 79
    REG - NINJA in Training
    Let life get in the way and lost credit for BEC and AUD. Currently retaking all parts.
    #2403408

    c
    Participant

    Hi @Can't Fail, here is my opinion for your questions. I'm assuming your Masters' is in accounting or tax.

    “Is it at all realistic that I could get a job in Tax with no experience and either all or part of the exam passed?”
    – Yes, it is realistic that you can get a job in tax with no experience. I think the key here is that you have to be willing to come in entry-level. Your past experience won't carry much weight at a public firm. You'll be working alongside 22-24 year olds fresh out of college in a lot of firms, and there is a good chance you may have superiors who are younger than you. There is nothing at all wrong with getting in later, but you should be aware of that.

    “Secondly, I have a family, and no family/friends within 7 hrs. Is it also at all realistic that I won't be at work all the time? Are there jobs that end at 430/5?”
    – This might be tougher. Yes, it is still possible. I would mostly rule out B4 and national firms if this is your goal. You'll need to find smaller firms to work with you on this. Even then, you should be cautioned that a lot of small firms work long hours during tax season. At my firm (around 15 people), we do a minimum of 60 hours/wk Jan-Apr 15th and 40 hours/wk after that to be considered full-time. Even if you're wanting to work 40 hours a week, you may still be considered part-time by most during tax season. Of course, it all depends how flexible you are. If you were willing to take lower salary, I'm sure that you can find someone to take you on even if you're not working as much.

    #2403426

    Can’t fail
    Participant

    @dukenuke I have undergrad credits (origibal bachelor's in art history) and my Master's in accounting, just no work experience, outside of a short internship a few years ago. I was getting my degree while working then moved right when I graduated with my Masters. I scored a 72😭😭😭 on my first FAR attempt and I'm hoping I can pass that beast soon!!

    @recked that is really good advice, thank you. I don't know why I didn't even think of that! I feel much more encouraged🙂

    #2403441

    dukenuke
    Participant

    Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you had no accounting background. If you are that close on FAR then you can pass it and the everything else.

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - NINJA in Training
    FAR - 79
    REG - NINJA in Training
    Let life get in the way and lost credit for BEC and AUD. Currently retaking all parts.
    #2403501

    Dad of girls
    Participant

    I agree with the above, if you want to be out at 4:30 / 5 then you need a smaller firm. I started working for a smaller firm while studying for CPA exam. Tax season is pretty rough, 55 – 70 hours a week but we have slow summers and can be out at 4:30 all summer long and out at noon on Fridays. As for work during the summer we get involved with non-profit auditing and I even had some time to study at work. Salary is prolly alot less but I love the flexibility.

    AUD - 89
    BEC - 82
    FAR - 90
    REG - 81
    Michigan CPA
    #2411142
    Taxi
    Taxi
    Participant

    Is it at all realistic that I could get a job in Tax with no experience and either all or part of the exam passed?

    Secondly, I have a family, and no family/friends within 7 hrs. Is it also at all realistic that I won't be at work all the time? Are there jobs that end at 430/5?

    Job security/stability is the end goal, not to be a partner or anything. Just want to be able to pay for my kid's braces😂

    I agree with C that you can get a job in Tax with no experience or CPA exam progress, but CPA exam progress would demonstrate seriousness about working in public accounting. You'll be entry level whatever your exam progress with no prior tax experience, however.

    You might not want public accounting if job security in the near-term is the goal, since they regularly cull underperforming or excess staff.

    You might find roles in mid-market or small firms with flexible hours where you can come in early and leave early outside of the winter/late summer tax seasons, but being willing to work brutal hours during tax season is standard.

    #2423205

    Safe
    Participant

    Im a 2016 grad with an economics degree, hoping to be enrolled in an accounting program by next semester. not sure which, but my qyestion for you was, if you arent bothered by my askking, where did you do your Masters? and besides family reasons, what was the biggest deciding factor in your choice? thanks and good luck to you!

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