Is a Career as a CPA Right for You? 5 Key Questions to Ask

Over in the US, qualifying as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) gives you the ability to offer professional finance services to individuals and businesses alike.

If you’re thinking of following this career path, but you’re still on the fence about taking the plunge, the answers to the following questions will help you make up your mind.


What qualifications do you need to become a CPA?

If you’re considering becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the first step is understanding what qualifications you need.

Generally, CPAs must have at least 150 hours of college credit and pass the CPA Exam. Depending on your state, there may be additional requirements such as work experience or continuing education credits that must also be fulfilled before obtaining certification.

Additionally, most states require prospective CPAs to complete an ethics exam prior to licensure. This means there are a lot of hoops to jump through and work to put in, so you need to be committed.

How much are you likely to make as a CPA?

From a salary perspective, the good news is that CPAs are well-compensated for their expertise, and can earn upwards of six figures depending on experience level.

In addition, many accountants enjoy excellent benefits packages that include health insurance, retirement plans and other perks such as flex schedules or remote work opportunities, as outlined in this CPA compensation guide.

As an added bonus, due to the ever-evolving nature of accounting regulations, you’ll have plenty of opportunity for professional growth, and to boost your earnings year by year.

All these factors combined make becoming a CPA an attractive option with potentially long term rewards.

What kind of job opportunities exist for CPAs?

When it comes to job opportunities, the answer is simple: there are many! CPAs can find a variety of employment options in fields such as public accounting and auditing, corporate finance or taxation. Each area offers interesting challenges and potential rewards if you’re hunting for a better salary.

Also, some accountants may choose to go into business for themselves by providing consulting services or starting their own CPA firm.

Whatever path you choose, becoming a CPA opens up numerous possibilities that wouldn’t otherwise be available without this professional designation.

Is the work environment suited to your preferences and skillset?

How you work best and what skills you already have will influence whether or not qualifying as a CPA is a good move.

Accountants need strong analytical skills, an eye for detail and excellent time management abilities in order to be successful.

In addition, CPAs must have good communication skills in order to effectively interact with clients or colleagues. If these traits match your preferences and skill set then becoming a CPA could be the perfect fit.

How will pursuing a career in accounting impact your lifestyle?

Every career comes with its expectations and responsibilities that are placed on professionals, and accounting is no different.

CPAs are usually required to work standard business hours and may need flexibility for evening or weekend engagements, which may or may not fit your social situation or preference for work-life balance.

Then there’s the fact that many CPAs travel frequently for client meetings or conferences, which could take you away from home longer than expected.

It’s also wise to consider the emotional toll of working with clients on sensitive financial matters – so make sure that this is something you feel equipped to handle.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, becoming a CPA can be very rewarding both personally and professionally. If it fits with your work ethic, your career ambitions, and your lifestyle, then it could be a good goal to pursue.