8 Crazy Myths of CPA in 2020: Debunked

Is every CPA a mathematics wizard? Are job opportunities for CPAs only restricted to accounting firms? Are these only myths, or are they true? Let us discuss them among other similar misconceptions about CPAs.

A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is one of the most recognized designations awarded to Certified Accountants. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) conducts exams, and by clearing those, you can obtain your CPA license. Public accounting (working for an accounting firm), corporate accounting (working for a corporation), and government service are some of the job options for CPAs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected gro

wth of 11% from 2014 to 2024 in the profession of Accounting. CPAs can also work as controllers or chief financial officers, among other positions (CFOs). The CPA designation has a promising career path. However, there are also several misconceptions regarding CPAs. Here, we will attempt to dispel some of the CPA course myths through this article.

1. CPAs have to be Pro at Mathematics!

Accounting and mathematics are not the same, contrary to common assumptions. While math skills are beneficial in accountancy, they are not essential to excel. Accountants should just be competent to deal with numbers to analyze and comprehend figures in the data they collect. They do not need to solve complex mathematical equations. To become a successful accountant, a solid grasp of math, particularly algebra and arithmetic, is usually required. All you need to know about math is how to measure and analyze transactions before they are documented. Computers can be used to solve other complicated mathematical problems. Thus, it is a misconception that you need to be a pro at mathematics to work well as a CPA. And guess what? This fact is synonymous with all the accounting courses out there and not just CPA!

2. Since CPA is a US-based course you can only get opportunities in US

While the US CPA makes you the Chartered Accountant of the US, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll only able to work and settle in one part of the world. A US CPA degree can also help you move to CAnada and build a career there. If a candidate holds a US CPA accreditation, they can easily Canadian CPA designation as well with the help of the Mutual Recognition Agreement signed by both these countries. While there are some eligibility requirements for obtaining Canadian CPA designation, it won’t be long haul.

3. CPAs can only help with taxation

Since accounting has distinct tasks depending on whether an accountant works in public accounting or the private sector, not all accountants are tax accountants. They can operate in a host of professions, including audit, tax, consultancy, and corporate accounting. Accountants have month-end, quarter-end, and year-end deadlines based on a company’s fiscal year-end, so there is no one-size-fits-all hectic season. A CPA can work as a trusted adviser, supporting customers in planning and achieving their financial goals as well as other financial problems. Audits and reviews, forensic accounting, consultancy, and/or litigation services are all work responsibilities that the CPAs can fulfill. Thus, a Certified Public Accountant can choose from various job options and is not limited to doing only tax accounting.

4. Only large businesses hire CPAs

There is a very common misconception that only large companies require Certified Public Accountants, which is not the case since all firms manage money, create budgets, and pay taxes regardless of size. A corporation may swiftly and easily complete any financial work with the assistance of a CPA. Therefore, several companies prefer to hire a CPA at an early stage itself. They will assist you in developing a good business strategy and establishing your company properly from the outset.

5. CPAs do not contribute to making strategic decisions

Certified Public Accountants manage finances for the companies they work for. But, this is not all that they can do. Accountants can not only assess a company’s financials, but they can also advise key decision makers on growth prospects that might affect the company’s general direction and help maximize the profit.

6. CPAs do not require to be creative at work

It is a very common belief that accountants just have to work on calculations, and creativity is not required for the same. However, this is untrue as finding tax deductions and constructing a client’s financial portfolio benefit from creativity. Moreover, if you decide to start your accounting firm, you will need to think outside the box with respect to marketing, social media interactions, and creating your company’s brand. It requires imagination for any accountant to predict their customers’ accounting demands in 5 years, 10 years, and beyond. 

7. CPAs can only get up a job at an accounting firm

Another misconception that has gotten stronger over time is that CPAs can only work for accounting firms. It is true that much of a CPA’s work is controlled by accounting firms and that a vast percentage of CPAs work in such financial firms. However, their scope cannot be claimed to be confined to that. A well-qualified CPA is the foundation of every successful business. They manage the financial areas of any company they work for. CPAs can serve in areas other than accounting and work as financial consultants, financial executive managers, and many other similar job roles. 

8. CPA is a male-dominated profession

Many people believe that accounting is primarily a male-dominated field. While this might have been true before, women now outnumber males in the accounting and auditing professions. Women make up over two-thirds of accountants in the United States (61.7%), and 50% of full-time personnel at CPA firms are women. Female accountants increased from 39% to 60% between 1983 and 2012.

The registration for CPA is quite complicated

This used to be a fact, but now with Zell Education, it has turned into a myth. To simplify your journey towards becoming a CPA, all you need to do is reach out to us at Zell and we’ll take care of your professional coaching as well as all the backend processes.

It is unwise to make broad generalizations about any professional discipline. To paint all accountants with the same brush is to do a disservice to the many accountants who are performing interesting, multi-faceted work and the innovation that is taking place in the industry. Thus, do not get misled by various myths about CPAs. Also, do not let them stop you from pursuing a career in financial accounting that you are truly passionate about.

The US CPA qualification is recognised worldwide and can open doors to opportunities in Europe, Asia and North America. If you are an accounting professional looking to boost your career or just curious to learn about the course, we suggest you check out our Certified Public Accountant (CPA) course to learn more. To advance your portfolio and build professional skills, try Zell Education’s interactive courses that offer flexible training timings. Get in touch at +91 7208885600 or email us at reachus@zelleducation.com.

How is a CPA different from a CFA?

A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) course prepares applicants for careers in accounting, auditing, and taxes. In contrast, a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) course prepares people for Investment Portfolio Management and Corporate Finance positions. A CFA studies financial reports, particularly financial statements, whereas a CPA usually prepares or audits those reports.

Is it difficult to clear the CPA examination?

Clearing the CPA exam is no rocket science. In fact, the average passing rate of CPA is somewhere between 50-60%. However, the actual challenge is passing all four exam portions in 18 months to become a CPA. You can clear it if you are attentive, motivated, and passionate about doing so. You must work hard consistently while adhering to a well-thought-out strategy and its execution.

How should I prepare for the CPA exam?

The sooner you get started, the better! Start by looking for free materials on the internet. Once you've mastered the fundamentals, enroll in an online course that will systematically teach you the complete curriculum. Make a smart study schedule, stick to a plan, and most importantly, believe in yourself. You will achieve your goals with strong dedication and regular efforts.

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