CPA Without Accounting Degree? Now That’s Something Near Impossible
Who wouldn’t want to strive for that one glorified award in their field? In the case of accountants, it’s the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) award that’s the apple of everyone’s eye. Heck, even people from fields other than accounting, such as something as dissimilar as healthcare, want to test the waters and get this prestigious qualification.
You can’t blame them either. Payscale.com estimates a salary range of $49,755 – $72,374 for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). About 190,700 jobs are expected to be added for accountants and auditors between 2010 and 2020.
What is the CPA?
The CPA is a title awarded by the state to individuals who have passed the Certified Public Accountant Examination, as well as met other education and work experience requirements for certification. In most states, any out-of-state license and certification may not work and one will have to obtain the license specifically from the state where they plan to work in.
What CPAs basically do is that they work with documents which are required by law to be disclosed. For instance, tax forms and financial statements, such as profit and loss statements.
Can I go for a CPA without an Accounting Degree?
Now the big question: Is it even possible to become a CPA without an accounting degree Well, we hate to break it you, but NO. Let’s explain our reasons behind this claim.
Educational Requirements for taking the CPA
There are four key educational requirements for taking the CPA:
- You must have a bachelor’s degree
- You must have completed 150 credit hours of studies from an accredited university
- You must have completed a specified number of accounting courses (usually 24)
- You must have completed a specified number of business courses (usually 24)
Now while you may meet requirements a. and b. with any field or degree, meeting the last two requirements will necessitate going to college to get the requisite accounting and business education. Thankfully, many colleges and schools now offer Online Accounting Degrees which cover both courses in business and accounting, making it much easier for you to meet these educational requirements without even giving up your jobs.
Work Experience Requirements
You also ought to have some relevant work experience – which, in many states, has to be verified by a licensed CPA – in order to get your CPA license. Without an accounting degree, landing that specific work experience can be quite a challenge, which bring us to the third and most important part of our argument: employer impression.
Employer and Clients Impression
“Even if you manage to get a CPA without an accounting degree, you are not going to be my CPA,” a manager once commented. So when you go for an interview with an irrelevant degree in hand and a glorious CPA license, you will have to struggle your way through convincing the hiring manger of your skills. Similarly, clients would tend to trust their financial details more with some who has an accounting qualification than someone who doesn’t.
What does all this boil down to? That you will need some accounting degree in order to pursue your CPA dreams. So get your act together and check out some accredited universities and online colleges to get that needed accounting degree.