Career Path in Accounting
Before my career choice in Accounting, I was a Social Work major. When majoring in Social Work, there were some required math classes; and with math being my favorite subject, I was excited to take them. I noticed that after I had completed all the math courses, I was no longer interesting in studying Social Work, or even being a Social Worker. At that time, I was also working a full-time job. Whenever I would get paid from work, I would check my account balance and see if the balance matched the amount I would come up with. Also, when I made transactions I would keep the receipts and write the amounts in a notebook. Whenever my account balance and the amount in my notebook matched up, I felt some sort of accomplishment. While I was continuously keeping up with my account and balances, I realized that I was doing accounting. After a year and a semester of studying Social Work, I decided that I wanted to become an accountant.
Five years from now, I want to have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Degree in Accounting from East Carolina University (ECU). I may also want to start on my Masters in Accounting Degree (MAcc). My goal now from now until five years into the future is to understand the concept of accounting as well as other courses that goes with the career. Not only is being an accountant a career that I’m excited about, I also want to be a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To be a CPA, I have to take the CPA exam, which is called the Uniform CPA Examination. In the exam, there are four sections in which the sections are four hours long. The four sections consist of Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR), and Regulation (REG). I will have to pass all four exams within 18 months. The score to pass the exam is a 75. Once I pass the CPA exam, I will become a CPA with my license.
How it works
Having the CPA license would be a dream come true, but it all starts now with the education. When applying for the license, I would need to have 150 hours of education completed as well as some experience in accounting. The education and experience include 30 semester hours in accounting and 24 semester hours in the subjects of business administration, an upper division or graduate level of a minimum of 15 semester hours of accounting, one year of experience with an approximately 2,000 hours minimum that has to be verified by a licensed CPA, and experience in accounting, attest auditing, or tax should be included. Therefore, in order for me to successfully receive my CPA license I have to determine my eligibility, submit my application, prepare, schedule, and take my exam, and lastly apply for my license. Although the process seems overwhelming, faith, hard work, and determination are the three things that will help me reach my goal.
During the research, I interviewed two people that are in the accounting profession; Everett Jackson and John Daugherty. I met them both last semester when I took Individual Income Tax (ACC 129); one was a classmate and the other was a teacher. Not only was Mr. Jackson just a classmate, but he also shared his experiences with the class. I had the opportunity to collaborate with him on a project as well. He is a CPA himself from Maryland. Mr. Daugherty was a great teacher for our income tax class. He is an accountant as well, but did not take the CPA exam. I have chosen to interview these two people because they both gave me the motivation to move forward with Accounting. I look at both of them as my mentors because they have given advice and knowledge from their experiences about accounting and the tax field.
Mr. Everett Jackson received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) Degree at East Carolina University in 1975. In his senior year in college, he also had a job at H&R Block. After he graduated, he worked at First Citizens Bank for one year. In 1977, Mr. Jackson and his girlfriend moved to Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the University of Baltimore and received his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Degree. He also got a Master’s in Taxation Degree. Once he got his two MBA, he became interested in accounting. In 1986, Mr. Jackson took the CPA exam and received his license. He stated that the exam took two and a half days, 19 and a half hours and no calculators were allowed. After receiving his CPA license, he worked for an accounting firm called Ellin & Tucker for the next 14 years. After Ellin & Tucker, he was hired to work at the Social Security Administration. His job there was to process disability claims. Later on, his job transferred him to North Carolina and worked for five years in a field office between New Bern and Wilson. Eventually, his job promoted him to a Budget Analyst which meant that he had to move back to Baltimore. One problem that Mr. Jackson faced in his line of work was angry customers; whether it was at H&R Block or at the Social Security Administration. Clients were angry when they did not get the refund they were expecting or when they were denied for disability. The advice that Mr. Jackson gave me was without a doubt, get a four-year degree, stay focus, and there is no such thing as too late.
Mr. John Daugherty became interested in accounting when he was a freshman at the University of Cincinnati. He took bookkeeping classes when he was a junior in high school. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with his Bachelors of Science (BS) Degree in Accounting. He later received his Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Mr. Daugherty worked in South Carolina for 2 years as an Accountant. While he was there, he also set up factories as well as setting up records for companies. In 2001, he started working at H&R Block as a tax preparer. He stayed with H&R Block for 11 years. He always wanted to teach, so at the age of 60 he started teaching at Pitt Community College. He has been teaching at Pitt for 19 years. One of many problems that he has had to face in his career is clients trying to cheat on their taxes which is known as tax fraud. The advice that Mr. Daugherty gave me is to make sure that I follow the law and work for a trustworthy firm. He explained that following the law is very crucial because even if I did not do anything wrong, I will be facing the consequences for whatever the employer is doing illegally.
In conclusion, I want to either establish my own CPA firm or be the CPA that I always wanted to be in 10 years. Based on the research and the interviews, I feel that I can definitely achieve my goal. I am quite overwhelmed with the hard work that has to be put into this profession, but I know that it will be worth it in the end. The interviews that I had with Mr. Jackson and Mr. Daugherty definitely meet my career expectations. They told me that I do not have to be a CPA to be an accountant. That statement is quite a fact, but I just want to be more than just an accountant. I want to be a successful Certified Public Accountant.