CPA/Post Degree Classes

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nids333
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CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby nids333 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:34 pm

I recently graduated from undergrad and am working full-time in accounting position. I'm considering getting my CPA but need to obtain an extra 16 hours to meet the 150 hour requirement. Therefore, I intend on enrolling in community college courses online. Do I have to send in these transcripts, after completing the courses in December?

Also, is this extra credential necessary? I just don't want to appear inadequate with an accounting degree, accounting work experience, and no CPA. I'm working for a year, and this is basically the only time I have to relax before law school.

pft
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby pft » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:59 pm

Why waste time and money taking community college courses when you'll get a lot more than 16 credits going to law school?

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robotclubmember
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:04 pm

CPA is a weak factor that adcomms will not care about. Your lack of one will make no substantial difference and I doubt they'd look into it all. If they thought far enough to assume you should have a CPA, they'd prob know you lacked the number of credit hours required and therefore wouldn't question it. It's not necessary. Besides, while you could take online courses, you could wait, and let your law school credits cover the 16 you need as well.

If you take community college courses, you can take them all pass fail. If they are taken after graduation, they do not factor into your LSDAS GPA and therefore, when you report them, they will neither count for or against you. You should take them pass/fail anyways. I can't say if schools will want to see the transcript or not. But we should assume they do (err on side of disclosure), but that it won't be counted in you GPA in any way.

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robotclubmember
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:08 pm

oh and with a 170 and 4.1, no one is going to think you're inadequate (at least not because of the lack of CPA). keep in mind, that license is a pain in the ass to maintain. 40 hours of CPE each year. that's like a full work week, every year. think about if it's worth that, to either got the license and immediately let it deactivate, or to keep an active license but with that hassle every year, considering you won't use the license.

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nids333
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby nids333 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:15 pm

Thanks everyone for your input! I guess my inadequacy notion stems from employers asking me this question during OCI. I'm not certain about the professional maintenance requirements. Do you mean 40 hours within the accounting field?

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robotclubmember
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:37 pm

nids333 wrote:Thanks everyone for your input! I guess my inadequacy notion stems from employers asking me this question during OCI. I'm not certain about the professional maintenance requirements. Do you mean 40 hours within the accounting field?


yes you have to take 40 hours of continuing professional education each year that could be accounting tax ethics finance business or some IT-related areas. check with your state board.

i had lunch with a cpa/cfa/jd last week who worked in a big firm for 8 years who flat-out said to me "i know it's not what you want to hear, but the firms really don't give a shit if you have a cpa." he said to just worry about getting into the top 25th of my class. prove yourself to employers with your grades, not a certification in an unrelated field.

pft
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby pft » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:56 am

If you're interested in tax practice, you should pick up the CPA sooner or later. Don't worry about the CPE requirements. Yes, you have to sit in front of a computer and watch webcasts for 40 hours a year, but that doesn't mean you have to pay attention.

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robotclubmember
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby robotclubmember » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:20 pm

just to add, the cpa-cfa-jd i mentioned was in tax, and said it didn't matter. conventional wisdom from posters who are tax attorneys (like nealric for example) is that it doesn't matter. cpas audit and prepare tax filings and financial statements. will you be doing either of those things as a tax attorney? no, but no one argues that tho knowledge helps marginally. that said, cpa =/= knowledge. having worked in accounting is where you get your knowledge and employers at OCI know that. those with the cpa often say that it was the work experience and not the cpa that helped them out, but because you can't unlink the two it's tough to tell.

i'm just offering a competing opinion, but to be fair, another associate at a firm said that it really varies by firm, which is why you hear different opinions. he has an mba and says he feel it really helped and that this firm really valued the extra credentials. but this was a smaller firm as well (still big but about 30% under market pay for big law in the area). if i would guess i'd say bigger firms don't care, but smaller firms do a little. if you are in a practice area dealing with individual clients (like trust and estate law), your individual client may be more impressed by the credentials which is good for relations, but they'd be impressed because they don't really understand it isn't all that necessary.] to have a cpa. i'd stay away from trust and estates if you want to make partner though, there just isn't room for it in that practice area. there are only so many clients in the country rich enough to pay partner rates and they're spoken for.

ultimately it can be helpful. one of the 8th circuit COA judges is a cpa and a poster here said he got an internship, he feel, because of the cpa. i don't know if i buy it but you never know when it can be heplful, i guess. but the cpa will in no way make you a better lawyer and those at the very big firms "don't give a shit," to quote the cpa-cfa-jd who was in tax. that said, if you're set on it, just use the law school credits to meet the 150.

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nids333
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Re: CPA/Post Degree Classes

Postby nids333 » Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:15 pm

Thanks to the both of you for your input! You both bring up good points that I need to consider before ultimately making this decision.




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