Does a CPA license help with admission?

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taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:08 pm

nealric wrote:
Who knows? Maybe they are all lying and giving me standard lines.


I wouldn't say they are lying. I'm sure they really do value people with CPA's. But that's a different question altogether from whether they actually go out of there way to admit CPA's over otherwise slightly more qualified applicants.



Response: the key is, "who is more qualified?" Does LSAT determine it? Does having a CPA and strong work experience determine it? Does admitting someone to increase diversity determine it? Do awards such a Pulitzer Prize or published author determine it? Frankly, most admission officers feel that there is a lot more to this determination than the LSAT score and even the GPA.

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bmwhype2
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby bmwhype2 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 6:47 pm

taxguy wrote:I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

lol, i would NOT say that the CPA is hard by any measure.

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:31 am

bmwhype2 wrote:
taxguy wrote:I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

lol, i would NOT say that the CPA is hard by any measure.



haha, I am both an attorney and a CPA. Thus, I have the ability to compare both licensing exams. I can say with no hesitation that the CPA exam was MUCH, MUCH harder than the Bar exam. No question about it. It is probably the second hardest licensing exam after that of a full blown actuary,which has seven parts I believe.

sissyclark
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby sissyclark » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:37 pm

taxguy wrote:
bmwhype2 wrote:
taxguy wrote:I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

lol, i would NOT say that the CPA is hard by any measure.



haha, I am both an attorney and a CPA. Thus, I have the ability to compare both licensing exams. I can say with no hesitation that the CPA exam was MUCH, MUCH harder than the Bar exam. No question about it. It is probably the second hardest licensing exam after that of a full blown actuary,which has seven parts I believe.


I have my doubts as to whether you are an attorney. A CPA maybe. Between your previous posts about "your son" playing RPGs and your visits to schools with "your son", and "your friend" who just took the LSAT and scored a 144 and asking all of us "for your friend" how to check their LSAT score, I am a bit skeptical. That's the beauty of the internet I guess.

theantiscalia
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby theantiscalia » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:53 pm

Let's not kid ourselves: the CPA has about a 15% first time pass rate. The bar, by comparison, is generally 75% or above, depending on the state.

If it isn't harder, the curve at least is a hell of a lot worse.

dccoope
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby dccoope » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:39 pm

theantiscalia wrote:Let's not kid ourselves: the CPA has about a 15% first time pass rate. The bar, by comparison, is generally 75% or above, depending on the state.

If it isn't harder, the curve at least is a hell of a lot worse.



There isn't the same incentive to pass the CPA exam the first time around; even in the Big 4 you can get by for 5 years without it (its required before promoting to manager).

The CPA exam doesn't have a curve; each question has a different difficulty level leading to different point values, but its not a curve. The test modules are even fluid as they change from one module to the next dependent on the testers performance on the previous module.

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Jack Smirks
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Jack Smirks » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:42 pm

General Tso wrote:you will get in everywhere you apply!

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MTal
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby MTal » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:59 pm

bmwhype2 wrote:
taxguy wrote:I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

lol, i would NOT say that the CPA is hard by any measure.


Would you say the CFA is harder? I'm a L1 candidate testing in June.

mhernton
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby mhernton » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:28 pm

First things first, call the admissions offices of the school or schools you are interested in, they'll have a better answer. Most of the people on this site regurgitate what they have heard. Most of what they have heard apply to traditional students. You are a non-traditional student: a little older, significant work experience, graduate degree, possibly married with kids, etc. The rules for you go out of the window. Most schools have some slots set aside for Non-Traditional candidates and you will be competing for those slots, not the slots that the traditional brilliant kids get. How do you compare a guy with a background in forensic accounting that has worked for a big 4 accountant firm, or someone that got their credentials and worked as a solo guy for small business to a kid in college who's biggest soft is that he was the president of the pre-law society.
You bring some seasoning to an otherwise bland class of person that comes into tier 1 law schools. I had a 2.2UGPA/155LSAT and got in a top 30 law school. There are a lot of other factors involved in my case as well (URM,MBA,military experience, others). I wasn't the typical applicant, and didn't get typical results for my numbers, but for Non-Traditional Candidates numbers truly do not tell the whole story. Make your application pristine, professional quality grade deliverable and get it in early(meaning last week). Most people look at the URM think and assume that is the reason I got in. I will just say that it isn't the only reason. Regardless of who you are, you can't be an empty suit and expect to get into Law School. There were URMs that applied to the school I got into with better numbers, that were rejected.

You graduate degree, and CPA will help its just isn't factored into the index score. The index score is used as a filter for who gets rejected and who gets a second look. Most people with advanced degrees, URMs, and other specialty cases pass through that filter regardless of the index score. If your application is good, you will get consideration.

Good Luckl

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:45 pm

Mtal, I don't know anything about the CFA. Sorry, Thus, I can't make a comparison.

As for the CPA, it consists of four parts that must be independently passed. Whereas the bar exam is two exams: multistate and the individual state portion. At the time I took the bar many years ago, I think you could pass each one independently,but I don't know what the rules are now.

If you do a search for passing rates on CPA exams, you will find that there is about a 50% passing rate for each part. Thus, the chances of passing all four parts are about one out of 16=1/2x1/2x1/2x1/2. No bar exam in the country to my knowledge as less than a 20% passing rate or even less than a 50% passing rate,which each part of the CPA has.

For the person that doesn't think that the CPA is much harder to pass than the bar, I would encourage you to ask any attorney-cpa. Ask them which exam was harder to pass. Feel free to inquire.

However, all of this is moot because folks can still practice accounting without the CPA. They just can't do audits and sign audited financial statements. No one can practice law until they pass the bar...period!

theantiscalia
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby theantiscalia » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:35 am

dccoope wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:Let's not kid ourselves: the CPA has about a 15% first time pass rate. The bar, by comparison, is generally 75% or above, depending on the state.

If it isn't harder, the curve at least is a hell of a lot worse.



There isn't the same incentive to pass the CPA exam the first time around; even in the Big 4 you can get by for 5 years without it (its required before promoting to manager).

The CPA exam doesn't have a curve; each question has a different difficulty level leading to different point values, but its not a curve. The test modules are even fluid as they change from one module to the next dependent on the testers performance on the previous module.


It may not be curved in that X percent of students don't pass, but they do look at experimental question results, and based on how many people got it correct or incorrect, they'll assign it a difficulty level. So they design the test so a percentage of people can't pass... sounds a lot like a curve to me.

And trust me, there is a big incentive to pass the CPA. You need it for SENIOR (not manager) at most of the firms, and if you pass the first time, you get a big bonus ($5,000 for me). Plus, there's always the fact that you don't want to take the test again, for both financial and time reasons.

I've asked a dozen CPA-JDs, and every one of them said the CPA was harder. As the previous poster pointed out, even if you consider ONE SECTION of the CPA exam, there isn't a bar exam in the country with such a low pass rate, let alone all four sections.

dccoope
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby dccoope » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:55 am

theantiscalia wrote:
dccoope wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:Let's not kid ourselves: the CPA has about a 15% first time pass rate. The bar, by comparison, is generally 75% or above, depending on the state.

If it isn't harder, the curve at least is a hell of a lot worse.



There isn't the same incentive to pass the CPA exam the first time around; even in the Big 4 you can get by for 5 years without it (its required before promoting to manager).

The CPA exam doesn't have a curve; each question has a different difficulty level leading to different point values, but its not a curve. The test modules are even fluid as they change from one module to the next dependent on the testers performance on the previous module.


It may not be curved in that X percent of students don't pass, but they do look at experimental question results, and based on how many people got it correct or incorrect, they'll assign it a difficulty level. So they design the test so a percentage of people can't pass... sounds a lot like a curve to me.

And trust me, there is a big incentive to pass the CPA. You need it for SENIOR (not manager) at most of the firms, and if you pass the first time, you get a big bonus ($5,000 for me). Plus, there's always the fact that you don't want to take the test again, for both financial and time reasons.

I've asked a dozen CPA-JDs, and every one of them said the CPA was harder. As the previous poster pointed out, even if you consider ONE SECTION of the CPA exam, there isn't a bar exam in the country with such a low pass rate, let alone all four sections.


The weighting system of the questions is not designed to establish a failure rate; its quite the opposite. Every tester starts with a moderately difficult module and depending on their performance the next module is either harder (if they performed well) or easier (if they performed poorly); and it adjusts prior to each scored module. It is possible to pass with a moderate, easy, easy module set.

At my firm, EY, and a couple others where my friends are (also Big 4), you are required to pass prior to promotion to Manager, I cant imagine there being differences by region but I guess its a possibility. Money is a strong motivation, but as has been noted, you can work in tax or audit w/out the CPA designation for a number of years with few, if any, limitations.

I did not think the CPA exam was difficult and I didn't study nearly as much as I would expect will be necessary for the bar, but I haven't taken the bar. I know a number of people who blew off sections of the CPA exam for a variety of reasons.

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MTal
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby MTal » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:57 am

taxguy wrote:Mtal, I don't know anything about the CFA. Sorry, Thus, I can't make a comparison.

As for the CPA, it consists of four parts that must be independently passed. Whereas the bar exam is two exams: multistate and the individual state portion. At the time I took the bar many years ago, I think you could pass each one independently,but I don't know what the rules are now.

If you do a search for passing rates on CPA exams, you will find that there is about a 50% passing rate for each part. Thus, the chances of passing all four parts are about one out of 16=1/2x1/2x1/2x1/2. No bar exam in the country to my knowledge as less than a 20% passing rate or even less than a 50% passing rate,which each part of the CPA has.

For the person that doesn't think that the CPA is much harder to pass than the bar, I would encourage you to ask any attorney-cpa. Ask them which exam was harder to pass. Feel free to inquire.

However, all of this is moot because folks can still practice accounting without the CPA. They just can't do audits and sign audited financial statements. No one can practice law until they pass the bar...period!


Taxguy, I concur. There are many lawyers who complain that the barrier to entry in law is set too low, since bar exam pass rates are so high. As for the CFA, it sounds similar in difficulty to the CPA...there are 3 exams that can be taken once a year...pass rates for each are in the 40's...about 20 % pass all 3 on the first try.

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bmwhype2
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby bmwhype2 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:53 am

MTal wrote:
bmwhype2 wrote:
taxguy wrote:I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

lol, i would NOT say that the CPA is hard by any measure.


Would you say the CFA is harder? I'm a L1 candidate testing in June.

it's a very subjective question. it depends on a variety of factors such as your educational background, your interest, your time frame to learn, and which test you take first (because if you take the CFA before the CPA, you'd be exposed to many of the same topics). CFA L1 is a rehash of undergraduate finance and business. CFA L2 is harder because it involves advanced accounting, which typically is not covered in undergraduate curriculum unless you took the graduate level advanced accounting course. Also, there is no requirement to take classes for CFA as there is for CPA exam. Thus, many of the topics tested are not fully learned by the candidates.

also, CPA is divided into 4 parts. You can concentrate on each individually. CFA is hit or miss once a year. The sheer amount of knowledge to retain is what makes CFA harder than CPA.

Also, I find portfolio management (L3) EXTREMELY boring. Anything that is boring for me would make it harder to retain.

I've been told by the majority of CFA charterholders who also have the CPA that the CFA L1 is harder than the entire CPA curriculum. I've also been told CPA is harder than CFA (by one person who took the CPA first).

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MTal
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby MTal » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:45 am

bmwhype2 wrote:
MTal wrote:
bmwhype2 wrote:
taxguy wrote:I just came back from a law school career fair, given at Penn State, and met a number of law school admission officers. Here is what I was told about the CPA.

Law schools get a plethora of kids with good GPAs, and LSAT right out of their senior year of colleges. However, almost every admission's officer noted that they want other kids to especially those with strong work and life experiences. A CPA shows two very important things: First , that they have done well on a very hard standardized test,which is indicative on being able to pass a bar exam and secondly, they they have work experience. CPAs are very highly regarded by law schools.

lol, i would NOT say that the CPA is hard by any measure.


Would you say the CFA is harder? I'm a L1 candidate testing in June.

it's a very subjective question. it depends on a variety of factors such as your educational background, your interest, your time frame to learn, and which test you take first (because if you take the CFA before the CPA, you'd be exposed to many of the same topics). CFA L1 is a rehash of undergraduate finance and business. CFA L2 is harder because it involves advanced accounting, which typically is not covered in undergraduate curriculum unless you took the graduate level advanced accounting course. Also, there is no requirement to take classes for CFA as there is for CPA exam. Thus, many of the topics tested are not fully learned by the candidates.

also, CPA is divided into 4 parts. You can concentrate on each individually. CFA is hit or miss once a year. The sheer amount of knowledge to retain is what makes CFA harder than CPA.

Also, I find portfolio management (L3) EXTREMELY boring. Anything that is boring for me would make it harder to retain.

I've been told by the majority of CFA charterholders who also have the CPA that the CFA L1 is harder than the entire CPA curriculum. I've also been told CPA is harder than CFA (by one person who took the CPA first).


Would you say earning the charter was worth it, careerwise?

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chadwick218
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:06 am

CPA here w/ 5 years of WE.

I don't believe that the WE or being a CPA really helped all that much for admissions purposes.

I do believe that it was significant in terms of getting a job. I was able to interivew a little above my GPA and wound up with 20+ CBs and 15+ offers (mostly NYC).

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:54 pm

MTal wrote:Would you say earning the charter was worth it, careerwise?


Depends on what you wanna do and what your WE is. With 3-4 years of IB experience, CFA will open many of the doors that an MBA would (in finance and PE).

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chadwick218
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:02 pm

I mentioned that I was a CPA above. I am also a CFA. Interestingly enough, very few people ever commented on the CFA (in fact most attorneys really didn't seem to have any idea what is was in the first place).

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:16 pm

I forgot to mention something. One adcom noted that they like the LSAT because a good showing usually means that they can pass the bar, among other reasons for "liking" the LSAT. She did admit that if someone passes the CPA , they probably wouldn't have a problem with the Bar after law school, which negates in part one of the reasons for the emphasis on the LSAT.

taxguy
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby taxguy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:18 pm

chadwick218 wrote:I mentioned that I was a CPA above. I am also a CFA. Interestingly enough, very few people ever commented on the CFA (in fact most attorneys really didn't seem to have any idea what is was in the first place).



Yes,. I met a lot more attorney-CPAs than I have met CPA-CFA- Attorneys. In fact, I can't think of anyone that I know who is both an attorney and CFA.

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MTal
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby MTal » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:33 pm

Hattori Hanzo wrote:
MTal wrote:Would you say earning the charter was worth it, careerwise?


Depends on what you wanna do and what your WE is. With 3-4 years of IB experience, CFA will open many of the doors that an MBA would (in finance and PE).


I work at a discount broker. The pay is good and they sponsored us for the 7, but really the only way to move up is either through sales (which I am good at but can't foresee doing the rest of my career) or through back office positions doing bitchwork. I figure the CFA can only help at this point.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:38 pm

MTal wrote:
Hattori Hanzo wrote:
MTal wrote:Would you say earning the charter was worth it, careerwise?


Depends on what you wanna do and what your WE is. With 3-4 years of IB experience, CFA will open many of the doors that an MBA would (in finance and PE).


I work at a discount broker. The pay is good and they sponsored us for the 7, but really the only way to move up is either through sales (which I am good at but can't foresee doing the rest of my career) or through back office positions doing bitchwork. I figure the CFA can only help at this point.


What do you want to do though?

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MTal
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby MTal » Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:40 pm

Hattori Hanzo wrote:
MTal wrote:
Hattori Hanzo wrote:
MTal wrote:Would you say earning the charter was worth it, careerwise?


Depends on what you wanna do and what your WE is. With 3-4 years of IB experience, CFA will open many of the doors that an MBA would (in finance and PE).


I work at a discount broker. The pay is good and they sponsored us for the 7, but really the only way to move up is either through sales (which I am good at but can't foresee doing the rest of my career) or through back office positions doing bitchwork. I figure the CFA can only help at this point.


What do you want to do though?


Get paid more for doing more interesting work, plus work/travel abroad, haha.

Edit: Also add to my knowledge base and become an even bigger expert in my field.

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bmwhype2
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby bmwhype2 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:32 pm

chadwick218 wrote:I mentioned that I was a CPA above. I am also a CFA. Interestingly enough, very few people ever commented on the CFA (in fact most attorneys really didn't seem to have any idea what is was in the first place).

is this bchadwick from analystforum?

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chadwick218
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Re: Does a CPA license help with admission?

Postby chadwick218 » Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:34 pm

bmwhype2 wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:I mentioned that I was a CPA above. I am also a CFA. Interestingly enough, very few people ever commented on the CFA (in fact most attorneys really didn't seem to have any idea what is was in the first place).

is this bchadwick from analystforum?


lol, no ... just chadwick




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