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What Happens If CPA Candidates Can’t Meet the Work Experience Requirement?

What happens when you have too few jobs for too many would-be CPAs who have the exam passed but no job prospects to meet the work experience requirement?

The CPAnet forums hit just that, asking if CPA exam scores ever expire:

I have passed all four sections of the CPA exam but currently I am not working under the supervision of a CPA. Is there a time limit on when to get the cpa license after passing the exams? Any consequence of not obtaining the license within the timeframe?

In fairness, one of the posters only passed completely in January, so it isn’t like they’ve been sitting on passing CPA exam scores for three years with no luck. Where are those people?

Anyway, in a world where there are too many warm bodies and not enough chairs, it’s useful to know whether you’ll have to sit for the CPA exam all over again in 5 years when you finally get a job or not.

The general rule, as with most aspects of the CPA exam, is that it varies by state. In California, you will have to take additional CPE after 5 years if you don’t meet your licensure experience requirement by then.

Or, it could be that there are plenty of jobs but not for people who aren’t capable of doing them.

The problem could be picky HR professionals on the other end, and I wouldn’t blame them at all. If I were in HR, I’d be wary of folks like this who spell their former employer’s name wrong. Maybe that’s not important to hiring managers and recruiters or I’m giving them too much credit for being that perceptive but there is a minimum here; it isn’t hard to meet it.

Former Big 4 Auditor Who Took a Break Needs To Get Back In the Game

Sometimes, life is more important than work. For this former Big 4 auditor, a little life situation forced him out of the game before he got his 2 years and now he’s trying to elbow his way back in.

Hi Adrienne,

I worked in big4 audit for just over a year, but I had to leave the firm soon after that for family reasons (to care for a loved one). It’s been 2 years since then, and I haven’t worked at all (my choice). The good news is that I just passed 3 of 4 sections of the CPA, and I expect to finish it up this month.

The thing is – I need help getting back into the work world now. Do you have any tips for getting back “in the game,” so to speak?

If it helps, I’m really looking for a huge change of pace from big4 auditing – something where there’s little travel, and that’s not nearly as stressful as Big4. I think I would like something where there’s only a one or a few persons I’m reporting to, and where the nature of my work is much more technical/specialized. Something that involves technology would be a big plus (I love Info Tech, and I’m good with it). I’ve looked at private accounting/finance-type positions, but it seems many of them want a minimum of 2 years of working experience. Having Big 4 is great experience, of course, but is 1 year worth much? I also worry about what they will think of a 2 year gap on my resume.

I know a few small mom&pop-type tax CPA firms I could work for, but I worry the work-life balance in these jobs isn’t going to be too much different than Big4. I am also considering government positions.

Do you have any tips for someone like me?

Thanks very much.

~ newbie/CPA2be w/ ONLY 1 year of entry-level big4 audit experience

First off, it depends on where you are. If you’re in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, your options are limited (as I’m sure you’re aware) but if you’re in a major market, you’ve got the option to start networking. Like we’ve advised other folks, you can do this by hitting events held by your state society of CPAs, the AICPA, or other professional organizations.

Second, you’ve got a great excuse if anyone actually asks what you’ve been up to lately. Be honest but not too upfront about this; meaning you don’t have to badger HR about it but have a good explanation ready if you are asked.

You are correct that smaller firms aren’t much different than Big 4 in terms of the amount of work you’re going to be doing, the only difference might be travel. It sounds to me like you have some options, so I’d start by exercising those. Depending on how long you took off to care for your sick family member, you may not have to put in a full two years to get your license.

Based on what you’re looking for, I would suggest seeking out a small (not mid-tier) firm with a couple partners, not some multi-national with tons of clients. If you love IT, try to find someone already in this area willing to take you under their wing, or at least give you some good guidance from their perspective.

I’m not too worried about you, sounds like you have it figured it out and just wanted us to confirm that you aren’t completely fucked. You aren’t.

Do You Enjoy Excitement? Following Money? Arresting Tax Scofflaws? The IRS Needs You!

You may think that working for the IRS would involve nothing more than a plethora of bomb and/or white powder scares as well as hassling famous doucebags for their back taxes you’d only be partly correct.

So if you’re looking for job security, the chance to slap some bracelets on those illegally avoiding their patriotic duty and a whole other level of bureaucracy that the Big 4 only wishes it could create, the IRS may be for you!

Of course if danger isn’t your middle name (some are gathering armies after all), there are plenty of other opportunities out there on the new IRS careers website. The only drawback of course is that you probably won’t get to carry any of those shotguns.

Job of the Day: Jefferies & Company Needs a Senior Accountant

Jefferies & Company is looking for an experienced accountant to join its Corporate Financial Accounting Department in Los Angeles.

Candidates need three to six years of experience and a CPA is desired. Experience with investment banking or related financial services businesses is preferred.

Company: Jefferies & Company, Inc.

Title: Senior Accountant, Corporate Financial Accounting

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Description: This role will support the corporate controllers team in the financial accounting and reporting for compensation and benefits expense.

Responsibilities: Prepare journal entries related to the commission based sales force and performance based teams; Develop compensation models to compute applicable drivers and rules dictated by complex employment agreements and compensation plans; Prepare actual and forecasted financial reporting packages highlighting revenue and related compensation; Interact and collaborate with multi-functional groups throughout the company, including operating business units, corporate finance, legal, compliance, etc., to accomplish tasks and objectives.

Qualifications/Skills: 3 to 6 years in financial accounting and reporting, CPA designation desired; Investment bank and institutional sales and trading or related financial services industry experience desired; Expertise in gathering, manipulating, analyzing financial and accounting data; Advanced user of Microsoft Excel, Access, and PeopleSoft General Ledger.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Arizona American Water Needs a Financial Analyst

Arizona American Water is looking for an experienced professional with an accounting or finance background to fill a Intermediate Financial Analyst position in Phoenix, Arizona.

The position requires 5 – 7 years experience including SOx and U.S. GAAP knowledge with a CPA or CMA credential desirable.

Company: Arizona American Water Company

Title: Financial Analyst II (Intermediate)

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Description: Intermediate Financial Analyst responsible for developing revenue and expense analyses, projections, reports and presentations.

Responsibilities: Compile and analyze financial information for developing revenue/expense analyses, projections, reports and presentations. Ensure accuracy of financial information; identify trends and present findings to senior management. Analyze and assess business performance against goals. Support management in shaping, driving and influencing business performance and continuous improvement.

Qualifications/Skills: Requires BA/BS in accounting/finance related field and 5-7 years related experience including, knowledge of US GAAP, SOX, regulatory accounting and practices and computer expertise. CPA/CMA is desirable. Experience in water/wastewater utility industry is highly desirable.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Morgan Stanley Needs a Real Estate Accounting Associate

Morgan Stanley is looking for an experienced accountant to join their Real Estate Funds group in Atlanta, Georgia.

The position require 2 – 4 years of experience with a CPA preferred.

Company: Morgan Stanley

Title: Real Estate Funds Associate – MSREF

Location: Atlanta, GA

Description: Reporting to a Manager, position is responsible for the overall accounting, reporting and operations for global private equity real estate funds and affiliated funds. Responsibilities include assisting on special projects including reengineering processes and system implementations.

Responsibilities: Prepare quarterly and annual financial statements and footnote disclosures; Prepare various work paper and financial data analyses based on requests from the business unit, investors and auditors; Prepare fee calculations (i.e. management fees, acquisition fees, etc.) verifying that calculations are in accordance with applicable agreements; Prepare investor capital call and distribution notices; Address and resolve audit inquiries from external auditors during year end audit; Assist on IT initiatives to automate process, program calculations and streamline reporting; Participate on special projects related to the fund.

Qualifications/Skills: Bachelors degree in Accounting or Finance; Well organized, detailed, analytical individual with two to four years of relevant work experience; CPA preferred; Real estate partnership accounting and reporting experience a plus.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: PwC Needs a Tax Manager

PricewaterhouseCoopers is looking for an experienced tax professional to join its Private Company Services (“PCS”) team. PCS helps private companies and their owners with tax planning an compliance decisions at all stages of the business.

The position requires five to seven years experience and is located in Chicago.

Company: PricewaterhouseCoopers

Title: Tax Manager

Location: Chicago, IL

Description: The Private Company Services (PCS) team is a dedicated group of professionals who focus on the audit, tax compliance and planning, and business advisory needs of public interest entities, and private companies and their owners. By helping private companies make strategic decisions throughout the business lifecycle, our PCS practice is designed to help clients improve cash flow and increase owners’ wealth accumulation. This includes access to capital markets, initial public offerings and assistance with growth into international markets. The team’s clients primarily reside in private equity portfolio companies and the manufacturing, retail, wholesale and distribution, professional services and construction industries.

Qualifications/Skills: 5 – 7 years of tax consulting or compliance experience is required.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Harvard Management Company Needs a Senior Accountant

Harvard Management Company is looking for an experienced accountant to join their accounting and finance department.

The position is focused on the Marketable Securities Funds portfolio which is comprised of hedge fund investments. This person will be responsible for all the accounting and analysis for the portfolio.

Candidates should have a minimum of three years experience, hedge fund experience being a plus, and a CPA is preferred.

Company: Harvard Management Company, Inc.

Title: Senior Accountant – Marketable Securities Funds

Location: Boston, MA

Description: The Senior Associate will be responsible for all accounting and related accounting-specific analysis and reporting functions of the MSF portfolio as well as contributing to the accounting of the NR portfolio, as needed. This includes transaction entry, cash movement, and valuation input processes related to these portfolios as well as valuation review and analytical procedures. This also includes the reconciliation of transaction entry, accounting, and performance systems to ensure trade execution accuracy and proper recording of all transactions. The Senior Associate will work closely with other members of the external management accounting team to execute the accounting period close on a monthly basis. This process requires in-depth understanding and analysis of the MSF portfolio investments, including the documentation of significant matters on an ongoing basis. Lastly, the Senior Associate will be involved in the ongoing assessment of accounting and valuation issues related to these portfolios, including financial reporting considerations.

Responsibilities: Maintain the integrity of the portfolio accounting systems and general ledger records; Monitor proper reconciliation of transaction entry, accounting, and performance reporting systems; Contribute to financial statement and valuation analysis; Execute cash movements in coordination with custody operations personnel and ensure trades are processed accurately and timely; Analyze current industry and accounting guidance and its applicability to the MSF portfolio accounting process; Facilitate communication with external managers to provide relevant insight into the accounting and valuation process; Obtain and review fund valuation statements and assist in the analysis of these statements; Interact with and support the MSF portfolio managers regarding current investments; Assist during the annual audit, providing information as requested and maintaining audit reports throughout the year; Participate in special projects and duties as assigned ; Provide accounting-related support and reporting to HMC’s Tax department; Manage responsibilities pertaining to business continuity preparedness, documentation, Disaster Recovery site visits, etc.

Qualifications/Skills: BS Accounting, CPA preferred; Minimum 3-5 years of relevant accounting experience (hedge fund specific experience a plus); Ideal candidate will be very proficient with hedge fund L.P. investment accounting/industry issues; Knowledge and demonstrated interest of financial markets and products

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Cecil College Needs a Controller

Cecil College is looking for a Controller to lead its financial services department in North East, Maryland.

Candidates should have a minimum of five to seven years experience with CPA and Masters a plus.

Company: Cecil College

Title: Controller/Finance Director

Compensation: $85,000-$92,000

Location: North East, MD

Description: The Controller is a senior level position at Cecil College and is responsible for providing overall leadership and direction for the Financial Services Department which includes a broad range of financial and business services within a robust technology based system.

Responsibilities: Fiscal responsibilities: Accounting (accounts payable, accounts receivable, capital projects and foundation accounting, grant accounting, investment management and payroll), Annual Audits, Budget Development and Management, and Financial Reporting.

Business services responsibilities: purchasing, insurance/risk management controls, and auxiliary services. Three (3) Accounting Managers and the Manager of Procurement are direct reports. The Controller is the “subject matter expert” concerning the finances of the College and keeping the Vice President for Administrative Services, and the leadership of the College informed about its financial condition.

General responsibilities: Provide leadership for all financial operations of the institution which includes the design of systems, preparation/presentation of financial reports and budgets, preparation of documents for annual audits, monitoring of revenues and expenditures, conducting financial analyses and development of internal controls. Provide leadership in the use of technology to achieve administrative efficiencies. Recommend and develop strategies and goals to meet College objectives, and to support sound fiscal management. Participate in the development of short term and long range financial projections along with organizational and staff planning. Provide strategic financial leadership and support on potential alliances, investments, capital projects and other issues affecting the College’s business. Develop an effective structure and plan for monitoring projects and foster continual improvement. Establish fiscal and personal credibility throughout the organization. Enhance and/or develop, implement and enforce policies and procedures of the organization that will improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the College.

Qualifications/Skills: Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting or Finance; experience in finance in a higher educational environment valued highly. CPA or Master’s Degree a plus Thorough knowledge of generally accepted accounting principles, fund accounting and ability to apply knowledge within higher education setting. 5-7 years of progressively responsible non-profit accounting using an integrated accounting system. Proficient in the use of word processing and spread sheet software applications (Word and Excel preferred). Effective oral and written communication skills. 3-5 years of supervisory experience.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Jefferson Wells Needs a Tax Fund Accountant

Jefferson Wells is looking for tax fund accountants to join its New York office. The position will have a number of responsibilities including preparation of corporate and partnership returns including those for hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and investment advisors.

The position requires a minimum of nine years experience, including multi-national tax experience and a broad understanding of technical tax issues. CPA or EA certifications are preferred.

Company: Jefferson Wells

Title: Tax Fund Accountant

Compensation: 80,000-150,000

Location: New York, NY

Responsibilities: Prepare tax returns for S corporations, C corporations, and partnerships; Preparation of accounting records, and financial statements and tax returns for several investment partnerships; Reviewing and preparing yearly tax filings for Hedge Fund, Private Equity Funds, Real Estate Funds, and Funds’ general partners and investment managers; Performing security analysis and calculating various Fund tax adjustments; Preparation of Tax Form 1065 income tax returns and related K-1s and supporting schedules; prior experience with form 1120; Recording all accounting transactions of the fund and ensuring all investments are booked accurately; Preparation of limited partner capital calls and capital distributions; Researching tax treatment of complex financial instruments and corporate actions of Funds.

Qualifications/Skills: Experience with CorpTax software is required; Bachelor’s degree in relevant subject area required (accounting, auditing, information technology, sciences, taxation, finance etc.); Minimum nine years applicable experience in tax required (federal, state and local or international tax); Experience with multi-national corporate taxation preferred; Broad understanding of tax technical areas and a strong familiarity of FAS 109 preferred; CPA, MST, Enrolled Agent (EA) or Project Management (PMI) certifications preferred.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Computer Sciences Corporation Needs a Senior Accountant

Computer Sciences Corporation is looking for an experienced accountant to join their group in Sterling, VA. The position is responsible for supervising the posting and balancing of general and subsidiary ledgers, along with account analysis and journal entries.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of six years experience, including three year of supervisory experience and a CPA license is a plus

Company: Computer Sciences Corporation

Title: Accounting Senior Supervisor

Location: Sterling, VA

Description: Supervises the posting and balancing of general and subsidiary ledgers; ensures accuracy and timeliness. Oversees the preparation of account analysis and journal entries to ensure records

Responsibilities: Supervises the posting and balancing of general and subsidiary ledgers; ensures accuracy and timeliness; Oversees the preparation of account analysis and journal entries to ensure records are organized and standardized; Oversees the coding of invoices and vouchers with proper account distribution support to ensure accuracy and validity; Oversees and prepares, as appropriate, foreign currency exchange and remeasurement calculations and journal entries; Supervises and assists in the compilation of data for preparation of regularly scheduled and special accounting reports; verifies statements to ensure accuracy and to meet company information needs; Supervises and assists in the implementation of accounting systems and accounting control procedures to ensure adherence to company guidelines; Recommends and/or initiates the selection and hiring of employees. Trains and evaluates employees to enhance their performance, development and work product. Addresses performance issues and makes recommendations for personnel actions. Makes recommendations for salary increases, transfers and terminations to manager; Provides supervision of the accounting staff to ensure activities are completed accurately and in a timely fashion. Analyzes and resolves work problems or assists employees to resolve problems;

Qualifications/Skills: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience; Bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting or related field strongly preferred; Six or more years of accounting experience; Three or more years of leadership experience included; CPA or CPA candidate preferred; Experience working with generally accepted accounting principles; Experience with SAP, Hyperion and Lotus Notes a plus.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.

Job of the Day: Moody’s Needs a Senior Revenue Analyst

Moody’s is looking for someone to join their accounting team in San Francisco as a Senior Revenue Analyst.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree, between two and five years experience in a Big 4 firm, and a CPA license.

Company: Moody’s Corporation

Title: Senior Revenue Analyst

Location: San Francisco, CA

Description: Operate with considerable latitude in performing highly complex duties related to preparing and analyzing financial information to record transactions, prepare financial reports, and review and verify accuracy. Provide value-added expertise to consultants, auditors, and others in development of new concepts, techniques, and standards. Utilize wide-ranging experience to conduct research and problem-solving. May operate in a lead role within the team.

Responsibilities: Ensure that all invoices and key contracts are reviewed for revenue recognition compliance in accordance with US GAAP (SOP 97-2, SOP 81-1, SAB 101); Prepare Deferred Cost analysis for Costs related to SOP 81-1 revenue recognition; Maintain Project spreadsheet with up to date information on on-going and new SW arrangements; Maintain Revenue Analytics spreadsheet on a monthly basis reconciled against all recognized revenue related to on-going or completed services; Reconcile general deferred revenue account on a monthly basis and keep track of all additions and subtractions to account; Work with the Professional Services team to maintain and improve the process to monitor the progress towards completion for fixed-price arrangements; Answer questions from Legal and Sales related to draft orders with the potential revenue recognition implications; Ensure that all revenue deferrals are communicated and recorded properly, and that the recognition of revenue occurs in the proper periods; Prepare and record monthly J/E’s to recognize revenue; Prepare revenue accounting memos and/or checklists to document accounting positions for unusual and/or significant deals; Participate in revenue recognition meetings with internal and external auditors; Ensure compliance of the Revenue Recognition process with Sarbanes Oxley.

Qualifications/Skills: CPA or equivalent qualification; 2-5 years working with within a Finance / Accounting environment; Previous experience with multi-national software revenue recognition or Big 4 accounting firm experience a distinct advantage; Ability to understand legal contracts and determine the proper revenue recognition; Experience with accounting practices and knowledge of accounting rules and regulations faced by public software companies, including revenue recognition; Experience with ERP systems including Peoplesoft and Softrax as well as hands on experience with Great Plains a plus; Bachelor’s degree required. Additional education or degrees in finance or accounting are highly preferred.

See the entire description over at the GC Career Center and visit the main page for all your job search needs.