Over the past month, many of you anxiously anticipated the release of your CPA Exam score like Ralphie and his Red Ryder. The waiting part isn’t so unlike an eternity in hellfire and when NASBA finally does put the official Tweet, there’s no guarantee that your score will be included especially if you’re in one of those pesky non-NASBA states. It’s agony, really.
Starting in the fourth quarter of 2011 the U.S. CPA Exam will begin releasing scores earlier and more predictably. Initially this may not seem very interesting; however, the change will mark a major shift in the U.S. CPA Exam experience and the strategies that prospective CPAs employ as they work toward passing the exam.
The AICPA “initially” thought this wouldn’t be too interesting but when they took a microsecond to remember the post that Adrienne wrote a post back in March that garnered 162 comments, half of them bitching about this very topic and the other half accusing of AG of being a good-for-nothing shill for the AICPA/NASBA that’s never taken the exam, they realized that yeah, people would be interested to know when their scores are released.
ANYWAY, here’s the schedule:
Everyone can relax now. I’m sure scores will be out like clockwork going forward.
Happy MOANday, everyone. If you missed Friday’s post because you were enjoying summer hours, be sure to get caught up on things before anything else.
I left of Friday’s post leaving up to you, the readers, to discuss which person would be better qualified for the situation. I did my best in laying out assumptions for the hypothetical, and many of you responded with wonderful feedback.
Here’s a taste:
Just for fun, let’s tweak the assumptions a smidge. Same 4 years of public experience, except the job offer has a 30% bump in total comp. Also, the person in the position before you was essentially like you (i.e. 4 years of experience, even came from the same firm as you) and they got promoted within 2 years with a 15% increase in pay. The hours are better (average 45-50 hours a week rather than 60 or so with more consistency), but the new job is less flexible (i.e. less vacation). Would you jump ship?
DWB: SouthernCPA brought up an important aspect that I overlooked – non-financial perks like benefits and – in this case – vacation days. Public accounting firms are generous with vacation days because they know many of you will have stretches of non-chargeability. Private industry average two to four weeks. But like in Southern’s case, a 30% bump in salary more than offset the vacation day situation. And remember what I mentioned above – benefits. Find me a hedge fund that doesn’t completely pay for or greatly subsidize health benefits and I’ll take you to lunch (no, really). This is savings that offers both more money in your wallet and peace of mind.
I would also agree with Southern CPA to the extent that it depends on the experience gained in industry vs public accounting as well as the bump experienced by leaving at a senior vs a manager level. However, there are also other factors that should be considered as well such as the ability to find a job at different levels (senior vs manager). While few talk about it within the big 4, I have personally watched over-specialization as well as too much public experience become an issue when searching for jobs, particularly for individuals at a manager/senior manager level.
DWB: This is the precise situation I wanted to hit home. Sorry, Jeff. Tanya is by far the more qualified candidate. And here’s why:
• Tanya has an ideal mix of public and private experience – assuming the private role is not a demotion – she can hit the ground running at the next level. She understands her respective industry from both the public and private side. She can come on board at the next role (most likely a promotion) with an easier transition than Jeff.
• Jeff spent two years managing – budgets, staff, expectations. Very little of this matters. One could argue that senior staff members are the real managers of engagement teams anyway, as they are forced to handle the demands of staff, partners, and managers. The longer you’re a manager, the longer you’re away from the nitty gritty hands-on work.
• Audit is reviewing other people’s work. Tanya has two years of doing.
• Tanya will require a slightly higher salary, but oftentimes the private/public mix of experience is worth the cost. The more technical the role, the more private experience that will be required.
Please, leave your comments below. Let’s
hug talk it out.