Sometimes in life, you need to take the road less traveled — and never look back.
If you’re already a CPA or attorney, you can tune out. This article won’t be of any interest to you.
Last year, I wrote a post about why all unenrolled preparers should become Enrolled Agents. If you don’t want to read that whole thing, it basically boils down to this: The simple ability to sign a Form 2848 can rapidly double or triple your income.
Today, I’d like to make the case for becoming a CPA, even if you’re a late-career professional.
Why You Should Consider Becoming A CPA
Let’s start with the most obvious reason: Despite the fact that the EA license is actually older than the CPA license (1884 vs 1896), the CPA community won the war for American “mindshare” when it comes to professional status and relevancy in relation to tax matters. It doesn’t matter that only 1/3 of American CPAs have a PTIN, typically only take one college class on federal taxation, and are never vetted by the federal government in regards to their actual tax knowledge and competency.
What matters is public perception. Whether us EAs like it or not, we will always be stuck explaining what we are and where our license comes from. If you ask any member of the public what profession/occupation a tax professional is, they’ll all automatically answer, “CPA”. That’s what I mean by them winning the war for “mindshare”. Simply put, the CPA community did a better job of branding and marketing themselves in the early 20th century, and EAs didn’t.
So, there is an automatic and very tangible marketing boost that you get from being a CPA that EAs, let alone unenrolled preparers, just don’t have.
I will say that this has not been a hindrance for me in marketing my tax resolution services. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to provide the full, lengthy explanation about what an EA is. So, if you market yourself properly, and position yourself on the right side of the desk, it’s not a major issue. But if you’re not positioning yourself as an authority in a specific niche, the CPA designation can help provide a massive boost to your credibility and authority status.
Here’s reason number two: Career opportunities. If you don’t want to run your own business, and would rather work … Continue reading