According to Miller, the best way to start planning for one’s future is at the beginning.
Getting started on the right path to partnership means taking the exam as quickly as possible after graduation, not after you find a job. Many accounting students want to take a break after they get their bachelor’s degree, he says, but if their goal is to be a CPA, they need to take the exam right away.
“Although it won’t seem that way at the time, you will never be less busy in your career than you are after graduating; work responsibilities are at their lowest and, in most cases, so are your family responsibilities. Take a review class and dedicate a few months of nights and weekends to get it done — it will be worth it,” he says.
“There are many entry-level accountants who go on to work in accounting departments, or, in some cases as controllers, but they don’t take the time to get their credentials and become a pivotal player. It’s that last bit of effort and drive that will set you apart from the rest of the entry-level accountants and get you further ahead in your career,” adds Miller.
There are many things that will help prepare CPAs for future success. According to Sylvia Zozulia, accountants need to reinvent the profession. She explains, “today’s clients are seeking guidance to improve business operations, develop strategic plans, and evaluate industry trends and their potential effect on their business.”
Citrin Cooperman expects its CPAs to focus on understanding clients’ businesses and the industries in which they operate, else they are not meeting their clients’ needs.
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