The Wealthy Accountant Forum

General Category => How to Become a Wealthy Accountant => Topic started by: ColeFord on August 29, 2018, 08:57:43 PM

Title: CPA Pursuit
Post by: ColeFord on August 29, 2018, 08:57:43 PM
Good morning/afternoon/evening!
I'm a 35 year old single man who resides in the D.C/MD.VA area (employed at a bank; will be transitioning in a commercial real estate underwriter position). I will be going back to college to complete an accounting degree (Bachelor's/Master's accelerated program). While attending college I plan to also prepare for the CPA license (AUD --> REG --> FAR --> BEC) so I can take the exams while everything is fresh. The purpose is to establish my own accounting firm serving small business owners, real estate investors, and accredited investors. While also allocating 50%-75% of my income to multifamily properties (20+ unit complexes) and index funds. I'm willing to do what's necessary but it's wise to inquire about an efficient way to earning the CPA license and gaining the necessary experience.

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: CPA Pursuit
Post by: KeithTax on August 29, 2018, 10:38:01 PM
I'm not sure what you're asking, ColeFord. Can you elaborate?
Title: Re: CPA Pursuit
Post by: ColeFord on August 30, 2018, 10:00:34 AM
Thank you for the response.
Which firms would make sense to gain accounting experience while I'm completing my degree and preparing for the CPA license? The end goal is to operate my own firm specializing in taxation for real estate investors, accredited investors, and small business owners.
In other words, with the knowledge and experience you've gained in your career. How would you go about reaching my end goal?
Title: Re: CPA Pursuit
Post by: Maccountant on September 26, 2018, 12:23:47 PM

I would concentrate on finding a local CPA firm to work with to gain the necessary experience. Big Four looks good on a resume, but it sounds like you are not trying to build your resume to impress another employer down the road. You want the requisite skills to hang your own shingle. a local firm will give you the experience you need to work with small business owners.

There are a lot of solo practitioners out there that are getting older and are looking for succession plans for their clientele. Perhaps working with one of them to learn and position yourself to take the reins when the time is right could be an option.

Title: Re: CPA Pursuit
Post by: Josero on November 12, 2018, 02:06:30 PM
How often does what you described in the second paragraph actually work out, Maccountant? It sounds great.
Title: Re: CPA Pursuit
Post by: SteveCPA on November 27, 2018, 06:19:43 PM
How often does what you described in the second paragraph actually work out, Maccountant? It sounds great.

I have seen this happen a lot as well. It is harder to find CPAs, and many current single owner firms are wanting a replacement so their clients are in good hands and makes for a smoother transition. I have found this type of job on my state's CPA board. I am also a Macc person that wants to build up experience to have their own firm, or partner in it. I think this is the best way to do it and would learn more than a Big 4 if owning this type of firm is your goal.
Title: Re: CPA Pursuit
Post by: JenSten88 on April 15, 2019, 11:30:48 AM

I've worked at a Big 4 firm, a middle market firm as well as a local firm.

If your end goal is to run your own CPA firm specializing in private client services (individuals, closely held businesses, estates and trusts- I would advise against the last two).  I would highly recommend starting out at a middle-market firm and eventually transition to a local firm.  You want the variety in the clients, the technology experience as well as the contacts available at both of those sized firms.

Once you transition to the local firm, you'll be able to get a much better idea of the players at that level, who will be retiring etc. Although I will say, many local firms that can't find a suitable person to take over their firm will sell to a larger firm. Even the Big 4 are buying local PCS firms now.

If you can get a position at a Big 4 firm, the benefits are fantastic and there are many wonderful career paths available to you. I would keep my options open and see what opportunities present themselves as you pursue your degree and license.

Best of luck with everything!