The Wealthy Accountant Forum

General Category => How to Become a Wealthy Accountant => Topic started by: Donald on March 10, 2020, 03:14:05 AM

Title: Seeking opinions on accounting certificate programs
Post by: Donald on March 10, 2020, 03:14:05 AM
I was curious if anyone had any experience with accounting certificate programs or opinions on such programs. The program I am looking at specifically is the program at UCSD which can be done online, in class, or through a hybrid approach. Completing the certificate meets the accounting educational requirements for being a CPA in most states.

I do not have any definite plans to become a CPA. I am a physician so have pretty decent income. However, I believe in the renaissance ideal of a man having multiple competencies and certainly think that having accounting training would make me a better investor and more likely to succeed in any business endeavors I may pursue. I enjoy problem solving and working through complex issues. Accounting (especially tax accounting and forensic accounting) seems to offer these challenges. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that I would want to work in accounting in the future as I transitioned out of medical practice. While I plan to be financially independent in a few years, I still need to engage in activities that challenge my mind and provide benefit to people.
Title: Re: Seeking opinions on accounting certificate programs
Post by: HM1120 on March 30, 2020, 09:54:03 PM
Hi Donald -

I completed a Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) from a state university in the late 1990s. I then went on to Big 4 accounting (where you are working as a consultant for many clients) and recently moved to Industry (where you work for one corporation). In my experience (since I assume there will be many who read the response), if you are looking to go to a large Publix’s accounting firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernst and Young or Deloitte) only those programs which have a substantial in person component will be considered (even if you otherwise meet the criteria for licensure) because most recruitment is done on campus. The same would be for Fortune 500 companies (who generally hire out of the Big Four or from on campus programs). Rightl or wrong the online degree is still looked down upon.

However, as you are looking at this as a second career that is a different story. If you want to go to Industry (working for a single company outside of Fortune 500) or be self- employed the certificate program is fine. As far as credentialing (obtaining your CPA) as you pointed out that program satisfies most state requirements. Keep in mind that the states offer reciprocity (where they will generally respect the credentials you earned in another state). You would have to check the state that you would perform work in, but Alaska currently has the lowest credential requirements for education hours and has no residency requirements as of this writing. The test that you take to become a CPA is the same across the nation and you dormant have to travel to Alaska to take it - you can go to a local testing center.

Good luck!