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Author: 3muttsmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75777  
Subject: Re: Financial Planning - Growth Industry? Date: 5/2/2004 11:48 AM
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In contrast, to become a CPA you must:

1. Have a 5 year (not 4) BS in Accounting degree with approx. 33 semester credit hours in accounting classes (not general business).

2. Plus a minimum of 2 years direct work experience.

3. Plus pass a 4 part, 2 full day exam & independently pass each part; essentially 4 exams. (BTW, the pass rate on this exam is under 20% per year).


Well, I'm a CPA. Not licensed, as I don't need it for my position, so don't keep up with the CPE annually. However, I passed the exam while a senior in college, so there is (or was) no requirement for 2 years of work in the industry ahead of time.

I will say, that during my 4 years of school (prior to adding the 5th year requirement) we spent exactly ZERO time on personal finances. CPA training in college (at least where I went) was devoted to and focused on one thing - how to create a company's financial statements.

One of my advanced accounting instructors stated one day in class that alot of his friends ask him regularly about whether a given company would be a good investment. His reply: "I can tell you how to create financial statements, I can guess fairly accurately what business actions, via account entries, lead to the resulting numbers on the financial statements, but I have NO IDEA if the result is a better investment than a company that made a different decision on where/how to spend its money. That's what a finance degree is for. Accountants prepare financial statements, we don't analyze them."

I analyze business financial statements to make loan decisions and learned everything I know OJT, though the accounting training is invaluable in determing what the company has been doing with their money. I can tell you, there are alot of CPAs out there not worth a dime. I've received audited financial statements with balance sheets that DO NOT BALANCE.

Helping an individual decide about paying off the mortgage early, investing at a given time and in what, how much life insurance is the "right" amount, college planning, etc. is not a part of CPA training, IMHO. That's why I'm here.

just my $.02
3MM
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