I’m not an Accountant, I’m a CPA

Whether you practice or not, you're still a CPA!

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Over the past two years, I estimate that I’ve spoken with at least 1,000 CPAs and a funny thing keeps popping up.

Over and over again, I’ve heard different variations of “Well I’m not a CPA anymore…” or “I haven’t been a CPA since I left the firm X years ago.”

Many times I would dig a little deeper, and of course what they really meant was they aren’t an accountant anymore. CPAs are unanimously proud of their designation and the skills and experiences it implies; yet so many felt totally natural saying they aren’t a CPA. As someone who shares that pride in my CPA, I see both a problem and the solution in this observation.

Many CPAs have experienced the challenges of convincing people that we’re more than just ‘number crunchers’. I can say pretty confidently that every CPA knows better, but many others have no idea. CPAs prove this daily through the work they do, but if we want more people to know what the CPA means we need to collectively get better at talking about it!

I’ve seen CPAs who are extremely successful across the spectrum. From investment bankers and CEOs to engineers, sales people and startup founders. Our designation provides a foundation to build a career in any direction, and we should be touting that more.

If other reasons won’t convince you, there is a self-serving one as well. The more other people internalize the diversity of the CPA, the more opportunities we’ll all be considered for. The example I’m most passionate about is how CPAs are great startup hires (see what I wrote on it here). One of our main goals with the #FinInTech initiative is to increase recognition of the value of a CPA in a startup environment.

This is no different than other profession. Some doctors and lawyers practice, and others don’t. They are all still doctors and lawyers.

So let me be clear. Whether you actually do any accounting or not, you’re still a CPA.


PS: If this applies to you (i.e. you’re a CPA of ANY sort), you really should join our community. We specialize in exclusive and unique CPA opportunities. Join here.

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