In our September issue, we asked if it was too hard to become a CPA, and a large number of readers replied, often at great length and with plenty of passion.
It should probably come as no surprise that they were widely divided, with some contending that the monetary cost of extra schooling and the cost in time and effort of passing a very difficult exam are driving people away from the CPA profession, and others warning that any measures would dilute the value of the credential itself. Still others said that it wasn’t a question of the ease or difficulty of becoming a CPA, but rather a matter of communicating the true value of getting licensed and its career-boosting potential (see page 3), while yet others suggested that it’s the brutal hours and low entry-level salaries that are turning young people away from joining the profession.
Representative excerpts from the responses are below. (Unabridge versions of these responses, and most of the rest of the many, many thoughtful comments that we received, will be posted in the next few days.)
Leave it as it is
The CPA is the gold standard, and it should be hard to obtain. The public relies on us to ensure financial statements are complete and accurate. On other issues that involve forensic accounting and other consulting services, people look at the CPA differently than the other credentials, some of which are not worth the paper they are printed on. … In no way should we be making it easier. That mentality has led to kids…