Ive already blogged about the path that led me down the road to becoming a CPA, but with this busy season wrapping up (I hope soon!), I thought it would be good to re-examine more of the career options for CPAs.  I could talk about how my studying has been going the past week, but honestly, I think it might bore you.  It has been tiring, but Rogers energy and highly caffeinated beverages have kept me going.  When I read a blog, I do like to hear about how peoples studies are going, what works for them, what doesnt, etc., but I also like to hear about the opportunities the CPA profession has for the aspiring CPA.  This helps keep me motivated.  Success stories during and post CPA are what we are all aspiring to have and tell.  This busy season has opened up my eyes to opportunities that are the nontraditional career paths, but very worthwhile and exciting career options.  They are also in huge demand.

I work in public accounting, but not in the traditional assurance or tax areas.  Taxes and audits are what most people think of when they think of CPAs.  My family to this day keeps asking me how tax season is going, and I have to remind them that CPA firms arent just tax or audit professionals.  Busy season, for me, means purchase price allocations, impairment analysis, M&A valuations, tax and estate valuations of closely held companies, ESOP valuations, complex security valuations, corporate planning analysis for clients, litigation support, and even some fraud and data analytics.  There are so many areas of the profession that add value to the credential and vice versa.  
For example, holding a CPA credential is seen as an authoritative source for knowledge and expertise.  Federal and State courts look at CPAs as experts in many financial situations.  CPAs testify in court for lost wages, lost earnings, business interruption cases, divorce settlements, fraud cases, etc.  I have colleagues who perform valuations for very complex issues involving derivatives and options.  They use Monte Carlo simulations and Black-Scholes pricing models and a number of other math and statistics intensive methods.  I have other colleagues who perform data analytics and write computer code to look for patterns of fraud and for helping companies improve efficiencies.
You dont even have to work in public accounting to pursue many of these career options.  There are many boutique and specialized firms that focus solely on these practice areas.  Of course, the CPA is highly regarded in the private sector as well.  Many financial planning and analysis departments and corporate divisions need people with a strong background in finance and accounting, and the CPA is one of the most sought-after credentials that speak the language.
If you need some encouragement while you are studying, begin with the end in mind.  Ive really only mentioned a few options other than assurance and tax that CPAs choose as a career, and there are many more.  Just remember that these options are there and waiting for you when you finish these hard exams.  Weve got Rogers help in our corner, and we are all rooting for each other.  I certainly am.
Have a great week!
Doug

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