Surely everyone has seen an episode of a crime drama where the smarmy detective leans over a dead body, squinting and rubbing his fingers together, dashing towards an hour-long adventure whereupon he uses tiny clues left haphazardly around the crime scene to convict the real killer. Of course real life does not always work like this, but it's fun to get absorbed in the exploits without having to worry about the dangers. These shows have experienced tremendous popularity in the last few years as common Joes like you and I excitedly get to ride shotgun in a speeding cop car in pursuit of the bad guys.

In the big wide world of accounting, there are many facets to the industry that reach far beyond the stereotypical perception of the bean-counting, green-visor-wearing, calculator-punching tax processor, of course. As we move deeper into the 21st century, we are in the midst of an exciting shift - today's CPA works in a dynamic, ever-changing field full of opportunity, change, and endless possibility.

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Did you ever really thank any of your accounting instructors who watched you evolve from unpolished freshman to fully real world ready graduate, fat new hire offer in your hand and all? Did you thank them for giving you the foundation you needed to thrive in your chosen field? After all, YOU are the one who made the choice to endure countless hours of Statistics and Econ and Financial Reporting. THEY are the ones who filled you with most of what you needed to accomplish that goal.

Accounting professors are, by large, an under-appreciated bunch.

Sadly, as Baby Boomers reach retirement age and leave gaping holes in the educational system, an already historically understaffed profession is starting to see a need that has not been this pressing since the early 1990s. Projections point towards a very critical demand emerging in the next decade while the consensus among professors we spoke to was that the deficiency of qualified PhD accounting faculty is nothing new.

What difficulties stand in the way of filling this blatant vacancy?

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Four years ago, the CPA exam underwent a face-lift of massive proportions. Where previously hundreds or even thousands of prospective CPAs would cram into packed auditoriums for a forty-eight hour session that covered all exam parts and left candidates exhausted and mentally bankrupt, today's CPA exam candidate has flexibility in both scheduling and actual exam-taking.

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As the President signed the $700 billion Bailout package last week, the Big 4 were voicing their opposition to the proposed suspension of fair value or "mark to market" accounting. Meanwhile, many others in the financial industry are calling for just that. In fact, it's been suggested that the first draft of the Bailout package was defeated in the House primarily because of it lacked any mention of a fair value suspension.

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Come out from under that rock!
If you're a CPA and you don't live under a rock, you've probably heard about IFRS. But, if you're a student considering a career in accounting, you may not have heard about it. What in the world is it?

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In July of this year, JobFox posted a report that details their list of the top 20 "Recession Proof Professions." Holding places 4 and 5 were Accounting & Finance Executives and Accounting Staff, respectively. These sentiments have been mirrored by other industry pundits as well, in various formats. As we enter a new recession period, these impressions equal good news for anybody studying for the CPA Exam.

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