Becoming a certified personal accountant (CPA) is one of the smartest career moves you could make, and not just for your career, but your personal life, as well. The skills you’ll acquire as a CPA will be useful throughout your entire life, not just on the job.
The process of becoming a CPA can be intense, but it’s rewarding. Once you prepare for the CPA exam with a prep course
, you’ll be well on your way to developing an array of financial skills that will benefit you and your family over the long term.
Here are five substantial long-term benefits you’ll derive from becoming a CPA.
1. Better personal financial accounting skills
When you become a CPA, your career-related skills become readily useful to your everyday life. Having acquired the skills to prepare financial statements, work up and refine budgets, and prepare tax returns for clients, your personal finances cannot help but benefit.
You’ll become better organized, your personal budgets will be more accurate, and you’ll know how to handle new tax situations if your situation changes. This might not seem like a big deal, but it may alleviate significant pressures you may not realize exist until they’re gone … or could encounter down the road.
For example, if your tax situation becomes more complex, you’d ordinarily have to hire someone to do your taxes, which can be stressful and costly. Once you’ve gained experience preparing tax returns for clients in a variety of tax situations, you won’t have to pay anyone else to prepare yours.
2. Financial accuracy
Humans make financial mistakes, but the more you work with numbers, the fewer errors you’ll commit. This applies to every instance where you might need to perform calculations.
For instance, you might start calculating tip percentages in your head, while in the past you would have required a calculator or relied on learning some calculation tricks
. When you work with finances, calculating percentages in your head will become second nature.
Improving your financial accuracy will be something you benefit from possibly without even noticing it. After working with finances becomes routine, you’ll have an easier time working with money and numbers in any form.
3. Jump-start your side business
Whether you work full- or part-time as a CPA, you’ll be better equipped to launch your own business on the side, if you wish. You could easily launch a CPA contracting business, for example, but your side operation doesn’t have to be related to accounting.
For example, you could start an affiliate marketing business on the side and get a head start creating your business plan and budget, then document your expenses in preparation for tax season. Whatever kind of business you decide to launch, you’ll have an easier time managing the financial aspects once you’ve gained experience as a CPA.
4. Excellent discipline for deadlines
Let’s face it, most people miss deadlines. The main reason they do is because they don’t organize or plan their time well enough.
To meet a deadline
, you have to plan your workload throughout the time leading up to the proposed deadline. You also need to set deadlines according to how long it should take you to complete the necessary tasks.
You’ll fail if you set deadlines arbitrarily and then try your best to meet those. After working with clients as a CPA, when deadlines may be non-negotiable as well as urgent, you’ll develop a firm grasp of how to set and meet even the toughest of deadlines.
You’ll develop the ability to estimate how long certain tasks will take with better accuracy, and you’ll know ahead of time when you won’t be able to meet a deadline.
Once you develop a firm grasp of time and task management, you’ll see those skills reflected in your personal life. People will notice when you show up on time to meetings and gatherings.
You won’t be having to call to report you’ll be late because you typically arrive early. Best of all, you’ll avoid committing to tasks you know won’t work with your schedule. As a result, people in your life will regard you as reliable: someone they can count on to be their word.
5. Your job will always be in demand
Taxes and financial requirements aren’t going to disappear any time soon. As long as there’s an economy, your skills will be needed. No matter what condition the economy is in – even in a depression – people with income will have to pay taxes and make financial decisions.
Becoming a CPA is the closest thing to long-term job security. Your salary will change based on the state of the economy, but your skills will always be in demand.
CPA skills are for life
Once you become a CPA, your accounting and tax preparation skills will benefit you, your family, and your business for the rest of your life.