22 October 2015
Earlier this month, Accounting Today mentioned in their article Changes Coming Fast in CPA Profession that “firms are increasingly using technology and non-CPAs, freeing up CPAs to do higher-level, more strategic work.” Though this may sound like a great idea, this isn’t out of any lesser need for CPAs; in fact, this change may simply be a direct result of a smaller pool of CPAs entering the job market. In the same article, Accounting Today mentions that there are more students studying accounting than ever, but fewer actually sitting for the CPA exam. Irv Myones, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, has noticed a similar trend. “In the past six months, we’ve placed more non-CPAs in positions that typically require the certification because employers are recognizing that there is such a small pool of candidates,” he says. “It’s a very candidate-driven market, and as a result, employers are doing what they can to adapt.” However, that doesn’t mean that employers are planning to do away with the CPA requirement. To counteract this issue, many are helping candidates pass their exams with review courses and designated studying time at work. “Our clients understand that studying for such an intensive exam can be difficult while working full- or even part-time, so they are doing what they can to help,” says Irv. “Ultimately, the CPA certification isn’t going anywhere. It shows a potential employer that you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job, and they rely heavily on that certification to assess your qualifications for certain roles.” This certification is so important that not only are employers paving the way for their employees to pass the exam, many are now also offering incentives to encourage them to do so. According to Irv, some firms are now going as far as offering compensation increases, cash bonuses, and other incentives for passing the exam. So why is this certification so important? Beyond simply demonstrating your knowledge and skill level, the CPA certification represents a dedication to the field. A professional who has put in the time and effort to study for and pass all four parts of the exam is clearly invested in their career and willing to go the extra mile, which are two characteristics every employer values in an employee. Furthermore, someone who obtains their CPA—especially within the first few years of graduating and working—shows they understand the certification’s importance in their career; according to Irv, many professionals cannot grow past the managerial level on the auditing track if they don’t have their CPA. Likewise, while some firms are becoming more willing to recognize the Enrolled Agent designation for tax professionals, they still prefer to see the CPA certification whenever and wherever possible. So, our advice? If you are unemployed and/or ready to embark on a job search, don’t wait to come across a firm who will hold your hand through the CPA process. The sooner you begin, the better—and the more likely you are to impress a potential employer by showing your initiative, drive, and dedication to the field.
22 October 2015
Last week, The Execu|Search Group’s Shelly Landau presented at the Young Professionals Healthcare Network’s (YPHN) premier career development series, Healthcare Leadership 101: Developing Your Professional Portfolio. The event, which was organized by the Young Professionals Healthcare Network, SPA Career Services, and the Zicklin’s Healthcare Administration MBA Program at Baruch College, gave attendees the opportunity to learn about current trends and regulations affecting healthcare policy, gain exposure to various career paths in the field, and seek advice for launching a successful career. During her presentation, Shelly, a Director within our Healthcare division, reviewed interview best practices, ranging from making a great first impression to the importance of the sending a thank you note. “I’m honored that YPHN invited me to sit on such an esteemed panel of healthcare recruitment experts,” she says. “The event was a success, and I feel that everyone walked away feeling more confident in their ability to land a job that aligns with their long-term goals.”