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Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)!

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Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2010, 23:30
Hi,

So basically, I'm a junior in college and I have a strong interest in either accounting or corporate finance (not investment banking). My goal is to eventually become a CFO or other high-ranking executive for a company and I've heard that working for McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Booz and those top consulting firms is the ideal way to do it. Unfortunately, I do not go to a "target" school and getting into one of those, at least initially, will be a huge challenge. Therefore, especially since accounting is important in business regardless, I was wondering if working in public accounting (not necessarily just big 4) would be a decent way to start off and whether I can build some good skillsets from those positions before transitioning into something else? Also, in general how do you guys enjoy accounting work? Is it interesting or relatively dry?

My second question is more complicated: basically, I have been considering working abroad in another country where the CA, not CPA, is the go to accounting credential. Thus, I was wondering, if I wanted to pursue work there, be it long-term or short-term, what would I need to do? Would I have to sit for both the CA and CPA or will just having the CPA work? Otherwise, if I sit for the CA and pass, will the CA work in the US, or will I have to have the CPA despite having lived in the US forever and getting my education there?

Cliffs:
-Want to eventually be a CFO or exec in a company and was wondering if Public Accounting, even outside the Big 4, can be a decent starting place for that?
-Wondering how all you accountants enjoy your work, likes and dislikes, etc.?
-Very, very strongly considering working abroad where the CA, not CPA, is the prime credential. Wondering whether I would need the CA, CPA, CA & CPA, to work in US, the other country, or going back and forth between the two (my ideal would be back and forth)?

thanks
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 04:39
If you are talking about working in US in one of those functions, then you should get a CPA and major in accounting. Whether it is in public accounting or a corp fin of a corporation, CPA credential beats someone with a finance undergrad degree. (in the functions that you've mentioned above)

I've met few people from India with both CA and CPA. From what I can tell, they all passed CA in India, and when they moved to US for work, they had to sit for CPA to get a comparable job in US. (If you are in India and plan on living in India, ignore everything I've said above because I am not qualified to give career advice to accountants in India.)
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2010, 19:02
nink wrote:
If you are talking about working in US in one of those functions, then you should get a CPA and major in accounting. Whether it is in public accounting or a corp fin of a corporation, CPA credential beats someone with a finance undergrad degree. (in the functions that you've mentioned above)

I've met few people from India with both CA and CPA. From what I can tell, they all passed CA in India, and when they moved to US for work, they had to sit for CPA to get a comparable job in US. (If you are in India and plan on living in India, ignore everything I've said above because I am not qualified to give career advice to accountants in India.)


Any more comments about what its like to be an accountant?
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 09:38
I just passed the CPA exam and I work in a smaller CPA firm doing tax and business management. The work is not too dry for me. But I figure since people can sit through all the accounting courses in college, working shouldn't be too different in accounting. I don't have much experience, been working for about 2.5 years, so I dont know if I can answer some of your questions but you can ask me whatever you want.
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 14:32
CA is a lot harder than the CPA. If you want to be a CFO, you don't need to go into management consulting. Just go the corporate finance route. You can start off at a F500 as a Financial Analyst or stick around at Big4/big regional in audit for a couple years. Accounting does not have glamorous or interesting work at all. It gets a lot better at the VP of Finance level though, less grunt work more analysis and presenting analysis to senior management. Personally, I would recommend sticking around at Big 4 in audit till manager level.

Ask more questions if you have, I'm a CPA, CFA Level 2 Cand with Big 4 exp working at a F500 as a Financial Analyst.

Thanks and have a good night,
Dawgie
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 16:33
whats the easy way in from a tech background?
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 18:23
shaselai wrote:
whats the easy way in from a tech background?

Masters in accounting!
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 18:46
Dawgie wrote:
shaselai wrote:
whats the easy way in from a tech background?

Masters in accounting!


besides that? i am too old for mba then master accouting
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 19:05
MBA will suffice then, maybe focus a little more on accounting courses.
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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)! [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2010, 19:52
Dawgie wrote:
MBA will suffice then, maybe focus a little more on accounting courses.


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Re: Calling Out Accountants (long post, cliffs at bottom)!   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2010, 19:52
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