Do you need a CPA?

In my very first blog, I must recall the most frequently asked question I would get when I began to study accounting and taxation:

Are you a CPA? My response was then, the same as it still is to this day: Do you need a CPA? Now, I don’t mean to be a smart aleck, answering a question with a question, but that is the real question, don’t you think? When people think of doing taxes, they think CPA. This is largely because the AICPA, the self-governing body that oversees it’s own profession, has done a magnificent job of marketing the title. On the other hand, when I tell people I am an E.A., the universal response is, “What’s an E.A.?” That is because the Department of the Treasury, by way of the Internal Revenue Service, who is the licensing body for the Enrolled Agent designation, has done a piss-poor job of marketing the title. This, I suspect, is mostly because they are a bureaucracy, and care little to nothing about what amounts to a non-essential use of taxpayer resources. It’s understandable, to an extent. The result? – EVERYONE recognizes the term CPA, but NO ONE recognizes the term E.A.

Up next: The real difference.

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