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How You Can Benefit From the Exciting Accounting Career

The need for CPA’s or certified public accountants that can perform various duties including bookkeeping, company audits, tax preparation, and project management is increasing in many industries due to updated laws, international business practices and a greater reliance on technology. If you enjoy working with numbers and learning the latest accounting software, there are many job opportunities waiting for you after you earn your degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, accounting is a field that’s growing at a faster than average rate with an estimated 1.2 million accountants currently working in various industries including public agencies, corporations, educational institutions and charitable organizations. If you’re interested in a career in accounting, now is an excellent time to return to college to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting or finance.

When looking for an online accounting degree program, keep in mind that each state has its own licensing requirements if you want to become a CPA. Although most states require that you complete 150 course hours before you can take the CPA exam, there are still a few states whose requirements aren’t as stringent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, 42 states including the District of Columbia currently require this amount of coursework or will require it by the beginning of 2009.

As a result, most colleges and universities offer bachelor’s programs that require 150 course hours to complete. Some have even opted to give students the option of completing a master’s degree in the process. Make sure you enroll in a degree program that provides enough instruction and at least 150 course hours.

When looking for an online accounting degree program, the amount of attention paid to the CPA exam is important. The exam, which is given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, will thoroughly test your knowledge of accounting, finance law and ethics. Before signing up to take classes online, you should ask school advisors if there are special courses offered to help you prepare for the exam.

Once you earn your accounting online degree and pass the CPA exam, you will be able to begin looking for employment. Many online degree programs offer job placement assistance to those who need it.

Select the best accounting program for you

Depending on your current job situation, you can choose to pursue a degree in accounting by attending classes or taking them online. There are many accredited colleges and universities that can offer you the opportunity to earn an accounting degree online.

Online courses provide you with the same foundation and skill sets as traditional classroom courses, but require you be disciplined when it comes to studying and turning assignments in on time.

When looking for an online accounting degree program, keep in mind that each state has its own licensing requirements if you want to become a CPA. Even though most states require that you complete 150 course hours before you can take the CPA exam, there are still a few states whose requirements aren’t as stringent.

Mary Jackson is a contributor for http://www.distance-learning-college-guide.com where you find useful information on distance learning colleges, accredited degrees online and links to accredited online colleges. See more related information on online accounting degree trends and salary expectations and top accounting degree online colleges where you can acquire your online accounting degree.

Shortage of Accountants in the Us Leads to Tax Returns Prepared From India

A report by Pune-based ValueNotes, estimates that as many as 360,000 US tax returns were prepared in India in 2006. It anticipates further growth, estimating at least 1.6 million returns will be prepared here in 2011. The estimates are conservative and the potential is much larger at 22 million returns per year by 2011, but actual offshoring will be limited by CPA firms’ inhibitions about offshoring. However, competitive pressures could force many more firms to offshore.

Says Glen Keenan, President of Xpitax, a facilitating outfit “The whole outsourcing business requires quite a shift in thinking for the CPA firms, so comfort factor has to be really high in order to do that”

The accounting and audit services are relatively new in offshoring and are gradually gaining maturity with each passing tax season. Unlike other services, which are traditionally outsourced due to cost pressures, the demand for Returns offshoring is stems from the lack of accountants and excessive workload during the “tax season”. The number of CPAs and other qualified accountants in the US are just not enough to meet the increasing demand from increasing tax compliance, SarbanesOxley related work, estate planning, advisory etc. The demand-supply mismatch has led to severe competition for experienced accountants and salaries are skyrocketing, even at starting levels. CPA firms are discovering that offshored Returns are not only turned around faster, but are also 40% to 60% cheaper. CPA firms after initial success with Returns preparation is slowly sending more work offshore: bookkeeping, financial statements analysis etc

Adds ValueNotes CEO, Arun Jethmalani, “The industry will quickly move beyond 1040s. Both the vendors and buyers are at an inflection point on the maturity graph, and we expect tax returns preparation will drive penetration into a wider range of offshored professional accounting services.”

The Indian offshore services provider landscape consists of captives of the Big Four audit firms (KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touché and Ernst & Young), American facilitating firms / agencies (Xpitax, SurePrep, CCH, IFR), Tier-1 multi-service BPOs (MphasiS, Datamatics, OPI), Tier-2 BPOs (PB Tech Impact Solutions, Cosmic Internet Technologies) and F&A BPOs owned/ controlled by Indian Chartered Accountants (GKM Management services, Business Accounting Services, Accountant Anywhere, Enablizer)

Pratibha K, analyst at ValueNotes feels “Facilitators like Xpitax and SurePrep are best positioned to service CPA firms, while Indian CA BPOs are well placed to operate as complete back-offices for accounting firms”

Based on analysis that included extensive primary research, ValueNotes has picked three winners from the current crop of vendors: Xpitax, GKM Management Services and Business Accounting Services.

Karthikeyan, MD, GKM Management Services opines, “As Chartered Accountants, we feel our biggest advantage is that we can speak the global language of accounting with the CPAs. We feel this is a good differentiating factor for us compared to the large corporate vendors. CPAs are bound to trust us more than the tech companies because of our common accounting background.”

The ValueNotes report titled “Offshoring Tax Return Preparation to India” suggests that return preparation will set the stage for other accounting services to be sent to India.


Transforming Your CPA Practice With a Vision Statement: Moving From Dream to Reality

An essential step toward success in your CPA practice is to have a clear vision. CPA practitioners need to be dreamers to become successful. They should have the ability to dream big and envision in their mind the desired end result. The end result is some time in the future. It could be 3 years, 5 years, 10 years down the road.

You begin to develop your vision by asking yourself some crucial questions:

•What is the big picture for your practice? Think of your practice as a product. What does the end product look like at some point in the future? Do you want to create a CPA practice with gross billings of $200,000, $500,000, $1 million or several million dollars?

• What is your desired net profit?

• Would you like to operate from one location or several?

• How many employees will you have?

• What services will you be provide?

• How many days/hours would you like to work (during tax season, in the off season)?

• How much time in the week will you spend towards marketing your CPA firm?

Having a clear vision of what your practice will look like in the future helps you to make it a reality. If you have employees or plan to hire employees, having a clearly articulated vision helps everyone to have a common purpose and be on the same page.

To understand what a vision statement looks like, consider a hypothetical vision statement for a firm like your own.

Vision Statement of The ABC & Company, CPAs

Five years from now, by June 30, 2014, The ABC & Company, CPAs will be a professional organization deeply committed to helping families and businesses attain their financial goals.

The ABC & Company, CPAs will be a full accounting, tax planning and preparation and financial services company catering to 2 niche markets: small businesses with revenues up to $10 million and individuals and families.

Annual revenues will be $2,250,000 and a net profit of $787,500 (35%), after all salaries.

The ABC & Company, CPAs will have 1 office with 14 team members – 12 full time professionals and 3 seasonal employees.

The USP or unique characteristics of the ABC & Company, CPAs is that it will be a “one-stop” shop for accounting, tax and financial services. Our services delivery will be predictable, personalized, and friendly with the intention of making it an enjoyable and memorable experience for the client. We will be people-centered and will strive constantly for high levels of employee and client satisfaction. Every aspect of the business will be standardized and tightly controlled to be able to consistently deliver a high level of service. Our office will be a lively, clean and fun place to be. All our services will be delivered in our office, or via phone, mail, fax or the Internet.

The ABC & Company, CPAs will grow at the rate of 20 percent from effective CPA firm marketing techniques such as cross selling of our own services, through client referrals, referrals from other professionals, seminars / presentations, direct mail and our presence on the Internet. By June 30, 20014, the ABC Company, CPAs will be well positioned to attract prospective buyers, employees, lenders and clients. If the CPA practice were to be sold, it would sell for 2 times the gross revenues.

The ABC & Company, CPAs will recruit and train high energy, self-motivated individuals who will help the organization achieve its vision. Only individuals with a strong desire to grow professionally and personally and who constantly strive to bring out the best in themselves and others around them will be hired and retained.

If you are serious about transforming your practice into a successful CPA practice, you must develop and commit your vision to paper.

Salim Omar, the CPA Marketing Genius, is a practicing CPA and founder of the Genius CPA Marketing System, the step-by-step system that shows you how to attract more clients to your CPA practice and increase your income without working more. To receive your FREE Audio CD titled “12 Marketing Secrets – How To Attract Quality Clients”, visit CPA Marketing Genius

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