What is like being a CPA? This is a loaded question depending on what one is willing to share, to accept as a comprehensive enough answer, and what the focus is. For example, are the following answers good enough?
1/ It is like winning a marathon
2/ It is like winning a Swiss Chess tournament
3/ It is like being validated
4/ It is like getting a dose of confidence
5/ It is like joining a special community of really […….] people
6/ It is like getting a huge load off your shoulder
7/ It is like people expect your to be an accounting-Superman
8/ It is like opening doors of opportunity
9/ It is like any other tough professional certification
10/ It is like nothing changed
Sometimes it is hard to answer seemingly easy questions. Sometimes it is hard to understand/accept a seemingly easy answer. Sometimes you just have to go through it to get it. Similar questions:
1/ What is it like being the President of the USA?
2/ What is it like driving a semi/truck from California to New York?
3/ What is it like being a resident (Doctor)?
4/ What is it like being the son/daughter of a famous/rich/… person?
5/ What is it like to be a slave?
6/ What is it like being God?
7/ What is like to be discriminated against?
8/ What is it like going through a hurricane/earthquake/tsunami?
9/ What is it like to wait for judgment?
10/ What is like to be a champion?
11/ What is it like to live in a place where you have no choice, no options, no opportunity, no way out?
If you ask 100 people who have gone through whatever situation you are inquiring about, you will get so many varied answer because individuals are different, their situations are unique, their motivations and interpretations are different. However, thinking and getting an idea of certain situations may help prepare you in case you end up in a similar situation, or it may help you empathise with somebody who has gone through a situation or is going through it.
Now, what is it like being a CPA for me?
I became a CPA bit by bit. When I passed an exam, I thought I was 1/4 or 1/5 of the way done. [1/4 if you exclude the Ethics exam.] Each time I passed an exam, my confidence grew. As I studied, procrastinated, recovered, prayed, waited for exams to come out, found out that I had passed or failed, checked the results, hoped, read my positive thinking note, etc, I learnt a lot about myself. So in a way, for me, being a CPA brings some self-awareness on how you deal with things, how you manage yourself. Along the way, I wondered why I wanted to be a CPA. I answered the question in my mission statement or motivational notes. I regularly try to find a reason why I am doing certain things. I have found it very helpful. I have found out that depending on who you are talking to, the CPA certification may or may not carry much weight especially when you are out of the USA. Some people give it too much weight. May be not. May be my expectations were not as high as they should be. I have since adjusted them for the sake of myself, and for the sake of the profession. So being a CPA brings a lot of responsibility. You don’t want to be the one that makes people say, “these new CPAs are up to no good”. I found that being a CPA has opened doors that otherwise would not have been open, or as open. I have found that I reviewed a lot of material as I was preparing for the exams that it becomes handy at unexpected times. I have also found out that I have forgotten a lot of material. I have found out that if I had known the benefits of being a CPA way back when, I could have taken the exam earlier, I could have studied harder, I could have complained less, and may be, I could have wished the exam was a little harder. I have found that if I were to live my life again, and I was asked whether I wanted to go through the CPA exams, I would say yes in a heartbeat. I have found that knowledge and experience are not the same thing, nor do they give you the same result all the time; preferably, you want to have a lot of both, and find a way to get them to talk to each other so that you can be more effective. It is great to be a CPA. I would like to say I haven’t changed much, but I also know I have changed much. I am still me for the most part, but I am a little bit changed, for the better (I would like to think), because of my experiences studying for the CPA exams and also being a CPA.
If you are a CPA or a certified somebody/something, what is it like?
If you want to be a CPA or certified somebody/something, why do you want to be that? What do you think it is like being a CPA or a certified somebody/something?
Thanks for reading, and I hope you found that helpful.