Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? Have you always dreamed of entering the ever-changing world of accounting? If you want to become an accountant but you have always dreamed of being your own boss, opening your own accounting practice once you have become an expert in the field is an option. In a decade where new financial reporting regulations and internal control demands have been created by the passage of new legislation, the need for CPA firms has never been higher, and you could benefit from this need.
Taking the leap to launch a practice can be scary, but if you plan ahead and map out the path to take to make it happen the experience will be far less stressful. If you are not familiar with the educational requirements, licensure requirements, and experience requirements you must fulfill to open your own practice, read this guide so that you can construct your business plan and cross start-up activities off of your list.
Learn About State CPA Requirements
One of the common requirements in all states when you are interested in opening an accounting firm is having an accreditation as a CPA. As long as you can fulfill the state requirements to test for certification, you have enough college credit under your belt to open a practice.
The CPA requirements to sit for the uniform CPA exam can vary from state to state, but most states require that you have a minimum of 150 semester hours in accounting completed. If this is not a required, the state may require that applicants have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with 24 semester units in accounting. You should check your state’s specific requirements to see if a Baccalaureate degree is sufficient to test for your CPA and earn your license.
Going Beyond the Basic Requirement
A Bachelor’s degree is a basic requirement to become a CPA, and a CPA accreditation is a basic requirement to open an accounting firm. If you really want to succeed in the world of self-employment, you should plan far enough ahead so that no surprises delay launching your business. Many states and municipalities require that the owner or an accounting firm apply for a business license before they can open their doors. You should verify if this is a requirement, and also research the process of applying for a business license before you start printing marketing materials or before you starting pitching your services to businesses or individuals.
What to Do Once You Have Your Degree
After spending 3 to 4 years pursuing a B.Acc, you can finally start prepping for your CPA. After you are officially a CPA, you will need to decide which market segment you want to specialize in and which location you would like to operate out of. Focus on operating in a segment within the industry that you are an expert in, and once you have built a book-of-business, you can branch out and expand your product offering.
While you do not need a Master’s or MBA to open a firm, advancing your degree can help you build your knowledge base. Start by getting your Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, and once you are confident you can apply to take your CPA. As you gain experience as a business owner and as an accounting professional, you can become a specialist rather than just a generalist in the field.