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EA vs CPA: What’s the difference?

ea vs. cpa

Each exam lasts 3.5 hours and contains 100 multiple-choice questions. Out of the 100 questions, 85 are scored and weighted equally, while 15 are experimental questions ea vs. cpa that do not count towards your score. The Certified Public Accountant license is a state-level credential offered by each State Board of Accountancy.

The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact an attorney for your particular legal matter. On top of the initial college credits, exam, and experience conditions for CPA licensure, each state has specific rules for maintaining it.

What to Look for When Seeking the Services of Either a CPA vs. EA vs. PA?

Which is more appropriate for a business depends on the unique needs of each company. The Internal Revenue Service grants the EA credential—the highest it awards—to candidates who pass the Special Enrollment Exam . Candidates must pass all three parts of the 85-question SEE, which focuses solely on tax.

  • The sections include Individuals; Business; and Representation, Practice and Procedures.
  • When business owners think about services CPAs can provide, preparing tax returns may be on the top of their lists.
  • In a last minute about face, the IRS is rolling back the requirement for third-party payment providers to issue 1099-Ks for anyone receiving payments over $600 in 2022.
  • If you have worked with the IRS formally, hold technical expertise related to taxation and have ensured ethical conduct, you can become an EA.

Another factor to consider as you choose your career path is the earning potential for both the EA credential and CPA license. While both the CPA and EA credential require tax knowledge, the EA is much more niche within the industry and geared more toward tax practitioners. The Enrolled Agent credential requiresmore in-depth tax knowledgethan the CPA credential, meaning EAs are valuable to clients looking specifically for advice on advanced tax issues. The federal government oversees the licensing of EAs and with this title, EAs can represent clients before the IRS.

CPA Costs

Basics & Beyond™ offers affordable, engaging webinars for CPAs, EAs, and other accounting and tax professionals. For Basics and Beyond’s 2018 webinar schedule, click here. If you’re a budding tax or accounting professional, you may also be unclear on the differences between these two options. If so, it’s important to understand the functions that CPAs and EAs serve, and what the career potential for each role might be. With all of this in mind, we’ve put together this quick guide to answer all of your questions about the difference between a tax CPA and EA.

ea vs. cpa

There are many reasons to consider filing your tax return as soon as the IRS begins accepting returns. EAs who also hold CPA licensure and wish to investigate financial crimes might consider becoming certified in financial forensics . The American Institute for Certified Public Accountants offers CFF certification to CPAs.

Learn More About The CPA Exam

Finally, you must pay the CPA licensing fees, the mid-range of which comes to about $150. And yes, there are also a few other CPA Exam fees you’ll need to budget for, depending on your situation and testing track record. However, you still must pass all four parts of the CPA Exam within a rolling 18-month period. This time period begins as soon as you pass your first exam section. At that point, you have 18 months to pass the remaining three sections. If you don’t pass the remaining sections within this time, you will lose credit for the first section you passed.

Does EA make more than CPA?

EA vs CPA: Salaries

CPAs generally earn more than EAs, but that could vary depending on where you fall on the career ladder. An EA with many years of experience could earn more than a CPA who is only in their first year or two in practice.

Why EA is better than CPA?

EAs and CPAs are both knowledgeable, experienced professionals who are required to maintain high ethical standards. The primary difference between an EA vs CPA is that EAs specialize in taxation, and CPAs can specialize in taxation and more.

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