Stephanie Ng is the Executive Committee member responsible for Finance at New Sight Eye Care, a charity registered in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. She oversees the financial aspect of New Sight in Hong Kong, including accounting, taxation, financial management, and compliance. While there could be exceptions to the rule, CPA licensure generally https://www.bookstime.com/articles/outstanding-checks has a much higher barrier of entry than the enrolled agent credential. If you are a CPA, then there is no need to become an EA because a CPA is qualified to perform the duties of the EA. A case where this might make sense is if you work as an EA while you are preparing to sit for your CPA exam with the goal to continue work in taxation.
Don’t forget that in order to maintain licensure, you will have to take ongoing continuing education (CE) courses. CE requirements are determined at the state levels and are cyclical (e.g. 120 hours in 3 years.) Your employer may or may not bear the cost of CPE or licensure. The average salary of an enrolled agent will range from $42K to $60K per year.
So, you’ll spend less time earning the EA title and can, therefore, start working with clients much sooner. Yet, the value they add to the public differs, as you can see from these lists. Conversely, CPAs tend to start off working for accounting or auditing firms, but as they gain experience, they too launch their own practices.
They’re typically adept at dealing with the IRS, and some EAs even worked as IRS agents before opening their own practices. If you have worked with the IRS formally, hold technical expertise related to taxation and have ensured ethical conduct, you can become an EA. Depending on your state, you may also have to complete a work experience requirement. Typically this is 1 year of accounting-based work under the supervision of an active CPA.
Specifically, you must pass all 4 sections of the CPA Exam within a rolling 30-month period. This time period starts as soon as you pass your first exam section. So, if you start with the CPA Exam and struggle with REG, you can temporarily enrolled agent salary change course by sitting for the EA exam, passing it, and earning your EA title. Then, you can apply what you learned from the EA exam to the REG section of the CPA Exam. But the taxation section of REG is highly comparable to the EA exam.
According to a bureau of labor statistics 2020 report, CPAs earned an average of $73560 while enrolled agents earned $55640 per year. Additionally, an EA collects, prepares, and files tax returns for taxpayers. 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.
According to Payscale.com, entry-level EAs, like figuratively right out of the gates, begin with an hourly rate that goes up to $26 an hour. These positions are primarily tax practitioners who review and prepare tax returns for both individuals and businesses during tax season. EAs could help you work through an IRS audit or a collection problem, and they can also perform bookkeeping services that could be useful for businesses when preparing tax returns. Additionally, the questions on the REG CPA Exam section are harder than those on the EA exam. The REG questions don’t go into as much detail about tax, but they are more varied and complicated, partially because the CPA Exam contains multiple-choice questions and task-based simulations.
And then you will need a CPA review course, which could add more to the total costs of becoming a CPA. If you are a partner in a CPA firm or a CFO for a conglomerate, you could easily take home six figures. It’s also necessary to pass a stringent background check if you want to become an EA. This is rather important as the IRS won’t allow you to become an enrolled agent if you have specific crimes on your record.
Enrolled agents also focus on preparing taxes and many specialize in tax resolution. Hope you have found the complete details and differences between CPA and EA. Hi-Educare is India’s No.1 training provider for the CPA and EA courses. If you have any queries regarding the CPA course and EA course, feel free to contact us. According to Payscale, the average salary of a Certified Public Accountant is Rs. 7,00,000 per year. The candidate has to pay around $1,000 in the process of taking the Special Enrollment Examination, paying for the Enrolled Agent license.