Credential Soup

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I think the number of accounting credentials available today is getting out of hand.  Don’t get me wrong. I am a big advocate of education. I even started an online education company. So, I get that credentials are important. They show that we have the proper education and training to do the job.

But, sometimes the number of initials trailing after a name looks a little over the top to me. And I don’t know that the lay person (aka potential client) really has a clue what all these initials really mean.
These are the credentials I see regularly, in no particular order:
·         CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
·         EA (Enrolled Agent)
·         CMA (Certified Management Accountant)
·         CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
·         CIA (Certified Internal Auditor)
·         Cr.FA (Certified Forensic Accountant)
·         ABA (Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor)
·         ATP (Accredited Tax Preparer)
·         ARA (Accredited Retirement Advisor)
·         ATA (Accredited Tax Advisor)
·         CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional)
·         CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst)
·         CVA (Certified Valuation Analyst)
·         ABV (Accredited in Business Valuation)
·         ASA (Accredited Senior Appraiser)
·         CFF (Certified in Financial Forensics)
·         CPIM (Certified in Production Inventory Management)
·         CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner)
And coming soon, all paid tax return preparers will be required to pass a competency test, take continuing education, and obtain a number. Will they put PTIN after their names?
Seriously, how many credentials do we need?

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