Many employers are willing to pay for the CPA exam, in full or part of it, because the certification is often perceived as a must-have for employees as they are taking on more responsibilities in accounting firms and, therefore, considered an important investment.
For junior accountants working at CPA firms, the certification is a must and the question becomes when and who’s going to pay for it.
CPA Exam Costs
Medium- to large-sized firms in the United States have education budgets set aside to invest in staff training, and what better way to use those budgets than turning Jr. accountants into full-fledged CPAs. Certified accountants hold so much more value for the company that any Jr. accountant who has been with the firm for a while and who is likely to be eligible for tuition reimbursement.
The Big Four firms offer $5,000 bonuses upon passing the CPA exam within the first year of joining the firm, and Jr. accountants who pass the exam before their first day of work will receive their bonuses one to two months after their start date. Usually the bonus amount is lower for employees taking longer to complete the CPA exam, so that the employee receives $3,000 if the exam is done within the second year and $1,000 if it’s done within the third year.
There are also a myriad of CPA exam review courses that firms of all sizes can buy in bulk in order to further cut costs while maintaining a high perceived value to their employees. Remember, accounting firms are basically investing in themselves by sponsoring accountants’ CPA exams or reward them with bonuses, as the employees’ new skills can help them achieve more and deliver more as a CPA than as Jr. accountants.
The Big Four’s bonus system is clearly acknowledging the benefits of certified accountants in their staff and how much they consider its worth with monetary rewards.