Decide Between CPA – EA
Decide Between CPA – EA for 2017 returns. This time of year we get thoroughly disgusted with the SPEW from NAEA lying about why an Enrolled Agent would be a better choice for taxes than a CPA. There certainly some very qualified EA’s out there, we work a number of them every day. Then there are some that wallow around in the H&R Block pig stye huffing the NAEA stink…we dedicate this his page to those emotionally brittle, small-minded mental midgets. [If anyone doesn’t like that phrase, think of it as payback for “America’s Tax Experts”].
Just so we are clear…this is an example of the garbage that earns what is going to follow. Note that the Enrolled Agent in question is an experienced, skilled tax practitioner who has an earned Tax Certificate from the University of California – Los Angeles. that for some unknown reason he feels the need to lie about and refer to as an MST…that is a GREAT example of an “act discreditable” under Circular 230, Sec. 10.51. This is how a representative of the UCLA certificate program described it”
Independent of your answer to the first question, are individuals that complete the program authorized as representing that they have earned an MST?
UCLA Extension is a certificate based program. We only offer Certificates.
Academic certificates are ideal if you want specific, practical knowledge in a particular field. Certificates offer a focused course of study balancing theory and practice with an emphasis on real-world experience. Because completing an academic certificate program can take less time and significantly less money than a graduate degree, it’s also an ideal way to quickly improve your professional skills, gain practical training, or explore alternate careers. In addition, most of UCLA Extension’s certificate programs offer open enrollment, meaning you will not have to take preliminary standardized tests, compete for enrollment, or have a certain GPA for admission.
The course in taxation offered within the Accounting Certificate program are
X 127 Federal Income Taxation
X 427.8 Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders
X 427.9 Partnership Taxation
for a total of 9 quarter hours worth of taxation courses.
By contrast, the top eight MS-Taxation programs in the United States in currently ranked order REQUIRE a minimum of ten courses in taxation topics totaling thirty hours. A CPA with a degree from one of these programs has substantially more education in taxation than any EA that didn’t attend one of these programs. [See my transcript on the right <g>]
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention one bright spot on the EA side which is the NTPI Fellow Program for those choosing to specialize in Taxpayer Representation.
The author writes
Obviously, I haven’t used GAAP since school, so not wanting to get sanctioned by the Florida State Board of Accountancy, I sent them a simple question.
I asked them, “As an EA can I prepare a financial statement under GAAP?” I’ve been in practice for 24 years, and I remember a time when I could call the statements that I prepared in Florida compilations. Somewhere along the way, CPAs hijacked the term compilation, and EAs were no longer allowed to use it in Florida. The answer I received from the State Board of Accountancy was that, as an EA, I wasn’t allowed to do financial statements, much less a GAAP statement.
The Chairman of the Florida Board of Accountancy, Mr. David Dennis, CPA actually responded in the comments and stated at the end of his comments
Also, to clarify, the Florida Board of Accountancy does not regulate non-licensees, so your implication that the Board has any jurisdiction over EA’s is incorrect. Unlicensed activity is handled by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and not the Board of Accountancy.
While there are numerous professional inaccuracies in your article, which others have pointed out, I would merely add one comment that you can expense more items through COGS under GAAP than any other method. This is simply not true. Often times a cash basis of accounting will result in higher expenses, especially in any period where the value of inventory increased during the current period.
Thank you for the opportunity to correct the record for what the Florida Board of Accountancy does and what it does not do. I hope the editors of this blog will consider the inaccuracies of this article and act appropriately.
Anyway, several thought pieces about the CPA vs. EA comparison.
- EA Never Will Be An Astronaut
- CPA – Right Choice Business Taxes
- CPA vs EA Compare Experienced
- Enrolled Agent – Wrong Choice
Then we have an HR Block – FrankENROLLED Agent, a “Block Master Tax Advisor” working for Block Corporate, not a franchise that wrote our firm a check for $2,500 to fix an individual return where the EA was absolutely incompetent and was spare an OPR Referral out of grace.
Everyone should consider both sides of the issue and reach their own decisions. So much for the NAEA DELUSION THAT Enrolled Agents are “America’s Tax Experts“.