Just got my license. But same old me.

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  • #1450649


    I just got licensed. But I feel no more or less qualified now than I did before I got it. Before I got this license, I felt unqualified when I interviewed for jobs that required a CPA license. Now that I have it, I still feel unqualified for those same jobs. Nothing has changed. I’m a fraud; an imposter. Is life worth living or should I blast myself?

    Thank you,

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #1450655

    im assuming that's a Tupac reference at the end… or at least im hoping it was

    anyways, keep your chins up… you JUST got your license. it may take some time to set in.

    AUD - 80
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 77
    REG - 79
    one step closer

    Are you assuming I'm overweight and have multiple chins?? I'm actually underweight and my stomach hurts so I'm looking for a purse to snatch.

    Thanks doe. You're almost there. Punish that BEC!


    you got your license, you can check the box. Experience will come with time. But believe it, own it, and give yourself credit for the hard work it took. Everyone is trainable, BUT it takes some serious self confidence to re-create yourself. Walk like you own it, interview like you deserve it, and work like CPA! You'll do just fine. =)

    AUD - NINJA in Training
    BEC - 82
    FAR - NINJA in Training
    REG - 82
    Your intelligence has nothing to do with your score!  It's a matter of dedication, study habit and how well you test.

    AUD- 64 (Retake 1/2)-Waiting on score

    BEC- 82 (2x)

    FAR-May 2018

    Reg- 82 (1x)


    If you're getting a CPA for personal validation, you're barking up the wrong tree.

    AUD - 86
    BEC - 85
    FAR - 76
    REG - 78

    BEC: 85
    REG: 74, 78
    AUD: 86
    FAR: October?


    I think becoming licensed is a bitter-sweet moment, although I am not there yet. Just remember that the majority of the population Cannot pass these series of exams. It takes a very intelligent (especially book smart) and extremely dedicated person to pass them. I have had 3 lawyers personally tell me they believe the CPA exam is harder than the Bar. Two of the lawyers are also licensed CPA's and the third has a son who is a licensed CPA. Be happy that the exam process is in the rear view mirror!

    Personally, I have learned A LOT from these exams because they combine the various disciplines of accounting into a somewhat cohesive examination process. In contrast, while at University, my accounting classes were randomly taken with other classes and did not always make complete sense.

    Pat yourself on the back and appreciate your major accomplishment! Not everyone can become a CPA and most are highly respected by the public!


    I recently read a book titled “Presence”, written by Amy Cuddy and it gave me a little insight on this matter. I also feel unqualified and I am always paranoid that I will never know as much as my fellow auditors (who have been working here for 10+ years.) In Amy’s book, she talks about what is known as “imposter syndrome.” It’s the feeling that all of the things you have achieved in life were mostly because of luck or because of the help of others and that you aren’t really smart enough to achieve these things on your own. And good news, you aren’t the only one! She writes that more people than you think have this feeling and it’s just something you have to overcome. Be confident and proud that you passed the CPA exam, because not everyone can do it! Over time you will begin to see yourself as a more qualified individual, and so will others!!

    BEC - 74, 79

    AUD - 82

    REG - 68, 80

    FAR - 79


    You will probably feel a lot more like you want to feel once you have some good experience in whatever area you choose to specialize in…

    E.g., once you can meet with a client and tap your expertise and creativity to solve some important problem, you'll feel really good… once you know enough in your practice area to coach and mentor younger colleagues, you'll feel really validated… once you know how to do complex high-value work with ease, you'll find yourself in a “flow” experience.

    Winston Churchill said something that's sort of relevant after Montgomery repulsed Rommel's forces in Northern Africa in World War II… he said that first success of the Allies wasn't an end point or even the beginning of end but rather the end of the beginning.

    I think you should about your license in the same way (sort of)… it's the end of the beginning.

    I don't really remember my CPA exam scores. I've been a CPA for decades... I run a four CPA firm in Redmond WA. I'm the author of a bunch of books about small business accounting including QuickBooks for Dummies and Quicken for Dummies.

    I think there's a huge misconception about what being licensed does for your career. It does two distinct things, and only two.

    1-If you work in public your employer can bill more for your time.

    2-If you're applying to jobs in industry and on paper are being compared against another candidate with almost similar credentials except you have CPA after your name and they don't, you are more likely to get a call for an interview than your competition.

    Thats it, the entire value of the blood, sweat and tears that goes into earning your license. I realize its harsh, but I'm not downplaying it at all. I certainly wouldn't have the job I do now without my license and that alone makes the effort I put into it worthwhile. I'm glad I'm licensed and would do it all over again knowing what I know now but the designation becomes more valuable when combined with relevant experience, it rarely just stands on its own.

    Old timer,  A71'er since 2010.

    Finance manager/HR manager



    Licensed Massachusetts Non Reporting CPA since 2012
    Finance/Admin/HR Manager


    You wont feel the same after 3 years…. assuming you will do all of those 120 hours CPE requirement.

    AUD - 86
    BEC - 76
    FAR - 75
    REG - 83

    Come on come on that's just the way it is. Once you are a CPA things will never be the same. That's just the way it is.

    BEC - 82
    REG - 86
    FAR - 85
    AUD - 84 and I'm out!!!!!
    Ethics - 95
    In Skynet's Honor:
    Act I: Shutdown Skynet and prevent Judgment Day.
    Act II: Add a comma and three letters to my title.
    Act III: Time Travel and marry a young Denise Richards (and prevent subsequent plastic surgery),return to present.
    Act IV: Serve as Successor to Elon Musk as CEO of Tesla.
    Act V: Ensure Judgment Day has been stopped. Utopia achieved.


    Maybe you should Stop. Drop. Open up a tax shop. Oooooh. whooaaa. That's how CPA's rooooll.

    AUD - 92
    BEC - 84
    FAR - 89
    REG - 84
    Mailed application! Hoping to be licensed by year-end!

    The CPA is just a certificate for the wall and three letters to add on your business card.

    You will make more money. It won't make you a better accountant.

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