enrolled agent vs cpa

Passing the exam is much easier once you have several years of tax experience. In fact, you can schedule and sit for the exam as soon as you obtain a Personal Tax Identification Number (PTIN), even if you are still in college. Enrolled agents are required https://www.bookstime.com/ to take part in continuing education to stay up to date on changes in tax law. With the information you now have, you can choose a tax professional for your business. Before you do, here’s a checklist of the question you should ask yourself.

Forms & Instructions

enrolled agent vs cpa

Adtalem Global Education is not responsible for the security, contents and accuracy of any information provided on the third-party website. Note that the website may still be a third-party tax preparer vs cpa website even the format is similar to the Becker.com website. Having both your CPA license and your EA credential can improve your career trajectory and help you better serve your clients.

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EAs clients encompass individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates, trusts, and other entities with tax-reporting requirements. Otherwise, the testing window runs from May 1-February 28, and you can take the exam any time within that window. You can take the exam parts hours, days, or months apart, and you can arrange them in any order you like. If you fail an EA exam part, you can take it three more times (a total of four) during the testing window.

Requirements for Enrolled Agents

enrolled agent vs cpa

If you have complex financial or tax needs, a CPA could be a good fit. For keeping detailed financial records and managing fiscal resources, a bookkeeper is an excellent option. A remote bookkeeper is cost-effective, flexible, and experienced to help your organization manage your fiscal resources. Depending on years of experience, rank within their firm, etc., a CPA may charge between $30 and $500/hour. A simple tax situation, like a sole proprietorship with few deductions, might only need an EA.

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CPAs are qualified to offer a range of accounting, tax, and business services to individuals, businesses, and organizations. While an enrolled agent is a highly knowledgeable tax professional, they are not licensed to provide services outside the realm of taxation. A CPA can provide auditing, financial planning, and many other services in addition to helping with tax issues. Unlike attorneys and CPAs—who are state licensed and who may or may not choose to specialize in taxes—all enrolled agents specialize in taxation. CPAs have a broader knowledge base in all facets of accounting while EAs only focus on tax.

  • For more information on the exams, check out our free EA Exam Guide and our CPA Exam Guide.
  • They deal in all sorts of realms within the tax world, making them a great choice if your questions involve multiple topics.
  • However, CPAs are only allowed to practice in the state where their current license is held except for states that accept CPA mobility for limited practice.
  • The enrolled agent vs CPA journey both require relevent work experience, passing an exam and fulfilling continued professional education (CPE) requirements.
  • CPAs, or Certified Public Accountants, are licensed individuals with the statutory privilege to sign an audit report.

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Now you know the differences between an EA and a CPA, you can decide which is best for your business. Once you click “continue,” you will be brought to a third-party website. Please be aware, the privacy policy may differ on the third-party website.

  • Additionally, CPAs are licensed by state boards of accountancy, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • Enrolled agents must pass the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE), a comprehensive three-part exam the IRS administers.
  • Typically, their clients are businesses that need both accounting and tax services.
  • This fee typically runs from $30 to $150, and if you have to retake an exam section, you may have to pay it each time.
  • To accomplish that, a CPA will request bank statements and other proof, which limits the possibility of mistakes.
  • They know about your marriage, your income, your children and your social security numbers – the details of your financial life.
  • For those with greater professional ambitions, being a CPA is the jumping block to leadership and executive roles.

However, a solid understanding of certain accreditations is key if you’re looking for a licensed tax professional to guide you through your tax needs. When making your decision about whom to work with, you may wonder about the differences between an enrolled agent (EA) and a certified public accountant (CPA). While professionals with both certifications have significant expertise, choosing between them will come down to your personal needs. Enrolled agents are certified by the IRS and can practice anywhere in the United States. Though the IRS certifies other types of tax professionals, such as enrolled actuaries and registered tax return preparers, their practice rights are limited.

Above all, it’s important to remember that while both professionals can provide a host of taxation services, CPAs generally offer a much wider scope of financial services. CPAs also tend to be in higher demand than EAs, but that’s probably only because CPA is a better-known license than EA. This means that the CPA is a more broad professional title compared to an EA. A CPA, for example, could work as an auditor, or provide financial management services to businesses and individuals.

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  • Both EAs and CPAs are qualified to provide specific taxation guidance.
  • Although these courses are expensive, savvy candidates can find discounts and promotional codes to reduce the costs.
  • Depending on years of experience, rank within their firm, etc., a CPA may charge between $30 and $500/hour.
  • EAs and CPAs are both knowledgeable, experienced professionals who are required to maintain high ethical standards.
  • They may work as auditors, financial planners, corporate and executive accountants, and/or tax consultants.
  • The best way to pass the EA exam in a timely manner is to use an EA review course and stick to a study schedule.

To finish the process of becoming a CPA after you’ve passed all four CPA Exam sections, you must acquire an additional 30 credit hours of education to fulfill the 150-hour requirement. Additionally, you must work in an accounting position for 1 to 2 years to meet the CPA work experience requirement. However, you still must pass all four parts of the CPA Exam within a rolling 30-month period. This time period begins as soon as you pass your first exam section. At that point, you have 18 months to pass the remaining three sections.