Enrolled Agent vs CPA: What’s the Difference?

ea accountant salary

In your first year as an EA, you’ll be the only person in your firm that handles taxes. But you will gain experience and knowledge that you can use to help future clients. However, EAs are as good (if not better) at handling income tax matters.

ea accountant salary


A smaller step, but still one in the direction of earning more for your expertise, is completing the Annual Filing Season Program. The AFSP is a yearly 15 to 18 hour continuing education program governed by the IRS. Once completed, you are listed on the IRS’ RPO database as an official “Annual Filing Season Program Participant”. enrolled agent salary Once you have several years of experience in taxation, it’s much easier to pass the exam. Becoming a CPA is challenging, but earning your license can offer career-long benefits, including more engaging work and a higher earning potential. Even though it is a difficult path, you don’t need to do this alone.

  • According to ZipRecruiter.com, the average annual salary for an Enrolled Agent as of December 2021 was $59,020.
  • CPAs, for example, must first earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field before they’re able to sit for the four-part certified public accountant examination.
  • In 2019, the average accountant brought home $71,550 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • If you have accounting needs with a micro focus, working with an EA could be the perfect fit for you.
  • They must stay up to date on relevant tax laws and often communicate across departments to ensure the entire firm is complying with accounting procedures.

Comparing EA vs CPA in Salary, Scope, and Career Paths in Financial Accounting

On the other hand, the range for an Enrolled Agent starts from $32k and goes up to $82k. This post will take you through the various details of the CPA vs EA difference, EA vs CPA salary, Enrolled Agent vs CPA exam difficulty, EA vs CPA for taxes, and more. All features, services, support, prices, offers, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Additionally, if you have broader accounting needs — for instance, your bank requires a reviewed financial statement to comply with loan covenants — then working with a CPA can be beneficial. The CPA choice, on the other hand, might be the best if you’re interested in accounting procedures that have nothing to do with taxes, like auditing.

EA vs. CPA Tax Professionals: What’s the Difference?

For each stage of your Enrolled Agent career, you’ll see an average salary increase of 8.38%. If you’re looking to pursue an advanced degree, it’s wise to get an idea of how that credential may or may not improve your salary prospects. Similar to undergraduate degrees, science, technology, engineering and math-related master’s degrees tend to lead to higher-paying salaries compared with degrees in the arts and humanities.

  • CPAs have a broader knowledge base in all facets of accounting while EAs only focus on tax.
  • Each career path has its merits and focus, whether it’s financial accounting, tax preparation, or even financial planning.
  • 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.
  • FREOPP used the Department of Education’s College Scorecard as well as Census Bureau earnings data to estimate ROI for over 53,000 degree and certificate programs.
  • You can register for this exam through Prometric’s Special Enrollment Examination official website; you can enroll in the exam.

ea accountant salary

In return for this valuable experience, you’ll be paid just over $30,000 per year. So on average, EAs make about $50,000 after https://www.bookstime.com/ 10 years of experience (it depends on location). Candidates must pass each of the SEE’s three parts within two years.

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Costs and Processes of Becoming an EA and CPA

CPAs have a well-earned reputation for being experts in accounting, compliance and finance management. But they’re not the only ones who can help people make sense of tax issues and concerns. If you’re considering a career focused on assisting clients with tax-related issues, you may be weighing your options between enrolled agent vs CPA.

If you don’t pass the remaining sections within this time, you will lose credit for the first section you passed. Accordingly, you must then pass that section and any other unpassed sections within 30 months of the time you passed your second section. With such tight deadlines, relying on a CPA review course and faithfully adhering to a consistent study schedule is even more critical for achieving CPA Exam success. To become an enrolled agent, you must either take the EA exam, also known as the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE), or have previous work experience at the IRS. 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.

ea accountant salary

Enrolled Agent Exam vs CPA exam

  • When deciding between working with an EA or a CPA, you can rest assured that both types of professionals are well-trained.
  • In other words, a CPA is the go-to if you’re looking for a broad scope of expertise.
  • This is the median figure, so if you ranked all the accountant salaries from highest to lowest, the median would be the umber in the middle.
  • Instead, consider enrolling in an EA Review course to expedite and improve your exam preparation.
  • Then, with your improved understanding of tax accounting, you can come back to REG, pass the CPA Exam, and, ultimately, get the CPA license as well.

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