By Morgan International Staff Writers
If there is one function of a business that has grown significantly in importance in recent years, it is that of finance. The backdrop to this is a combination of factors from a number of monetary scandals that have rocked established organizations around the world, to the tsunami-like global financial crisis itself, to the more recent sobering economic climate and subsequent ushering in of belt-tightening measures.
One thing is for sure: never has it felt like so much scrutiny or pressure has been placed on businesses to make sure their financial houses are in order. And so who do companies rely on in times such as these? The answer can be summed up in three letters: CPA.
Put simply, certified public accountants, or CPAs for short, are now seen more than ever as the bedrock of any organization’s ability to survive. Demand is so great for their skills that in some countries there are even CPA shortages, leading to a boost in salaries for those already in the privileged position of being in the field.
It isn’t just the financial climate, though, that is driving this demand for CPAs. The uncertainty of the times in which we live (with recent years having seen the Middle East going through unprecedented levels of unexpected events and change) creates a climate in which businesses have to plan better and reduce risk for their survival. At the same time markets are increasingly competitive, as globalization opens up new opportunities and challenges, and as the digital landscape reshapes consumer dynamics. Take all this into consideration and it’s no surprise that certified professional accountants are sought after for their knowledge that can create a competitive advantage to business. And just as the business landscape is increasing in complexity, so is the diversity of opportunities and salary ranges for CPAs.
So what is it that makes a CPA such a valuable commodity in the talent pool? The reasons are simple: even without today’s business or economic backdrop, having CPA certification is seen as a plus for a career in accountancy: it is a benchmark that indicates high standards of professionalism, of quantitative skills, and of adherence to ethical standards, thus increasing a professional’s leverage in the job market. It also brings with it the prospect of increased salary, generally entailing at least a premium of five percent over accountants’ salaries without the CPA. But beyond all of this, the plus of having CPA certification is also seen as a way to open doors to multiple career opportunities; it is a stepping stone to wherever your dreams might take you – from private sector business to multinational corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations, your skills as a CPA will always be in demand. From accountancy to tax, risk management to investment consulting, and all the way up the corporate ladder to the boardroom via the role of chief financial officer (increasingly seen as the key driving force in any business), there is a diverse range of careers within a CPA’s grasp.
It’s clear that if there used to be any thoughts of a CPA merely representing a step up from an accountant, this is no longer the case. Today’s CPAs are called on to play increasingly important roles in a company’s future. No longer are they simply accounting for what has happened; they are also relied on for valuable insight into how to manage and plan for what lies ahead. In short, today CPAs have a vital role to play in the success of any organization and that makes them in demand more than ever before