Reputation of CPA credential pays off in the long run

Written on Jul 18, 2019

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

HoagstromThe CPA exam can be tough for even the most eager professional, which is why dedication and commitment can help during times when the studying process seems endless.

“I would say it's probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life because I was working full time while I took it,” said Rebecca Hoagstrom, CPA, of Bellefontaine. “And so, I lived, breathed, ate and slept accounting for a while.”

After spending time at a small nonprofit doing accounting, Hoagstrom realized she enjoyed the work and appreciated the challenge of it all, although her background was a management degree from Ohio Northern University.

She went back to school and earned her MBA with an emphasis on accounting from Wayne State University and was then living in Michigan. At the time Hoagstrom said candidates had to have a job with a CPA firm for a year before they could get their CPA. Instead of finding a new job, she was able to take the exam in Illinois without a residency requirement.

After passing the test in 2008 she eventually moved to Ohio in 2012 to take care of her parents. She earned her Ohio certification this spring after taking an updated ethics requirement from Ohio.

“To me having a CPA designation says that you have a certain knowledge and a certain background,” she said.

Hoagstrom said she appreciates the reputation of being a CPA, and what it implies about a person’s expertise before you’ve seen their resume or work history.

For those who are considering taking the exam, she suggested taking it shortly after graduating, but even if you’re more established in your career, it will payoff down the road.

“I think it was worth the effort,” she said. “Because it's recognized as being hard and an accomplishment.”

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