EA vs CPA: What’s the Difference Between These Tax Pros?

ea vs cpa salary

They’re typically adept at dealing with the IRS, and some EAs even worked as IRS agents before opening their own practices. The Special Enrollment Examination, or Enrolled Agent Exam, consists of three examinations. Each exam lasts 3.5 hours and contains 100 multiple-choice questions.

CPA vs EA License?

  • Normally, the clients of CPAs are businesses requiring both accounting and tax services.
  • EAs are federally authorized tax practitioners who represent taxpayers before the IRS on a range of matters such as collections to IRS audits and appeals.
  • A financial advisor can help you maximize the tax efficiency of your investments and assist you in creating and carrying out a long-term plan.
  • All these are very important for calculating tax payable and preparing returns which a CPA is also very adept at.
  • CPAs know the numbers, so hiring a CPA makes sense for businesses that need trusted advisors to provide them with better and more accurate tax planning.

So, if you start with the CPA Exam and struggle with REG, you can temporarily change course by sitting for the EA exam, passing it, and earning your EA title. Then, you can apply what you learned from the EA exam to the REG section of the CPA Exam. Most candidates say that Part 1 and Part 3 of the EA exam are the easiest parts to pass. In fact, some candidates with tax experience report that they can pass these parts without much studying. Both types of professionals are qualified to perform similar tasks. However, it ultimately comes down to the range of services each credential can perform where they differ.

Enrolled Agent vs. CPA: Which Path Will You Take?

  • It’s clear you want to be the best you can be, professionally, and a big part of unlocking your potential in the accounting industry is earning certain certifications.
  • The EA exam is a three-part test that each consists of around 100 multiple-choice questions.
  • EAs and CPAs can both be tax experts, and the work they do is often similar, but there are some differences between an EA vs CPA.
  • Additionally, the questions on the REG CPA Exam section are harder than those on the EA exam.
  • Again, this type of course will help you successfully prepare for the exam so that you can pass on the first try.
  • However, NASBA (the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) now offers all four parts of the exam year-round with continuous scheduling.
  • But EAs do have an opportunity to significantly boost their salaries during tax season.

On the other hand, for the CPA exam, four different subfields of accountancy have to be covered and hence more study materials have to be absorbed by the candidates. The EA exam has three parts and there is no time limit between taking each exam which lasts for an hour each, making for a total of 4 hours. 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.

Certified Public Accountants: The Financial All-Rounders

I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites. This chart presents the totals for the Enrolled Agent exam and the CPA Exam costs. Keep in mind these are minimum costs – they don’t take retakes or more expensive prep materials into account.

ea vs cpa salary

  • And according to the above definition, CPAs also have unlimited representation rights before the IRS.
  • They are well-versed in financial accounting and reporting, can conduct audits, offer business environment and concepts advice, and even specialize in personal finance management.
  • With just 2 years to pass the EA exam and 30 months to pass the CPA Exam, you’d benefit from passing each part on your first try so you can finish each part within the time limit.
  • Enrolled agents also have the opportunity to earn extra money during tax season.
  • I am torn between getting my EA or CPA since I plan to stay in and specialize in tax so I was thinking EA might be the right choice to make, at least out of college.

Only around 70% of the REG material relates directly to the EA exam, while the rest covers other topics such as business law. Take some time to think about which profession is truly right for you before getting started on the licensing process. With hard work and dedication, you’ll be able to carve enrolled agent salary out a successful career as an EA or CPA. For CPAs, the average yearly salary Opens in new window is around $82,000. As with EAs, the number does not include other forms of compensation. There’s no wrong answer when it comes to deciding whether it’s best for you to study to become a CPA or an EA.

Special Enrollment Exam (EA Exam) vs CPA Exam

According to ZipRecruiter.com, the national average salary for an Enrolled Agent as of February 2023 is $60,725. Jobs paying $47,500 or less are in the 25th or less percentile range, while https://www.bookstime.com/articles/what-is-a-bookkeeper jobs paying more than $70,500 are in the 75th or more percentile range. Then, after you pass the CPA Exam, you’ll probably have to pay for the ethics exam, which typically costs $130.

Enrolled Agent Exam Questions: Everything You Need to Know – Miami Herald

Enrolled Agent Exam Questions: Everything You Need to Know.

Posted: Sun, 05 May 2024 07:00:00 GMT [source]


It’s helpful to compare the differences between an EA and a CPA so you can decide which one is the best choice for your career. Stephanie Ng began her career as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in New York and Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong. She later joined her client to work in the Group Finance Department, where she spent five years specializing in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and debt refinancing. She also extended her role to management accounting and financial accounting and obtained her U.S. Finally, if you’re wondering how the IRS views enrolled agents and CPAs, the answer is that the IRS puts them on the same level. Becoming a CPA is challenging, but earning your license can offer career-long benefits, including more engaging work and a higher earning potential.

ea vs cpa salary

Navigating the Tax Season: EAs and CPAs at Work