The Power Of The Dual View: Why CPAs Should Consider A Law Degree
Becoming dually-qualified gives you far greater insight and perspective than your average lawyer or accountant.
The requirements for obtaining a CPA license are demanding, with a recommended 150 credit hours of higher education, several years of field experience, and passing the rigorous CPA exam.
Yet despite a CPA license rewarding dedicated accountants with a variety of job prospects in both the public and private sector, many are pursuing additional qualifications to further expand their knowledge and career opportunities.
One such option is seeking a law degree to complement your CPA license.
Not only will you receive further education and understanding into the nuances of tax and accounting principles, you will expand your expertise in other legal fields where your CPA license gives you a substantial advantage.
Becoming a dually-certified Attorney-CPA is an obvious choice for CPAs looking for additional options and advantages over the course of their careers.
Knowledge is power
While attorneys may have taken courses on tax or estate law, it is unlikely that the majority of attorneys have comprehensive accounting knowledge — particularly if they practice in an area of law that doesn’t deal often with financial issues.
If a CPA obtains their law degree and decides to primarily focus their practice on law, they have a distinct advantage over the majority of attorneys whenever accounting issues arise.
Conversely, if a dually-licensed Attorney-CPA decides to continue an accounting career, they have a distinct advantage over most CPAs due to their familiarity with the litigation process, making them much better expert witnesses in court cases.
No matter what career path a dually-licensed Attorney-CPA follows, they will have an advantage on their competition because of additional training and education.
Become a well-rounded professional
Pursuing education in both law and accounting is beneficial to your career regardless of what you end up primarily practicing, as the skills learned in both professions complement one another extremely well.
The legal and accounting fields have many areas of overlap, and becoming dually-qualified gives you far greater insight and perspective than your average lawyer or accountant.
Everything from tax consequences to estate planning involves complex legal and financial principles that interlink. Becoming a dually-qualified Attorney-CPA gives you a more well-rounded understanding of how these often abstract concepts work.
Attorneys and CPAs are taught to view problems from unique perspectives as they pursue their education, and a dually-licensed professional is able to combine those distinct analytical approaches to ensure they see every angle.
This helps you give clients better legal or financial advice due to your ability to avoid blind spots in your problem-solving methodology.
Not only does obtaining a law degree help CPAs in their own field of practice by giving them a greater understanding of the legal principles that influence accounting, it opens the door on new career opportunities and helps the dually-licensed professional provide well-rounded advice.