I recently celebrated a milestone birthday; one of those that ends in a “0.”  As I was looking at my office wall and reflecting on all the events and accolades that make up my life, my eye moved to my CPA certificate.  I smiled when I once again realized that I became a CPA on the same day I was born.  I think it’s pretty cool that I get to celebrate by birthday, into life and into my profession, on the same day.  Then I looked at the year and realized this year marked the point where I have been a CPA for over half of my life.

When people ask me who I am there are many things that go through my mind – Christian, husband, father, Director of Accounting at AT&T – but one thing that also always makes the list is that I’m a CPA.  I think back to when I became and CPA and all of the changes that have occurred in our profession since that time and I am amazed.

  • CPE was already required, but it was new enough that the “old-timers” (am I one of those now) were still complaining about it; now CPE is old hat and the discussion instigating all the complaints is not about hours but about the potential to actually have the measure and prove you learned things.
  • The “5-year rule” was just being rolled out. There was concern about getting enough people to stick around for the 5th year; now the question is how do we make sure there are enough teachers to teach all the people sticking around for that 5th year.
  • The CPA exam was still pencil and paper (and no calculator) and only given twice a year; now you can take it part by part on a computer – that’s almost like an open book test!
  • Many CPAs started in public accounting, but once they left they were gone for good – the old up or out process; now people leave accounting firms, go back, leave and go back again even to and from different accounting firms.

And finally, back then there was this young Schneider CPA in Georgia ready to make his mark in the profession.  Now there is a young Schneider CPA in New York ready to make her mark in the profession.  I wonder if her certificate will be dated the same as her birthday?

One Comment on “Milestones”

  1. Paula Gibbons says:

    Very cool that your birthday and CPA certificate date are the same! For fun, I calculated my number of years as a CPA versus my age. Mine is exactly half this year. Where does time go?

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