Re: TC certification similar to CPA?

Subject: Re: TC certification similar to CPA?
From: Melissa Hunter-Kilmer <mhunterk -at- BNA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 1996 09:15:54 EST

Tracy Boyington wrote:

My understanding is that you do NOT have to be
a CPA to work as an accountant, although some prefer/require the use
of CPAs, and CPAs probably get paid more than plain old accountants.
Certification involves a test. Is any of this accurate?

And Arlen Walker replied:

There are some legal ramifications to CPA status, there being some things a
CPA is required to be involved with. Aside from those (and did you know
there was also a CMA as well?) functions, you can work as accountant with no
college at all (providing someone will hire you, which is incredibly
doubtful).

I say:

I used to work as a reporter covering accounting issues, notably those of
state regulation, so this is right up my late, unlamented alley!

There are a couple of tiers of accountants. There's the CPA, the pinnacle of
all that is good and true in accounting; then there's the public accountant,
who is largely unregulated except by the non-binding, non-official National
Society of Public Accountants. And I think there may be something below
that, but I didn't cover it, so I can't say for sure.

Arlen:

Yes, CPA's get paid more. Yes, there is a test involved (and it's a
monster).

Me:

This test is administered by individual state boards of accountancy. I think
(but I'm not sure) that it can vary by state. I know the requirements for the
CPA vary by state, though mostly not much. It's similar to what is done for
doctors and nurses. (My husband's a nurse, as some of you may recall.) I
really doubt this will ever happen for tech writers.

Tracy:

And would CPA certification work as a model for technical communicator
certification?

Arlen:

I hope not.

Me:

I don't see how it could. At this point, nobody is talking about state
regulation. We're talking about voluntary certification. _Big_ difference.

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer
mhunterk -at- bna -dot- com
(standard disclaimer here)


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