Transferring from Personal Banker to CPA

Why Transfer from Personal Banker to CPA: A Career Comparison

Personal bankers serve a unique role within the banking industry. In an industry that has become increasingly automated over the last decade, the personal banker gives customers the uncommon face-to-face experience. Whether it is processing new checking and savings accounts, providing product information about various financial services or assisting clients with safe deposit services, the required tasks of a personal banker can vary from day to day. Especially in 2015 as banking roles continue to evolve. While the work is variable, the products and services a personal banker can promote are more limited. For personal bankers who desire a wider financial landscape in which to grow, a career as a CPA may be just the option needed to explore other career paths.

The Benefits of Becoming a CPA

For personal bankers who are looking to increase their knowledge base and take on more responsibility, which may lead to increased salaries and better benefits, the CPA career path can be extremely rewarding. While the process takes time, professionals with the CPA credential can develop a niche area, consult, or work in a larger firm. With increased education and credentials come more options. For professionals who need opportunities for sustained growth, this aspect of becoming a CPA may be even more attractive than salary gains and benefits. In addition to extrinsic rewards, CPAs are among the most trusted financial professionals worldwide. The prestigious credential brings clout and expanding opportunities to professionals who complete the process.

Comparing Career Potentials: Salary and Growth

Most personal bankers hold four year bachelor degrees with a concentration in accounting or business. Advancement is possible through additional training and a few years of experience. According to industry data, in 2015 a personal banker earns between $30,000 and $50,000 as an entry-level to mid-level professional. A CPA with full credentials, on the other hand, earns between the mid $40,000’s to over $70,000’s. This data is based on entry level to mid level jobs, with the potential for more earnings possible based on size of firm and geographic location. Licensed CPAs will have a four year bachelor’s degree or higher and a few years of experience before moving into higher salary brackets. A seasoned CPA with at least a decade of experience can earn well over $100,000 per year.

In addition, with a CPA credential, professionals can advance their practice into a niche area such as forensic accounting or environmental accounting and may boost earnings and opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the nation’s need for CPAs will continue to grow by at least 16% throughout the decade. Niche areas may experience additional growth.

Job growth for personal bankers such as tellers, loan officers, and account managers will vary based on geographic location, range of services provided, and the size of the banking organization. The BLS reports average or slower than average growth for these fields. Even in areas where CPA outlook is average, there is always the ability to develop a niche practice or to consult in order to boost salary earnings. The versatility of opportunities available to CPA’s is limited only by personal resourcefulness and determination to seek out experiences that will enhance career performance.

Other Considerations

Over time, the limited amount of products and services offered by any one bank can become a source of monotony for a personal banker. With the education and professional experience gained through personal banking experiences, a new career as a CPA may provide a refreshing new interpretation of careers in accounting and finance. With reputable online review courses such as CPA Review's, professionals in one area can begin the review process while maintaining their current professional obligations.

Through networking with professional organizations, engaging in additional education and seeking career mentoring, a CPA can grow in a number of niche areas over time. In addition, with advanced experience, many professionals start their own consulting firms and have increased autonomy over their schedules. While tax season and quarterly filing tasks may demand longer hours seasonally, overall CPAs have an attractive amount of flexibility in their schedules making it a great career for those juggling the demands of a full family life.

Readers of this article also read: How to become a CPA & What Is the Process of Applying for the CPA Exam and for Licensure.

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