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Pros and Cons of an Acquisition Tax Management Career
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net
Essential Career Information
Job Duties and Description
A bachelor's degree in accounting or a closely-related major is needed to become an accountant. These programs include coursework in financial reporting, taxation and auditing. Additionally, courses in calculus and business are required. There are some jobs that may prefer individuals with a master's degree.
Many employers prefer to hire a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) over a regular accountant as an acquisitions tax manager. To become a CPA, you must meet your state's CPA requirements and pass a national exam administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). According to the AICPA, it is recommended you take at least 150 semester hours of coursework because this is a requirement in 40 states as of 2012 (www.aipca.org ). This means that holding a master's degree or 30 extra credits of accounting work prior to the CPA exam is suggested.
What Do Employers Look for?
Many employers looking for acquisitions managers prefer a CPA with several years of professional experience in accounting. Additionally, having some consulting work and good communication skills may help. Other taxation responsibilities will be required since a tax manager performs more duties than analyzing acquisitions. The following job listings were posted in April 2012:
- A New York finance and accounting services company needs a mergers and
acquisitions analyst to provide consultation for clients. The analyst will help assess acquisitions, as well as creating tax-planning and saving strategies for the clients.
- A Pennsylvania manufacturing company needs a tax manager to help with acquisitions. The tax manager not only has to audit to ensure that acquisitions do not pose risks, but also consult with the supervisors on how new tax laws will influence future acquisitions.
- A Massachusetts company needs a tax manager who can help provide financial insight on acquisitions and mergers. Other responsibilities include basic tax reporting, as well as suggestions on how to gain more revenue based on new taxation laws.
How to Stand Out in the Field
Develop Related Skills
Many employers want acquisitions tax managers to hold experience from a major accounting firm. Working for a major firm will educate you on many of the major accounting and business practices. To gain experience at a major firm, you may consider completing an internship program while still in college.
Continuing education helps you become more skilled in dealing with the complexity of the tax code. The AICPA stipulates that the CPA status is maintained only if a CPA holder enrolls in 120 credit hours of continuing education courses every three years. One can view this requirement as an opportunity to become a better CPA and acquisitions tax manager, especially since the BLS states that the job market will become more competitive across the 2010-2020 decade.
Alternative Careers to Consider