By now, we entered the hall of the post-pandemic era, we have learned that to survive and excel in the accounting job market, we need special knowledge and upgraded skill sets with a positive attitude to learning as a continuous process. It is not about just handling the money matters, rather to make yourself future proof against the robotic uprising in the accounting arena of corporate sectors.
Hence, the challenge lies in the transformation from everyday accountant to exceptional accountant as per the demand of the industry. According to Helen Brand, chief executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), “To succeed as a professional accountant…a vastly different set of skills is required than was necessary just 10 short years ago.
And in the next decade, things are likely to change even faster and more dramatically as the global economy continues to evolve at an ever-quickening pace.” Let’s look into the need and required skill sets for new age accountants.
The Entry Level Accounting Jobs
1. Junior accounting associate
2. Staff accountant
3. Tax accountant
4. Audit associate
5. Accounts receivable/accounts payable clerk
Skills Required to be a Successful Accountant
The technological advancement like in other fields have also penetrated the accounting domain and have changed the scenario a lot which have not been foreseen in the past. Taking the above cues, the present-day accountants need to show their proficiency in the following areas.
No doubt at any stage of career including accounting job, this is the basic skill required to bring clarity in explaining different financial situations to co workers and clients with superior clarity.
2. Evaluative Thinking
This is the skill needed to be seen in a successful accountant, the ability to think critically that help in a quick decision-making process in a highly effective manner.
3. Creative Problem-Solving ability
Today’s firms need accountants who can think of a problem outside the box and solve it with outstanding creativity. This is a continuously evolving process, where the accountant has to be embedded to impress the employer as well as to bring more smoothness in the career path.
4. Project Management
Gone are the days when an accounting job was a solo performance by performing the routine assigned jobs. The present-day mantra is team work. Hence, firms are more interested in hiring accountants who have exposure to project management. Nothing to be worried about. If you don’t have the experience, you can grab it from various learning tools/short term courses on the same at your fingertips.
5. Microsoft Excel
One has to have proficiency in using this particular tool in accounting jobs. If you are not comfortable with pivot tables, VLOOKUPs etc. you have to learn it.
6. Data analysis
Today’s accounting needs handling of large accumulation of data with effective analysis and filtering to make it sensible. Accordingly, the present-day employers need their accountants to provide recommendations supported by analyzed final data itself.
7. Cloud-based Accounting Software
In the metamorphosis of everyday accountant to exceptional accountant, you have to be tech savvy as per the need of the hour. In order to cope with such need for real-time financial reporting, many accounting firms have changed over from conventional to the implementation of cloud-based accounting software. This indicates that as a current day accountant, you need to be comfortable working with programs like QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks etc.
The Way to Learn Accounting Skills on Demand
The on job learning process is the best way in this journey and also a time-tested process. However, for a fresher this is not applicable before joining. So, what to do? An internship or entry level job can provide the learning opportunity. Another good alternative is to obtain a good professional accounting credential like US CMA/CPA/EA etc. before or after entering the accounting job arena. Along with the skill development, build your resume accordingly to get the interview call to finally land up into your desired career path.
A Meaningful Resume
1. Show the Pinnacle of your accounting experience
In this part of your resume, incorporate all relevant accounting experiences including internships. You can link your skills to specific duties you performed or use them to explain how you met certain key performance indicators (KPIs) including your familiarity with accounting software if any.
2. Calibrate your Achievements
Use numbers whenever possible to show your success like you can mention the number of team members you have worked with and your achievements or if you have led a team of interns, mention their number and the success achieved with you.
3. The Key Words
This is a very important part of the resume on which we generally don’t pay much attention. Please keep in mind that today’s employers rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) to help them filter candidates. To be successfully selected by the ATS, it is suggestive of the use of appropriate relevant keywords throughout the resume in an optimized manner.
It appears obvious that to meet the demand of the present-day accounting firms, the present-day accountants have to be more tech competent with some special skill sets as mentioned above. One of the finest ways to meet the demand is to go for some professional accounting courses like US CMA /CPA/EA etc. which can be pursued along with the conventional academic curriculum or as early as possible after entering the job to extract maximum benefit.
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a skilled tax professional licensed by the federal government Of USA under the umbrella of Internal Revenue Services (IRS). EAs can handle and represent all tax related issues on behalf of an individual or a corporate in any US state or across the globe which comes under the purview of IRS regulated taxation. Moreover, EAs have unlimited practice right across the US territories.
However, to be an EA, one has to pass the 3-part EA exam more classically known as the Special Enrollment examination (SEE). This online exam is conducted by the IRS through Prometric centers located all over the globe in most of the countries. Since, the major criterion for EAs to clear the SEE, here we will discuss certain strategies which can help the aspirants to clear the exam at first attempt.
Know the Exam-the Exam Window
After registration with the IRS, you have 2 years to pass all three parts of the EA exam, however, this year it has been extended to 3 years due to covid situation. Each year, the exam window remains open throughout the year except the March-April months for incorporation of tax changes/reforms/amendments, if any.
Know the Exam- the Structure
The exam consists of the following three parts:
1. Part 1 – Individuals
2. Part 2 – Businesses
3. Part 3 – Representation, Practice, and Procedure
Each part consists of 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs). The duration of each part is 3.5 hours, with an additional 30 min provided for a computer pre tutorial and post exam survey. The exam score provides a grade of 40-130 on which one has to get a grade of 105 to pass each part of the exam. Each part of the exam can be taken separately and on different dates. The MCQs follow 3 distinct patterns- the question stem or body, choose the best answer from the options and the distractors.
Know the Exam-the MCQs
1. Direct Questions
Here you will get a straightforward question with 4 options from which you have to select the correct one.
2. Incomplete Sentences
In this section, you have to pick up the correct answer from the given options which makes the sentence complete most appropriately.
3. Negative Questions
Here comes the distractors like all of the following EXCEPT or NOT words are part and parcel of the question stem. Therefore, close attention is needed when you find these kinds of words in the question itself.
Write the Exam- Tips to Tackle MCQs
1. Careful Reading of the Question Stem
This is the most important part before looking into the options. By doing this, you can figure out the precise part which has been asked specifically.
2. Selection of Answer by Elimination
Use elimination process for selecting/guessing the correct answer. Eliminating one distractor from 4 options will increase your credibility to tick the right one.
3. Use of Educated Guess
Since there are no negative marking for wrong answers, narrow down the options and make your decision on the remaining options which appear most logical upon educated guessing. Answer every question.
4. Time Management
Since the actual exam time is 3.5 hours, there is no need to hurry. Read the questions carefully and take an average of 1.5 minutes to answer each question. In this process, you can flag the questions which require guessing to take it later.
Relevant IRS Publications for Each Part (Free Resources)
Part 1: Individual- Form W-12 and Publication 17.
Part 2: Business– Publication 15 (Circular E).
Part 3: Representation, Practices and Procedures- Circular 230 and EA exam study materials provided by the IRS.
Know the Exam-The Average Study Time
Preamble to begin your studies, create a plan on study schedule and strategy. Creating a study schedule will help to build your consistency, and implementing a study strategy will make your study sessions more effective as well as productive. An average study plan for each part of the EA exam is given below as a guideline which can be customized according to the need and compliance. Here you can see that part 2 requires more study time than other parts because of its depth and diversity.
Average Study Time for Each Part of The EA Exam
It is evident that with a dedicated study plan, strategy and a positive attitude, you can effectively clear all parts of the EA exam (SEE) by a maximum span of 6 months. In this journey, you need good review materials and mentoring support. Practicing MCQs in real type format along with the mock tests will increase your confidence to take the test. All these supports are available with Uplift Professionals in an affordable and user friendly manner. Above tips will be the icing on the cake for the actual EA exam. Hope for the best. Happy EA journey.
As of now, a career that emerged in 1884 as a result of civil war loss claim has successfully sailed the calm and rough seas to become today’s Enrolled Agent (EA). An Enrolled Agent (EA) is an upskilled tax specialist who deals with US tax laws and applications in and outside the USA. EAs are entitled to tackle all US tax-related issues of an individual as well as business/corporate entities, trusts, NGOs, etc. that comes under the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as a whole which includes tax return preparation to represent the client in front of IRS in relation to any dispute or settlement.
EAs are privileged because the IRS empowers them with special tools that make them much better equipped with knowledge and skills than non-EA tax preparers. As a result, EA is the top credential under the IRS umbrella, making it prestigious in the job market. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can also handle the same tax-related issues, but they have a broader horizon than the specific niche of EAs.
The EA credential involves successful clearance of a 3-part Special Enrollment Exam (SEE) rather than a 4-part CPA exam. The unique point in the EA journey is academic eligibility. Unlike CPA, there is no educational requirement to sit for SEE. Furthermore, the course duration is much shorter than a CPA course and is considered easier to pass. Lastly, a CPA has a state license, while an EA gets a federal license and can practice anywhere in the country and represent clients from any state.
Hence, anyone focusing on the IRS-governed US tax domain rather than public accounting should opt for an EA credential rather than a CPA. Moreover, EAs can work part-time or full-time as practicing status. It has to be noted that besides an attorney or a CPA, only EAs are authorized to plead and represent taxpayers before the IRS for tax-related issues.
The Job Security
As we all know, irrespective of the state of the economy, be it stable, inflation, or recession, taxes are there to stay with various reforms with increasing numbers of taxpayers. In this scenario, one can interpret the importance of an EA with continuous professional education (CPE). Thus, EA appears as a future-proof job type in all economic conditions of the country.
Job Sectors for EAs
Public Accounting Firm (PAF)
In this sector, EAs can play the role of tax return preparer and represent clients in front of the IRS concerning any tax-related issues. In addition, PAFs often offer higher salaries and work flexibility.
Many MNCs, including Big 4s as well as BPOs, KPOs, or any organization which follows US taxation and is accountable to IRS, are great places for EAs to venture. Attractive packages are offered to EAs more than an average commerce graduate.
Banks under federal regulations hire EAs to review the rules and tax compliance. In return, EAs get a good salary, benefits, and job security.
EAs are hired here because an EA can advise how to minimize the tax burden in various investments, including buying and selling, to maintain clients’ interests.
EAs find an excellent place to work in tax law firms, mainly for the representation of clients before the IRS. The packages of EAs in such organizations vary with the size of the clientele.
Nevertheless, this option is open to every EA to start their consultancy firm where the sky would be the limit. Outsourcing for individuals and corporations, trusts, or NGOs can be highly rewarding regarding money and freedom.
Enrolled Agent (EA) – The Complete Kaleidoscope: Course, Eligibility, Syllabus, Exam Structure and Job Opportunities in India:– Want to learn more about Enrolled Angent course? Then click to learn more…. Continue reading
Adding the above to the Indian scenario, the horizon appears brighter for EAs. The advent of globalization imparted tremendous growth in various BPO and KPO sectors, where they very much follow the US taxation policy because of their US and international client base. Hence, EAs holding the top ladder of US taxation is much preferred in these sectors.
Apart from these, all Fortune 500 companies, including the Big 4s, rely on US taxation and have to file returns under the FATCA rules, which govern financial transactions with US investors and are dependable on EAs to comply with and proper financial functioning of the organization.
Professionals who help clients with taxes may benefit from becoming enrolled agents (EAs). The IRS empowers EAs with tools unavailable to most other tax preparers. These professionals can speak on clients’ behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities. EAs can handle virtually any situation that may arise in the case of a taxpayer.
The best way to become an Enrolled Agent in one year is to pass each part of the EA exam on your first attempt. There are three exam parts you’ll have to study and sit for separately, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. To make becoming an EA manageable, you just need to set small, incremental goals and create a solid study plan. Being realistic about your expectations will help you make a plan you can keep. Candidates are more likely to stay on track when they regularly meet the benchmarks they set.
How to be an Enrolled Agent-Scope and Benefit for Tax Professionals: An EA is a federally authorized tax specialist that operates to provide advisory services to American taxpayers about matters concerning the IRS. Achieving “EA” status is considered the highest credential awarded by the IRS and is legally recognized throughout all U.S states…. continue reading
One of the most common questions often comes to mind: How long does it take to become an Enrolled Agent (EA)? The common reason behind this is quite understandable. Before you get too far into the process of becoming an EA, you want to know if it is worth the time, effort, and funds required. But the benefits of the EA include increased job opportunities, income, status before the IRS, and tax expertise, so I believe that the designation is very advantageous. One of the main reasons people choose to become an EA is the generous enrolled agent salary.
However, passing the EA exam (officially called the Special Enrollment Exam (SEE)) can take a good deal of time, so you need to prepare for that.
Depending on your tax knowledge, becoming an enrolled agent can take 3-8 months. You may hear some enrolled agents boast that the EA exam is easy and they passed it in just a few weeks. Yet, the reality is that most candidates are not able to pass in 1 month. You may need more than 1 month or even more than 1 year to pass. But as long as that timeline works for your lifestyle, you shouldn’t feel pressured to pass faster. You have two years* to pass all three parts of the EA exam, so while you do not technically need to pass all three in the same year, many candidates want to pass before tax season to get more clients. This means appointments to take the exam early in the year can fill up quickly.
*Note: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has extended the 2-year period to 3 years, giving candidates more time to safely sit for and pass their exams.
When Can You Take the Enrolled Agent Exam?
The Enrolled Agent exam is available for candidates to take 10 out of the 12 months in a year. The testing window lasts from May 1 to February 28 of the following year. The 2 blackout months (March and April) allow the exam administrators to make any necessary adjustments to the exam. They also use this time to update the content according to the most recent tax law.
The Study Plan
The number of months your EA exam journey will last depends on how many study hours you will need. Also, the other half of the equation is how quickly you can accumulate those study hours. If you are not super familiar with the current tax code, getting ready to pass all 3 parts may take you a few hundred hours. A sample guideline is provided below.
Number of EA Exam Study Weeks
# Of Study Hours
It’s a good idea to set aside regular time for studying, such as an hour before work or during your lunch break. You can try to study for the Enrolled Agent exam “during your free time,” but if you’re like most people, there just isn’t enough extra time when you’re also working or going to school. The Gleim study plan suggested devoting the following time span.
Average time spent studying per part of the EA exam
Based on this, one can make two types of time-based study plans as mentioned below.
Deadline -based study Plan for EA exam
If you have a firm deadline to become an EA, you may need to sacrifice other obligations to fit in enough study time to pass then you can follow the steps mentioned below.
Mark your deadline and make sure to note any obligations that may interrupt your studies, such as holidays or other life events.
Work backward from the deadline you marked. If you have weeks where three or more days are not available for studying, count them as half-weeks.
Take the total amount of hours you will need to study (see chart above) and divide it by the number of weeks you have until your exam. That will give you your study hours per week. If it seems unattainable, you’ll have to either make some scheduling sacrifices or reconsider your deadline.
These hours are included in the total time chart above, so you should aim to complete all of your review material at least one week before your exam. This is when you touch up on topics you haven’t practiced in a while or might still be struggling with.
Be sure to set a benchmark every week to check your progress against.
Example: For a nine-week plan, if you are studying 10 hours a week, and your first three weeks are full weeks, you should be at least 30% done with your studies by the end of the third week. Write “30% done” for the final day, and check your progress when you get there. If you start to fall behind (for example, by missing two benchmarks in a row), you may need to adjust your study plan.
If you are behind or think you need more time, you can reschedule your exam as long as you do so at least five days before your current exam date. Rescheduling your exam will require a $35 fee. If you know you need to reschedule and do so 30 days or more before your exam, you can reschedule for free.
Hours- based study plan for EA exam
If you only have a certain number of hours each day available to study, you should set test dates that give you enough time to hit your hours targets. It is more or less similar to above with the following parameters.
Make sure to note any important obligations that may interrupt your studies, such as holidays or other life events.
Set a realistic goal, but be serious about it. It might be easy to commit to studying for only an hour a week, but you should aim as high as you reasonably can.
Divide the total number of hours you need to study by the hours per week you can study. If you have weeks where three or more days are not available for studying, count them as half-weeks. This will give you the approximate number of weeks you will need to be ready to sit for the exam.
Sample Enrolled Agent study plan (Gleim)
Because the Enrolled Agent exam tests the previous year’s tax law, there is no better time to start studying than right after-tax season. All of that year’s tax laws are fresh in your mind, which will just help you more while studying and answering questions. Below we cover a sample plan to study for the Enrolled Agent exam using an average of 10 hours per week. Your exact plan will likely differ based on your goals and commitments.
EA Part 1
Start Date April 22
Final Review June 24
Exam Date July 1
EA Part 2
Start Date July 5
Final Review September 27
Exam Date October 4
EA Part 3
Start Date October 17
Final Review November 28
Exam Date December 5
How Long Do You Have to Pass the EA Exam?
Once you pass your first EA exam part, your credit for that section lasts for 2 years from the date you passed. Therefore, you should pass the remaining 2 sections within those 2 years to avoid losing credit for your passed section and having to take it again. However, if you don’t pass a part of the EA exam after taking it 4 times in the same testing window, you must wait until the next testing window to try for the fifth time.
Enrolled Agent (EA) – The Complete Kaleidoscope: Course, Eligibility, Syllabus, Exam Structure and Job Opportunities in India:An enrolled agent (EA) is a person who is authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee…. Continue reading
What Can You Do to Pass the Enrolled Agent Exam Faster?
If you’d like to pass the EA exam as soon as possible, follow these tips:
Skip Content You Already Know
No matter which course you choose, you may be able to speed up the process by skipping the reading and moving straight into the quizzes. If your review course suggests you study an exam content area more than you think is necessary, you can try to take the shortcut by answering practice questions first. In doing so, you may find that you’re already proficient in that area. However, if you try this study strategy and score low on the practice quizzes, you should do the reading. You must have sufficient comprehension of every exam topic. So, read the book or watch the videos to refresh your understanding of the material. Then, after you’ve gone back to the basics, you can return to the MCQs.
Focus on Your Weak Areas
Only by focusing on your weak areas can you truly save time. If you ignore the troublesome topics, you risk failing an exam part, which just draws the exam process out even longer. To focus on your weak areas, take a mock test at the start of each study unit. Then, use the results of the quiz to figure out which topics need more of your attention. After that, prioritize those topics in your reading and quizzing until you’ve aced them.
Make Sacrifices with Your Time
You may be able to pass the exam within 2 years by going about your life as usual and studying for the exam in your free time. But if you want to get the exam over with so you can enjoy the EA designation ASAP, you’ll have to adjust your agenda. To pass the exam fast, you must make a study schedule. In the process, you can carve out even more weekly study time when you temporarily drop non-essential activities from your normal routine. It might not be fun, but it will be worthwhile once you’ve finished the exam and have the EA to show for it.
Pass Each Section on the First Attempt
This mandate may be easier said than done, but it’s the ideal goal for someone who feels the need to speed up their EA proceedings. To pull it off, you must
Rely on an EA review course,
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare,
Stick to a realistic but consistent study schedule, and
Use your study materials to master all of the exam content.
Remember: Passing each part, the first time can be done: it just takes dedication, hard work, and persistence.
How Long Does It Take to Get the EA License After You Pass the Exam?
After you pass all 3 parts of the Enrolled Agent exam, you must submit the Application for Enrollment, A.K.A. Form 23. You have 1 year from the time you pass your final exam part to fill out this document. You’ll also have to pay your enrollment fee to the IRS at this time.
How long does it take to become an enrolled agent after completing the exam?
Approving your application can take up to 90 days because it involves a background check. And because this final procedure can extend so long, becoming an EA can take you anywhere from 3-8 months.
Follow these steps to become an EA:
Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number;
Apply to take the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE);
Achieve passing scores on all 3 parts of the SEE;*
Apply for enrollment; and
Pass a suitability check, which will include tax compliance to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities; and criminal background.
The best way to become an Enrolled Agent in one year is to pass each part of the EA exam on your first attempt. There are three exam parts you’ll have to study and sit for separately, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. To make becoming an EA manageable, you just need to set small, incremental goals and create a solid study plan. It is advisable to do a self-evaluation check by asking the following questions to oneself.
How familiar am I with the material on the Enrolled Agent exam?
When was the last time I studied for an exam or took a tax course?
How much time do I have available to study each week?
Do I have a deadline to become an Enrolled Agent?
How long can I concentrate in one sitting?
Being realistic about your expectations will help you make a plan you can keep. Candidates are more likely to stay on track when they regularly meet the benchmarks they set. On an average, depending on experience, you should expect to invest up to 40-70 hours of total study time for each exam part.
Enrolled Agent-the Complete Kaleidoscope: Course, Eligibility, Syllabus, Exam Structure and Job Opportunities in India
An enrolled agent (EA) is a person who is authorized to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.
Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years post enrollment. EAs, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights.
This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before. Furthermore, EA license is a federal token, not a state license, thus not restricted to a particular territory.
Professionals who help clients with US taxes may benefit from becoming enrolled agents (EAs). Through the enrolled agent course, syllabus and exam, the IRS empowers EAs with tools unavailable to most other tax preparers. These professionals can speak on clients’ behalf, argue disputes, and make cases to the federal taxation authorities.
EAs can handle virtually any situation that may arise in the case of a taxpayer. The EA credential can verify your credibility, open doors to new careers, and attract work opportunities. Tax preparers, accountants, and those wanting to move into tax preparation can gain confidence with an EA license.
Briefly, an enrolled agent is a federally licensed tax practitioner meant for tax preparation, who has unlimited rights to represent taxpayers before the IRS for any issues relating to collections, audits, or tax appeals. According to the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA)—the organization that represents licensed EAs—they are allowed to advise, represent, and prepare tax returns for people, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts, and anything else that is required to report to the IRS.
Remember that obtaining certification through enrolled agent course is an IRS certified accounting degree on US taxation. Before opting to be an EA, as an exam candidate, one should have thorough information on
Enrolled Agent Course
Enrolled Agent Syllabus
Enrolled Agent Exam
Job Opportunity of Enrolled Agents in India
Requirements for EA Certification under Internal Revenue System
This is quite fascinating to note that EA certification follows a straightforward process. Applicants do not need to hold a particular academic degree or must fulfil certain credit hours or meet experience requirements. Furthermore, this online course duration is comparatively shorter than other international online bachelor accounting degree programs.
Steps to becoming an enrolled agent
Obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
Visit Prometric’s Special Enrollment Examination (SEE) webpage to schedule your test appointments, review the SEE Candidate
Achieve passing scores on all three parts of the SEE* within three years.
Apply for enrollment and pay enrollment fee electronically using Pay.gov Form 23 or by downloading Form 23, Application for Enrollment to Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service and mailing the completed form and a check to the IRS.
Pass a suitability check, which will include tax compliance to ensure that you have filed all necessary tax returns and there are no outstanding tax liabilities; and criminal background.
*Certain IRS employees, by virtue of past technical experience, are exempt from the exam requirement.
Professional Requirements for EA Certification Course
Once you become an Enrolled Agent you must:
Renew your status as an enrolled agent every three years
Obtain continuing education (CEE)
Renew your PTIN annually
Syllabus for Enrolled Agent Certification Exam
The enrolled agent exam is called the special enrollment exam (SEE). The SEE consists of three sections:
taxation and individuals;
taxation and businesses; and
representation, practices, and procedures.
All questions are multiple choice.
Enrolled Agent Exam Structure-SEE
PART ONE: TAXATION AND INDIVIDUALS
PART TWO: TAXATION AND BUSINESSES
PART THREE: REPRESENTATION, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES
· Taxpayer data (14 questions)
· Business entities and considerations (30 questions)
· Practices and procedures (26 questions)
· Income and assets (17 questions)
· Business tax preparation (37 questions)
· Representation before the IRS (25 questions)
· Deductions and credits (17 questions)
· Specialized returns (18 questions)
· Specific areas of representation (20 questions)
· Taxation (15 questions)
· Filing process (14 questions)
· Advising the taxpayer (11 questions)
· Specialized returns (12 questions)
Exam Schedule for Enrolled Agent Certification
Candidates must schedule four hours for each section. This includes 3.5 hours to take the test and 30 minutes for a pre-examination tutorial and post-examination survey.
Candidates do not have to take all parts of the test on the same day or on consecutive days. They also do not have to complete the parts in any order. Prometric only offers the exam at its testing sites and not through off-site proctors.
Each exam part may be taken 4 times per testing window, which runs from May 1 to the end of February. The test is offered from May 1 to the end of February of the following year. The test is not offered during the annual blackout period in March and April. During this time the test is updated with the most recent tax law.
Enrolled Agent Exam Scoring
The scoring methodology was determined by the IRS following a scoring study. A panel of subject matter experts composed of Enrolled Agents and IRS representatives established a passing score for a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications to be an Enrolled Agent. The scaled passing score is 105.
The EA licensing examination contains three parts, each consisting of 100 multiple-choice questions. Of those 100 questions, 85 questions count toward the test-taker’s score. The other 15 questions are experimental and are not scored. Each question is marked right or wrong. No weighting system applies to the final score.
The Internal Revenue System (IRS) uses a scaled scoring system for the SEE. This approach evaluates the total number of questions answered correctly against the number of questions on the exam. The system converts this number to a scale that runs from 40-130. Test-takers must earn a scaled score of 105 or higher to pass.
At the end of the exam, candidates receive a notification on their computer screen indicating that they have passed. They will not see their scaled score. The IRS only determines if a test-taker is qualified, not how qualified they may be.
AVERAGE PASS RATE
Representation, Practices and Procedures
The cut-off score is 105.Test-takers who fail receive their scaled score of 40-104 and diagnostic information indicating which areas need improvement. The system ranks a candidates’ performance in each exam area on a scale of 1-3. A score of one shows an area of weakness, while three indicates relative strength.
Enrolled Agent Exam Fees
There is a $203 fee per part paid at the time of appointment scheduling. The test fee is non-refundable and non-transferable
Enrolled Agent Fees after Passing
Candidates who pass the exam must pay a $67 enrollment fee when they apply to practice before the IRS.
Enrolled Agent Exam Costs
Obtain or Renew PTIN (annual)
Scheduling Fee (each part)
You may reschedule the EA exam without forfeiting your EA exam fee as long as you do so at least 5 days prior to your testing date. But there is a rescheduling fee depending on when exactly you reschedule your exam appointment.
If you reschedule the EA exam at least 30 days prior to your appointment, there is no rescheduling fee.
If you reschedule the EA exam 5 to 29 days prior to your appointment, there is a $35 rescheduling fee.
If you reschedule the EA exam fewer than 5 calendar days before your appointment date, you will be required to pay another full examination fee.
What Is Needed to Maintain EA Accounting Certification?
Enrolled agents must renew their certification with the IRS every three years. Each EA’s renewal year is determined by the last digit of their Social Security number. Agents can file their renewal applications online or on paper. Based on their renewal cycle, each agent must complete 72 hours of continuing education, with a minimum of 16 hours each year. At least two hours per year must focus on ethics. An IRS provider must conduct the continuing education experiences.
Enrolled Agent-Practice Exams and Study Resources
Internal Revenue Service
The IRS is the definitive source of information regarding the SEE, becoming an EA, and the EA retirement program. Aspiring enrolled agents can discover the latest news affecting their profession and stay up to date with certification requirements.
National Association of Enrolled Agents
Founded in 1972, this community of tax practitioners serves more than 10,000 professionals. The association’s site offers extensive information on becoming an enrolled agent, plus tips for passing the SEE. The NAEA also provides continuing education opportunities and career development resources.
An international test administration agency, Prometric administers the SEE on behalf of the IRS. Test-takers can access a variety of resources through Prometric. Resources include extensive information about the test, scoring, and retesting. Prometric also offers a 30-minute test simulation.
Enrolled Agents Job Opportunities in India
The Enrolled Agent course is an affordable online accounting course which is useful if anyone wishes to continue any kind of US taxation jobs. There is a wide scope of work opportunities for many who wish to pursue this field. Many opportunities lie in the US as the course deals with US taxation. Indian ITES – BPO and KPO industry servicing International and US Financial and Accounting domain is growing leaps and bounds.
All these firms, including BIG4, require knowledgeable and skilled resources to service their US and International clients on US taxation, practice, and procedures. Enrolled Agent certification, being the highest credential awarded by IRS for US taxation practice; Job seekers with EA qualification are most preferred resources by these companies.
All fortune 500 companies which have their shared services, International Banks, Financial Institutions, Big 4 and other accounting companies need EAs in their system. New FATCA (Foreign accounting tax compliance act) rules stipulate that all the Indian banks and Financial Institutions also need to submit reports on transactions entered by US investors. EA’s will be a prime resource to handle these work processes.
Enrolled agent will have opportunity to work in:
Big 4 audit firms
Accounting and taxation BPO’s & KPO’s
Shared service centers
International Banks & FIs BPO & KPO’s
Indian banks & FIs
Indian International companies
Advantages of EA over other courses in India:
No. of Subjects / Papers
Pass Percentage %
Highest tax qualification offered by the IRS
Professional qualification in India
INR 1.5 Lacs
INR 3 Lacs
Career opportunities abroad
Starting salary for freshers
INR 4-7 Lacs
INR 4-7 Lacs
While annual salaries range between $97,000 and $25,500, most Enrolled Agent salaries currently range between $45,000 (25th percentile) to $68,500 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $86,500 annually across the United States.
Enrolled agents, or EAs, specialize in all kinds of tax issues, both individual and for businesses large and small. As an EA, they earn the right and privilege to represent clients before the IRS, covering all tax topics and working with any administrative level. It is a highly respected accounting certification that has the power to boost careers and expand opportunities within the profession.
How to become an enrolled agent:
Tax accountants who want to become an EA need to pass a comprehensive three-part exam that tests their knowledge of tax law and processes. This exam, known as the SEE, covers individuals, businesses, tax procedures, representation, and tax practice.
Participants must pass each of the parts within two years to earn their license. There’s no educational requirement or hourly threshold that qualifies a person to become an EA, just the exam itself.
Once the tax accountant has passed the exam, they must go through a background check administered by the IRS. Every three years after that, the EA must keep up on continuing education credits throughout their career.
The honor and distinction of becoming an enrolled agent can make a big impact on a tax accountant’s professional life, and it’s worth looking at the many benefits.
Whether someone is just starting out in their career or they have plenty of tax preparation experience and want to take things to the next level, they should consider becoming an enrolled agent.
Here are three of the most valuable benefits in becoming an enrolled agent.
Verification of Tax Expertise
Earning an EA license means that the tax accountant is part of an elite group that is recognized as a tax expert. As the highest certification given by the IRS, an EA is an easy way to signal that the professional who holds the license has a very high level of tax expertise.
The IRS has such strict standards about earning an EA credential that everyone understands it means deep knowledge and a range of expertise. An EA is not limited to state or regional knowledge, either. Because it is regulated by The Department of Treasury, EA credentials are recognized and revered in every state.
Opportunities for Job Growth
Becoming an enrolled agent is an excellent way to explore job opportunities and business prospects that may not otherwise be open. EAs specialize in tax issues of all kinds ranging from businesses to individuals.
An EA license makes tax accountants highly desirable when it comes to jobs at a tax firm, a government entity, or for a CPA in the private sector. With an EA on their resume, it’s easy for someone to stand out among other job applicants.
Expanded Earning Potential
For tax accountants, earning an EA can increase their salary by several thousand dollars and allows them to take the next step in their career. The higher salary potential is one of the many benefits that an EA license can provide.
In the eyes of their clients, EAs are incredibly valuable because they need help understanding the complexities of taxes and how they affect their business or their individual earnings.
EAs can represent taxpayers in any kind of situation in front of the IRS on an unlimited number of tax topics. From collections and audits to appeals and advising, EAs can work in any state and there are no limits to the type of clients or the type of IRS offices they can take on.
No matter where they are in their career, EAs will always be able to provide a wide range of tax services to an increasing number of clients from all backgrounds.
In order to get the enrolled agent certification through completion of the Enrolled Agent syllabus, one must go vividly through the Enrolled Agent course for successful clearance of the Enrolled Agent exam, to finally come out with flying colors as an IRS certified US tax professional.
To achieve this smoothly, one needs good study support in terms of good standard review materials and quality mentoring process for this online accounting program. Uplift Professionals, one of the premier institutes provide effective study support to pass EA exam in shorter duration. A sample study plan is provided below.
To obtain an enrolled agent certification, studying from accounting textbooks or the tax code can save you money on materials, but it has massive opportunity costs. You must spend time figuring out what and how much to study, and you likely will have to purchase books to make sure you get complete content coverage.
Get it wrong, and you may have to pay to retake part of the exam. Working with time-tested review material from the best online study provider will require you to spend money up front, but it takes the guesswork out of your preparations. Plus, you will be following a system that has helped many other candidates pass their exams.