It’s Pointless for EAs to Attack CPAs


I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time. Earlier this tax season, a post on LinkedIn irritated me enough to make me put this on my “to blog about” list. Time constraints of tax season mean that it’s taken me a good 4+ weeks to actually get around to writing this post.

The gist of what I saw on LinkedIn was EAs and unlicensed preparers slamming CPAs because, according to the people commenting on the discussion, CPAs just have their minions prepare the returns and the CPA signs off on it without even reviewing.

EAs were involved in this discussion, saying how this proves the superiority of EAs because EAs carefully review each return they file, as opposed to those clueless CPAs who rely on unlicensed minions to do the actual preparation.

(I failed to grab the link to the discussion at the time I read it, and a search of LinkedIn and my browsing history failed to find the discussion again, otherwise I’d link to it here.)

This discussion bothered me. Do some CPA firms rely on low-level, unlicensed minions to prepare returns? Sure. But guess what … I know EAs who do the same thing.

As an EA, I think it’s pointless for us to attack CPAs.

Like it or not, EAs have no name recognition. CPAs do.

This gets back to the whole “CPAs are the United States and EAs are Liechtenstein” analogy that I’ve used before.

EAs are in no position to “go after” CPAs. It’s like Liechtenstein declaring war on the United States.

It’s fruitless to waste energy huffing and puffing about CPAs.

As I’ve said numerous times, EAs need to come together under our brand name and extol the virtues of being an EA.

A positive message, not a crabby one. Wasting energy slamming CPAs does nothing to advance the EA designation.

And why not create a positive relationship with other designations? We all have a place in the tax world — whether we’re an EA, CPA or unenrolled.

We’re one big community, not enemies.


Image courtesy of user PeterDargatz on