CPA Dish featuring Billy Ranney

Serving up advice for those working towards a career as a CPA.

May 2023

Billy Ranney

Billy Ranney, CPA 
Client Manager

KyCPA member 

Why did you decide to become a CPA? If there was a defining moment, tell us about it.

I decided to become a CPA during my sophomore year of college. I was able to connect with one of my instructors that was a retired partner of a regional CPA firm. He explained what his job was like and his journey to partner. I realized that this was a career path that would give me the opportunity to engage in multiple industries and be able to build professional relationships.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a CPA?

My advice for someone starting their journey to become a CPA is to come up with a comprehensive schedule that maps out each day of studying. The CPA exam is like nothing you have ever taken in undergrad. You must take the time to learn the material and be able to apply it not only to exam questions but also to real life. The average person taking the CPA exam studies around 100 to 150 hours for each exam. A good comprehensive schedule will provide weekly benchmarks to keep you on track to become exam ready. I personally have found my stress level decrease when I had a plan already in place to set expectations for myself. I was working full time, so for me my schedule was the only way to find quality study time.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is that I get to connect with business owners in multiple industries. I have always been interested in learning about different types of industries and how they operate. I enjoy getting to know my clients and individualizing their accounting services based on the needs of their business. Once you build the relationship you get to be a part of their growth and you get the satisfaction of helping them achieve their goals.

What was your educational path?

I went to Western Kentucky University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. I started to work full time while taking the exam which took around 16 months. After passing all four parts, I enrolled in community college to complete what was remaining of the 150-hour requirement. I believe that any path to becoming a CPA is the right path, and regardless of your circumstances you can achieve what you set out to do.

Where do you think the accounting industry is headed in the future?

I believe that the accounting industry is headed into advisory space. With cloud-based systems, business owners are getting information almost instantly. Accountants need to be able to take information, interpret it, and then present it to the client. We are constantly adjusting to new technologies and changes to our industry. Along with technical knowledge, accountants will need to have soft skills like adaptability and personability to thrive in the future.

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