Ask A CPA: Does Passing the CFE Guarantee A Pay Raise?

Luminari gets tons of great career questions from our CPA community, too great not to share. Our new feature will start highlighting some of our favourite questions in hopes we can help others with similar issues. This week, we had a great question regarding how to approach a pay increase after passing the CFE.


“Hi Michael, I am part of the Luminari community and have been following your profile and the platform for a while. I have recently passed the CFE, but I still have at least 1.5 years remaining in my professional experience requirement before being a certified CPA. In terms of getting a raise, I am just wondering if passing the CFE alone gives me the leverage to ask for one?

I have done some research and have come to the conclusion that it is not necessarily passing the exam or getting the CPA title that contributes to getting a pay increase. Rather, it is more about using these achievements to ask for more opportunities. However, knowing your background, I would like to know your thoughts on it. Any advice greatly helps.

Thank you for taking the time in advance!”


“Thanks for reaching out and I am humbled to hear that you’ve been a part of Luminari’s journey for a while. I hope you’ve been enjoying the tool so far and that it’s providing value.

You have an interesting question – and I think your gut instinct is the right one. I haven’t heard of many people getting a raise after they passed the exam, but statistically a majority of CPAs tend to change roles after getting their letters.

At this point, I’d recommend having an informal coffee with your manager and mention how you’re looking to take on more responsibility. If you have any ideas of areas you could add more value to your company, bring those up. Good managers always love to hear that their employees want to do more. You can be up front about how you want to push towards the next step in your career, and that you’d like their help in giving you the experiences you need to get there. Ultimately compensation is linked to the contribution you provide to your company. So the best way to earn more is to add more!

I hope this helps, good luck and let me know if you need anything else.


Michael, CPA, CA

Founder, Luminari”

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