what is a cpa

If you do get audited, a CPA can help you understand the process and represent you. Earning the professional designation of CPA can help an accounting professional open doors to better mobility and flexibility. But sometimes, depending on the reciprocity laws specific to each state, CPAs can also become licensed in other states. Many accountants find that, while demanding, earning the designation of CPA is well worth the time and effort it takes simply for the increase in salary. Add in the increased job opportunities and career growth and you’re in excellent shape. Obviously, your specific responsibilities in any government job are dependent on that job. However, you can expect many government jobs to focus on auditing, financial reporting, and investigative accounting.

what is a cpa

Management accounting, analyzing the financial information of the organizations for which they work. Forensic accounting, investigating financial crimes such as embezzlement, securities fraud, and other criminal financial activities. Complete 150 semester hours of college what is a cpa coursework before sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 1.4 million accountants in 2016, but only about half of those are CPAs who are registered with National Association of State Boards of Accountancy.


CPAs also have the option to take on an industry role in the business world. This means that they go to work directly for an organization to manage their finances. CPAs can find themselves working in an organization, and soon take on the role of a controller. This means that CPAs are responsible for cost control, budgeting, accounting systems management as well as other managerial tasks. As part of this responsibility, the CPA is usually an integral part of the management team. These trusted financial advisors must uphold the highest standards to get and maintain their CPA designation. Although a CPA is also an accountant, not all accounts are CPAs.

Is getting a CPA worth it?

As growth continues for accounting professionals in both public and private firms, hiring managers look for candidates with experience and certification. Earning your CPA puts you in the spotlight for promotion, rapid career advancement – and a better salary.

I love working with not-for-profit clients for that very reason — I feel like I’m really contributing to their mission by helping them have good financial information on which to make smart business decisions. A CPA is a very valuable credential, and I wanted to position myself well in the marketplace for various jobs. I decided in college as an accounting major that I wanted to try to get my CPA as soon as I could. Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level. Read this guide for more information about the experiences and skills of someone on the CPA career path.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs – Become a CPA

Matos began her career at Ernst & Young, where she audited a diverse set of companies, primarily in consumer products and media and entertainment. She has worked in private industry as an accountant for law firms and for ITOCHU Corporation, an international conglomerate that manages over 20 subsidiaries and affiliates. Matos stays up to date on changes in the accounting industry through educational courses. Certified Public Accountant is the title of qualified accountants in numerous countries in the English-speaking world. It is generally equivalent to the title of chartered accountant in other English-speaking countries. In the United States, the CPA is a license to provide accounting services to the public. It is awarded by each of the 50 states for practice in that state.

Financial Preparedness Tips as Hurricane Ian Targets Florida – CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

Financial Preparedness Tips as Hurricane Ian Targets Florida.

Posted: Wed, 28 Sep 2022 14:42:50 GMT [source]

Furthermore, state boards may also dictate that your degree, or at least some of your coursework, is in a field related to the CPA license. Specifically, they review and analyze a client’s financial statements and then prepare an unbiased report on their findings. The goal of the audit is to determine if the client’s financial statements are accurate and in accordance with financial reporting standards. CPAs are tax experts who can file your business’s taxes, answer important financial questions and potentially save your business money. While CPAs have accounting degrees, their certification differs from traditional accountants.

CPA Career Overview

A CPA can help people and companies choose the best course of action in terms of minimizing taxes and maximizing profitability. The state boards hold CPA candidates to the highest of standards because CPAs are accounting experts entrusted to protect the public interest. CPAs must demonstrate significant depths of knowledge and aptitude to fulfill the position, https://www.bookstime.com/ so earning the CPA places you in an elite group of greatly respected professionals. Proper accounting is integral to any businesses or operation’s success and so CPAs are needed everywhere. They can work in a variety of areas, including public accounting, business and industry, technology, forensics, government and education, to name just a few.

what is a cpa