Passing the CPA Exam and earning this prestigious designation signifies that an individual has a deep knowledge of accounting practices and acts with the upmost integrity.
What does a CPA stand for? CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant.
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CPAs understand accounting, the language of business. This understanding enables CPAs to serve as trusted financial advisors who work with businesses, individuals, schools, and other organizations and assist them in reaching their goals and objectives.
CPAs appear throughout the business and financial world, working in public accounting, business and industry, government, not-for-profit, and education.
Every organization, regardless of size, requires the skills, knowledge, and experience provided by CPAs via public accounting firms or working directly for the entity, e.g., Controller, CFO, Senior Accountant.
Public accountants provide services to a variety of individuals or businesses and can specialize in areas like tax or forensic accounting.
In general, CPAs are responsible for understanding, organizing, and reporting financial information for businesses or individuals.
Yes, a CPA is a licensed accountant. So, an accountant is not always a CPA, but a CPA is an accountant.
CPAs have met licensing requirements, which include completing identified levels of education and work experience and passing the CPA exam. According to the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), earning the CPA designation provides professional benefits such as increased trust, opportunity, and financial reward.
CPAs are recognized as professionals who must meet higher standards which include protecting the public interest, adhering to a code of ethics, and obtaining ongoing continuing education. Accountants do not receive the same automatic recognition as professionals.
As mentioned earlier, CPAs must pass the Uniform CPA exam.
The CPA exam requires you to demonstrate mastery in the following:
To prepare for the CPA exam, most candidates choose to enlist the help of a CPA review course. Wiley offers the best CPA review course on the market with tools created to save you time and get you up to speed quickly.
CPAs have a specialized license that allows them to perform duties that unlicensed accountants cannot. These duties include signing tax returns and auditing or reviewing financial statements.
Yes, CPAs can specialize in several different industries and services.
The AICPA recognizes some of the main specializations to be:
CPAs in the public accounting industry work with businesses and individuals to review and prepare financial information that will be released to the public or filed with the government. They are able to provide a wide range of services, typically in three main areas.
The auditing and assurance area is responsible for performing audits and assurance engagements and issuing opinions because of their work.
The tax preparation and services area is responsible for preparing required tax filings as well as providing tax planning and analysis services.
Consulting services run the gamut from assisting clients in identifying and implementing new financial systems to helping clients understand financial statements to making recommendations regarding accounting best practices. Areas of specialization in the consulting arena include forensic accounting, financial and estate planning, and litigation services.
CPAs hold a variety of managerial and other positions, including corporate controller and even CFO or CEO.
Certified Public Accountants can work in the federal government or state and local government.
On the federal level, the AICPA says CPAs can expect to:
On the state and local level, the AICPA says CPAs can expect to:
CPAs in the non-profit industry oversee financial reporting and management to assure the organization’s mission and objectives are obtained. CPAs in this industry can expect to assist in tax filings, internal controls, and budget preparation as well as financial management and reporting.
CPAs in education perform financial management and reporting functions for their organizations. Some CPAs wish to teach others about accounting practices, and these professionals may also be found in the education industry.
Many of Wiley’s Instructors are university professors (and CPAs) who have a passion for preparing the next generation of accounting professionals.
Wondering what jobs you can get with a CPA license? Discover the top alternative careers for accountants.
NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) notes the 5 reasons to become a CPA are prestige and respect, career development, career security, job satisfaction, and money and benefits.
A CPA license is a designation awarded by the state board of accountancy to accounting professionals who have completed a rigorous exam process as well as completed a minimum level of education and work experience.
Earning the CPA designation is a high achievement that signifies having a deep understanding of accounting practices and an adherence to the highest level of standards.
Becoming a CPA involves understanding and meeting the requirements, studying for the CPA exam, taking the exam, and passing the ethics exam (if applicable).
The state requirements to become a CPA technically vary from state to state, though most have very similar and consistent rules in place.
Washington is a good example of standard expectations.
Their CPA requirements are as follows:
Studying for the CPA exam involves making a study plan and sticking to it. A CPA exam review course can provide a study plan and all associated study materials.
Are you looking for the best way to study for the CPA Exam? Read our blog post which highlights the top 12 tips on how to study for the CPA exam.
CPA candidates will want to begin studying months in advance and increase study time as exam day approaches. Planning, discipline, and balance are the keys to the CPA exam preparation process.
Applying for the CPA exam is extensive and can be complicated. The first step is having completion of educational requirements verified by the state board of accountancy and then formally applying once approved.
Upon receipt of an application, the board will review and approve it, and NASBA will issue a Notice To Schedule (NTS). At this point, candidates can schedule their first section of the exam.
Upon passing each section of the exam, candidates need to get a new NTS for the following section.
Wondering what your chances are of passing the CPA exam? Get the latest CPA Exam pass rate for each section of the CPA exam.
Learn more about how hard is the CPA exam.
After passing each section of the CPA exam, a CPA candidate may need to pass the AICPA ethics exam. This is a short self-study course with a take-home test. And while not mandatory in all 50 states, it’s required in most (and encouraged in all).
What exactly is the meaning of a CPA? And what does a CPA do? Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about the CPA license.
In order to sit for the Uniform CPA exam, a person must be found eligible by one of the 55 states or jurisdictions of the United States. Each state has its own set of fees and educational requirements. Some states also require residency or citizenship.