How to Become a Certified Public Accountant CPA

what is a certified public accountant

Whether you need to obtain your initial CPA license or are a licensed CPA needing to practice in a new location, we’ve outlined the steps you need to take. Typing, system, and programme expertise are all part of computer abilities. Accountants require good computer abilities to accomplish their jobs, including typing and utilising applications like Microsoft Office and QuickBooks.

what is a certified public accountant

By understanding the requirements and following the steps to meet them, you can achieve your CPA dream and enjoy the benefits of this prestigious credential. A CPA license is the accounting profession’s highest standard of competence, a symbol of achievement and assurance of quality. Whether you are licensed or soon-to-be licensed, NASBA provides information and resources you need to earn and maintain the respected CPA credential. Accounting qualification requires a mix of strong quantitative, logical, and analytical abilities. Because most of their work is generating and auditing financial accounts and records, accountants must have great accounting abilities. Your state’s Board of Accountancy determines how much work experience is required and what sorts of jobs are allowed, and the standards vary for each state.

What is A Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

Reflect on the kind of company you want to work for and the role you want to fill that is best aligned with your accounting interests.

  • Multiple-choice questions count for 50% of the total score and tasked-based simulations count for the other 50%.
  • The CPD webinars are the most relevant I have ever participated in and the Member Insurance Scheme gives me peace of mind.
  • Sections that include only multiple choice and task-based simulations split the weighting equally between the two question types.
  • For example, some law enforcement agencies hire CPAs to investigate financial crimes.
  • To acquire certification, CPA candidates need at least a bachelor’s degree and the equivalent of 150 semester hours of college credit.
  • These diverse specializations offer accounting professionals opportunities to build expertise and advance their careers.

CPAs can also perform professional functions that uncertified accountants cannot legally offer. If you’re unable to find a trusted CPA this way, you can turn to the U.S. The IRS doesn’t rank the preparers on its list, but it does include credentials and qualifications.

CPA exam

To that end, we have built a network of industry professionals across higher education to review our content and ensure we are providing the most helpful information to our readers. Typically, an accountant is a person who has a degree in accounting from a higher education institution. However, this is not an official requirement because the general term “accountant” is largely unregulated in the U.S. CPAs are often the people who are called in to conduct audits — assessments of a business’s paperwork and financial statements. They can also hold chief controller or chief financial officer (CFO) positions, depending on their skill level and education.

what is a certified public accountant

Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in 2002, accountants were subject to tougher restrictions about their consulting assignments. Those earning the CPA generally end up as an accountant of some sort. That is, they put together, maintain, and review financial statements and related transactions for companies.

How to become a CPA without a degree in accounting

After you complete the program, you’ll receive a distinctive credential that you can place on your resume, CV and LinkedIn. Check your state’s required coursework to see which classes you need to take to qualify for the exam. Not only is this a requirement to become a CPA, but it’s also a great place to gain valuable knowledge and experience. You’ll see the day-to-day life of the CPA and the essential tools and protocols they use to get their job done. They are in charge of keeping a record of every penny that comes in and goes out of a company. With the large amount of money circulating through many businesses daily, someone has to keep track of it and report it to relevant parties.

You might like to consider the Online Master’s of Accounting (iMSA), offered by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Some states may require an ethics exam or ethics course to finalize CPA licensure. If your state requires this, Becker offers a number of ethics courses in our Continuing Professional Education course catalog. Some states have experience requirements that candidates must fulfill, such as a year of work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA.