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Who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and How to Become a CPA?

Filing for tax returns is a task that not every person is qualified enough to do. To help people under such circumstances, the government has appointed a certified public accountant (CPA). Becoming a CPA is easier said than done. Therefore, this article will explain who a CPA is, what they do, how to become a CPA and the advantages of becoming a CPA.

Who is a certified public accountant?

A certified public accountant (CPA) is an accountant who is qualified, trained, and experienced in handling all the taxes returns that need to be filed. Most people confuse certified public accountants with normal accountants.

There is a huge difference between the work done by a certified public accountant and an accountant. Not all the work done by a certified public accountant can be done by an accountant.

The accountant can also help you file the tax returns, but a CPA can analyze the work, change the financial statements and income statements, and represent you at a tax audit. Most high-end companies and people in business choose a CPA over a traditional accountant to deal with their financial needs.

What is the job of a certified public accountant?

First, let us clear the air that CPA is not a title or career path that you can follow. Rather it is a professional designation. Becoming a CPA helps the accountant become more flexible and gives them mobility in their career.

If you want to become a licensed CPA in several states, you must check the reciprocity laws. You can then check for states that allow a candidate to have a CPA license in more than one state.

The main sectors where CPAs work mainly are in public accounting, business and industry, government, NGOs, and education sectors.

These were some basic and well-known fields where there is a rise in the demands of CPA. After becoming a licensed CPA, you can get a job in almost any field.

How to become a certified public accountant?

The pathway to becoming a certified public accountant depends on which stage you’re currently at. There are four main steps that you should follow, and they are as follows.

1. Complete your education

The requirements of becoming a CPA are different in different states. Most states require the candidate to complete a minimum of 150 hours in a college-level accounting course.

Most candidates meet this criterion while completing their graduation in accounting. Although a master's degree is not needed, if you have completed your master's, it also increases your chances of becoming an experienced certified public accountant.

2. Gain experience

Some states have a basic requirement that the candidates get a minimum of one year of work experience before being eligible for the other exams of a CPA. They should get this work experience by working under an expert CPA in an accounting firm.

3. Passing the exam

Passing the certified public accountant examination is a task that requires extreme dedication and hard work from the candidates. Clearing the CPA exam is easy for candidates who have thoroughly studied and have good working experience under a professional.

The examination has four sections; business environment and concepts, auditing and attestation, regulation, and financial accounting. Read all the essential tips regarding the examination and then appear for the exam.

4. Following ethics

Some states have a mandatory clause to take an ethics exam or a course before they are finally eligible to become a CPA. You can learn more about these ethics class courses from several online and offline teaching mediums.

Also, the CPA is expected to stick to a particular code of ethics and never do anything unethical.

What are the advantages of becoming a certified public accountant?

Having a CPA license is an assurance of being a well-trained and experienced professional. It shows that you have met the highest standards, and you have taken the steps that help you set yourself apart from other accountants. Following are some of the benefits of becoming a CPA.

1. You are a well-respected part of the society

Once you’ve become a trained CPA, you belong to an accomplished and distinguished group of accountants. You should take pride in this accomplishment, as not every accountant becomes a CPA.

2. You get to boost your career

The career growth of a CPA is limitless. They can be of help to people both within and outside their limits of being a CPA.

3. You enjoy a secure career

You can work in several fields and get clients regularly once people know you’re a licensed CPA. Since the demands of CPA are always on the rise, even if you retire, you will always be treated as an experienced CPA.

4. You get paid well

Depending on your talents and expertise, the payroll of an average CPA is higher than a normal accountant or any other professional in this field.

Final thoughts

This is what a certified public accountant does, and the advantages of becoming a CPA are unmatched. To know more about CPA, get in touch with the professionals from Just Call Jack.

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