What is a CPA

Completing an undergraduate program is an important first step in becoming a CPA.

Becoming a certified public accountant (CPA) is a worthy goal for accountants and those interested in accounting. Being a CPA is your ticket to earning big, but it’s about more than big salaries. It’s about having the designation that gives you the opportunity to build the career you want. To discover if this career is for you, take one of our career quizzes.

Certified Public Accountants Salary

  • Average Annual Salary: $62,500
  • Projected Lifetime Earnings:  $2,651,000

CPA – Education

Certified Public Accountants (CPA’s) require at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field, and certification in a specific area will definitely improve professional prospects and income potential. Many colleges and universities offer specialized courses, for example, bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Sometimes people holding an associate’s degree in bookkeeping or accounting can get into junior accounting positions so they can advance to becoming an accountant.

Many colleges and universities also support students in their efforts to acquire practical experience via part-time courses or internships with business or accounting firms. Certified Public Accountants are usually responsible for preparing tax returns for individuals and corporations, but they can advise on things like financial planning and business auditing. Take a career aptitude/personality test and discover your best career options.

Accountants and Auditors – The Job

CPA’s and Auditors are examining financial statements to make sure that they and their clients comply with regulations and laws. They prepare tax returns, compute taxes owed, and make sure that all taxes are paid on time. They are inspecting accounting systems and books for efficient and correct use of accounting procedures. They also organize financial records, manage and assess financial operations, and suggest the best way to enhance revenue, reduce operational or other costs.

CPA’s not only examine and prepare financial documentation, they also need to explain their actions and findings in written reports and face-to-face meetings with business managers or individual clients. CPA’s are generally performing a wide range of accounting, tax, auditing, and consulting assignments and their clients may include governments, corporations, or individuals.

CPA’s are working with financial documentations that clients must disclose, such as balance sheet statements and tax forms. Some public accountants may have specialized in tax matters, while advising businesses on tax advantages or preparing income tax returns for individuals.

In general, CPA’s run their own businesses, though others may be employed by public accounting firms. Publicly listed companies must have a CPA sign their submitted Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) declarations (quarterly and annual reports). There are CPA’s who concentrate in for example forensic accounting, securities fraud, bankruptcies or contract disputes

CPA’s may want to get a Business Degree

A business degree will give you a solid foundation for making money in the real world. In anything you want to do, being business savvy will help you obtain the level success you are striving for. A business degree will give you knowledge on how to finance a project, or market it to the public, or how to manage your staff efficiently, or just simple how to stay organized.

Job Outlook

he employment outlook of auditors and accountants is expected to increase by some 10 percent over the next decade. A globalizing and expanding economy, in combination with an increasingly complex regulatory and tax environment will be leading to a stronger demand for auditors and accountants.

As the professional outlook of CPA’s is generally closely tied to our economy’s overall health, we will witness a continued need for the services of these professionals as more and more financial records need to be reviewed and documented. Additionally will the growing number of companies that go public create an increased need CPA’s to deal with all required financial and legal documentation.