What does CPA mean?
What Is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?
A certified public accountant (CPA) is a designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to individuals that pass the Uniform CPA Examination and meet the education and experience requirements. The CPA designation helps enforce professional standards in the accounting industry. Other countries have certifications equivalent to the CPA designation, notably, the chartered accountant (CA) designation. (Investopedia definition)
What is the difference between CPA and Accountant?
The short answer is the CPA like the usual accountant but more smart, advanced, and much more as those skills related to well-educated and interacting with the workplace and real life more than the normal accountant, in the following point the differences will be more obvious.
The skills of CPAs: as we mentioned before, being a CPA isn’t easy to achieve, or hence it gives you a perfect position and opportunities to be at better places from the smallest organization to the largest one, so let’s see what these opportunities require, what is the most needed skills that should CPAs have, but before getting deep with the skills we want to comfy you that if you don’t have all those skills or found some of them hard to gain, you can learn all of them as they not impossible but need more effort, so you don’t need to be a superhero it’s enough to be passionate.
Well-known of the commerce and accounting world Critical thinker:
as we said before, being CPA not that thing you can achieve in one day, you need to experiment yourself in many situations with many industries to take your mind skills to the highest level regularly.
A good mathematical: someone who can deal smartly with all the mathematical problems such as algebra, statistics, calculus as they can face a lot of them daily.
Someone who can write so fast: you need to practice so much how to write and read so fast to be able to up to date with the oral clint information
Clerical skills: as they should organize and analysis all the clerical problems, duties.
tax and legal forms: being a CPA means you are an advisor who is in need of individuals, business, small or big companies, organization, so you are in connection with the tax and legal forms which require you to not be less than an expert in this point.
Up to date with the technology: It’s not something predictable to have all the previous skills and don’t have the most needed one everywhere or how you could find a good position with any organization without having high technology skills the thing that leads the whole world today.
Communication skills: You should communicate with all the people everywhere with different minds so you can read people's minds as you will meet many thrustless clients and your work is to catch the truth and analyse every single action that may happen.
Precision Accounting INTL LLC trying to give you accurate, specific information but without getting bored as well, so in the next part of this topic we will go on and cover the rest including everything about the exam, courses and the certification.
Who can take the CPA Exam?
The CPA study eligibility criteria relate to the education and experience, striving accountants must show significant effort after the secondary stage to sit for this test.
A bachelor's degree from an accepted institution was considered sufficient training for the exam.
The generation of new supervisory and compliance laws has, however, resulted in a body of information that cannot be finished in a 4-year degree program in today's accounting climate.
Fast developments in technology have also significantly altered the skill sets that CPAs are supposed to have in practice management, audit, and compliance.
The AICPA has changed its educational commission in response to these changes.
30 hours of graduate-level instruction are also recommended in addition to the 120 semester hours usually offered in a baccalaureate degree program, This 150-hour rule is implemented by almost all US. states.
In general, CPAs comply with educational eligibility through:
- A bachelor's degree in accounting, plus an accounting master's degree.
- A bachelor's degree in another area, plus a master's degree in accounting or taxation, or an MBA with a focus on accounting.
- In five years of study, a dual program that offers both bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting.
- A bachelor's degree in accounting, supplemented by a graduate training course of 30 semester hours in taxation and accounting.
How do I apply for the CPA Exam?
Choose the field where you intend to sit for the test first. This isn't a hard question for many professionals; it's focused on residency and where you expect to practice.
Different alliances of residence, citizenship, and academic qualifications can make some states more acceptable than others.
Again, follow the accountancy board rules of each state while you consider where the exam is best to sit.
Until entry, ensure that before you apply, all educational standards have been met.
Collect original transcripts for assessment from undergraduate and graduate school courses.
Some states provide pre-evaluation services before enrollment and some command that registration materials be followed by transcripts.
The length of time needed to process a registration varies; preparing for a wait of one or two months is suggested by many rules.
You decide your intent to sit for part or all of the four-section CPA review by registering. Within a specific period, each of the four exam sections is conducted separately; you can register and pay for all four at once, or for individual sections.
You will be given a Notice to Schedule when your registration is approved (NTS).
When you receive your NTS, during the next available testing window, you can register online for a seat.
You can take any part of the CPA exam you want, It is usually recommended that you book your seat at least 45 days before your examination date.
The exact amount of time that aspiring CPAs need to prepare properly for the exam is difficult to predict.
The preparation criteria of each applicant will vary, depending on individual levels of comfort with the content of each segment.
However, for each test, the AICPA makes a blanket recommendation of 8 to 12 weeks of review.
More precisely, the following time allotments are suggested:
- 100 hours of Auditing and Attestation (AUD).
- Climate & Ideas for Industry (BEC)-80 hours.
- 160 hours of Financial Accounting & Reporting (FAR).
- (REG) regulation-110 hours.
Since each test section needs different training levels, for each exam, you will need to configure the timeline.
Don't forget to include holidays, job commitments, or upcoming personal activities that will pull you away from your studies when you project your timeline.
Why work as a CPA ?
Working as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) offers several advantages and can be a rewarding career choice. Here are some reasons why individuals choose to work as CPAs:
1. Professional opportunities: Being a CPA opens up a wide range of professional opportunities. CPAs are in demand in various industries, including public accounting firms, corporate finance departments, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and consulting firms. The skills and knowledge acquired as a CPA can lead to diverse roles such as financial analyst, auditor, tax specialist, forensic accountant, or CFO.
2. Job security and growth: Accounting and finance are essential functions in every organization. As a result, CPAs often enjoy job security and stability. The demand for accounting professionals tends to remain consistent, and there are opportunities for career advancement and growth within the field.
3. Competitive salary: CPAs tend to earn competitive salaries compared to many other professions. The combination of specialized knowledge, expertise, and the level of responsibility associated with the role often translates into higher earning potential.
4. Professional credibility and respect: Achieving the CPA designation requires meeting rigorous educational requirements, passing the CPA exam, and obtaining relevant work experience. This process demonstrates a high level of competence and dedication, which can enhance professional credibility and earn respect from colleagues, clients, and employers.
5. Versatile skill set: The skills acquired as a CPA are transferable and applicable to various aspects of business and finance. CPAs develop expertise in financial reporting, auditing, taxation, budgeting, and analysis, which can be valuable in decision-making, strategic planning, and problem-solving.
6. Opportunities for specialization: Within the field of accounting, CPAs have the option to specialize in areas such as tax planning, forensic accounting, internal auditing, information systems auditing, or financial consulting. Specialization can provide a deeper understanding of specific industry nuances and open doors to niche career paths.
7. Entrepreneurial opportunities: Many CPAs choose to start their own accounting practices or consulting firms, leveraging their knowledge and expertise to serve clients directly. Being a self-employed CPA can offer flexibility, autonomy, and the potential for financial rewards.
8. Continuous learning and development: The accounting profession is dynamic and constantly evolving. CPAs are required to stay updated with changes in accounting standards, taxation laws, and industry regulations. This commitment to ongoing learning ensures that CPAs are equipped with the latest skills and knowledge, leading to professional growth and personal development.
Ultimately, the decision to work as a CPA depends on individual interests, aptitudes, and career goals. It's important to consider the specific requirements of the profession, such as the commitment to continuing education and the level of responsibility involved, to determine if it aligns with your aspirations and values.
How do you list CPA on resume ?
When listing your CPA credential on a resume, you can follow these guidelines to ensure it is properly highlighted:
1. Placement: Include your CPA credential after your name at the top of your resume. For example:
Amr Ibrahim, CPA
1. Professional Summary or Objective Statement: Incorporate your CPA designation within your professional summary or objective statement to emphasize your expertise and qualifications. For instance:
"Detail-oriented and results-driven CPA with 5 years of experience in auditing and financial analysis."
1. Education Section: Include your CPA credential in the education section of your resume. Provide the details of your educational background related to becoming a CPA, such as the degree earned, the educational institution, and the completion date. For example:
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
XYZ University, City, State
Year of Graduation
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
State Board of Accountancy, Year of Certification
1. Certifications or Licenses Section: If you have a separate section for certifications or licenses, you can list your CPA credential here along with any other relevant professional certifications you hold.
1. Experience Section: While your CPA credential is not directly related to your work experience, you can mention it within the descriptions of your accounting or finance roles. For instance:
"Prepared and analyzed financial statements in compliance with GAAP guidelines and provided recommendations for process improvements. Managed audits and liaised with external auditors to ensure accuracy and regulatory compliance."
Remember to use consistent formatting throughout your resume, such as bold or uppercase letters for "CPA" to make it stand out. Additionally, if you hold any additional certifications or licenses relevant to your field, you can list them alongside your CPA designation.
Always ensure the accuracy of the information you provide and be prepared to provide proof of your CPA credential if requested during the application process.