A Certified Public Accountant plays key roles in industry, public accounting, government, education, and the nonprofit sector. The roles played by a CPA are in diverse segments of accounting, financial analysis, managing financial risks, identifying new market opportunities, and observing financial trends to ensure corporate accountability. Identified as a prestigious position, a CPA handles the most crucial financial segment of any organization. CPA is an international title given to the most qualified accountants of the world.
What does a CPA do?
A CPA is responsible for multiple tasks. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Monitoring and performing the audit of an organization’s financial records
- Managing an organization’s financial budget
- Preparing government audits, taxation, and financial planning
- Identifying advantageous methods to utilize an organization’s fiscal budget
- Working on tax returns and ensuring regular payment of taxes
- Analyzing financial information and finding the best ways to save taxes
- Auditing accounts for errors, frauds, misleading information, and overspending
- Financial reporting to management
- Advising the management on tax ramifications of business decisions
- Consulting the organization in areas of compensation, benefits, and protection of assets
- Forecasting revenue and analyzing ledgers
- Investigating Variances
- Strategic planning, Fraud Prevention, and Budget Development
CPA is not an easy exam to crack. It requires a lot of preparation and hard work with in-depth knowledge of all the relevant topics. A CPA designation, within a strict code of professional ethics, provides assurance to the government, public, and businesses through auditing, accounting, and reporting services.
The most commonly performed assurance services are financial audit services where CPAs attest to the reasonableness of disclosures, freedom from material misstatement, and adherence to the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in financial statements. CPAs can also be employed within corporations or operations positions such as Financial Analysts, Finance Managers, Controllers, Chief Financial Officers (CFO), or Chief Executive Officers (CEO).
How Do I Get My CPA Certification?
The CPA designation was first established in law in the New York State on April 17, 1896. Since then, the process has evolved a lot. To become a CPA now, the candidate must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (Uniform CPA Exam), which is set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).
The eligibility to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam is determined by individual state boards of accountancy. Many states have adopted what is known as the “150-hour rule” (150 college semester units or the equivalent), which usually requires an additional year of education past a regular four-year college degree or a master’s degree. Some universities offer a five-year combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program, allowing a student to earn both degrees while receiving the 150 hours needed for the exam eligibility.
To become a CFA, a person must –
- a) Complete a college-level accounting program
- b) Pass the Uniform CPA Examination
- c) Have a certain amount of professional work experience in accounting
Where can I get effective guidance for the CPA Exam?
The best way to start preparing is to go through a well-defined CPA course on a learning center which guides you with structured learning of core concepts. Wiley Online Training is one of the world’s most popular learning centers, having served more than 1.5 million students across the globe. More than 50000 students enroll for Wiley CPA program every year from all over the world.