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What Is a CPA (Certified Public Accountant)?

What is CPA (certified public accountant)

CPA, which stands for Certified Public Accountant, is an accounting qualification granted by  individual State Boards of Accountancy in the U.S. to individuals who fulfill certain education and experience requirement as a public accountant. The CPA title is one of the most globally recognized professional qualifications, and arguably is the most prestigious in the accounting field.

Only CPAs are allowed to own (either as sole owner or as partners) a public accounting firm, and only CPAs can sign the audit report on behalf of the firm.

While there is no requirement for CPAs in private business, many big corporations strongly prefer their senior financial professionals to have a CPA qualification to show their knowledge and expertise in the accounting field.

What is a CPA, and Why Become One?

Now that you understand what is a CPA, you may want to know why people want to join the CPA family:

  • Respect and prestige
  • Higher income generating power (see the CPA salary guide)
  • High and increasing demand for CPA
  • Excellent job security
  • Good work-life balance

You can learn more about why become a CPA here.

How To Become a CPA?

You will need to fulfill the “3 Es” requirements:

  • Education
  • Exam
  • Experience

To find out the details for each requirement, please click the link how to become a CPA here. You may also need to apply to a master’s program to fulfill the educational requirement, so you should learn everything you can about master’s degrees and the CPA license. If this is the case, you’ll want to consider taking the GMAT exam as most programs require a GMAT score.

Additionally, you can learn about the best CPA review courses and find CPA review discounts on my CPA site.

For Your Further Reading

Role of CFO

CFO Roles and Salary

The Chief Financial Officer or CFO’s scope of responsibility has evolved from bean counter and oversight to the “strategic advisor”, as accounting itself evolves from collecting, validating and reporting data to provide and supporting analysis for decision-making. Learning about the Role of a CFO depends on what you’d most like to focus on. We’re able to share with you some CFO responsibilities and salaries.

Both financial and non-financial key performance indicators, e.g. churn rate of telecom companies.

An extreme case is Amazon now that they use predictable analysis by using algorithms based on customer shopping patterns and ratings to suggest to customers items they would likely be interested in.

Also, at the operational level, Amazon uses weather climate models for more efficient shipping.

But any company will need a team to start asking intelligent questions.

It’s progressive for the accounting function to provide marketing and sales with a reliable and accurate picture of which customers are more profitable and which are less profitable.

If you’re interested in Upgrading your Accounting career, we have more information to share.

You can learn more about accounting executive roles here:

Accounting Career FAQs

Accounting Career Frequently Asked Questions Accounting Resume

I attempted to list below the most frequently asked questions related to accounting jobs as well as career advancement and alternatives. What questions do you have about accounting careers?

Accounting Careers

Some basics fall into the Frequently Asked Questions categories when it comes to accounting careers.  Below, you will find some helpful information whether you plan to work for a small office or a large company.

The Choices

Crafting Your Resume

Acing Your Interviews

Upgrading Your Career

Breaking into Big 4

Making the Decision

Frequently Asked Questions about Hiring Process

How to Survive and Excel in Your First Year

How to Excel in Second Year and Beyond

Exit Opportunities and Strategies

  • I’ve had enough. When is the best time to leave Big 4?

General Accounting Firms and Departments

Tips for New Accountants