A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is a professional financial adviser to individuals and businesses.
All CPA’s are accountants, but not all accountants are CPA’s.
To become a licensed CPA, the applicant must complete 150 semester hours of accounting education, pass The Uniform CPA Exam, and have 1-2 years of accounting experience under a licensed CPA. Some states also require passing an ethics test. (Criteria vary by state)
Once certified, CPA’s are required to maintain their knowledge through annual “continued education” minimums.
What Does a CPA Do?
The primary function of a CPA is to advise, or manage the finances of people and/or businesses.
Some of their duties include:
- Tax Preparation
- Retirement Planning
- Estate Planning
- Payroll Management
- Investment Management
- Business Planning
- Business Analysis
Other Kinds of Accountants:
Although The CPA is the most common accountant, there are various areas of expertise:
- General Accountant
- Public Accountant
- Internal Auditor
- Forensic Accountant
- Management Accountant
- Government Accountant
Although these job differ in title, the primary purpose of all of these positions is to maintain financial accuracy and efficiency in their given area.
Will an Accountant Help You?
A vast majority of the time, yes. There are instances where trusting an accountant with your finances isn’t a great idea, but for most people a good accountant will almost always save you time and money.
Simply put, an accountant knows far more about financial rules and regulations than you and uses that knowledge to more effectively pay your taxes, or balance your books. Read more about how a CPA can help you.
Where to Find a CPA?
In most cities you will have many options when choosing your accountant. Finding the right one can be a daunting task.
Our general advice is to first identify your goals. What do you want to accomplish?
Then sample the CPA market. Meet with, or discuss your situation via telephone and identify who is able to make you feel most comfortable while helping you reach your goals.
To start, you can look through our CPA directory to find CPA’s nearest you. We ‘pre-qualify’ all firms listed in our directory to provide you with the best options. Start you search now.