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What Is A Certified Public Accountant?


The answer to the question of “What is a Certified Public Accountant?” is a simple one. These are accountants who are certified to work with the public. Well, maybe it is not as simple as that, as they are accountants that are required to pass specialized certification courses and keep up with ethics and continuing education courses throughout their career. An individual that has not completed these certification tests but possesses the knowledge to do the job is known simply as a public accountant or “PA.”

Individuals are required to pass what is known as the “Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination” in order to carry the denotation of CPA in every state. Along with passing this test, they also must possess a certain amount of relevant work experience in order to carry the title. Each state requires that an individual be licensed in the state in order to use the title of CPA. This means that someone licensed in Pennsylvania may not move to Ohio and go directly to work as a CPA without meeting the Ohio requirements to hold the title.

What does a Certified Public Accountant do? They are deemed qualified to provide assurance or auditing services to either the public or the private sector by working directly for a corporation in its financial department. They can aid with maintaining the financial recordkeeping within a company as well as reporting to the proper government agencies should an audit of the company’s finances occur.

Learning the meaning of what is a Certified Public Accountant is as close as the nearest computer. Here, the many different applications and duties that these individuals fulfill can be browsed in order to get a better understanding. The Internet can detail what is needed to become a CPA in terms of education, as well as who may need their services and why.

Even though the test to become a certified public accountant is a uniform one and accepted everywhere, there are state requirements that also must be met in order to practice as a CPA in each state. Many will require that candidates take a re-licensing test periodically as well as undergo an ethics re-certification over the course of the individual’s career. These requirements are in place to keep the CPAs up to date regarding any new developments in the world of accounting and any new laws that may have been enacted regarding taxes or audits.

States differ in that some are known as one-tier states and others as two-tier. The difference between these is that the one-tier states allow the individual to be both certified and licensed at the same time whereas this is a two-step process in the two-tier states. There are very few two-tier states left and local laws will need to be checked to determine if you live in one.

So, what is a Certified public Accountant and what does that mean to you? A CPA is someone who has passed all the requirements to practice accounting and auditing in the state in which they live. This also means that they are well up to date on everything going on in the world of accounting, which can mean a great deal to any client. There are quite a few CPAs working at tax preparation firms and this designation means they are current on any new tax laws, ensuring a clean tax return.

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