So you want to be a certified public accountant. That’s awesome because that’s what we here at C&D wanted to do as a career, too! CPAs make great money, and let’s face it, will always be necessary. It’s a career with a respectful level of job security and is perfect for those who like to work with numbers. An accountant is the one who will interpret economic operations and is often the reason behind a business’s financial success.
What is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?
A CPA is a financial advisor and consults on taxes and accounting, which means all CPAs are technically accountants, but not all accountants are CPAs. Becoming a certified public accountant requires more schooling, experience, and passing a Uniform CPA exam.
How much schooling will I need?
Most states require 150 semester hours of classes in finance or accounting at an accredited university to hold the title of certified public accountant. This requirement is attainable at the undergraduate level with a large course load, but many CPAs choose to take additional courses at the graduate level. Often this leads to earning a Master’s Degree in addition to a Bachelor’s Degree.
What about the exam(s)?
All certified public accountants must pass the Uniform CPA exam. The exam is split into four individual tests created by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). CPA candidates will have four hours to complete each test. All candidates will demonstrate their knowledge in various accounting scenarios, including auditing, reporting, and regulation. The tests are named as follows:
- Auditing and Attestation (AUD)
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC)
- Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR)
- Regulation (REG)
Your next step is to find a job! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2014 and 2024, accountants and auditor careers will grow by 11%. Now’s the time to become a CPA! Oftentimes a firm will hire you out of school and you can get practical experience before you take the CPA exam. Once you land the job of your dreams, California will require 12 months of general accounting experience to finish the CPA application process- most states require CPAs to renew their licenses and continue their education. Part of a CPA’s responsibility is to stay up-to-date with tax laws and new practices.
We are a dedicated team of certified public accountants and advisors. We value new additions to our team and are always looking for the best and brightest minds in the financial field. Learn more about careers and job openings we have here at C&D and get your CPA career started!