Who is a Certified Public Accountant and How to Become One?
A CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is a professional expert of accounting. He is proficient in handling the financial statements after qualifying an exam and meeting the required experience. Simply put, he has a bright future with so many options available for him for expertise.
How to Become a Certified Public Accountant?
For a student to become a public accountant, he must qualify a uniform CPA examination. He must also complete mandatory state certifications.
To become a CPA, he must complete the following requirements:
- Complete college-level accounting program
- Clear the CPA examination
- Have a minimum of one-year experience in accounting professional work.
Usually, a CPA examination has four basic concepts: auditing and attestation, financial accounting, business environment and concepts of reporting and regulation. A typical CPA examination contains multiple choice questions, case studies and other writing skill exercises.
Scope of CPA
Being a vast subject, once a person becomes a qualified CPA, he can find his scope of future in the various field. They can be hired as executive officers or as Chief Financial Officers depending on their experience. Mainly, a CPA is specialized in income tax preparation but he can also specialize in many other fields such financial accounting, bookkeeping, financial auditing, information technology etc and the list is dropped down:
- Corporate Business
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Accounting & Analysis
- Estate Planning
- Income Tax
- Forensic Accounting
- Management Consultancy
- Performance Management
- Information Technology
- Venture Capital
- Tax Planning
Meanwhile, the two main areas of expertise of a Certified Public Accountant are
1. They are highly knowledgeable in the area of tax returns for SME’s, corporates and other businesses. They develop a strategy in order to reduce the amount of taxes which companies pay to the government. Whenever a business acquires a big project, a CPA can inform the business about the tax ramification.
2. CPAs are highly qualified and the right professionals to conduct audits in any firms. They verify the accuracy of the businesses and make sure that the paper works regarding the finances are well maintained. They are skilled to identify any frauds or misstatements in the financial work of the company. Certified Public Accountant also provides accounts in the areas where the company is overspending.
General Responsibilities of a Certified Public Accountant
The primary responsibilities of a CPA include the following:
- Maintain audit records of the business
- Manage budget and oversee the finance management
- Maintain bookkeeping and prepare for audits, filing taxes.
- Provide suggestion to save money
- Ensure tax payment is made on time
- Analysis of the budget of the company
- Create budget plans
- Conduct audits to find out the errors, frauds, misstatements, and overspending
- Be a business consultant to the firms for compensation, asset compensation, and other benefits
- Prevent fraud cases, develop a budget, forecast the revenue, analyze the ledger and identify the variances within the organization
A CPA has a bright future with so many options available for him for expertise.
Chai Chung Hoong, Account Manager
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