How to Become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

How To Become A CPA

There is an increasing importance placed on financial compliance which Is increasing the need for accountants.  Every company from small businesses to the huge multinational corporations has at least one accountant to handle the finances.  These accountants are experts in dealing with the cash flow of any company in which they make sure that every cent is being accounted for.  It is through their financial reports that will give projection for the company on what to expect as their future income.  Top management will also see where they can lessen cost and improve services to reach their company goals steadily and surely.

What Is A CPA?

So then, what is CPA?  CPA simply stands for Certified Public Accountant.  This is the title given to accounting degree holders when they have been certified to practice their accounting knowledge.  These CPAs are the ones that the companies know hold the proper knowledge and experience to practice accounting.  Most accounting graduates if not all do not only settle on becoming accountants but desire to be a CPA.  With the title of being certified, job opportunities are better and income capacity is higher.

Major Types Of CPA Work

A certified public accountant can choose from different types of accounting work. They can either work as a public accountant, management accountant, government accountant or an internal auditor accountant.  A public accountant is involved in the general accounting processes within a company and may be assigned to focus on a certain accounting procedure or choose which to focus on.  A management accountant can also be referred to as corporate, industrial, managerial, cost or private accountant.  This type of CPA works on the companies’ financial information that includes making budgets, performance evaluation then cost and asset management.

The government accountant deals with the financial records involved in the government agencies and work for the Internal Revenue Service or IRS.  These accountants can also audit the businesses and individuals in the private sector when their transactions are taxed and require government conformity.  The internal auditor accountant is one that specializes in examining the internal records of a company.  They check and inspect that record keeping is in strict compliance with the company’s standards and ensure that there is no fraud or mismanagement.  Through the internal auditor accountant’s work, the company is able to conform to the government’s regulations.

Various Requirements To Be A CPA

High school is usually the best time to decide what college degree to take on.  When a student sees a future career as an accountant, then he can study more subjects related to this degree.  The subjects that can be focused on during high school are business courses and basic accounting.  Doing so will prepare your college course, online business course or online accounting course and make the completion of the degree as smooth as possible.

There are requirements for the CPA exam before actually taking it but may vary depending on the state.  Aside from the college degree, some states have added educational requirements and a certain number of years in experience for being a public accountant before becoming eligible in taking the CPA exam.  If you are on your journey of learning how to be a CPA, then you should check the state requirements where you want to work.

Aside from the prerequisites to becoming a CPA, another CPA requirement is to undergo 120 hours of continuing education every three years.  This will ensure that the CPAs are updated with the accounting procedures and legalities in business that may concern their work.

CPA Salaries: How Much Can An Accountant Earn

Certified public accountants earn an annual average salary of $50,770.  This means that entry-level positions or those with less than three years experience earn less while those that are employed at bigger companies earn more.  Accountants that have more years of experience can expect to earn larger salaries where five to nine years working as an accountant can earn as much as $60,000.

Those accountants that have less than 20 years of working experience receives an annual income at $70,000 while those that have over 20 years take home as high as $79,038 on average.  It is learned that schools and educational institutions pay the highest accounting income with an annual average at $76,892.  The federal government comes in second place paying their accountants $66,650 annually.

It is also good to take note that for those who want to pursue their own accounting firms with a few accountants, they are the highest earners with national yearly average income of $175,000.  However, they may not receive the added bonuses and benefits of the employed accountants but they tend to receive more in earnings.

The Working Environment and Conditions Of A CPA

It is observed that accountants have a well paying job in a good working environment.  They work in the business districts within the city where the company is located.  Their working areas are well lit and conducive for doing their accounting tasks.  If a worker has the passion for the accounting work, this is not a highly stressful job as it is seen as a challenge for the accountant.  Travel may be required for those who need to do audits in the different companies that need to be examined and checked on.  This is especially applied to internal auditors of a company with various branches and the government accountants that work for the IRS.

After all this information, if you believe that accounting is something that you want to deal with for a lifetime career, then learning how to become a CPA should be your goal.  This profession does not only enhance your passion for accounting principles but able to provide you with a stable, well-paying job.

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