CPA (certified public accountant) is a designation given by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) to the candidates who pass the uniform CPA examination and meet the required education and experience. CPA possesses expertise in accounting areas such as tax preparation, financial planning, internal auditing, financial statements, income tax, and more. This certification is widely known as the certified accountants in the USA.
CPA is the most rewarding experience one will have in a public accounting career. Becoming a CPA takes years of education, accounting experience, and months of dedication.
Some essential aspects of this certification are –
- Big audit firms and subsidiaries of US companies value CPA certification a lot.
- If you have cleared the exam, that means you have the ability to work under high pressure.
- CPA holds all kinds of financial positions and maintains a high level of accounting knowledge and ethics.
- A CPA expert can act as an auditor, business advisor, decision-maker, tax accountants, accounting consultant, etc.
- The Financial Accounting & Reporting section of this certification covers several US GAAP and IFRS topics, which indicates that you have a good knowledge of it.
- You can acquire knowledge by studying for the exam.
- The schedule to take the exam is quite flexible. There is no order to take the exam, and you can take the exam for eight months of the year.
Requirement and steps to become a licensed CPA–
To become a CPA, you must meet the state board’s specific CPA requirements; every state board has a different expectation from the candidate.
Every state has a CPA education requirement. Some states of the USA allow you to take a section of the exam before you graduate from a college, whereas most of the states require at least a bachelor’s degree to sit in the exam. The CPA candidate must have 24 college credit hours in taxation, auditing, etc. and 30 credit hours in finance, business law, and management. These credit score requirements differ from state to state.
Some states might go beyond 120 credit hours accounting degree requirements and require candidates to have 150 semester hours to sit for the exam. The majority of states need a qualified bachelor’s degree and 150 credit hours to get your license.
Apply for the CPA exam
The CPA exam process is a complicated one. First, you need to have the educational qualification verified by the state board, which you choose, and once it is approved, you will be able to apply for the exam.
Once the application is received and approved, you will be issued an NTS (notice to schedule) that will allow you to schedule your exams. NTS is valid for months, and you have to pay again after six months. Some states of the USA provide a nine months window to the candidates.
Get a review course
Once you have applied and got approval for the CPA exam, start studying, but it is always a good idea to start studying before applying for the exam. Choosing the right CPA Review Courses is very important. Picking up the wrong course can be a waste of time and money. Always select the CPA study material, which fits your learning style and strengths.