No matter what size your business is, it’s likely you’ll need a financial professional to help keep it on track. That’s where a CPA can help! But what exactly do they do? Let’s take an in-depth look to get a better understanding of what it means to be a CPA.

What is a CPA?

CPA stands for certified public accountant. Certified public accountant licenses are provided by the Board of Accountancy in each state.

It is important to note that not all accountants are CPAs. Becoming a CPA is a distinguished credential that shows dedication, knowledge and skill. Duties include accounting tasks such as producing reports as well as tax reporting and filing for both individuals and businesses.

Working with a CPA can help people and companies better create financial plans in order to minimize taxes and maximize their profits.

Becoming a CPA

To become a certified public accountant, individuals must have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance or accounting. From there, you must pass the Uniform CPA Exam in order to obtain the certified public accountant designation. In addition, there is a requirement of 150 hours of education and no less than two years of public accounting experience.

The official CPA exam has 276 multiple-choice questions, 28 task-based simulations and three writing portions. It is divided into four main sections: auditing and attestation, financial accounting and reporting, regulation and business environment and concepts.

Candidates must score at least 75% to pass each section.

But the work doesn’t end there—the CPA designation requires completing a number of continuing education hours annually.

CPA career paths

There are a wide range of career paths available for certified public accountants. This includes public accounting, corporate accounting or working in a government service. An individual with a certified public accountant designation can also move into executive positions such as chief financial officers.

Many CPAs generally work as accountants of some sort. That means they put together, maintain and review financial statements and other transactions. CPAs can also perform and sign off on audits.

Known for their role in tax planning and preparation, CPAs also file tax forms and returns. Moreover, they specialize in other areas such as auditing, bookkeeping, forensic accounting, managerial accounting and more.

Accountant vs. CPA

When understanding what it means to be a CPA, we must look at how they differ from an accountant.

An accountant is a professional with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. A CPA is a professional who has earned their license through education, experience and examination.

Additionally, CPAs are granted certain roles that only they can perform. This includes performing audits and preparing audited financial statements.


With a clear understanding of what it means to be a CPA, are you ready to find a CPA? Then contact Todd Greene and our team today! And finally, continue reading our blogs for more financial advice and industry news.