CPA Certification

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What Is a CPA Certification?

CPA Certification

If you become licensed as a CPA, you have earned the designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants after meeting educational requirements and passing the standardized examination. The various state Boards of Accountancy administer the examination, but the test is standardized for all candidates. The CPA license is most important for those interested in a career in public accounting. The functions of auditing and analysis of company financial statements are among the most important duties of CPAs.

While states may have some different education requirements, the most common standard is for you to have completed at least 150 semester hours of university accounting study prior to sitting for the standardized examination. Some states will allow a student in his/her final semester prior to graduation to sit for the examination. It is important for candidates to become familiar with the rules of the state in which they wish to be licensed to practice. Because the examination is uniform throughout the United States, most states will grant reciprocity to CPAs licensed in other jurisdictions.

While a career path in private industry is not dependent on earning CPA certification, your possibilities of promotion to a variety of senior positions, like Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will be helped greatly if, along with your experience and performance, you have also earned a CPA license. Also, if you earn certification in Canada or the U.K., you will be given the designation of Chartered Accountant, instead of CPA, but the difference is in the title only.

   

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