What is a CPA?
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional that is licensed and credentialed by a state to offer accounting services, analyze financial data, and provide financial projections and tax preparation. CPAs are certified for their educational background and accounting skills. CPAs are also granted the right to represent taxpayers before the IRS by the Department of the Treasury.
What does a CPA do?
The most essential function of a CPA is to keep or inspect financial records for individuals and businesses to ensure that that the information represented is accurate and complies with state and federal IRS laws and regulations.
This can include:
- Organizing and maintaining financial records
- Examining financial statements for accuracy and accountability
- Preparing tax returns
- Providing financial forecasts
- Providing auditing services
Because accountants intimately understand an individuals and businesses finances, they are often in a position to suggest ways to help improve your financial performance, set financial goals, and help you plan how to achieve those goals.
What Education and Credentialing is required to be a CPA?
CPAs are licensed and regulated at the state and/or federal level. States require that CPA candidates:
- Pass a rigorous test known as the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Complete 150 semester hours of college coursework before sitting for the Uniform CPA Exam
- Gain work experience under the supervision of a licensed CPA
- Maintain high ethical standards – most states require passing an ethics exams
There are actually several specialties for CPAs, some choose to focus on some, while others become proficient in many or all specializations.
Helping individuals and small businesses file their taxes.
Investigating financial crimes such as embezzlement, securities fraud, and other criminal financial activities or often used in divorces as well.
Information technology (IT) Accounting
Reviewing financial controls for an organization’s computing systems.
Finding the Right CPA for your Business
At Intentional Accounting, we have CPAs of all specialties. We are able to help individuals, businesses, and non-profits with all of their accounting needs.