What is a CPA?
CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) are distinguished from other accounting practitioners by strict licensing regulations.
To become a CPA, it's necessary to pass a rigorous two-day national exam and meet stringent experience requirements in addition to completing a five-year course of study in a college or university. To maintain their licenses, CPAs pursue continuing professional education that keep them current with the latest business and related issues. When you work with a CPA, you can be assured that he or she has mastered a significant body of knowledge. CPAs advise individuals, businesses, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies on a wide range of financial and related matters.
CPAs are governed by a strict code of professional ethics that emphasizes their commitment to serve the public and protect the public interest. One of the most demanding found in any field, this code embodies the hallmarks of the accounting profession: competence, independence, objectivity and integrity.
CPA firms regularly undergo independent reviews by their peers in the profession to ensure their services and procedures meet high quality control standards.
Finally, CPAs are consistently on the cutting edge of the financial world leading the way in the technology revolution and continually seeking valuable, new information-based services that will benefit individual and business clients.
First, decide what you want from your CPA. While all CPAs meet the same basic education, training and licensing requirements, not all provide the same range of services. Analyze your present and future financial needs, considering these kinds of questions:
After you have determined your goals, the next step is to seek recommendations from people who might have consulted with CPAs for similar reasons. You might turn to friends and relatives, colleagues and business contacts or to other professionals, such as bankers, attorneys and insurance agents. CPAs are also listed in phone directories, and most state CPA societies offer help in locating practitioners.
CPAs have these suggestions on how you can make the best use for your money: