How to Become a Certified Public Accountant?
What is the difference between an accountant and a Certified Public Accountant? Well, one can say that all the Certified Public Accountants are accountants, but all the accountants are not Certified Public Accountants. In many cases, an individual with a CPA certification may have the job title of an Accountant, but the term CPA is the license earned by him/her. It is extremely difficult to earn a CPA license since it requires the necessary testing, experience and education. Moreover, certain accounting functions cannot be carried out by the non-certified accountants. These include the attestation and auditing functions.
Apart from these, companies usually seek such certified employees while they look for certain specified accounting jobs. If an individual intends to pursue a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA), it all begins with his/her education. Moreover, both the designations always need a bachelor’s degree at least. However, in certain cases one could substitute the educational requirements with job experience for the Certified Public Accountant test.
The educational requirements for a Certified Public Accountant’s certification may vary on different basis. Generally, a person is required to have a specific number of credits or a master’s degree to appear for the Certified Public Accountant test. Normally, with a Certified Public Accountant designation, the actual degree is not important provided an individual has sufficient number of credits in all the subjects needed. On an average, the credits are needed in both business and accounting topics. Therefore, if an individual pursues a degree in accounting, he/she would definitely be able to meet the credit requirements easily as compared to non-accounting graduates.
Irrespective of an individual’s performance in school, he/she would need to perform better in the Certified Public Accountant test. Moreover, an individual must remember that the examination is extremely specialized despite having practical knowledge of the field. Particularly, the Certified Public Accountant exam is considered to be a highly academic examination. This implies a real-world experience in the field of finance or accounts would not be helpful to the test-taker.
The designation of a Certified Public Accountant would lead to a rewarding career. Not only does this designation increase the knowledge of an accountant, but also his/her credibility.