How To Choose A CPA
First, understand that some firms are accepting new tax clients for 2016, while others are not. If your business hasn’t had an accountant before or in several years, be prepared to contact several firms and perhaps ask the accountant to file an extension request with the IRS for 2015 taxes. Of course, the IRS doesn’t require a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in or even an accountant to prepare a business’s taxes. There are other professional tax preparers available, and the IRS provides a guide to choosing a tax professional on its website.
Keep in mind, however, that hiring an accountant or CPA to do your taxes could lead to business growth opportunities you may have never considered – if you hire well. And that leads to the second consideration for businesses looking to hire a tax accountant: Determine, up front, what other questions you have about your business that a trusted financial advisor might be able to answer.
Certified Public Accountants
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the title of qualified accountants in numerous countries in the English-speaking world. In the United States they will have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and will have met additional state education and experience requirements for membership in their respective professional accounting bodies and certification as a CPA. Individuals who have passed the exam but have not either accomplished the required on-the-job experience or have previously met it and who have lapsed their continuing professional education or have requested to be converted to inactive status are, in many states, permitted the designation “CPA Inactive” or an equivalent phrase. In most U.S. states, only CPAs who are licensed are able to provide to the public attestation (including auditing) opinions on financial statements. The exceptions to this rule are Arizona, Kansas, and North Carolina where the “CPA” designation and the practice of auditing are not restricted. Many CPAs are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or their state CPA society.
Many states prohibit the use of the designations “Certified Public Accountant” by a person who is not certified as a CPA in that state. As a result, in many circumstances, an out-of-state CPA is restricted from using the CPA designation until a license or certificate from that state is obtained.
Texas additionally prohibits the use of the designations “accountant” and “auditor” by a person not certified as a Texas CPA, unless that person is a CPA in another state, is a non-resident of Texas, and otherwise meets the requirements for practice in Texas by out-of-state CPA firms and practitioners.
How to Choose an Accountant Who Is Also an Advisor
Make the most of the accounting relationship by doing your part. Don’t hand your accountant a shoebox full of receipts. The better you maintain your records, the less time your accountant has to spend — and the lower your fees will be.
It’s a good idea to meet with your accountant every month. Review financial statements and go over any problems so you know where your money is going. This is where your accountant should go beyond number-crunching to suggest alternative ways of cutting costs and act as a sounding board for any ideas or questions you have.
A good accountant can help your business in ways you never dreamed possible. Spending the time to find the right accountant — and taking advantage of the advice he or she has to offer — is one of the best things you can do to help your business soar.
The AICPA is committed to providing students and CPA candidates with the information and tools to guide them to successful entry into the accounting profession. In this section you can learn more about getting started, scholarships, licensure, frequently asked questions, and the uniform CPA exam.
What is a ‘Certified Public Accountant – CPA’
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to those who pass an exam and meet work experience requirements.
For the most part, the accounting industry is self-regulated. The CPA designation ensures that professional standards for the industry are enforced. Other countries have certifications equivalent to the certified public accountant. For example, in Canada, accountants similar to the CPA are called Chartered Accountants (CA).
What is a CPA?
A CPA is a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state board of accountancy. To earn the prestige associated with the CPA license, you are required to demonstrate knowledge and competence by meeting high educational standards, passing the CPA exam and completing a specific amount of general accounting experience. The two most important aspects of becoming a CPA are passing the Uniform CPA Exam and meeting licensing requirements in the state where you want to practice.
To find more information about the CPA profession, including salary facts and choosing a specialization, take a look at the AICPA’s This Way To CPA website.
What is a certified public accountant?
A certified public accountant, or CPA, is a person who has passed the very difficult CPA Exam and has been licensed by one of the 50 U.S. states (or one of five other jurisdictions). The CPA’s license is renewed if the state’s requirements continue to be met including continuing professional education credits.
Many certified public accountants work in the field of public accounting in CPA firms ranging from a sole practitioner to a large international CPA firm. However, many certified public accountants leave public accounting while others never enter public accounting. These CPAs can be found working as accountants in manufacturing, financial services, not-for-profit organizations, health care, government agencies, education, and so on.
Most state boards of accountancy now require candidates to have 150 college credits in order to sit for the CPA Exam.