Financial Consulting Naples FL on CPA vs Accountant
Are CPAs and accountants the same thing? Yes and no. All CPAs are accountants but all accountants are not certified public accountants. Most people use the terms “accountant” and “CPA” interchangeably, but there is a big difference. The principal differences between accountants and CPAs are education, experience, and opportunity. Becoming a CPA is a challenging goal, but one very much within your reach says Financial Consulting Naples FL. In order to become a CPA, there are education and experience requirements you’ll need to fulfill, and a uniform exam that you must pass. Receiving your CPA certification distinguishes you from other business professionals―you will benefit from increased trust, opportunities, and financial rewards.
This trust is not surprising considering the strict requirements to enter and stay in the profession. Achieving CPA status takes intelligence, ethics, integrity, and lifelong commitment. First, candidates must make it through 150 hours of some of the toughest business courses at their college or university. After graduation and a year of corporate experience under the supervision of a CPA, they must pass a grueling test of business, auditing, and general accounting skills. The CPA exam was developed in the early 1900s to ensure the competence of CPAs entering the field, much as the bar exam evaluates lawyers and the medical boards test doctors. It maintains that goal to this day, and it is continually revised to meet the changing demands of the profession says Financial Consulting Naples FL. For example, candidates are now being tested on their writing skills. The significant change was made because the marketplace is demanding much more of CPAs. Almost every state in the country has passed legislation that requires accounting graduates to complete 150 hours of course credits before taking the exam. The OSCPA supports efforts to add this requirement in Oklahoma, too. The CPA exam is not the only requirement to be a CPA. CPAs are also required to follow a strict code of ethics and perform within the high standards of the profession. Every year a CPA must complete 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) to keep up with the new rules and regulations in the financial, accounting, and business world. As the profession has evolved, so have the services CPAs provide. CPAs are no longer just number crunchers and tax preparers, but also business and financial strategists who help chart the paths of individuals and businesses. Individuals turn to their CPAs for tax and financial planning services, investment advice, estate planning and more. Businesses are tapping CPAs to not only manage finances and taxes, but also to determine profitable new product lines, seek creative financing opportunities, help diversify investments and provide a variety of other consulting and business services. As technology advances, globalization, new laws and regulations, and marketplace competition continue to complicate financial and business decisions, CPAs will be called upon to analyze information, determine effective financial and business strategies, and help individuals and businesses achieve profitability.
An accountant is an individual who performs accounting tasks for individuals or companies. The exact material that an accountant handles varies depending on the size of the company and the accountant’s specialization, but generally includes financial records, taxes, and responsibility for the issuing of financial reports. An accountant is one of the primary figures in a business that he or she works for, whether it is a multinational corporation or a small family owned business. Requirements to become an accountant vary upon specialization and nation, but generally include certification through a professional agency and a basic college degree in accounting and finance. An accountant provides information about financial records and is involved with the financial side of business explains Financial Consulting Naples FL. This involves financial reporting, taxation, auditing, forensic accounting, and corporate finance and so on. They have a strategic role in companies as they provide professional and trustworthy advice. They work in many different sectors including public firms, industry and commerce. Accountants help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, public records kept accurately, and taxes paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and Federal, State, and local governments. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation—providing information to clients by preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents—many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services. In most cases, an accountant will choose to specialize in a particular field such as audits, book keeping, or taxes. In other instances, an accountant may acquire a wide range of skills to better serve his or her clients. This is common with certified public accountants who handle the books for several small businesses at once. In both instances, the accountant must have strong math skills, as well as an education in accounting.
Financial Consulting Naples FL knows that there is a movement of special interests driven by unlicensed accountants trying to introduce alternative or second-tier licenses around the U.S. They want the rights and recognition of licensing to create increased blur in the public’s eye between accountants and CPAs. At a recent legislative / regulatory update, our members were surprised to know that such organized efforts existed, but they were presented a series of facts, some here in Maryland and some in Oklahoma and Hawaii. These groups are now starting at the tax preparer licensing level and organizing to stop our mobility legislation. They presented a “map” of our legislative activities since CPAs were first licensed and recognized in Florida in 1900 and noted that we have resisted these efforts since 1924!