Monday, 14 September 2015

How to Become a Successful Certified Public Accountant

Working as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) can be a very rewarding career path. CPAs can become trusted advisors for top companies, help people with their taxes or finances, or even run a company themselves. Earning a CPA license and building experience as an accountant provides individuals with an extremely useful skillset for the business world in general. Most CPAs earn excellent salaries for their work because it is very valuable to both businesses and individuals.

Here’s how to become a CPA:

Step 1: Graduate from high school or earn your GED.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance or Accounting. Most states in the United States require CPAs to earn a BA in Finance or Accounting. Some allow CPAs to substitute work experience for a four-year degree. Many accounting firms and other businesses require their CPAs to earn a Master’s Degree on top of their Bachelor’s. Consider taking two more years and completing an advanced degree in addition to your BA.

Step 3: Get certified in your state. Find out what specific requirements your state has to become licensed as a CPA. Some states require prior work experience in accounting or finance to earn a license. In all states, you will have to take the Unified CPA Examination, comprised of four sections: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation.

Step 4: Find a job. Job opportunities for CPAs are expected to increase in the US by 22% between 2008 and 2018.

Barry Dufrene is a Certified Public Accountant working for Yellow Fin Marine Services near Morgan City, Louisiana.