Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are specialists at working with financial reports. Some of their main job duties include preparing balance sheets and profit and loss statements for small and large companies and preparing corporate business and personal tax returns.
CPAs can work for large accounting firms small accounting firms in the financial departments at large companies or nonprofit organizations or they can be self-employed. When CPAs are self-employed they usually focus on helping individuals who need tax returns prepared.
Also self-employed CPAs may be hired to help corporations businesses and organizations with their business taxes and setting up accounting systems. CPAs are often asked to audit company records to ensure they are accurate. CPAs must also be familiar with tax laws as related to the clients they serve and in some cases they may be required to present their records to government auditors or the Internal Revenue Service.
To begin a career as a CPA preparation can begin as early as high school by taking math courses. This must be followed by a four-year college degree with courses in tax and accounting. CPAs should be adept at using computer software such as QuickBooks. Some public accounting firms give preference to individuals with master's degrees in accounting especially if these individuals have a special area of expertise such as tax accounting.
In order to become a CPA individuals must have a bachelor's degree and at least two years of experience in public accounting. Then they must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination. The website Careers.stateuniversity.com projects a very good employment outlook for this profession.
The median annual salary for CPAs is approximately $51000. However some firms are recruiting CPAs with post-graduate degrees and several years of public accounting experience at salaries of $75000 to $100000.