CPAs or certified public accountants are accounting professionals who prepare and analyze financial documents for both companies and individuals.
It may seem that general accountant also perform the same duties, but in actuality, CPAs hold additional credentials due to their experience, expertise, and education.
They are responsible for a company’s accounting, auditing, and tax activities. They ensure that the companies that they work for remain within designated laws by ensuring that their reporting is done correctly and taxes are paid on time.
Certified public accountants also act as consultants in matters such as compensation, employee benefits, and asset protection.
In some instances, they also participate in budget development and fraud prevention activities and advise senior management on how business decisions may end up in tax problems.
To work as a CPA, it is essential to possess a master’s degree in accounting or a business degree with an accounting major. You will also need to obtain a CPA license by passing a rigorous four-part exam administered by the American Institute of Public Accountants.
You will need to possess exceptional skills in mathematics and ensure that your analytic skills are above par if you want to pursue a career as a CPA.
See also: CPA Resume Objectives
CPA Duties and Responsibilities
• Ensure that the company conforms to state laws by ensuring proper tax returns and revenue reporting duties
• Advise senior management on how business decisions may affect taxes
• Provide consultancy on compensation, employee benefits, data processing systems, and asset protection activities
• Assist in planning budgets, handling fraud prevention and managing contract negotiation and disputes
• Prepare and check financial reports and statements, analyze ledgers and oversee accounts payables and receivables
• Forecast revenue and expenses and monitor the company’s financial activities
• Identify and resolve accounting discrepancies
• Design and implement both computerized and paper-based bookkeeping systems
• Audit financial reports and oversee financial statements for accuracy
• Prepare earnings statements and complete cost accounting reports
• Direct and supervise the work of accounting staff and act as an initial point of contact for accounting issues or inconsistencies
• Prepare and present investment plans and sales projections and provide management with the advice of how to make use of both
• Analyze the accuracy of records and accounting information
• Perform independent audits with the view toward fraudulent activities
• Handle details of the company’s primary decisions (such as mergers and acquisitions) which may affect it in a financial manner
• Design, establish and implement accounting and data processing programs
• Assist in setting up security measures to protect financial data