A CPA is a certified public accountant who is licensed by a state board of accountancy. Becoming a certified public accountant or CPA can be a challenging and rewarding process. Not only will becoming a CPA improve your profession by extending your insight and abilities, yet it will open up new pathways for initiative and development. It will take years of education and preparations, but it will be worthwhile in the long run. If you are considering the benefits of becoming a CPA, review these steps and see if it is the right path for you.
What’s the Difference Between a CPA and Non-Certified Accountants
Companies are always looking for qualified, highly skilled professionals as the finance industry grows. Non-certified accountants and CPAs perform many similar functions, but a certification will make you stand out from the rest. A CPA license is the industry standard for ensuring professionals have the education and experience to uphold the highest financial and ethical standards. As opposed to non-certified accountants, CPAs can prepare an audited financial statement or a reviewed financial statement.
Requirements for Becoming a CPA
CPA licenses are granted on a state by state basis, so requirements to become a CPA vary. In Maryland, there are four main requirements to become a CPA. You must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with at least 150 credit hours, pass all four sections of the CPA exam, and have at least one year of experience in accounting or financial advisory.
Preparing for the Exam
The CPA Exam is comprised of four sections that you can take at different times. It is recommended to take one test at a time, after intense studying. In order to pass the exam, you need to get at least a 75 on each of the four sections. The four sections of the CPA exam are:
- Auditing and Attestation. This section covers auditing and assurance services performed in public accounting.
- Financial Accounting and Reporting. This section comprises financial accounting and reporting topics, including the FASB framework, financial statement preparation, U.S. GAAP rules, and IFRS rules.
- Regulation (REG). REG is the only exam that doesn’t explicitly cover accounting topics. Instead, it focuses on business and individual taxation, business law, and ethics.
- Business Environment and Concepts (BEC). This part covers topics like macro and microeconomics, cost accounting, management, and information systems.
Now that you have a good understanding of what it takes to become a successful CPA, you can make an informed decision on if finance and accounting is the right career for you!
Contact Bowman & Company Today
Bowman & Company CPA, PC provides all of our individual and small business customers with experienced, accurate, and affordable financial services. Our financial services aim to decrease your taxes and increase your net worth through responsible, timely, and accurate record keeping. We offer our services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, including Maryland and Baltimore County, Columbia, and Howard County. For more information on our offerings, contact us online or call us at (410) 381-8121. You can also find us on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and Youtube.