A Certified Public Accountant is a qualified accountant who received state certification or license to practice public accounting.
In order to receive this certification, an individual must have graduated from a university, pass the CPA exam, and in addition she/he must have met the following:
- 150 semester hours of college coursework, which may be a combination of undergraduate and graduate classes with a concentration in accounting
- pass a 2 day national exam on four subject areas, Financial Reporting, Taxation, Business Law, and Auditing.
- have at least three years of full time experience in public accounting including
- 1000 hours of audit work.
- To maintain the CPA license, a CPA must submit to the Board of Accountancy 40 hours of continuing education each year or 80 hours every two years. A CPA may handle a variety of tasks for a variety of legal entities including audit, review, compilation, tax returns, IRS representation, bookkeeping, financial statements, financial or retirement planning, etc.