Educational Requirements to Become a CPA

Certified public accountants are the most qualified of all accountants, proving they have had education, training, and passed the certification test. Many businesses choose to hire CPAs to prepare their income taxes, balance their books, and provide other accounting and tax services on a contractual basis. You can earn a very good living being a CPA but first you move get proper education. There are certain educational requirements in order to be eligible to take the test that lets you become a CPA.

What is a CPA?

Contrary to popular belief, not all tax preparers and accountants are CPAs. A CPA must go through extensive education and training in order to receive their certification. Therefore, by hiring a CPA you know you are getting someone who has the right amount of education and training and who passed their certification exam. They must follow a certain code of ethics in relation to their work and stay up-to-date on the newest tax policies issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Undergraduate Educational Requirements

The first stage of educational requirements for becoming a CPA include getting a four-year college degree. This degree should be in a field related to accounting such as statistics, economics, or even business management. Some states will require a four-year college degree to become a Certified Public Accountant while others only require an associate's degree in the right field and passing the certification exam. There might also be locations in the US requiring a degree from a specific school due to their courses offered and a high level of expectations from their CPA students.

Experience Required

In order to finish your training and certification for becoming a CPA, you might also need to have a certain amount of hours in work experience. This usually has to be in the same area of business or financial field. This includes working as a tax preparer, tax adviser, or professional accountant after finishing your college education but before officially becoming a CPA. The reason for this is to show you have sufficient knowledge and hands-on experience to be called a Certified Public Accountant. It also benefits you because by the time you get your certification, you have this work experience on your resume which can improve your chances for getting hired. The work experience can either be paid or unpaid such as from an internship. Try to find a business hiring entry-level accountants who hope to get their CPA in the same field of business you hope to enter when you do become a CPA.

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