Do you love finance and accounting? Are you thinking about a career as a CPA? The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that between 2012 and 2022, there will be a 13% increase in job opportunities in the accounting and auditing industry, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. The increase translates to an addition of 166,700 jobs.
CPA Job Description
CPAs work in nearly all industries. They are responsible for making sure companies’ and individuals’ financial records are accurate, and they prepare and help to make sure taxes are paid properly and on time.
In the corporate world, one of the most important roles a CPA can play is managing a company’s budget. Helping a company work within its means will, hopefully, help to ensure that the company runs efficiently as possible while allowing for future growth.
Because of this important role, CPAs often work more than 40 hours per week during tax season and during the next year’s budget preparation. During the off seasons, accountants average 40 hours per week.
Becoming a CPA
Many accountants become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Being a CPA offers more variety in your career, giving you the opportunity to work in internal auditing, tax, managerial accounting, and even in informational technology.
There are a couple routes you can take to become a CPA; however, in most states you must have 150 hours of instruction. These 150 hours can be taken in an extended bachelor’s program, or you can take an accelerated master’s program for working professionals.
According to CPA Review, some of the best schools for an accounting degree are University of Texas – Austin, University of Illinois – Urbana-Chicago, Brigham Young University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan and Indiana University.
CPA Exam and License
The last step in becoming a CPA is passing the CPA exam and obtaining licensure. Licensure is necessary as a means to ensure the public that CPAs have “high-level technical skills, advanced knowledge and ethical standards to instill a sense of trust.”
Be sure to check your state’s requirements for taking the CPA exam. The CPA exam is a 14-hour test, split into four parts: Auditing and Attestation, Business Environment and Concepts, Financial Accounting and Reporting, and Regulation.