FINAL PROJECT: CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTMiguel Mejia – West Los Angeles College
Job DescriptionA Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accountant who haspassed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination.CPAs primarily work in assurance services for publicaccounting firms. The CPA attests to the reasonableness ofdisclosures, the freedom from material misstatement, and theadherence to generally accepted accounting principles(GAAP).
Duties & TasksCPAs have many career paths to choosefrom. Fields for CPAs include publicaccounting, private accounting, andgovernment agencies. CPAs often work in : • Tax advising and preparation • Auditing • Consulting • Managing a business
Required Technical SkillsCPAs require a vast variety of skills to besuccessful. Skills learned in the classroomand in the field include: Strong leadership Keen decision-making Communication skills People management skills Attention to detail Knowledge of GAAP Analytical skills Math skills Financial acumen Knowledge of the audit manual
Tools & Equipment UsedCPAs involved in the audit services dealwith a lot of paperwork. The followingtools/equipment are used in auditprocedures: • Working papers • Payroll records • Audit software & computer • Accounting information systems • General ledger • Financial statements • Other relevant financial information
Work Environment•Most CPAs work in a typical office setting,while some are able to do part of their workfrom home.•Accountants employed by publicaccounting firms, the government, andorganizations with various locations maytravel often to perform audits at the clientsite.Almost half of all accountants and auditors•worked a standard 40-hour week in 2008,but many worked longer hours.Tax specialists frequently work long hours•during the busy tax season.Accountants generally wear business•casual/business professional attire at theiroffices and client site
Work Environment The “Big 4” audit firms are some of the most prestigious public accounting firms. They are:
Education & TrainingRequirements•A CPA is licensed by each sate.•In CA, to obtain the CPA license,candidates are required to show whatthey have learned and theircompetence by passing the UniformCPA exam, meeting educationstandards, and obtaining accountingexperience.•There are changes for licensingrequirements effective January 1,2014.•According to CalCPA, there are twopathways for earning the CPAcertification (see next slide)
Education & TrainingRequirements Pathway 2 (After 1/1/14, this willPathway 1 (Expires 12/31/13) be the only pathway to licensure in CA Designed for individuals who will practice If you are licensed under this pathway, the only in California and requires: majority of other states will recognize your license. If you think that someday you A bachelor’s degree; might want to practice in another state, 24 semester units in accounting-related Pathway 2 may provide you the subjects; professional mobility you desire. Requirements: 24 semester units in business-related subjects (accounting courses beyond A bachelor’s degree; the 24 required units may apply toward 24 semester units in accounting-related the business units); subjects; Passing the Uniform CPA Exam; 24 semester units in business-related subjects; Two years of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with 150 semester units (or 225 quarter units) an active license; and of education; Passing an ethics course. Passing the Uniform CPA Exam; and one year of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with an active license; and Passing an ethics course.
Job Outlook•The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that accountantsand auditors are expected are very likely to experiencefaster than average employment growth through 2018.•The Bureau goes on to state that accountants andauditors who hold a professional certification,particularly CPAs, are more likely to have favorableprospects.•As the economy improves and grows, the businessworld will have an increased need for accountants.•The globalization of business and the increasingcomplexity of financial reporting also will put a higherdemand for accountants.
Expected EarningsThe following table lists average annual salaries for severalaccounting positions. Salaries depend on location, companysize, professional designation, experience, and other factors.Salaries for chief financial officers range from $75,000 tomore than $1,000,000 yearly. The salaries for bookkeepersrange from under $30,000 to more than $80,000. Field Title (experience) 2007 Salary 2012 Estimate Public Accounting Partner $190,000 $242,500 Manager (6-8 years) 94,500 120,500 Senior (3-5 years) 72,000 92,000 Junior (0-2 years) 51,500 65,500 Private Accounting CFO 232,000 296,000 Controller/Treasurer 147,500 188,000 Manager (6-8 years) 87,500 111,500 Senior (3-5 years) 72,500 92,500 Junior (0-2 years) 49,000 62,500
Professional Associations &Clubs•Association of Latino Professionals in Accountingand Finance (ALPFA)•American Institute of Certified Public Accountants(AICPA)•American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA)•Beta Alpha Psi•Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board(FASB)•International Network of Accountants and Auditors(INAA)
References• Wild, Shaw, & Chiappetta, (2009). Fundamental Accounting Principles. (19 ed.). McGraw-Hill.• Accounting: Skills & Talents (2011). http://www.careers-in-accounting.com/acskill.htm• CalCPA (2011). http://www.calcpa.org/content/licensure/requirements.aspxBureau of Labor Statistics (2011). Occupation Outlook Handbook.•http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos001.htmAmerican Institute of CPAs (2011).•http://www.aicpa.org/Career/CareerPaths/Pages/CareerPaths.aspx