Miguel mejia final_project

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Miguel mejia final_project

  1. 1. FINAL PROJECTCertified Public Accountant Miguel Mejia West Los Angeles College December 18, 2011Miguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 1
  2. 2. The Role of AccountingAccounting is “an information and measurement system that identifies, records, andcommunicates relevant, reliable, and comparable information about an organization’s businessactivities,” as defined in Fundamental Accounting Principles by Wild, Shaw, and Chiappetta.Identifying the activities of a business means to select transactions and events that are relevantto the organization. Recording business activities involves keeping a journal of relevanttransactions and events measured in dollar amounts and classified appropriately.Communicating business activities means preparing the financial reports from the analysis ofbusiness transactions. The financial reports include the income statement, the statement ofowners’ equity, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows.Accounting is called the language of business because businesses set up an accountinginformation system to communicate relevant data to help people make appropriate decisions.Users of accounting information involve external users and internal users. External users arenot directly involved in running the organization. This group includes shareholders, creditors,customers, suppliers, regulators, customers, the media, and external auditors. Internal usersare directly involved in managing and operating the organization. Internal users of accountinginformation include company officers, managers, salespeople, and internal auditors.Careers in AccountingThere are four areas for career opportunities in accounting: financial, managerial, taxation, andaccounting-related. The following exhibit lists a few examples for each category.Financial Managerial Taxation Accounting-related•Preparation •General Accounting •Preparation •Analysts•Analysis •Cost accounting •Planning •Traders•Auditing •Budgeting •IRS •Systems designers•Regulatory •Internal auditing •Estate plans •Business valuation•Consulting •Treasurer •Legal services •UnderwritersMiguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 2
  3. 3. The Certified Public AccountantAccounting specialists are highly regarded. Their professional standing is denoted by acertificate. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accountant who has passed the UniformCertified Public Accountant Examination, has met additional education and experiencerequirements, and exhibits ethical character.CPAs primarily work in assurance services for public accounting firms. Assurance, also known asfinancial auditing, involves the CPA’s examination of the financial statements of an organizationto provide assurance as to correctness or appropriateness. The CPA attests to thereasonableness of disclosures, the freedom from material misstatement, and the adherence togenerally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).Career Paths for CPAsAccording to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CPAs have many careerpaths to choose from. For example, within public accounting, you can work for any sized firm,ranging from a large, international CPA firm to a small local accounting firm. Within the firm,you can work in such areas as audit, tax and management consulting. The same is true forbusiness and industry, where you can choose careers in companies of all sizes. Withingovernment, you can make a successful career at the federal, state or local level. Non-profitorganizations and education also offer accounting-related opportunities.. The following is non-exhaustive list of areas CPAs can work in: Assurance and attestation services Corporate finance Corporate governance Financial accounting and reporting Management accounting Financial analysis Treasury/cash management Forensic and valuation services Taxation Fraud prevention, detection, and investigation Information technologyMiguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 3
  4. 4. Working ConditionsMost CPAs work in a typical office setting, while some are able to do part of their work fromhome. Accountants and auditors employed by public accounting firms, the government, andorganizations with various locations may travel often to perform audits at the client site. Almosthalf of all accountants and auditors worked a standard 40-hour week in 2008, but many workedlonger hours, particularly if they own their own firms and have multiple clients. Tax specialistsfrequently work long hours during the busy tax season.Training and QualificationsA CPA is licensed by each sate. In California, to obtain the CPA license, candidates are requiredto show what they have learned and their competence by passing the Uniform CPA exam,meeting education standards, and obtaining accounting experience. There are changes forlicensing requirements effective January 1, 2014. According to CalCPA, there are two pathwaysfor earning the CPA certification:Pathway 1 (Expires Dec. 31, 2013)Designed for individuals who will practice only in California and requires: A bachelor’s degree; 24 semester units in accounting-related subjects; 24 semester units in business-related subjects (accounting courses beyond the 24 required units may apply toward the business units); Passing the Uniform CPA Exam; Two years of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with an active license; and Passing an ethics course.Pathway 2 (After Jan. 1, 2014, this will be the ONLY pathway to licensure in California.)If you are licensed under this pathway, the majority of other states will recognize your license.If you think that someday you might want to practice in another state, Pathway 2 may provideyou the professional mobility you desire. Requirements: A bachelor’s degree; 24 semester units in accounting-related subjects; 24 semester units in business-related subjects; 150 semester units (or 225 quarter units) of education;Miguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 4
  5. 5. Passing the Uniform CPA Exam; • One year of general accounting experience supervised by a CPA with an active license; and Passing an ethics course.Career Outlook & SalariesThe Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that accountants and auditors are expected are very likelyto experience faster than average employment growth through 2018. The Bureau goes on tostate that accountants and auditors who hold a professional certification, particularly CPAs, aremore likely to have favorable prospects. As the economy improves and grows, the business worldwill have an increased need for accountants. The globalization of business and the increasing complexityof financial reporting also will put a higher demand for accountants.According to the Fundamental Accounting Principles text, demand for accounting specialists isincreasing. The following table lists average annual salaries for several accounting positions. Salariesdepend on location, company size, professional designation, experience, and other factors. Salaries forchief financial officers range from $75,000 to more 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 62,500Professional OrganizationsNetworking with others in the field is important as you progress through your accounting education andcareer. Networking allows individuals to meet accounting professionals, learn about trends in theaccounting profession, and obtain information on scholarships and internships. The following is brief listof professional organizations, clubs, affiliations, and associations that members of the accountingprofession can join:Miguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 5
  6. 6. Association of Latino Professionals in Accounting and 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)Why I Want to Become a CPAI enjoy studying accounting and reading about the accounting profession. Graduating with anaccounting degree and becoming a CPA down the line is my career goal. I have a love fornumbers and I enjoy analyzing numbers, facts and figure in my accounting, economics, math,and related courses. The accounting profession requires many skills. Three of these skills arethat an individual be detail-oriented, analytical, and computer-savvy. Those skills are my strongpoints and I feel that the accounting career is the strongest match for my abilities.Miguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 6
  7. 7. References Wild, Shaw, & Chiappetta, (2009). Fundamental Accounting Principles. (19 ed.). McGraw-Hill. CalCPA (2011). http://www.calcpa.org/content/licensure/requirements.aspx Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011). Occupation Outlook Handbook. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos001.htm American Institute of CPAs (2011). http://www.aicpa.org/Career/CareerPaths/Pages/CareerPaths.aspxMiguel_Mejia_Final_Project Page 7

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