Certified Public Accountant License

Certified Public Accountant License

What is a certified public accountant license?

Certified Public Accountants are licensed accounting professionals that protect the public interest. They inform about the financial health of organizations by working for them. Certified accountants’ job is also helping families and individual people to make financial planning and pay taxes properly.

The role of a Certified Public Accountants is especially important in business and industry. They do advisory services and financial reporting for different organizations. In that way certified accountants help them to build success and foster growth.

Why should I get my certified public accountant license?

If you want to be visible in the huge world of business you need to become a Certified Public Accountant. It will be the proof of your faithfulness and professionalism. In fact, people consider Certified Public Accountants as business advisors that can get a 100% trust from people.

The Certified Public Accountants not only complete educational courses, they also renew their skills in working process. No Certified Accountant can regard his education as completed. All of them learn many new things, as they choose one of the most dynamic professions.

How to apply for a certified public accountant license in USA?

All accountants should meet certain requirements to become eligible for a Certified Public Accountant license. Those are the main requirements and they don’t vary so much in other states. You can regard the example of a Colorado Accountant License.

To start, the licensee must have a university education of 150 credit hours. Besides, there should be 2,000 working hours in accounting, taxation and auditing. To finish, the accountants should pass the Ethics exam.

Educational requirements

In fact, these requirements vary from state to state. However, one thing is the same in all of them. You must have studied about 150 semester hours and gained a bachelor’s degree. Those educational hours must contain a specific number of credit hours in business, accounting and ethic.

The CPA license candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting, commerce and business administration. The qualifications should be: MBA (in Finance), Member of Company Secretaries (CS), Cost and Works Accountants Institute member, Master (in Commerce), Chartered Accountants Institute member.

Experience requirements

First of all, you must be under CPA supervision while practicing as an accountant. Your work experience should be of at least 2 years. Also, make sure your supervisor has a valid public accountant license.


Each state requires accountants to pass an ethics exam to get their CPA licenses. Yet, the CPA certification requirements vary from state to state. Only after you meet all of them, can you send your application to the authorized board.

After taking all the necessary steps, the State Board of Authority will process your application. Finally, you can get your CPA license during a few weeks.

What are the 4 Certified Public Accountant exams?

In fact, the CPA examination consists of various sections. To pass the exam you need to gain at least 75 score from each section. Here are the four main sections:

Auditing and attestation

In this section the main emphasis is put on financial statements. Also, it includes processes and compliance. The test is made of special question referring to auditing and internal control practices.

Business environment and concepts

The topics corporate governance, overall analysis and economic concepts are part of this section. It includes CPA’s professional duties and also business concepts.

Financial accounting and reporting

In this part they test the knowledge of accountants. The test includes transaction and accounting event types, financial statement concepts and standards, government reporting and nonprofit accounting.


The topics of federal taxation, business law and ethics are in this section of the examination.

Are the concepts certified public accountant and accountant the same thing?

The answer to this question is not certain. They may be the same, yet not all accountants can be CPAs. The main difference is in education, privileges and experience. It is really challenging for regular accountants to become CPAs.

Of course, you may reach it with a lot of hard work and patience. Yet, you will need to follow all the CPA requirements. Remember, that CPA certification will make you different from other business professionals. You’ll have a lot of new opportunities and experiences.

Do I need a CPA license to be an accountant?

Becoming a Certified Public Accountant seems really challenging for many people. Moreover, the CPA exams may cause severe stress and depress people. However, having a CPA doesn’t mean you are more likely to be hired. Those who don’t have any can still find a good job.

Private firms or companies can provide you with such kind of works. For instance, you can work as a management accountant in one of those private companies. That is because you will not have to deal with audited financial statements.

Characteristics of the job of a Certified Public Accountant

Before you get your CPA, it is important to know what privileges it will give you. Here is the list of your responsibilities and benefits as a CPA. Remember, that the more the responsibilities, the harder the job will be. So, here they are:

  1. Your salary will be higher. Regular accountants get about 15% less money than CPAs.
  2. You will have the chance to work with Securities and Exchange Commission. Your work will be filing reports with them.
  3. As a CPA you can do works for the government.
  4. Public corporations will also provide you with jobs.
  5. You’ll get more opportunities to work in private accounting firms.
  6. Job security will be stronger and safer.
  7. Finally, you can review your works in public.

How can a certified public accountant lose their license?

Earning a CPA is not an easy job and it has many hardships. So, imagine how stressful it may be for accountants to lose their CPAs. However, no one can be guaranteed from that.

The reasons are mainly related to the criminal background of the accountants. Moreover, if someone reports any formal complaint towards you, it can put your license at risk.

Failure in filing taxes can also deprive accountants from a CPA. To clarify, in case they file a tax return in a wrong way, they will lose CPAs and be fined. This also refers to fraudulent taxes.


To ensure licensees correspond to all CPA requirements, many states do a special research. During it they take into account every detail in the work of accountants. Here are the main topics that are under investigation:

  1. Any acts of fraudulence and lack of care during the accountant services.
  2. Not following the rules of behavior of a professional accountant.
  3. Providing dishonest services and receiving fees for that.
  4. Pronouncing the accountant guilty of a criminal offense.
  5. Behavioral norms, which show working abilities of a Certified Public Accountant.

Difference between Chartered Accountants and Certified Public Accountants

CA is the short version of Chartered Accountants. This designation is used in many countries, except for the USA. In USA the term CPA is used instead of it. Here it means Certified Public Accountant.

However, this abbreviation can mean different things in different parts of the world. For instance, if used in Canada, it will mean a Chartered Professional Accountant. Moreover, in Australia it has a totally different meaning; a Certified Practicing Accountant.

Another interesting fact about Chartered Accountants is that they can become CPAs. To clarify, any country’s CA can make a reciprocity agreement with USA. That is to say, they can pass a test and work as CPAs in the US with special qualifications.

Alla M.

Alla M.

Alla is a SEO specialist and a content writer with an experience of 10 years. She has written many articles for different websites and companies. Alla has been working with writing challenged clients for over four years. She provides ghost writing, coaching and ghost editing services. Her educational background in family science and linguistics has given her a broad base from which to approach many topics. Alla writes SEO articles for businesses that want to see their Google search rankings surge. Her articles have appeared in a number of websites, including ArticlesBase.com, HubPages.com and TRCB.com. She contributes articles about SEO techniques regularly. Her articles focus on balancing informative with SEO needs–but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read.