Is A Finance Degree The Same As An Accounting Degree Why A Certified Public Accountant Is Worth Every Dime While Accountants Are A Dime A Dozen

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Why A Certified Public Accountant Is Worth Every Dime While Accountants Are A Dime A Dozen

Most small to medium sized businesses quickly get to the point where they realize they need an accountant with experience in everything from tax preparation to financial planning. When they can no longer handle all the financial work on their own, they start looking for bookkeepers to help them deal with their financial complexes. Some companies choose a generic bookkeeper while others hire a CPA, assuming that the difference between the two is more a matter of the hourly fee for their services than the difference between the services they offer. In fact, there are many differences between them that make Certified Public Accounts well worth every penny you spend.

Anyone Can Become an Accountant

And that means anyone. There are no federal or state guidelines that a person must meet before they can work as an accounting specialist. In fact, the definition clearly allows anyone interested in doing the bookkeeping to advertise themselves as an accountant, that is, someone who maintains the financial records for a business or organization. If you work with numbers, you can use a title without having to get a college degree, take a test, or make sure you understand finance. If you can use a calculator and are familiar with basic accounting software, you can become a bookkeeper for any company willing to hire you.

CPAs Must Prove Their Qualifications

However, you can’t just put up a mark and get used to the books to become a Certified Public Accountant. The certification process is very rigorous. You must take a series of tests and pass with appropriate scores to be allowed to call yourself certified. In the state of Illinois, no less than four exams are required and you must pass all of them. Rigorous testing ensures that everyone who passes has been properly trained. What is meant by the training? In most states, that means you went to college and earned an appropriate degree.

Education Is Important

Even if someone has spent many years as a bookkeeper, unless they have an educational background, they cannot label themselves a CPA if they have not completed at least 120 semester hours of appropriate credit courses from a recognized educational institution. Coursework must cover business law, accounting and auditing, with a focus on accounting.

Keeping Flow Also Important

Maintaining the CPA designation can be as difficult as obtaining it because there are strict guidelines for maintaining the certification. Anyone who is a CPA must complete at least an additional 80 hours of continuing education every two years to stay current with the changing laws and regulations surrounding business accounting practices.

Would you pay a little more to have a Certified Public Accountant work for your company? Yes, but you will soon find that his knowledge, training and experience are valuable assets that will do much more to save your company in terms of peace of mind and possibly the best financial decisions for you and your business.

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