Are you trying to work out exactly what it is that a certified public accountant actually does?
A certified public accountant, or CPA, is one of those job types that is absolutely critical to keep society going. But many of us do not know exactly what it is that this job does.
In this article, we want to fix this problem once and for all! We will answer the essential questions like ‘What does a CPA do?’, as well as give a full rundown on why they are so important in so many commercial and personal settings.
What Is an Accountant?
So, first off, let’s cover exactly what it means to be an accountant.
An accountant is a professional who specializes in the commercial activity of accounting. What this means is that an accountant records, manages, and analyzes all different types of commercial transactions.
In basic terms, an accountant keeps track of what comes in and out. An accountant may work for a particular business, or they may also work for an individual (for example, in assisting with tax returns).
What Is a Certified Public Accountant?
Now, a certified public accountant is an accountant that has received a specific accreditation from an authority to do accounting work. In America, but also throughout many countries in the world, this authority is AICPA, which has existed since 1887.
In order to be certified, a CPA needs to pass an AICPA examination, but they also need to prove that they have satisfied some educational and experience requirements.
The purpose behind certification is to ensure that certain standards are being upheld throughout the financial industry. This means that when you are hiring a CPA, you can be assured that they have been approved as a reliable, competent, and trustworthy professional.
Also, when you receive CPA advice, you can feel sure that it is backed by a certain amount of examined expertise.
What Does a Certified Public Accountant Do?
A certified public accountant can basically do anything to help a business or individual reach their own financial objectives. This may be to optimize their tax return or to improve business efficiency.
Probably a good place to start in working out how much a CPA can actually achieve is by listening to Tom Wheelright’s (CPA) podcast called Wealthability.
In essence, the role of a CPA is to give expert advice on financial matters. But there is a broad scope for what those matters are, and different CPAs will have different expertise in different areas.
Take Control of Your Finances
If you are looking at engaging a certified public accountant, you are probably in the process of thinking about how to manage your finances better. This is something that all businesses and individuals should be doing as a regular activity.
But just make sure that if you do go for a CPA, you stay personally involved in understanding how you can be managing your money better. At the end of the day, it’s your money!
If you’ve found this information useful, why not check out some of our other great articles on finance topics here in this section?