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What Do Certified Public Accountants Do?

Job Descriptions September 30, 2013

Certified Public Accountants, or CPAs, are tax and business professionals who will often work for a company at a high rank. They may hold titles like CEO, or Controller. The job of a CPA is to be sociable, analytical and creative when necessary. What they actually do depends upon the magnitude of the position and the size of the company. First, consider your career goals.

What is the Working Environment Like?

For example, there are small, medium and large firms. There are also government offices, such as the FBI, and non-profit groups. Legally speaking, you are a professional who communicates financial information, translates it into critical knowledge, anticipates opportunities for growth, and handles logistics. This adherence to planning can actually take you all over the map, from your own office to a client’s office, to a business trip or a variety of social functions.

The big difference is that Certified Public Accountants have to undergo vigorous schooling, and gain relevant experience, before landing a job or a new client. They are also well aware of professional standards and ethics that are required in the modern business world. The industry you choose will also determine the workload. You could find a career position in manufacturing and distribution or perhaps real estate or retail.

The Duties of an Accountant

As an accountant, you will spend most of your work day compiling data and reviewing the information. From there, you can begin an audit, plan for taxes, or perhaps offer support in personal financial planning.

For that matter, you’re dealing with an industry that is always finding new avenues of growth. Nursing home care, technology, law firms, financial planning—all of these fields can benefit from the knowledge a CPA provides.

While the job term is Certified Public Accountant, you can also choose to work in a private setting. This would include government positions, non-profit groups, or in the educational field. You would report to company owners as well as other parties within the company or outside, depending on the project. CPAs may also work with disclosure statements, guard clients against material misstatement, and make sure all accounting principles of a company’s books are in line with GAAP.

Now is certainly the right time to break into the field, given the rightful paranoia companies have against suffering another Enron scandal. The trend of hiring third party CPAs as consultants is rising, even while state and federal laws increase in number. Other duties for a CPA might include merger and acquisition, estate planning, income tax and tax preparation, and working with venture capital.

If this career seems exciting to you and yet stable in terms of job stability, you are correct. The only downsize is that heavy training and experience is required to assume executive level status. However, going to get your bachelor’s degree from a reputable college or university (such as UMCP) is a step in the right direction.

Change your life, for the better, and pursue a noble career path that keeps business honest.

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