What is a CPA?

A CPA or Certified Public Accountant can be defined as a professional accountant dedicated to implementing, managing and interpreting the accounting practices of an organization or person. This is done to produce reports for management and other concerned parties (both internal & external).

CPAs examine the books or accounting records of a company, which show movements of currency, rights and goods. These reports contain financial statements, budgets and accountabilities and balances, that are used internally in the companies or agencies and also by third parties such as regulators, tax collectors or banks. In many cases the third parties require that such reports be made by or supported by a professional accountant.

The work is geared to the applicable regulations movements or economic operations that the company does in order for the results to be published for information purposes for shareholders, investors, suppliers and other interested persons such as workers, public entities, financial institutions, etc.

CPAs also review financial reports and tax statements prepared by others. This is called the audit of financial statements. In addition, they do other types of audits and expert tasks, settle claims for insurance companies and do actuarial calculations.

In order to become a CPA, you have to pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination and, in addition meet experience requirements and both initial and continuing education requirements that each state determines on its own.