3 FAQs About Certified Public Accountants

May 28, 2021

A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, should not be confused with a standard accountant. If you are considering hiring a CPA from your local Los Angeles accounting service, take a moment to learn more about what these professionals do and how they can help you. 

What is a CPA, Exactly?

A Certified Public Accountant is a type of financial advisor who passed the challenging CPA exam created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (the AICPA). In addition AICPA credentials, a CPA must meet state requirements. Each state has its own licensure guidelines and prerequisites, such as requiring a bachelor’s degree, a certain number of completed class hours, and at least one year of practice at a public firm. In California, for example, a CPA must have participated in relevant international programs and have a Social Security number, but does not need to be a state resident. 

What Types of Services Do CPAs Provide?

CPAs can choose to specialize in certain financial services or provide a general range of services depending on their interests. They often function as tax consultants, auditors, business advisors, and accounting consultants. Other job titles include Chief Financial Officer (CFO), controller, and Senior Manager of Finance. Your Encino tax consultants emphasize that hiring a CPA subsequently provides you with a range of financial services that help you streamline business practices, and see benefits such as increased store foot traffic and revenue. 

Do General Accountants Provide Tax Services?

Only CPAs handle tax filing and audit services. General accountants do not offer these services, but they do help with tax prep. Other services general accountants provide include  financial statements and projections, regulatory compliance advice, and bookkeeping. They help their clients get a better grasp on their current financial decisions to make informed decisions in the future. However, they do not file financial documents or get involved with public-facing audits, or offer forensic accounting services. CPAs work in forensic accounting, or where financial documents are reviewed to identify fraudulent conduct. 

For more about CPAs, contact the Los Angeles accountants at Wallace and Associates today.