The accounting profession is highly respected in the business world. In fact, accountants are considered the most trusted professional group in America (What Financial Problems? p.54). Given the amount of education and experience required to receive certification this is an understandable designation. Perhaps so many trust accountants’ expertise because people outside the accounting profession may feel ill-equipped to handle the detailed responsibilities as accountants do.
The certified public accountant (CPA) is the best-known and prominent accounting certification. To become a CPA, a four-part exam is administered nationwide by the AICPA. Although other certification requirements vary from state to state. All four parts must be passed. However, this can be done over time.
Four-part Exam Includes
- business law and professional responsibilities
- accounting and reporting-taxation, managerial, governmental, and nonprofit
- financial accountant and reporting for business enterprises
The Big Four
- Deloitte & Touche
- Ernst & Young