CPA VS Accountant

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accountant who has met state licensing requirements. Although requirements vary by state, they typically include minimum education (usually a bachelor’s degree in accounting) and experience requirements, plus passing the CPA exam.

CPAs also have to complete 40 hours of continuing professional education every year. The CPA credential is considered by many people to represent the commitment of an accountant to meeting high standards.

Featured Programs:
Sponsored School(s)
Featured Bachelor Programs
SPONSORED SCHOOL(S)
SNHU Logo
SNHU
SNHU’s undergraduate degrees in accounting are delivered fully online by world-class expert faculty, offering the best in convenience and academic excellence.
Purdue University Global Logo
Purdue University Global
Purdue University’s online learning experience is like no other, offering students interactive, live seminars that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Theory here is complemented with team-building and project-based learning for a well-rounded educational experience.
Eastern Oregon University Logo
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University offers diverse bachelor’s options, delivered 100% online. Your own support team will ensure you’re on-time, on-track, and headed toward success. Take an additional 45 credits and you’ll be qualified to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam.
Lindenwood University Logo
Lindenwood University
Lindenwood’s fully online BBA in Accounting allows students to take classes wherever and whenever it’s most convenient. Lindenwood students enjoy perks that include an online academic advisor and career center. Also offers a Master of Accountancy and an MBA in Accounting.
Arizona State University Logo
Arizona State University
Featured Program: BS in Accountancy
ASU’s BS in Accountancy is backed by a 15-year track record of offering innovative, online degree programs. Student support is part of the package at ASU, with enrollment coaches, academic advisors, and success coaches focused solely on your success.
Featured Masters Programs
SPONSORED SCHOOL(S)
SNHU Logo
SNHU
Offering the same tuition rates for ten years running, SNHU’s online master’s in accounting is one of the most affordable high-quality programs in the business. Dedicated advisors and 24/7 tech support provide students with unmatched support and guidance in a fully online program. No GMAT or GRE required.
Capella University Logo
Capella University
Capella’s online PsyD in Clinical or School Psychology program is rich in support and engagement, highly interactive, and designed with your unique learning needs in mind. Online learning here is complemented with dynamic, in-person experiences.
Liberty University Logo
Liberty University
The online MSA program through Liberty University offers an affordable, accessible, high-quality way to develop advanced accounting skills, putting a world-class Christian-centered education within reach. Holds specialty, programmatic accreditation through the ACBSP. 100% online. Military tuition discounts available.
The University of Scranton Logo
The University of Scranton
At the University of Scranton, you can earn your master’s in accounting 100% online in as little as 12-months. Custom tailor your program with a wide selection of diverse and contemporary electives. No GMAT or GRE required.
Utica College Logo
Utica College
Utica’s online MBA in Finance & Accounting program develops business-focused accounting skills, providing you with real-world financial modeling experience while putting managerial and cost accounting front and center. Holds specialty, programmatic accreditation through the ACBSP. No GMAT or GRE required. 100% online with no on-campus requirements.

Uniform CPA Examination

The Uniform CPA Examination, administered by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), has four sections: Regulation, Financial Accounting and Reporting, Business Environment and Concepts, and Auditing and Attestation. Total testing time is 14 hours. Less than 50 percent of exam-takers pass a section of the exam on the first try, according to the AICPA.

Accounting

Accounting is basically the recording and reporting of business and financial transactions. Anyone who does that function can call themselves an accountant, even without a degree in accounting, although typically an accountant does have an accounting-related degree.

Often, non-certified accountants perform tasks such as bookkeeping, maintaining general business accounts, and taking care of simple tax-related matters, according to the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. However, all accountants with the appropriate training and experience can perform a wide range of services.

Advantages of CPA

Accountants prepare three main types of financial statements: audited, reviewed, and compiled. Only a CPA can prepare an audited financial statement or a reviewed financial statement, although any accountant can prepare a compiled financial statement. While most small businesses may never require an audited or reviewed financial statement, public companies must produce audited statements. When individuals or business make the decision between going with a CPA vs. an accountant, this is one of the biggest considerations they take into account.

CPAs earn 10 to 15 percent more money than non-CPAs and have better job security, according to the Oklahoma Society of CPAs.

FIND SCHOOLS
Sponsored Content