A rewarding career as a CPA awaits. MACPA can help you get there.
*Dual membership with the Maryland Association of CPAs and the AICPA connects you with the two essential organizations established to support you on your journey to becoming a successful CPA — from college, to the CPA Exam, and beyond.
Congratulations! You are on your way to becoming an esteemed professional and one of the pillars of our economy: a certified public accountant. Here’s everything you need to know to get there.
Join former MACPA CEO and 2nd Most Influential Person in Accounting, Tom Hood, and MACPA’s Rebekah Brown as they tackle the most frequently asked questions about the CPA Profession.
Not all accountants are CPAs! While most people use the terms accountant and CPA interchangeably, there’s a big difference. The CPA credential carries enormous weight in business and financial circles. Achieving CPA status takes intelligence, ethics, integrity, and lifelong commitment. That means tough business courses at your college or university, a year of real-world experience, and finally, a test of business, auditing, and general accounting skills. CPAs also are required to follow a strict code of ethics as well as perform within the high standards of the profession. Every two years, Maryland licensees must complete 80 hours of continuing professional education to keep up with the new rules and regulations in the financial, accounting, and business world.
In public practice, you would provide professional services, from tax and financial planning to business consulting and strategic planning, to individuals and business. You can work on your own as a sole practitioner or as a member of a public accounting firm. The CPA works for clients as an objective third party or as an adviser. There are close to 50,000 public accounting firms in the United States ranging from small, local accounting practices to large international firms. Each firm provides its own unique mix of services and clients, which provides varying growth opportunities. Titles in public practice include staff accountant, in-charge accountant, manager, and partner, to name a few. As a public accountant you would provide services in areas such as:
CPAs in business and industry work in a variety of companies from family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 companies. They are strategists who usually work within a particular industry specializing in developing, producing and analyzing data which assists in making business solutions. Industry titles include financial planning director, internal auditor, chief accountant, controller, and chief financial officer.
The role of CPAs in government encompasses all areas of our federal, state, and local jurisdictions. The CPA has traditional duties in the areas of auditing, financial reporting and management accounting. Also, CPAs in government are able to evaluate and advise officials on the efficiency of governmental agencies on all levels.
CPAs in not-for-profit organizations provide the materials and information these institutions need to guarantee that the benefits and services they provide do not exceed revenues. Whether a CPA is on the staff of a not-for-profit organization or serves in an advisory capacity, he or she can help the organization solve tax problems, set up an internal control system, budget resources, and prepare financial data for fundraising.
As educators, CPAs are faculty members in colleges of business administration, professional schools of accountancy, graduate schools of business, and community colleges. These CPAs are responsible for the instruction of students in areas such as auditing, financial accounting, taxation, cost and managerial accounting, and ethics. In addition to teaching, educators have the opportunity to advise and influence students by organizing professional student groups and other activities. Researching, writing books and articles on accounting practices and theory are also components in the accounting education profession. Many educators also use their expertise and knowledge to consult businesses in management practices.
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