There are many people out there who offer accounting services, financial advice, and investment guidance. However, there’s only one kind of financial professional who is certified by the state to be fluent in state and federal regulations concerning tax law and financial planning.
A Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, is one of the most well-trusted professional qualifications a person can have. CPAs undergo a stringent process in order to become accredited, and continue to renew their qualifications and continuing education in order to stay up-to-date on the best methods of tax preparation and money management.
In Order to Become a CPA…
One must have 150 hours of college credits before sitting the CPA exam, including an undergrad or graduate degree in accounting or business. A CPA must also have 1 year (or 2000 hours) experience in accounting. The CPA testing process is rigorous, with four different sections, each taking a huge time commitment. In fact, it’s estimated that the average CPA candidate spends 55 hours preparing for each exam. He or she must also pass a professional ethics exam by the AICPA, as well as a specific section covering state law.
Even when an individual has been certified as a CPA, regular recertification is required, along with proof of good standing and continuing education.
“Accountants,” “Financial Advisors,” “Bookkeepers,” and “Tax Preparers” do not go through this same rigorous qualification process, which is why a CPA is the best option for anyone who wants to ensure that they’re getting the best service, an important distinction when dealing with complicated money matters and legal compliance.
Your Partnering Financial Strategist
The main reason that people seek out a CPA (beyond ensuring exacting compliance with legal standards) is to take advantage of the advisement and counseling that is offered. A CPA, with their extensive studies and experience with public accounting, can help individuals with a variety of complex problems, from the best way to set up and run the financials of a small business, to the best practices for preserving wealth and managing investments. CPAs can handle the minutiae of a business, including the bookkeeping and tax preparation, but they can also help businesses find new sources of revenue and save money.
Ensure that Your CPA is Qualified
In order to ensure that your CPA is truly qualified, and actively certified, you can look up Utah licensure status here.