Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
CPAs provide audit, accounting, and tax services for clients. While non-CPAs may provide accounting and tax services, only CPAs can provide audit services for public companies. CPAs must follow a code of ethics, and they must engage in Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to maintain their licenses. Many organizations cite that average CPA salaries are 10% – 15% more than non-CPA salaries.
To become a CPA, you must pass a four-part exam that covers financial accounting (FAR), tax (REG), general business (BEC), and auditing (AUD). The exam is offered quarterly, and once you pass the first part, you have 18 months to complete the remaining parts. Pass rates on parts vary each quarter, but typically fall in the 40% – 50% range. The CPA exam is administered by the AIPCA, and many different companies offer review materials for purchase. Students can get a discount on many different CPA review programs by joining the Georgia Society of CPAs as a student member.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), circa 1887, is the group that represents the CPA profession. Locally, you can participate in the Georgia Society of CPAs (GSCPA) by becoming a student member. Student membership is a one-time fee of $25 and offers opportunities to network at monthly meetings and earn discounts on CPA review materials.