What is a CPA and how to you become one


In today’s society,  going the extra mile to obtain further certificates aside from your degree is important. It not only sets you apart from your peers but lets the public and employers know that you are certified in a specific field.  A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional certificate that is recognized only in the United States. To obtain a CPA qualification you must apply, write and pass the uniform CPA examination and in addition, have fulfilled all necessary requirement by the relevant state.

Who is authorized to provide the CPA exam?

The CPA Licensing is done by the states, district and country Boards of Accounting. The CPA exam is developed and graded by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Once a person has completed the CPA course, there are lots of areas he/she can specialize in, including.

  • Forensic accounting,
  • income tax,
  • corporate finance and business,
  • information technology,
  • tax preparation and planning etc.

What steps are required to obtains the CPA certificate?

Becoming a CPA accounting is not a quick or easy task. Unlike basic accounting courses such as Certificate IV in Accounting or Certificate IV in Bookkeeping, CPA has prerequisites prior to being able to undertake the course.  Previous graduates of the CPA course advised there are three steps in obtaining the qualification.

  • Education – bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance or a related field.
  • Exam – You will need to achieve a minimum score of 75 to pass CPA exam.
  • Experience – get a minimum of one year supervised experience prior to taking the exam


Certified Public Accountant (CPA) courses

The CPA course has a total of 14.0 units course duration. The CPA course syllabus has a wide range of areas of specialization which is grouped into four categories. They include-

  • Auditing procedures and practical applications
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Regulation including ethics, taxation and business laws
  • Business Environment Concepts

The CPA Examination

The CPA exam is the most important aspect of the program. This is because CPAs have access to the sensitive financial information of countless businesses and individuals. The CPA exam is divided into four with respect to its course outline and you as a student can decide which one you want to write first. Although you must make sure the following 3 exams are passed within an 18-month period.  These examinations are always taken during the first two months of every quarter I.e. January and February, April and May, July and August, October and November. This implies that the exam is sat for four times in a year. A minimum score of 75 is required in each course to pass the exams.

Requirements to sit CPA Exam

The following are required for you to be eligible to sit for the CPA exams:

  • Must be 18years and above
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours and maximum of 150 credit hour from institution where BSc or MSc is obtained
  • Experience needed
  • All of your academic qualifications
  • Not compulsory to be a citizen

Method of Application

You have to obtain an application form through the Board of Accounting in your state. Send in your application alongside with your transcripts, photograph, recommendation letter and other necessary documents. Then use your Authorization to Test (ATT) to obtain your Notice to Schedule (NTS) and with your NTS you can then apply for a COA.


Benefits of Becoming a CPA

There are a lot of benefits attached to you obtaining a CPA certificate. They include-

  • As a CPA, you can be an accountant but an account cannot be termed as a CPA. This is an edge over BSc Accounting holder.
  • CPAs are regularly hired. In a situation where you apply for a job in an accounting firm, a CPA holder would be considered over an Accountant because of the personal skills and profession.
  • A CPA is paid higher than just any other accountant.

Certification of the program is only a way to prove to the public and your employer that you possess a higher level of technical skills, ethical standards, and advanced skills.

If you have an interested in financial and auditing (accounting in general) why not boost your career today by bagging a CPA certificate. It pays and would serve you better.  Edna does not offer this CPA certifications, although you can search our website for other courses by clicking here.

Thinking of Studying

Not sure which course your want to enrol in or you have questions about one of our courses? Speak to one of our frideldy staff and get answers to your questions. 

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