Becoming a CPA

Becoming a Certified Public
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What is a CPA?
Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are innovative
and strategic thinkers who are well respected for
their integrity and commitment to excellence.
CPAS provide a number of valuable, useful services for
> Consumers
> Business owners
> Government agencies
> Nonprofit organizations
Benefits of Becoming a CPA
CPAs are in demand
Very challenging
People-oriented profession
Highly respected profession
Income and growth potential
Job satisfaction
Unlimited opportunities
About CPA Services
Tax Services
Accounting and Assurance Services
Financial Services
Business and Management Consulting
• Litigation Services
What’s Hot in Accounting
Assurance Services
• Includes auditing and other exciting services:
 WebTrust Services
 CPA SysTrust
 CPA Performance Review
 Elder Care Services
What’s Hot in Accounting
Consulting Services
• Individuals, businesses, financial institutions,
non-profits and government agencies need CPAs
to offer objective advice and assistance
 Assistance to clients in securing loans
 Budgeting
 Business planning
 Business valuation
 Financial ratio analysis
 Cash and inventory management
What’s Hot in Accounting
Information Technology (IT) Services
• Exploding IT growth has created huge
opportunities for CPAs with strong computer skills
to design and implement advanced systems to fit
an organization’s needs
 Internet security
 Cloud computing
 Programming
 Software development
What’s Hot in Accounting
Forensic Accounting
• Forensic accountants combine their knowledge of
accounting and finance with law and investigative
techniques to determine whether an activity is
 White-collar crimes
 Security fraud
 Embezzlement
 Bankruptcy and contract disputes
 Money laundering and organized crime
What’s Hot in Accounting
Environmental Accounting
• An environmental accountant analyzes external and
internal costs of what happens to the environment.
 National focus — Analyze situations with national
impact, speak to key private and government
 Private focus — Evaluate the costs of cutting pollution,
including adding in benefits of tax relief for following
government regulations or tax credits for utilizing
government-approved equipment or methods
 Government and regulatory — Make new
regulations and enforce existing ones
What’s Hot in Accounting
International Accounting
• In today’s global economy, CPAs with an
understanding and mastery of international trade
laws and regulations are in great demand
 Global companies
 Cultural differences
 Travel or live in another country
What’s Hot in Accounting
Tax and Financial Planning
• CPAs help individuals and companies with
financial planning, investments, taxes, mergers
and acquisitions and much more.
 Saving and investing
 Real estate
 Financial reporting
 Litigation
 Clients in sports, entertainment, fashion
and more
Where CPAs Work: Public Practice
Staff Accountant (entry-level)
• $33,500 – $46,250
Senior Accountant (1 – 3 years experience)
• $38,000 – $57,750
Manager (3 – 10 years experience)
• $56,000 – $97,000
Partner (7 – 15 years experience)
• $100,000 and up
Source: American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
Where CPAs Work: Business/Industry
Credit and Collection
• $28,000 – $88,750
Financial Analyst
• $45,750 – $66,250
Tax Manager/Specialist
• $74,750 – $102,000
• $80,500 – $182,000
Global Controller, Candy
• $149,325 – $198,000
• $92,750 – $400,000+
Chief Financial Officer
• $94,250 – $386,750
Source: American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
Where CPAs Work: Specializations
Internal Revenue Agent
• $53,000 – $100,000
IT Auditor
• $46,750 – $128,250
Forensic Accountant
• $59,000 – $93,250
• $90,000 – $150,000
Environmental Accountant
• $80,500 – $182,000
Source: American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
How do I become a CPA?
• Requirements differ from state to state
• Three major requirements in Virginia:
 Complete a 150-hour degree program in
accounting at an accredited college or university
 Pass the Uniform CPA Examination
 Attain more than one year of professional work
experience in accounting
How do I become a CPA?
High School Preparation
• Choose relevant courses such as:
 Bookkeeping/accounting
 Written communications
 Oral communications
 Computer applications
 Other business courses
How do I become a CPA?
High School Preparation
Research colleges and universities
Visit office of CPA or accounting professional
Speak to a member of the VSCPA
Join clubs and participate in professional
What is the Virginia Society of
Certified Public Accountants?
• The professional membership association for
CPAs in Virginia
• 11,000 members
 Public accounting (43 percent)
 Industry (21.2 percent)
 Government (4.2 percent)
 Education (12.2 percent)
VSCPA Mission
To enhance the success of all
CPAs by:
 Communicating information and vision
 Promoting professionalism
 Advocating members’ interests
National Level
American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants (AICPA)
• At the national level, CPAs can belong to the
• 386,000 members
• CPAs can choose to belong to the AICPA and/or
VSCPA, but is not a mandatory requirement
• Each state has its own CPA association
Student & Educator
The VSCPA is committed to:
• Supporting initiatives and programs that promote
recruitment and retention of highly qualified
candidates to the CPA profession
• Fostering relationships with students and
educators from grade school to college/university
• Serving as a resource for students and educators
Careers in Accounting
Programs and Initiatives
September named Careers in Accounting Month
Award of Achievement
Speakers Bureau
Networking & social media
Additional student resources
Careers in Accounting Month
• Special highlights in Disclosures bimonthly
magazine and Footnote e-newsletter
• Chapter participation at student night events
• Career Fairs
• CPA visits to high schools
Award of Achievement
• Program that recognizes outstanding accounting
students nominated by their educators at Virginia
high schools
• Only one student can be nominated per school each
• Nominations due in March
• CPAs can present the award during spring awards
Speakers Bureau
• Visit from a CPA
• CPAs can speak at career fairs and in classrooms
• Variety of topics for all levels
 What CPAs do
 Careers in accounting
 Financial planning
 Financial literacy
The VSCPA Educational Foundation awards nearly
$44,000 in scholarships each year:
• Mission: To inspire and support future CPAs
• General: Undergraduate, graduate, minority and
doctoral categories
• Named scholarships: 12 awards
• Applications are available online beginning each
year in the fall
• Deadline to apply is April 1, 2013
Website/Social Media
Disclosures magazine
Weekly Federal Taxation Update podcasts
VSCPA blog:
Social networking groups on LinkedIn, Facebook,
Twitter (@VSCPANews)
• VSCPA YouTube Channel
• And more! Visit
Additional Student
• Financial articles and publications
• Budgeting guide and quizzes
• Ask a CPA Email program
• Become a CPA — information about the
• List of Virginia colleges and universities with
accounting programs
• CPA Exam information
• Links to online resources
Additional Student
AICPA – Accounting Websites
• Build your own virtual accountant
• CPA Exam information
• Scholarships
• Online community for future CPAs