Below are field descriptions that touch on the vast opportunities the accounting profession and the CPA designation have to offer! Whatever career path you want to take, or headline you want to make, a CPA certification can lead you anywhere, including public accounting, business and industry, government, not-for-profit, or education.
Tax and Financial Planning
CPAs help businesses and individuals by recommending savings, investment, and tax options. They review financial information and provide advice so prudent decisions can be made. These CPAs also help with international business laws and transactions.
Business and Industry
CPAs working inside companies manage financial records, develop business strategies, and secure financing for major projects. CPAs are a critical part of a company’s management team, often overseeing the finances of the entire company and its profits. Their advice affects management decisions and ultimately the company’s profitability.
CPAs in forensic accounting track down fraud, white-collar business crime, and insider trading. They play an important role in determining an individual’s guilt or innocence. These CPAs work for law enforcement agencies or in private practice.
Information Technology and Business Consulting
CPAs help many businesses design and implement computer systems, software applications, and network security. They may also give advice on issues affecting employees, such as retirement plans, or issues that affect the company, such as purchasing a new building or property.
CPAs prepare the next generation of accountants at the high school and college levels. They use their knowledge of the accounting profession to teach subjects from basic financial accounting to advanced auditing and taxation.
CPAs work in all levels of local, state, and federal government. They manage governmental finance, examine individual and corporate tax returns, investigate fraud, and evaluate the use of tax dollars for government programs. CPAs in government can work for the IRS, the FBI, or any number of public agencies.
CPAs in public accounting review the financial records of companies for accuracy and accountability. Companies that are publicly traded on the stock market must have their records approved and certified by a CPA every year. Only licensed CPAs can attest to the truthfulness of a company’s profitability.
All above information is part of the CPA-Passport to Opportunity program of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
PICPA member Jim Stavros on how a CPA can be an expert witness in a trial.