Apr 21, 2014

What Does a CPA Do?

By Lori Braden, PICPA's Vice President, Strategic Marketing

100304725According to PICPA website analytics, the question “what does a CPA do” ranks third in driving web traffic to www.picpa.org. Since January 2014, nearly 5,000 people typed “what does a cpa do” into Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines before finding their way to our site. And this page, our answer to that question, ranks 15th among all PICPA page views. So what does a CPA do?

To the general public, CPAs do taxes. But you and I know there is much more. The PICPA web page lists opportunities from assurance to consulting, and from IT services to forensic and environmental accounting among others. During the 11 years I’ve spent with the PICPA, I’ve met thousands of amazing CPAs with super cool jobs—CPAs who work for the FBI (and carry a gun), the Philadelphia Phillies, and Pepperidge Farm. I’ve heard stories of auditing chocolate factories, going undercover to catch white- collar criminals, or moving to Europe to work for the company’s international office. CPAs serve their country in the military and in government agencies; lead nonprofits with altruistic missions. CPAs help us save for college, start a new business, plan for retirement, and adapt to the changes our lives. CPAs lead technology teams, marketing departments, operations, human resources—some at the same time!

becomeacpabookAndy Weidman, a past president of the PICPA, often said “Accounting is the language of business” whenever he spoke to students. Studying accounting gives you a strong foundation in technical and analytical skills that will support many business aspirations. PICPA website analytics also revealed that PICPA’s How to Become a CPA in Pennsylvania guide has been downloaded more than 10,700 times in the past year. That’s encouraging news for the accounting profession.

So, to the students reading this blog, in my opinion CPAs do everything.

And to the CPAs reading, I’m interested in learning more about your exciting and essential role.

What do you do?

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.