CPA vs Accountant - What's the Difference - PICPA

CPA vs Accountant

What's the Difference?

Not all accountants can call themselves CPAs. A CPA must adhere to certain professional and technical requirements. Here are some important facts to consider when you are choosing a financial professional.

CPA is a certified public accountant licensed by the state.

CPAs are granted the designation only after they've passed the Uniform CPA Exam. The exam is comprised of four parts and is administered by the State Board of Accountancy. Eligible candidates must also graduate with a baccalaureate or master's degree from an accredited college or university and complete at least 24 semester credits in accounting.

CPAs must meet certain work experience requirements.

In order to take the CPA exam, a candidate must complete at least two years of work experience in public accounting, internal auditing, or work under the direct supervision of a licensed CPA.

CPAs must meet continuing education requirements.

Once an individual has received a CPA designation he or she must then complete 80 credits of continuing education every two years in order to maintain the CPA license.

CPAs follow a strict code of ethics.

In addition to education and licensing requirements, members of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs are bound by a strict code of professional ethics.
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