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What Are the Different Types of CPA Jobs?

A CPA must be licensed.
The requirements to become a certified public accountant (CPA) differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
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  • Written By: Jess Rhodes
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2014
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Jobs available to those who have completed local accounting certifications, often called certified public accountants (CPA), span the financial sector. Certified public accountants (CPA) primarily work in public accounting or in financial audit services, though these are not the only CPA jobs available. CPA jobs are available in all sectors and are involved in virtually all areas of finance. Certain CPAs specialize in a particular industry or field. Others provide general financial services and can be employed in wide variety of roles.

Public accounting responsibilities of many CPA jobs include financial planning and accounting. CPAs often complete these tasks as full-time members of an organization’s staff, ensuring adherence to local regulations as well as gearing the organization toward strategic financial goals. These CPA jobs may also be completed by temporary workers or outsourced to accounting firms, where CPAs complete similar tasks.

Specialization in certain fields is becoming increasingly popular, with CPAs concentrating in fields such as International Accounting, Forensic Accounting, or Information Technology Services, in lieu of traditional broad spectrum financial work. CPAs can also specialize in industry specific regulations; one such example is specialization in entertainment financial services. Specialists can also be found in governmental or non-profit financial roles.

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Some CPA jobs focus on tax preparation. Professional tax preparation titles can include Tax Managers and Business Development Executives. These positions are often more readily available to CPA holders. Tax preparation involves making sure an organization’s taxes are filed correctly and completely. CPA tax specialists may also conduct tax resolution disputes with government agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States.

Various CPA jobs exist in the consulting sector as well. CPAs can offer consulting services in regard to financial planning, tax work, or auditing. Consulting CPA jobs exist in consulting firms and on a freelancing basis.

CPAs are also needed in the realm of academia. CPAs can find jobs as teachers, helping others obtain the skills necessary to obtain certification. Other positions for CPA holders in academia include conducting research. The creation of international accounting standards is a popular focus of research in the accounting world.

Many countries use the CPA title, but local requirements vary. To be considered a CPA in certain countries, local certification must be obtained. In the United States, for example, CPAs must pass state-specific tests and requirements. In England, however, CPAs are called chartered accountants, and they are certified across the country upon completion of the requirements.

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