Why choose a CPA Firm?
Choosing the right team to help you with your personal or business tax and accounting needs should be evaluated no differently than from hiring an expert attorney or seeking out an expert medical practitioner.
Much like an attorney or a doctor, a Certified Public Accountant (also known as a CPA) is a state-licensed professional. When choosing a CPA firm over another type of accounting firm it is important to understand the differences a public accounting firm will make.
Unfortunately in our industry, anyone without any sort of background or education in accounting can help prepare tax returns and financial statements. Many times clients that hire us are surprised to find out that their prior tax professional was not a licensed CPA. Most automatically assume they hired a CPA to handle their very sensitive tax and financial matters.
How is a CPA different?
- A CPA must have a formal education in accounting and have an in-depth understanding of accounting principals.
- The CPA will have 150 college credits and typically hold a Master’s degree from an accredited educational institution.
- A candidate will sit for and pass a rigorous 16+ hour CPA exam. One of the hardest tests in the nation.
- From there the individual will need to work under a licensed CPA and perform certain services for a year worth of time. The employer will then recommend the individual for public practice and submit a form to the state board of accountancy reflecting the candidate’s experience obtained while employed under a licensed CPA.
One may verify if their tax professional holds a CPA license in their state by searching the state’s board database online. In the state of Florida one would check the licensing portal.
There is typically no need to hire a CPA within your state only as many CPA’s are able to practice across state lines. These days have exposure to multiple state tax laws and are well versed in assisting with multiple state tax compliance.