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Accounting Retention: The Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

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A very challenging, yet rewarding, accounting certification is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Since it can be a long and challenging process, becoming a CPA is not for everyone. People who want to work in public accounting should pursue this certification because it is a necessary requirement in order to work in that setting. If someone wants to work in tax, a CPA certification is necessary for that as well. Moreover, those who want to hold higher positions in a company, such as a controller or Chief Financial Officer, will more than likely need to be a CPA first. The individuals who strive for this certification should be “individuals with a high level of technical competence, and sense of commitment to service” (American Institute…show more content…
The first step in becoming a CPA is meeting the educational requirements. The Wisconsin State Department of Regulation and Licensing requires a total of 150 semester hours of college credit and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to become a CPA. In obtaining these 150 semester hours, there are four options to take. The first one is to earn a graduate degree in accounting from an accredited business school. One could also earn any graduate degree but that person must have twenty-four semester hours of accounting at an undergraduate level or fifteen hours of accounting at a graduate level. These hours must include courses in financial accounting, auditing, taxation, and management accounting. The third option is to earn a bachelor’s degree with a major in accounting. If this option is taken, twenty-four hours must include accounting courses and another twenty-four hours must include other business courses. Lastly, one could earn a bachelor’s degree with a reasonable focus on accounting. The individual that has this degree must have twenty-four hours that include accounting courses and twenty-four hours that include other business courses (AccountingEdu.org,
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