Beyond the Basics: Understanding the Diverse Types of CPAs in the USA

Posted on April 27, 2023 By Mathew Berg

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) credential is highly valued and recognized in the USA. It offers a wide range of job opportunities in the fields of accounting, finance, and taxation. However, not many people know that there are many types of CPAs based on the type of work they choose.

As an international student pursuing a career in accounting in the United States, understanding the diverse types of CPA available to you is critical. CPAs work in various fields, including auditing, taxation, financial reporting, and management consulting.

Each type of CPA has its unique requirements, responsibilities, and benefits. In this blog, we will explore the different types of CPAs and discuss the importance of credential evaluation in pursuing a career in accounting in the USA.

How many types of CPA are there in the US

Choosing the right type of CPA will depend on your career goals and interests. It is important to research and understand different options. Here are some types of CPAs to help you determine which path is right for you:

Public Accountants:

Public accountants work in public accounting firms and are responsible for providing accounting services to clients. They may work on tax preparation, financial statement preparation, or auditing. Some public accountants may also specialize in specific industries or sectors, such as healthcare, real estate, or government.

Management Accountants:

Management accountants work within organizations and are responsible for maintaining financial records and providing financial analysis to assist management in making strategic decisions. They may also be responsible for budgeting, forecasting, cost analysis, and risk management.

Government Accountants:

These accountants work in various government agencies and are responsible for managing public funds and ensuring compliance with financial regulations. They may also be involved in auditing, financial reporting, and budget preparation.

Internal Auditors:

Internal auditors work within organizations and are responsible for reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls and financial systems. They may also be responsible for identifying and addressing potential risks and making recommendations for improving the company’s financial performance.

Forensic Accountants:

Forensic accountants investigate financial fraud or other financial crimes. They may work in law enforcement agencies or private consulting firms and are responsible for gathering and analyzing financial evidence to uncover fraudulent activity.

International Accountants:

 International accountants work for multinational corporations or international accounting firms and are responsible for ensuring compliance with international financial reporting standards. They may also be involved in cross-border tax planning and advising on international mergers and acquisitions.

Regardless of the type of CPA, it is important to note that the eligibility requirements for the CPA exam may vary depending on the state or jurisdiction in which you plan to practice. In addition, international students may need a foreign transcript evaluation for CPA.

ERES offers credential evaluation services specifically for CPA licensure, making it easy for international students to navigate the application process.

Credential Evaluation for CPAs

International students who have completed their education in a foreign country may need to get their academic credentials evaluated to be eligible for the CPA exam. This is because the CPA exam tests knowledge of U.S. accounting practices and regulations.

Credential evaluation involves an assessment of foreign educational credentials to determine their U.S. educational equivalence. This is important because CPA licensing boards require candidates to have a minimum educational requirement, which varies from state to state. Credential evaluation ensures that international students meet the educational requirements set by the state where they plan to take the exam.

When to get your credentials evaluated also depends on the state board of accountancy, where the individual seeks licensure as a CPA. Some state boards require candidates to complete the credential evaluation process before taking the CPA exam, while others require it after passing it. It's essential to check the state board's requirements where the individual is seeking licensure to determine whether a credential evaluation is necessary and when it should be completed.

Choose ERES for Credential Evaluation

The CPA credential offers a wide range of job opportunities in the fields of accounting, finance, and taxation. You can choose the type of CPA career you want based on your interests and opportunities. However, to be eligible for the CPA exam and license, international students may need to get their academic credentials evaluated. At ERES, we specialize in evaluating educational credentials.

ERES is a trusted and reliable credential evaluation agency that is a NACES member and provides evaluations for all educational institutions. We offer fast and accurate evaluations. Our evaluations are accepted by state licensing boards, employers, and educational institutions across the USA. Contact ERES today to get started on your credential evaluation journey.


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