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How to Become a CPA

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Certified Public Accountants work in a vast array of industries, including Fortune 500 corporations, private small businesses and investigative operations. Many also go into private practice. While all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs. CPAs must meet the highest standards in education, experience and ethics. It is the strict adherence to these standards that helps formulate trust and confidence.

Exams and Licensure

All CPAs are licensed through the state in which they practice, with each state having its own unique licensure requirements. However, all states require CPAs to pass a comprehensive CPA exam. Depending on the state in which you hope to practice, you may be required to show at least two years of accounting experience. This experience may either come from the government or private sector. Additionally, CPAs are required to hold at least a bachelor's degree, although many CPAs find a master's degree to be helpful in the field.