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CPA Professional Services
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Overview:

 

 

Overview:

 

The accounting profession is one of the most respected and rewarding career paths available to students. At the pinnacle of the accounting profession is the Certified Public Accountant (CPA). CPAs are versatile business strategists who provide valuable insight and information to individuals and companies working to improve their financial position or business performance. CPAs work for public accounting firms, corporations and private businesses, government agencies, education institutions, and not-for-profit organizations.

 

CPAs perform certain core services: Assurance Services and Information Integrity, Technology Services, Management Consulting and Performance Management, Financial Planning, and International Services.

 

Assurance Services and Information Integrity: CPAs provide services that improve and assure the quality of information used in making business decisions. The CPAs assurance has traditionally been applied to financial statements in the form of an audit. An audit is the process of verifying the accuracy and legitimacy of the accounting practices used by a company. The purpose is to determine whether the companys financial statements, which include the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Statement of Stockholders Equity, and Statement of Cash Flows, have been prepared and stated in accordance with specified accounting criteria. CPAs refer to this specified accounting criteria as GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires public companies ones that sell their stock in public financial markets such as the New York Stock Exchange to undergo an annual audit of their financial statements by an independent CPA.

 

In addition to traditional audit services, new exciting niche areas have increased the demand for the expertise of CPAs. The new assurance services that CPAs provide WebTrust, SysTrust, Performance Review, and ElderCare require a multitude of skills and knowledge, such as technology in the case of WebTrustSM/TM and SysTrustSM, which CPAs have gained through their education and work experience.

 

WebTrust: CPAs conduct an examination of Internet-based systems that carries the professional equivalent of a financial statement audit. WebTrust, an assurance service, is designed to build confidence among consumers and businesses purchasing goods and services over the Internet. The WebTrust seal of Approval is given to companies that comply with stated procedures, thus assuring consumers that they can transact business electronically with confidence.

 

SysTrust: CPAs examine the reliability of information systems and provide assurance that transactions are processed accurately, without security and privacy concerns.

 

Performance Review: CPAs identify the critical factors that will lead to success in a business and then measure, track, and analyze them in order to assess the progress made in achieving specific goals and targets.

 

ElderCare: Through ElderCare, CPAs provide assurance to children and family members that elderly family members, no longer able to live independently, will have long-term care. The CPA, working with other professionals, such as healthcare practitioners and attorneys, coordinate and assures the quality of services provided to the elderly person.

 

Technology Services: CPAs provide services that help businesses accomplish their goals by designing and implementing computer systems and software applications that improve business performance and decision-making.

 

Management Consulting and Performance Management: CPAs utilize their strong problem-solving skills and broad business knowledge to provide objective advice and insight to any company on a wide range of management and performance issues. For instance, CPAs provide services that deal with business valuation, operational efficiency, strategic planning, organizational restructuring, business risk assessment, and mergers and acquisitions.

 

Forensic Accounting also falls under the management consulting umbrella. In forensic accounting, also known as investigative or fraud auditing, CPAs search beneath the accounting records, analyzing the paper trail for evidence of criminal conduct.

 

Financial Planning: As a financial planner, the CPA assists clients in identifying financial objectives and advising them of the risk, liquidity, management, and tax characteristics of investments. Examples of financial planning services include developing investment strategies, tax consulting, insurance analysis and retirement planning. The CPA also assists clients with preparing income tax returns.

 

International Services: CPAs provide international consulting services, such as development and implementation of operating procedures that are in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations of a foreign country. Serving multinational businesses requires an understanding of the business practices of different countries and cultures.