How to Become a CPA

People often times ask how to become a CPA because this career path promises livable wages and opportunity for advancement. Obtaining the certification to become a CPA is one that requires a lot of dedication and years of higher education. This should not shy people away from this career because the benefits far outweigh the cost of obtaining a CPA license.

CPA Skills

When many people think of a CPA, they picture someone who is sitting at a desk and crunching numbers all day. While this is true in some instances, the role of a CPA has grown and evolved over the years. Many CPA’s working in the business world will give presentations and work on solutions to a company’s money troubles. Many modern-day CPA’s must be skilled not only in numbers, but conveying that information to groups of people in a clear and concise manner.

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A person considering a career as a CPA should be interested in not only balancing the books, but also problem solving and teamwork. The CPA is no longer the person sitting in a dark corner of the office building, but a vibrant part of the business world and a vital component to a company’s success or failure.

Education and the CPA

The education that is needed to become a CPA varies from state to state. The most common requirements are that a person needs a Bachelor’s degree and total credit hours equaling 150 or more. Although certain degree types are not emphasized, a person will need a certain amount of accounting classes to be able to take the exam. A Bachelor’s degree often takes 120 credits to receive, so there is plenty of room for people to take the necessary accounting courses they need.


Once a person has completed their testing and passed, they will have to attend further training on subjects such as ethics. Ethics is a large part of being a CPA since these individuals are often times the last person to approve figures or estimates before they are published or reported to the IRS. A CPA will also have to renew their license every two years and some states require that they complete additional training or coursework in the time period before renewal.

Life as a CPA

The life of a CPA is often times shaped by the industry they are working in. A CPA who works for a company may work a normal 9-5 schedule and have little interruption in their daily routine. Other CPA’s may have to spend most of their time traveling around the world to work on projects or resolve company issues. A CPA who opens their own accounting firm will have the most control over how their time is spent. They are able to set their own hours and work on as much or as little as they want. The truth for almost all CPA’s is that tax time is by far the busiest. This is when those who work for companies or are self-employed will find themselves working long hours and being put on strict deadlines.

Working towards a CPA license is something that many people are now considering as the growth of a globalized economy has created a boom in the companies looking for people with this license. When a person considers how to become a CPA they will need to examine what their state requires so they can meet all the prerequisites to sit for the exam.