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CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT: Be Sure To Prepare For Your CPA Exam - It's Tough!

About this video 

Do you love counting money? Watch this video to learn about what it takes to become a certified public accountant. Watch out, there's a big test involved!

Degree: Business Administration, Management and Operations - Accounting and Related Services
Job Title: Certified Public Accountant

Job Summary: Certified Public Accountant

Job Description

A Certified Public Accountant, commonly known as a CPA, offers advice and financial services to individuals and businesses. These services include book keeping, tax advice and preparation, and preparation of financial statements. A CPA advises clients on the best ways to handle their money, including creating financial reports that identify ways to save, spend, invest, or donate in order to save taxes.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

CPAs are licensed by their state’s Board of Accountancy. Becoming a CPA requires passing a national exam and meeting other state requirements. A few states allow a number of years of public accounting experience to substitute for a college degree. Almost all states require CPAs to take continuing education to keep their license.

Certification Requirement
Recommended by The Institute of Management Accountants.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$40,000 - $110,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Long hours
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Office, Travel, Outdoor, Physically demanding, Remote
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Detail oriented, Mathematical skills, Organizational skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='475'>Hello,</span> <span m='950'>my</span> <span m='1340'>name</span> <span m='1535'>is</span> <span m='1730'>Nathan.</span> <span m='2320'>I</span> <span m='2660'>am</span> <span m='2730'>a</span> <span m='2800'>CPA.</span> <span m='2870'>So</span> <span m='3310'>I</span> <span m='3410'>work</span> <span m='3520'>at</span> <span m='3650'>a</span> <span m='3710'>CPA</span> <span m='3835'>firm,</span> <span m='3960'>and</span> <span m='4280'>we</span> <span m='4600'>do</span> <span m='4750'>audits</span> <span m='5190'>of</span> <span m='5400'>financial</span> <span m='5530'>statements</span> <span m='6040'>primarily</span> <span m='6520'>for</span> <span m='6880'>governmental</span> <span m='7340'>entities.</span> </p><p><span m='8370'>So</span> <span m='8530'>on</span> <span m='8585'>a</span> <span m='8640'>typical</span> <span m='8960'>day,</span> <span m='9690'>you</span> <span m='10020'>set</span> <span m='10280'>up</span> <span m='10380'>in</span> <span m='10450'>the</span> <span m='10510'>morning,</span> <span m='10800'>you</span> <span m='10870'>go</span> <span m='10940'>to</span> <span m='11110'>the</span> <span m='11220'>client</span> <span m='11420'>site.</span> <span m='11620'>So</span> <span m='11750'>you</span> <span m='11910'>leave</span> <span m='12090'>home,</span> <span m='12380'>and</span> <span m='12445'>you</span> <span m='12510'>go</span> <span m='12575'>straight</span> <span m='12640'>to</span> <span m='12900'>the</span> <span m='13030'>client.</span> <span m='13480'>Hopefully,</span> <span m='13820'>you</span> <span m='13905'>don't</span> <span m='13990'>live</span> <span m='14170'>too</span> <span m='14320'>far</span> <span m='14580'>away.</span> <span m='14960'>It</span> <span m='15110'>could</span> <span m='15260'>be</span> <span m='15410'>a</span> <span m='15820'>15-minute</span> <span m='16200'>drive,</span> <span m='16580'>a</span> <span m='16660'>five-minute</span> <span m='16910'>drive,</span> <span m='17140'>it could</span> <span m='17330'>be</span> <span m='17470'>an</span> <span m='17690'>hour</span> <span m='17910'>drive.</span> <span m='18390'>It</span> <span m='18550'>all</span> <span m='18710'>depends.</span> </p><p><span m='19880'>So</span> <span m='20030'>you</span> <span m='20150'>go</span> <span m='20270'>there.</span> <span m='20390'>You</span> <span m='20450'>set</span> <span m='20680'>up.</span> <span m='20860'>You</span> <span m='20903'>have</span> <span m='20946'>a</span> <span m='20990'>laptop.</span> <span m='22970'>You</span> <span m='23100'>carry</span> <span m='23225'>it</span> <span m='23350'>around</span> <span m='23610'>with</span> <span m='23670'>you,</span> <span m='23940'>because</span> <span m='24075'>you're</span> <span m='24210'>a</span> <span m='24340'>mobile</span> <span m='24920'>person.</span> <span m='25550'>Your</span> <span m='26330'>desk</span> <span m='26680'>and</span> <span m='26790'>your</span> <span m='27000'>office</span> <span m='27640'>become</span> <span m='27790'>the</span> <span m='27940'>trunk</span> <span m='28086'>of</span> <span m='28233'>your</span> <span m='28380'>car,</span> <span m='29140'>so</span> <span m='29280'>you</span> <span m='29890'>carry</span> <span m='30310'>everything</span> <span m='30450'>around.</span> </p><p><span m='30910'>So</span> <span m='31550'>you</span> <span m='31630'>set</span> <span m='31850'>up.</span> <span m='32040'>You</span> <span m='32119'>get</span> <span m='32250'>information</span> <span m='32700'>from</span> <span m='32801'>the</span> <span m='32903'>client.</span> <span m='33005'>You</span> <span m='33310'>talk</span> <span m='33406'>to</span> <span m='33503'>them.</span> <span m='33600'>You</span> <span m='33670'>integrate</span> <span m='34120'>it</span> <span m='34570'>in</span> <span m='34730'>with</span> <span m='34880'>them.</span> <span m='35720'>You</span> <span m='35850'>learn</span> <span m='36090'>how</span> <span m='36220'>their</span> <span m='36370'>operations</span> <span m='36900'>work.</span> <span m='37270'>And</span> <span m='37390'>you</span> <span m='38500'>make</span> <span m='38530'>assessments</span> <span m='39490'>based</span> <span m='39820'>on</span> <span m='39900'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='47110'>When</span> <span m='47230'>I</span> <span m='47260'>was</span> <span m='47360'>in</span> <span m='47430'>college--</span> <span m='47860'>I</span> <span m='47883'>went</span> <span m='47906'>to</span> <span m='47930'>the</span> <span m='48040'>University of California</span> <span m='48295'>at</span> <span m='48550'>Santa Cruz--</span> <span m='50200'>I</span> <span m='50560'>studied</span> <span m='50900'>business management,</span> <span m='51834'>economics</span> <span m='52071'>and</span> <span m='52782'>accounting.</span> <span m='55670'>I</span> <span m='55770'>think</span> <span m='55870'>it's</span> <span m='56280'>the</span> <span m='56710'>typical</span> <span m='57000'>career</span> <span m='57140'>path.</span> <span m='57280'>You</span> <span m='57690'>take</span> <span m='57850'>these</span> <span m='57990'>classes,</span> <span m='58400'>and</span> <span m='58465'>you</span> <span m='58530'>graduate,</span> <span m='58895'>and</span> <span m='59077'>you</span> <span m='59260'>start</span> <span m='59490'>working</span> <span m='59775'>at</span> <span m='60325'>a</span> <span m='60590'>CPA</span> <span m='61040'>firm.</span> </p><p><span m='61300'>A</span> <span m='61356'>lot</span> <span m='61413'>of</span> <span m='61470'>the</span> <span m='62790'>Big Four</span> <span m='63340'>firms</span> <span m='64129'>recruit</span> <span m='64480'>directly</span> <span m='64830'>off</span> <span m='65005'>campus,</span> <span m='65180'>which</span> <span m='65349'>is</span> <span m='65480'>how</span> <span m='65630'>I</span> <span m='65730'>got</span> <span m='65900'>my</span> <span m='66020'>start.</span> <span m='66750'>I</span> <span m='66850'>was</span> <span m='66936'>at</span> <span m='67023'>a</span> <span m='67110'>Big Four</span> <span m='67590'>for</span> <span m='67960'>about</span> <span m='68093'>a</span> <span m='68226'>year.</span> <span m='68600'>And</span> <span m='68730'>so</span> <span m='68790'>you</span> <span m='69000'>do</span> <span m='69095'>that</span> <span m='69190'>for</span> <span m='69300'>a</span> <span m='69500'>while.</span> <span m='69700'>You</span> <span m='69800'>get</span> <span m='69980'>some</span> <span m='70110'>experience.</span> </p><p><span m='70650'>And</span> <span m='70723'>you</span> <span m='70796'>move</span> <span m='70870'>on</span> <span m='71120'>to</span> <span m='71270'>maybe</span> <span m='71540'>a</span> <span m='71760'>smaller</span> <span m='71980'>CPA</span> <span m='72350'>firm,</span> <span m='72520'>or</span> <span m='72680'>you</span> <span m='72772'>can</span> <span m='72865'>stay</span> <span m='72957'>at</span> <span m='73050'>the</span> <span m='73200'>Big Four</span> <span m='73500'>and</span> <span m='73835'>continue</span> <span m='74170'>through</span> <span m='74530'>that</span> <span m='75000'>path</span> <span m='75475'>and</span> <span m='75712'>get</span> <span m='75950'>to</span> <span m='76092'>where</span> <span m='76520'>you</span> <span m='76640'>are</span> <span m='76760'>now.</span> <span m='77370'>A</span> <span m='77440'>lot</span> <span m='77600'>of</span> <span m='77660'>people,</span> <span m='78190'>after</span> <span m='78500'>a</span> <span m='78530'>few</span> <span m='78830'>years,</span> <span m='80350'>get</span> <span m='80560'>burnt</span> <span m='80770'>out,</span> <span m='81070'>because</span> <span m='81145'>there's</span> <span m='81295'>a</span> <span m='81370'>lot</span> <span m='81500'>of</span> <span m='81630'>hours</span> <span m='81930'>that</span> <span m='82030'>go</span> <span m='82130'>into</span> <span m='82230'>it.</span> <span m='82520'>So</span> <span m='82880'>they</span> <span m='83110'>get</span> <span m='83350'>burnt</span> <span m='83460'>out,</span> <span m='83570'>and</span> <span m='83810'>they</span> <span m='83843'>like</span> <span m='83876'>to</span> <span m='83910'>move</span> <span m='84120'>on.</span> <span m='84300'>Sometimes</span> <span m='84620'>you</span> <span m='84720'>work</span> <span m='85120'>at</span> <span m='85370'>one</span> <span m='85446'>of</span> <span m='85523'>the</span> <span m='85600'>clients</span> <span m='86050'>that</span> <span m='86190'>you</span> <span m='86240'>were</span> <span m='86380'>previously</span> <span m='87010'>auditing,</span> <span m='87300'>since</span> <span m='87550'>you</span> <span m='87680'>know</span> <span m='87810'>so</span> <span m='87990'>much</span> <span m='88200'>about</span> <span m='88480'>it.</span> <span m='88980'>You're</span> <span m='89260'>a</span> <span m='89360'>valued</span> <span m='89820'>candidate--</span> <span m='90230'>if you</span> <span m='90460'>worked</span> <span m='90580'>with</span> <span m='90710'>a client--</span> <span m='91060'>for a</span> <span m='91120'>job</span> <span m='91390'>with</span> <span m='91520'>them</span> <span m='91670'>sometimes.</span> </p><p><span m='95730'>So</span> <span m='96430'>I</span> <span m='96540'>guess</span> <span m='98075'>some</span> <span m='98390'>advice</span> <span m='98645'>that</span> <span m='98900'>people</span> <span m='99120'>tend</span> <span m='99380'>to</span> <span m='100000'>find</span> <span m='100250'>with</span> <span m='100300'>value</span> <span m='101270'>is</span> <span m='101670'>that</span> <span m='102470'>you</span> <span m='102810'>have</span> <span m='102900'>to</span> <span m='103230'>pass</span> <span m='103480'>your</span> <span m='103660'>CPA</span> <span m='103840'>exam.</span> <span m='104410'>And</span> <span m='104730'>so</span> <span m='104910'>taking</span> <span m='105130'>your</span> <span m='105240'>CPA</span> <span m='105670'>exam</span> <span m='105920'>requires</span> <span m='106390'>a</span> <span m='106440'>lot</span> <span m='106650'>of</span> <span m='107000'>time</span> <span m='107350'>and</span> <span m='107700'>studying</span> <span m='108900'>and</span> <span m='109260'>dedication.</span> <span m='110240'>And</span> <span m='110340'>so</span> <span m='110560'>once</span> <span m='110680'>you're</span> <span m='110760'>working,</span> <span m='111040'>it's</span> <span m='111470'>very</span> <span m='112320'>difficult</span> <span m='113200'>to</span> <span m='113640'>find</span> <span m='113900'>this</span> <span m='113970'>time</span> <span m='114820'>to</span> <span m='114970'>study.</span> <span m='116650'>After</span> <span m='117120'>working</span> <span m='117420'>12</span> <span m='117670'>hours</span> <span m='117990'>a day,</span> <span m='118100'>you</span> <span m='118113'>want</span> <span m='118126'>to</span> <span m='118140'>go</span> <span m='118250'>home</span> <span m='118640'>and</span> <span m='118890'>watch</span> <span m='119140'>TV</span> <span m='119440'>or</span> <span m='119886'>play</span> <span m='120332'>video games,</span> <span m='120780'>but</span> <span m='120824'>you</span> <span m='120868'>don't</span> <span m='120912'>want</span> <span m='120956'>to</span> <span m='121000'>study.</span> </p><p><span m='121660'>So</span> <span m='122040'>the</span> <span m='122120'>best</span> <span m='122340'>thing</span> <span m='122420'>you</span> <span m='122520'>can</span> <span m='122630'>do</span> <span m='122840'>is--</span> <span m='123150'>when</span> <span m='123250'>you</span> <span m='123330'>graduate,</span> <span m='123850'>you</span> <span m='123960'>probably</span> <span m='124210'>have</span> <span m='124340'>some</span> <span m='124480'>time,</span> <span m='124735'>hopefully</span> <span m='125120'>a</span> <span m='125220'>few</span> <span m='125450'>months</span> <span m='125830'>or</span> <span m='126180'>maybe</span> <span m='126305'>even</span> <span m='126430'>longer</span> <span m='126740'>before you</span> <span m='127160'>actually</span> <span m='127500'>start</span> <span m='127920'>working--</span> <span m='128520'>you</span> <span m='128820'>should</span> <span m='129120'>pass</span> <span m='129420'>your</span> <span m='129720'>CPA</span> <span m='130020'>exam.</span> <span m='130320'>It'll</span> <span m='130620'>be</span> <span m='130920'>very</span> <span m='131220'>beneficial</span> <span m='131520'>to</span> <span m='131820'>you.</span> </p>","file":{"id":167829,"video_id":"2730900101001","name":"124765378","duration":136207,"thumbnail_url":null}});