The Difference Between CPAs and Accountants

Many people use the terms “accountant” and “Certified Public Accountant” (CPA) interchangeably, but there is a significant difference. And the difference brings peace of mind to clients of Solowitz|Yeh Certified Public Accountants. CPAs are distinguished from accountants by stringent state and professional licensing requirements that include education, rigorous examination and work experience.

Rigorous Training

To become a CPA in the U.S., candidates must pass the Uniform CPA Examination set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. The designation must then be maintained by logging additional professional hours and adhering to a strict code of professional ethics.

In general terms, accountants are professionals who maintain and analyze financial records and make sure taxes are properly paid. Accountants have a thorough knowledge of cash flow, owner’s equity, balance sheets, charts of accounts, etc., and their effects on a business.

Advice You Can Trust

While all CPAs are accountants, not all accountants are CPAs. CPAs can provide services including:

  • Assurance and attestation
  • Corporate finance and governance
  • Estate planning
  • Financial accounting, analysis and planning
  • Forensic accounting, tax consultation, planning and preparation
  • Management consulting and more