Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation offered to qualified accountants, who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in the United States and have the required state education and experience. The CPA license protects the public from inefficient individuals performing substandard accounting work.
New York State passed the first Accountancy Law in 1896, in order to test the qualifications of public accountants. It led to the issuance of a state license to allow people to practice as certified public accountants. Accounting then emerged as a profession with licensing requirements, code of professional ethics and certain standards of the profession. Later, other states also followed this lead and eventually fifty-four states and jurisdictions enacted the public accounting legislation.
The Board of Accountancy of each jurisdiction bears the responsibility for licensing candidates, as well as for compliance with the state accountancy laws. Several states do not allow the use of the designation Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountant by a person who is not certified as a CPA or PA in a particular state. Consequently, in many cases, the use of the CPA designation is not permitted out-of-the-state, until you get a license or certificate from the state. A CPA can also choose to become a member of the local state association or society.
Benefits of the membership to a state CPA:
Members of a state CPA enjoy a number of benefits ranging from major discounts on seminars that qualify them for continuing education credits, to protecting the profession as well as public interest by tracking and lobbying legislative issues that affect local state tax and other financial issues. Besides these, members of the state CPA also get dental, medical, disability and life insurance products along with the defined advantages and contribution retirement plans. They enjoy three weeks paid leave and ten holidays annually and 3 weeks sick leave, in the first year. In addition, they are also granted flexible working hours, comp time, tuition reimbursement as well as longevity pay.
As a member of an IT Section, working for CPA also enjoys an array of benefits. They are as follows:
. It offers its members with an opportunity to participate in the AICPA annual Top Techs Initiative. The members of the IT Section are also allowed to vote for the annual Top Technologies list.
. It grants the access to communities, where you can exchange your knowledge with other experts of CPA business technology.
. It allows the members to communicate on critical regulatory issues affecting your practice.
. It provides an opportunity to its members to be a part of the practical business implications initiated by new technological advancements.
. It allows access to the Info Tech Update that is an exclusive bi-monthly newsletter that covers the latest technological developments and necessary practice-related information.
. Members of the IT Section of CPA can also avail of a bi-monthly news- magazine, the only CPA focussed technology magazine. It helps assist the public accountants to select their own software solutions and advice their clients on accounting and business management software decisions.
. It also gives deep discounts on selected AICPA Web-casts, conferences like the annual AICPA Tech conference and publications.
. Members can also get the IT E-News, which is an exclusive monthly email publication. It contains the latest news and resources for practicing CPA-technologies and tools.
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